The Telegraph
Friday , June 27 , 2014
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Passion at play, let’s shoot

Bhubaneswar, June 26: Who can forget Farhan, one of the 3 Idiots who wished to be a photographer but pursued engineering to make his father happy.

It appears Bhubaneswar is full of Farhans who have found the courage to complete their academic degrees, mostly engineering, and then pick up the camera to capture the world.

Youngsters from various academic and professional fields are finding their calling in freezing moments of happy weddings, wildlife, nature and even natural disasters. Mostly in their early twenties, these shutterbugs enjoy the challenges and travel that comes with photography assignments.

“I did my engineering to make my family happy. But in my second year, I took a lot of interest in photography for all the creativity and fun. Once I completed my degree, I took up assignments of wedding and photoshoots that are available in plenty in the city. That gave me experience as well as good remuneration,” said Smikash Mohapatra, a youngster who has been doing photo shoots for two years now.

Ranvir Deb, the business administration graduate is hooked to photography. Telegraph pictures

Ranvir Deb, who has made a name for himself and even gets wedding assignments from outside the state, said he got interested in photography when he was in Class IX. “Yet, I accepted my parents’ advice that I should have a good qualifications before I took up the career as a photographer. So I did my graduation in business administration,” he said.

Ranvir’s mother got him a DSLR camera and he has been busy everyday with some or the other project ever since.

The trend is seen among both boys and girls. Sabyasachi Jana, a chemistry graduate who later went for a multimedia course, was not content with any of these qualifications. “I always loved observing nature and people and how everything changed in different settings. Once I tried clicking a few pictures during a trip with friends and I fell in love with the activity of capturing a scene on the lens,” said Jana, who often gets projects from social organisations who also pay his travel and accommodation expenses.

“It is adventurous, challenging and gives me great satisfaction,” he said.

Twinkle Patnaik, a bachelor in administration from Utkal University, teamed up with Sneha Parhi, an architectural engineer, to create a photography company called The Ricelight Project. The girls shoot weddings and this takes them to places across the state. Despite odd timings of Odia weddings that continue overnight, the duo are glad to have turned shutterbugs.

“Wherever we go, we receive a lot of affection from families. It may be a little challenging when it comes to security but the families involved usually make special arrangements for us. They too feel safer and the bride feels much more candid and opens up to us more than male photographers,” said Sneha.

When asked about the criticism for anyone picking up a DSLR and turning into a photographer or veteran professionals discouraging the trend of amateur photographers, the girls feel it is due to a bunch of posers that the passionate ones also get slighted.

“When people criticise amateur photographers, it is due to the fact that there are many who just pose with expensive cameras and post them online and never again bother to learn anything about photography. But we work extremely hard and cover events and assignments under tough conditions. We read a lot and learn tricks and we are extremely passionate about photography,” said Twinkle.

Though most of these youngsters earn over Rs 40,000 a month, the support of parents is not seen in every case. “My parents were not initially supportive since they were worried about my career and income. But now they see how I work seriously for assignments and earn well. There is some support now,” said Smikash.

Many of the young clickers also plan to pursue formal education in photography to shun the tag of being ‘amateur’.

Passionate photographers Twinkle and (right) Sneha

“I have promised my father that I will pay 40 per cent and he has agreed to pool in the remaining 60 per cent for an expensive photography course in Mumbai,” Smikash said.

Sneha has already joined IIT Kharagpur for a masters in design and she has opted for photography. “Once my classes begin, I will turn a photographer on paper too!” she smiled.