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Check Out How This 13 Y.O. Photographer Is Capturing The Skateboarding Girls Of His Village

  • IWB Post
  •  August 9, 2018

If you take a look at the pictures clicked by Shivjeet Yadav, you’d be sure that this kid has a knack for photography. All of 13, the guy has been practicing photography for just one year but has already clicked pictures which his mentor Gaurav Prabhu is extremely proud of.

It all started when Gaurav, a Mumbai-based photographer and photography trainer, chanced upon Janwaar Castle’s Instagram account while looking for an off-route destination. India’s first rural skatepark for children, Janwaar Castle was started by Ulrike Reinhard, a German author, and activist, in 2015. She first visited India in 2012 for work and somehow reached Madhya Pradesh and immediately fell in love with Khajuraho.

A small village near Panna National Park soon became Ulrike’s home and that is when she got acquainted with the deep caste divide and other issues of the place. Ulrike, a part of the Skateistan project in Afghanistan where skateboarding was used to empower children, felt that Janwaar could be helped from something similar and thus Janwaar Castle was born.

Janwaar Castle greatly intrigued Gaurav and he decided to sign up as a volunteer for the same. Soon enough the mentors at the skatepark asked him to teach the nuances of photography to children. Gaurav readily gave a nod.

“I wanted the kids to capture their childhood memories by themselves like everyone is doing around the world,” said Gaurav in an interaction with Scroll.

It was Gaurav’s first time teaching photography to children and thus he kept things simple. He started using local slang to explain concepts. For instance, headroom, a key element in the composition, became khopdi-fasla. He asked the children to draw images of what they wanted to photograph so as to help with the framing. After the afternoon class was done, he asked the students to go around and take 5 pictures each and report to him.

Most of Gaurav’s students returned with photographs of flowers, skates and similar things, just one of them had clicked five portraits. He was immediately stunned by the precise framing and natural panache for portrait photography. Thus he asked this child, Yadav, to photograph everybody in his village.

Yadav says that everyone loved the first five photos he took. “They said, ‘He is very talented, he will do something great,’” he shares. He adds, “No one really taught me how to click humans, it just came to me. I wanted to shoot people, and I did,” shares Yadav.

“Girls First” is one of the rules followed at Janwaar’s skatepark. While Yadav, the son of a cattle grazer, doesn’t really agree with it, he does allow the girls to go ahead. He thus photographs them as they go around the park while skating.

“That kid [Yadav] has something that will make him a great portrait photographer one day. He just knows what to capture,” says Gaurav speaking of Yadav.

Here are some of the pictures captured by Yadav:

img_1 (4) img_2 (1)

img_3 (1)
H/T: Scroll

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