Yogesh and Shefali were my first clients. Yogesh was my batchmate at IIMK. We decided to do the pre-wedding shoot in the streets of old Bombay on a sunday morning (morning session) and then at the beach in Bandra (evening session).They had great chemistry and since I knew Yogesh from college days, it was easy explaining what I was trying to do. We got some lovely pictures.
Yogesh paid me 5k for the pre-wedding shoot. I went home and once I reached , I was so happy that I started crying.
This moment was important, really important. I have never felt like this in my entire life.
For a good three and half years, I have been crazy about photography. I spent a lot of time learning photography and hoping to become a fulltime photographer. Turning into a fulltime photographer meant getting clients who love your work and pay for it and I was apprehensive of that. I hoped that one day it would be real. Finally it happened. Being passionate about photography and learning it, finding people who trust you enough to capture their memories and being paid for the same is a wonderful feeling. For me, it was all about experiencing hope turn into reality and for that I am grateful.
Most importantly, I never felt like this in my job. Most of the time, I felt like a drone in a sea of drones, my identity twisted for the better interests of the company and my work often meaningless and disposable. To be brutally frank, most MBAs do the job equivalent of an administrative clerk topped with some excel and ppt making in the initial few years of their work life (however fancy their designation may be) and most of them hide this fact in a facade of pay check and buzz words. Ofcourse we get paid a lot, atleast a lakh a month.
How do I feel now ? My identity matters, what I do matters. I don't need to change my identity to suit a company. Photography is me. I am photography. I have often felt vulnerable and I did n't know how to express myself. My photography stems out of my vulnerabilities and not my strengths. My photography stems out of being imperfect, human. There is no pretence. Stepping into photography has been a journey where I learnt to be at peace with myself , all of myself. And I chose photography for the emotional space it gives me and whether or not it made a business case was secondary. Feelings over money.
That day, I pretty much knew this was what I was going to do for the rest of my life. A day in hospital in Feb gave me the time to think and reflect. I resigned immediately and got into photography full time in April.
Thanks a lot Yogesh and Shefali :)
PS : All this writing would make everyone curious to know the "why photography?" story more. I would be covering that in detail in another blog post.