What made me become a self-taught Photographer?

What made me become a self-taught Photographer?

BIO: I’m a photographer based in Mumbai, India. I’m self-taught with a sincere passion for all things photographic, beautiful light, lovely faces, amazing products, and beautiful spaces. I love keeping things simple in life and on set as I find it always produces the best results with the least stress. No matter the project’s size, I always bring the same passion and dedication to each job, and it’s my priority to make sure everyone goes home happy.

What made me become a self-taught photographer?

How was your University time?

I didn’t really study the mainstream Science, commerce, or arts fields. After school, I opted for a diploma in advertising, which was brilliant as it didn’t really feel like I was studying. Learning human psychology and how design affects it was the most interesting thing I have ever learned in my life. Then comes the part where I was at a party called ‘Photography school,’ and the party lasted for a year! It was just absolute fun! Music playing in your earphones while you get to play with your camera and lights. No limits. I want to go back in time if I could.

Why did you choose a career in this field?

Most part education in Indian schools requires you to have a great memory. The understanding was secondary. I have a goldfish’s memory (Btw, in reality, goldfishes have a good enough memory), but I was very good at understanding things. That got me looking for a field where my memory didn’t have a role to play. Since the internet wasn’t easy to access back then, I asked around and found out that you can actually study advertising! Which was a eureka moment for me because it was everything I wanted. All the creativity and no books. Our exams were literally ‘Sell me this pen, but draw instead of talking.’

3 years went like a breeze, unlike the previous 10 that felt like torture. After my last year in advertising, I tried doing a job at a small-time agency as a graphic designer. But it looked like the creativity was practically non-existent in real-world advertising. I decided to change that and turn an art director. But that required more skills than just graphic designing. I had to learn photography. So I did. I got into a decent enough photography school and learned the basics. One of my friends introduced me to Vinit, a budding photographer back then, and wanted an assistant. I should try it out. The photography day was hectic, but the results were worth it. Eventually, I started assisting Vinit full time and started getting my own clients as well. Becoming an art director wasn’t a canned plan, but it can be done through photography. So here I am, a photographer who does his art direction and makes sure creativity doesn’t die in the shadow of advertising.

What was your first job or nuggets from jobs you had that helped you get to where you are today?

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

I didn’t really do a job for long enough to learn anything from there. It was a small-time agency where I had to make changes in the ready designs that came from the client’s end. However, I was working at dad’s office. He was and still is working in offset printing and designing. I had to make designs that were practical and yet economical to print. I visited the printing press to check the job quality. The overall design and printing experience was a valuable lesson that adds value to my photography like none other.

How did you prepare for the interview?

I had just passed out from my advertising diploma. Job opportunities were plenty for interns. My job interview was when I realized that my interviewer knew nothing about design or the software. The task given to me was so easy I could have done it in Microsoft Paint. They didn’t really need brains. Just software knowledge was enough. In the next few minutes, I was offered the job. I decided I don’t want to go home and started the job on the same day as the interview. Seems funny now how it all went about.

Can you provide some book recommendations?

I don’t really read as much. I prefer the other media for storytelling like designing and photography. However, I recommend making the right use of social media and following artists on Behance and Instagram. I would recommend Alessio Albi, Mehran Djojan, Janice Sung, Mark Maggiori, and Tim Walker. Also, I have read Shiva Triology by Amish Tripathi, and that is a brilliant book.

Things are changing very fast in the industry; how do you keep yourself updated. Please list techniques or newsletters, podcasts, events, etc.

I try and keep myself exposed only to the experimental artists who don’t really do the conventional shoots. I think fine art photographers do a way better job. Also, this helps me keep an open mind for my shoots and inspires me. I keep away from any newsletters or podcasts. However, I do go check out final year exhibitions at art schools in Mumbai. They have some of the freshest art, and you sometimes do stumble upon some stunning pieces.

Any advice about CVs?

I think the purpose of a CV is to understand you but also your personality. It should be up to a point. For Example: “I have studied so and so course for 3 years where I got to learn so and so things.” It is a better way than mentioning only your education year and course name. Also, I don’t think companies care to know your hobbies and details of your personal or family life. Maybe do away with that.

Advice for someone looking for a job?

You will never find the perfect job. Find the one you think is the most manageable and go for it. Also, don’t worry about skipping the job if that’s not something you like. For the first job seekers – Look for the most ambitious boss. It’s a cherry on the cake if he’s a difficult person. You will gain so much more experience with a difficult boss than with an easy-going one.

Why do you think you were selected among other candidates?

I think I was so good with software and that’s what they needed. Also, I was super fast. Still am.

Lessons from jobs that you couldn’t get.

How to manage your work-life alongside your personal life is an art that only a few manage to expert. You learn how to say no and when to say no. Which comes in handy when you start your own business. Managing clients and making sure they feel comfortable with you is an essential part of the business. Everything right from your language, appearance to your behavior will determine if they will come back to you. Also, don’t do anything just for the money. Find a mutual interest between you and your client. These will be some of the most crucial parts of relationship building that you learn from doing a job.

Also read Follow Your Dreams – Your Enthusiasm is Contagious!

What made me become a self-taught Photographer?

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