“We are often told “follow your passion” – and I believe in that concept. I know in my heart that I have always loved photography but the way I stumbled into becoming a photographer was nothing short of a fairy tale.
The year was 1987 and my older brother was a photographer by then. I used to assist him during my leisure time after school and one day, I was asked to cover a wedding reception event. That was my first photography assignment and I used the Pentax K1000 35mm SLR camera to shoot. I didn’t have much knowledge about the shutter speed and aperture numbers back then but I managed to click the photographs. After processing the film, I realized that some of the pictures were overexposed, but somehow, we managed to deliver the final pictures to the client on time. I thought my brother would be angry with my work but to my surprise, he smiled at me and told, “Always remember, your subjects should live with the moments you capture.”
We cannot control external factors, but we can control the choices we take in life. So, after my schooling, I decided to pursue Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from JNTU College. What followed was a mixture of many ups and downs.
Fast forward to today, my passion for photography has only increased many-fold. As a senior photojournalist for an International Agency, I have photographed many events across India such as the catastrophic floods of Andhra Pradesh, the inside story of SKS microfinance, International Sports events, Telangana agitation among others but being part of Humans of Hyderabad (HoH) as a photographer feels incredibly special and satisfying at the same time. There were many instances that moved me personally while working with Humans of Hyderabad. One such story was hearing about the problems faced by women in rural areas and slums from a social worker whom we interviewed last year. She explained to us about the plight of these women where they resort to using ashes, dried leaves, old clothes to aid absorption of menstrual discharge. I was totally shocked to learn that there are still so many women in the country who are facing these problems. Apart from the stories of social workers, we also touched upon important stories of the LGBTQIA+ community, body shaming, Covid-19 and its impact among many others and I am proud to say that I am part of such a wonderful platform which promotes inclusivity.
One of the most challenging experiences for me was while working for the Humans of Hyderabad Coffee Table book. It was a prestigious project but just a few days before starting the work, I met with an accident and fractured my right hand. I didn’t want to miss out on the initiative, so I went ahead for the shoot despite a hairline fracture. Once the book was launched, everything seemed worth it. The end result made us proud as a team. It’s always the spirit and determination to bring out the extraordinary in the ordinary that kept me going.
I truly believe that photojournalism acts as a medium to spark a positive change in the world and I can’t imagine my life without all these encounters, so enriching, so astonishing.”
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