The More You Shoot, the More You Learn – a Professional Photographer
I don’t know how many people in this world are doing what they love and living their life to the fullest. Bored with the monotony of my corporate life, I decided to quit. I already knew what I wanted to become, a professional photographer.
Where Did It All Start?
14 years ago, I went on a family trip to Nainital. Just like every other child, I took my father’s phone to click random scenery pictures. One of the pictures came out so fascinating that I remember my father saying “kya photo li hai beta, well done”. That I guess was the kick-start of the photographer in me.
My parents have perpetually supported me. They wouldn’t leave any instance to back me up or praise even on the smallest achievement. I don’t think it would’ve been my path of career if my father hadn’t said that to lighten the photographer in me.
Did I Make the Right Decision?
I am a software engineer by degree and a professional photographer by passion. I started to take it up seriously while pursuing my degree. Earning a bit here and there by photography I was quite skeptical about it. Unsure of whether this path was for someone with a motive of earning as well as following their passion.
Since it is a field of high competition, it requires a lot of pondering and noting down pros and cons before stepping into it completely. But being a person of instinct, I didn’t think twice before leaving my corporate life because I had complete faith in my art. I think every field feels the necessity of being different, create a mark, and not just be another one.
A Self Taught Professional Photographer :-
Like they say “charity begins at home”, I took it seriously. Practicing with whatever piece of an item I could find at my place, be it a spoon or a staircase. I left no piece of the item unshot. I just picked up random things, studied what angles have never been discovered before, and shot them in those angles. That made my art polish itself. Photographers have this convention in their minds that shooting leaves and flowers is a work of a naive person or people who are just starting out.
I believe ‘the more you shoot, the more you learn’. Even today, after having the amount of experience I have pursued, I still shoot whatever comes in my hand or my sight. I keep on clicking till I can find no more angles left for another photographer. Not only it polishes my art, but also helps me widen my horizons and thinking capacity.
What Makes My Art Different from the Crowd ?
Having to enter the field of such a crowd, requires the right balance of uniqueness and universality. I picked up a place which everyone is familiar with, Delhi. But extracting the unseen part of the city is what made my identity seen in the crowd. The raw, the real, the unfiltered version of Delhi is what fascinated me towards making it my niche.
It not only includes the statues or big rock but also a tea stall and the person behind it. I like to extract the story from a man’s eye. I believe eyes tell a more truthful story than words ever can. The wrinkles on their forehead, the depth in the smiles, the intensity with which they look inside my lens, is what makes my photography unique in itself. It has coached me to a higher level and I am still seeking knowledge.
Is Being Freelancer Safe ?
No, you don’t have a routine income. No, you do not have the assurance of your salary being transferred every month. You do have to deal with the hefty negotiation procedure. You have to deal with your art being not liked by every party. You might not get to collaborate with the brands you like. Art is a very subjective material for everyone. Some might appreciate your art, some won’t.
The only thing that will make you survive in this kind of path is the faith you have in yourself and your art. If you know what your art is worth, then nobody can question the numbers you put forward in front of them. I save a lot from what I earn which is what helped me during this pandemic. Don’t work for free if you’re confident about your art.
Finding Calm in Chaos :-
The pictures taken during a festivity are so calm when I upload them. But it’s the exact opposite when I am standing there, holding my camera and evaluating the elements I need in my frame. For me, the process is more important than the outcome of it. If you enjoy the process of learning your work, the outcome is going to be more delightful than you thought it would be.
Be true and dedicated to your art. I know it’s a very common saying ‘ consistency is the key to success’ but I think it cannot be more accurate. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your art, if you don’t consistently pursue and learn it, you’ll never make it. Learning every single day, makes me visualize a colorful frame into black and white. I love the process and it doesn’t scare me.
Instagram | Aarohan Tiwari