Every time I meet somebody, they ask me about my photos. Whether I do it professionally. And what am I going to do with all the photos that I have ever taken? And most importantly, why do I do it?
At first, I generally answer with Platon’s subtle view, that Photographers are documentors of our time. Be it a camera phone, a point and shoot or an endless array of expensive equipment, we are all creating and capturing images that will be frozen in time. But when I think about it, when my mind is an endless blur of memories and madness, the answer is much more relevant.
When I think about it now, working nonstop in a place where my photography has almost ended, the answer seems that much more important. At times, I was fed up. Stressed out with work so much that I couldn’t even take my camera out on a brilliant day. Sitting in a hotel room in a lovely hill station and I didn’t even carry my camera. No motivation to shoot. And at times, I wondered, if it was the end of a love affair with photos.
Turned out, it was just a speed breaker.
Sometimes we hurl towards things so much, a little breather helps us gain perspective.
In life as in love, there are flashes of exhilaration. Then a little silence as we wonder if the roads we tread are the right ones for us. How often have I heard people say, that Change is the only constant? I am not one of those people who like to know everything about their life. Where everything is planned out. I like change. Moments that throw life out of gear.
Photography has led me to meet some incredible people. Travellers from around the globe always have the best stories to tell. Similarly, I am not a commercial photographer right now, but I love hearing about the aspects of fashion or glamour photography from my peers
For me, the camera has always been a medium. Sometimes, I don’t talk much in large groups. Roaming across India with the camera in hand has allowed me to see and hear things which I normally never would have. Waking up at sunrise along the Ganges. Sitting in a café in Kasauli talking to random strangers. Hearing stories about how the Jai Vilas palace was being rebuilt first hand from the guy who was doing it. Sure, I might have missed a lot of photos in between as I slowly learnt the art of photographing moments and souls. But having a camera with me led me to do things which I never would have as a random tourist.
In the past few years, I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of people from various cultures. Places that have unique definitions and a thousand stories of their own. What I realize today is that I might know my camera inside out. But the world always throws up something new. Life is too short. There are always newer stories to explore. The streets are filled with a thousand stories.
Sometimes I think my photography has less to do with photos and more to do with the people I meet, and the places I go to. I still have a myriad of reasons as to why I take photos. Even though the photo might not be the end, but a beginning in itself. I still do not know what I will do with all my photos. Maybe I will just hang them all over my house and reminisce about the good times when I grow older. Till then, I guess I’ll just have to keep shooting.