Photography is an art, a medium of communication where communication is done through images. The same life that seems so common and mundane gets depicted in highlights through a photographer's lens. One can say that it is the spotlight that chooses its own subject. And me? I am a photographer, a medium for that communication to happen, an agency between the subject and the viewers.
So, when I say that photography brought plenty of changes within me, I mean the overall impact it had upon me as a person. The small instances that occur in learning and adjusting and creating magic through lens taught me a lot more than some monumental events of my life. So, I decided to share some of the takeaways of life that I learned from Photography.
One of the many significant skills that you will need as a photographer is the skill of observation. You need to understand your surroundings, keep looking towards the same mundane things with a different perspective, and keep looking until you have seen what you want. When you practice photography to this extent, this is a skill that develops and grows. You will begin observing people all the time without trying to do so.
I have started to observe people, their behaviour, their actions while traveling or on the streets. I have learned to notice them and frame my own perspective about them. While traveling on trains, I have begun observing people's behaviour, monitoring their actions, and capturing their emotions. All this happens without me actively doing this; it has become a habit, a skill that keeps developing day by day on its own.
As mentioned above, photography is an art. Like any other art form, it requires time and patience. Even if I am clear about my objectives, it takes multiple shots, sometimes about hundreds of shots, to get a picture worth it all. It is not like you pick up a camera, set your perspective, and snap - you get your best shot. Instead, you need to keep working patiently around the subjects, events, or surroundings to pull up your best. Even if the event is a one-time thing, you need to patiently wait for the angle, moment, and timing to get the shot. All this waiting and timing, and setting requires a lot of patience. Photography taught me to be patient with the world around me. The world will not speed up for me just because I am in a hurry for that shot. So instead, we need to calm down and wait for the moment to unfurl on its own.
3. Adjusting Attitude
With photography as your career, you will need to go the extra mile, metaphorically and literally. You have to dig the best of the moments out of thousands that pass through your lenses. You need to go to far-off destinations, travel at a moment's notice, stay and survive in absurd conditions, with no fixed routine. Being a photographer, I have stayed in some great hotels as well as at some common sharing room. I have spent my days in the comfort of a sofa as well as walked for miles in difficult conditions; I have had a complete platter as well as survived on just packets of biscuits and chips for the whole day. Adjustment is needed all the time if you aim for a successful result.
I will share one such incident with you all. While shooting in Kumbh, we had to adjust with 8 to 9 people in a single room due to the lack of any other available rooms. The washroom was also half-open, where the sky was visible overhead. I had my brother stationed outside the door whenever I needed to use it to ensure privacy and safety. So, you have to be ready to adjust and improvise to all conditions. It is not this dire always, but you need to keep adjusting to little things everywhere if you pursue this as a career.
A few lucky clicks might make you viral, but to sustain the audience and clients, you need to keep churning out good results consistently. This is true for almost every field and a necessary skill. I learned that you need to grit the same even when you are not working for anyone. This is necessary to maintain your quality and consistency. Photography is a skill that requires efforts to create images, whether they are meant for a campaign or for my social media profile. Consistency, even when things are looking dark and stagnant, is one of the most important things that will lead you towards success. Keep grinding even when the results are not that great because your efforts will compound over time and help you achieve success.
5. Direction to My Life
Photography helped me understand my life to a greater degree and gave direction to my life. Even though it seems like a non-traditional career, it gives me pleasure and a sense of fulfilment. It is my passion that I have turned into my career. Despite a hectic day, when I sit back to work upon my clicks, I get a rush of happiness to see the results unfurling in front of me. The moments that I click, when turning into reality, with the spotlight on that subject, make me want to do this the next day as well. This direction and understanding of my life became possible only due to photography. I will be forever grateful for my choices and keep working on this.
These are some of the lessons I learned on my journey of photography. I am sure your journey would be unique as well. So, share with us some of your personal takeaways from your journey as a photographer in the comments section. We all would love to read them. Till then, keep clicking amazing pictures.
Learning is a Journey that Never Ends :)
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