For as long as I can remember I have loved the camera. I always had a passion for photography, even when I didn’t know much about it. My parents saw it in me too and gifted me my first camera which was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. After that my fascination only soared. I wanted to understand the world through the lens of my camera and, I saw everything and everyone through a photographer’s eyes. I knew I needed to hone my skills if I really wanted to follow my dreams. I had to learn how to translate what I saw into photographs that justified the beauty that I was saw around me.
For quick first lessons I dived into a 2-day Studio Lighting Workshop at Shari Academy. There we were taught about exposure, lighting and all the technicalities of taking a picture. I was overwhelmed by everything I was learning. In those two days I realized how much of a beginner I was and how much I had to learn. That’s when I decided that if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this right. After the workshop, I was sure I had to study Photography.
I had already studied film-making and animation, so when I discussed studying photography, my family wasn’t sure. But I was. So, I convinced them and enrolled myself in a 2 year Master Craftsman course at the same academy. There I learnt everything from the basics to the nitty-gritties of photography- camera handling, portraits, outdoor and indoor photography, etc. Although, there was nothing in my course about baby photography.
While I was still studying, my cousin and another cousin’s wife got pregnant, around the same time. Both of them were ecstatic about it and wanted to celebrate it by doing pregnancy shoots. They were inspired by Pinterest. Of course, they turned to me to do it because I was learning to become a professional photographer. I hadn’t done anything like that before but I wanted to help so, I said yes. One chose the beach for her photo shoot and I photographed the other in front of the Central Library in Mumbai. That was my first pregnancy shoot ever. It was amateur stuff but I loved every minute of it! They still adore those pictures too, so that makes me happy.
Nobody knew about maternity shoots at the time, especially in India. So, I was both, surprised and not surprised when I started getting enquiries about it from friends of my cousins who saw my work. I felt a calling for it but I wasn’t ready to accept it at the time. I wanted to do more glamourous work like fashion and food photography. I would cry when my husband would suggest that I try baby photography. I ran away from it initially, but little did I know that there was a huge demand for baby and family photography.
When I did book a baby photo session for the first time, I knew everything I had to know about handling the camera, not so much about handling a baby so I learnt on the job. Even as I started doing more baby shoots I knew I lacked perfection. So, in 2017, I went to California to take part in a 4-day baby photography workshop. There were more than 20 renowned baby photographers there who spoke about their work, experience and imparted the knowledge that I was seeking. I even got to have one-on-one conversations with them. I understood that baby photography isn’t simply about taking pictures, it’s about creating a world around them. I learnt about safety measure when handling newborns and also about wrapping them snuggly and beautifully.
In a way, my journey started only because my husband pushed me in the right direction, it was a path I believe I was meant to follow. And I followed through with it because I had and still have such a strong support system in my parents-in-law.
Now that I’m here, I’m here to stay, there’s no turning back. I love my job and I can’t imagine doing anything else. My work excites me every day and I look forward to doing more collaborative work, workshops and outdoor shoots in 2018. This is going to be a sweet sweet year!