See What Happened When Photographer Nupur Went In Front Of JWB’s Camera
- IWB Post
- August 19, 2015
Photographers are strange people! They take an audacious stance behind the camera lens, with all equipments, and angles, firmly under their control, but when asked to switch over to the other side, they become the shyest beings of the world!
Today, on the World Photography Day, we are talking about one such photographer, who must not be a new name for you all, if you follow our blog on a regular basis, that is.
Meet Nupur Agarwal, JWB’s freelancer photographer. When asked “Why photography?” this chirpy girl had only three words to say: “LOVE! PASSION! EVERYTHING!”
What is it about photography that makes you want to call it your ‘everything’?
I’ve always been drawn towards photography for some strange inexplicable reason. It is the happiness, I guess, the happiness that people feel when I show them their candid pictures. The surprise on their faces when they exclaim ‘When did you click this!?’ That feeling of joy gives me the kicks!
Were you always determined and clear on taking up photography as a career?
Not initially. When I was in tenth, I knew photography was my thing but back then I felt that being a girl, it was difficult to be a photographer. There were a lot of apprehensions because this was always seen as a male-dominated field.
So, how did your journey begin?
I was in ICG studying applied arts while preparing for NIFT simultaneously. Getting selected for fashion communication at NIFT was my ultimate goal. I did get in, but during subject selection stage, I got accessory designing instead of fashion communication. I took it up, bearing in mind that new doors would definitely open.
But you drifted from photography…right?
Yes, but accessory designing did have a short term photography course. I used to have some free time which I used to my advantage by helping 4-5 fashion communication students simultaneously. Now if I had been in the course, like I wanted, I would have been doing a single assignment. But here I was, assisting in multiple assignments, thereby learning multiple things. My hobby didn’t become a pressure of submission. I was also the only girl and one of the top 3 photographers at NIFT.
What happened next?
I interned in accessory designing for some time, and I was certain that this is not what I want to do. But during that time, I got a chance to do an internship in celebrity styling. Now if I was going to be around a stylist, I was definitely going to be around a photographer. I took this indirect approach to learn what I had to; and it turned out to be one of the fondest memories! It was Ileana D’cruz’s photo shoot done by the renowned photographer Colston Julian. From creating a set to clicking techniques, I got exposure to so much!
Whoa! That sounds awesome! You know I just realized that you’ve mentioned this ‘being a girl’ thing often. What’s that about?
People think this profession is not suited for girls. Things like… ‘You’ll have to touch male models during shoots’, ‘how will you travel so much alone’, ‘you won’t be able to continue once you’re married’; I’ve heard all of this a number of times from a number of people. Back then, these perceptions may have brought me down but today I have answers to all such lame questions…
Care to enlighten us?
- Touching male models? Well, photography is a magnanimous field. Male model photography is one element of it, and not the end of the world.
- Talk about traveling? That’s a cherry on the cake! I love travelling!
- Being married? I have my equipments. I can create a studio and work wherever I want.
Her answers evoked the image of that wayfarer whatsapp smiley in my mind, those multiplied by 10,000. Go girl!
Speaking of these apprehensions, tell me about your family’s role in the picture?
They actually always took photography as a hobby. And being business oriented, they wanted me also to do a business rather than getting into a service line. So, it took a lot of time in shifting their mindset towards photography from a service oriented thing to a business oriented thing. Today they are happy seeing that I can work from my studio. My dad is supportive; in fact, he has sponsored all my equipments.
I’m glad! We would have missed out on all the fun behind the scenes if you and your camera weren’t here!
So, freelancing versus Job? Your pick?
Freelancing. Any day! I can’t take up a 9 to 5 job. I feel that becomes monotonous. I can work all day long, but would prefer to do it on my terms. Also, you get caught up salary-wise in a job. Freelancing, on the other hand, gives you a lot more scope to earn.
I’ve often heard that it is an exhausting task trying to mint out your money from the clients in freelancing?
More often than not, it is the case. I’ve lost money, time and labor many a times due to such clients. Lessons I’ve learned:
- Always ask for an advance payment when finalizing the deal.
- Always, always, always have a written proof of the deal. That is actually the reason photographers usually don’t quote price on a phone call. We send our terms and conditions via mail and freeze the agreement through the official email-id of the firm.
- Always make your client happy and vice-versa. Don’t work for clients who irritate you irrespective of how much money they are offering. Such clients drain your energy and waste your time.
I will keep these points in mind, just in case, in a parallel world, I decide to take up photography. Okay, I am already pitying my clients.
Anyway, now that we’re talking money, let’s talk about those drearily expensive and delicate equipments which have the potential of giving nightmares to the possessors!
They’re not delicate actually, they’re heavy. We call them delicate because if they are damaged they can burn a huge hole in your pocket.
Yes, photography is an expensive hobby. But take the equipment-cost like any other business investment, I would say.
Your favorite photographer whose work you fancy?
I am a huge fan of Tarun Khiwal! His work is remarkable; it is conceptualized so brilliantly that you’ll feel like staring at it for hours! Also, the pictures will make you feel that they’re taken candidly. There’s so much realism in his work.
I will make sure I google him today.
What would you call as your career defining picture or your personal favorite picture?
Umm, there isn’t a picture as such, but there sure was a favorite shoot. It was very special and memorable as well because it was featured in Hindustan Times newspaper; and all these girls that you see in this picture are my friends.
Are you in favor of the heavily edited photographs?
See there is a fine line between ‘Editing’ and ‘Post-Processing’. Editing means manipulating a picture, and this is acceptable up to a certain extent. For example, if I manipulate someone’s picture by removing a pimple, that’ll be okay because the pimple is temporary. But if I decrease the person’s long nose or ears, now that will be fake. Post-processing simply means enhancing a picture, which is in fact necessary.
Talk about your ultimate dream…
Buying an Audi from my photography-earned money! That stands as the ultimate dream! Other than that, I really want to go to Europe and capture a different side of its beauty. I want to show the parts of Europe which have never been portrayed before.
Wow! Europe is every girl’s dream I suppose! We have DDLJ to thank for that!
And what is your current and near-future plan?
I am currently doing a short course in studio lights and working side by side. In the near future I have planned to launch my wedding cinematography firm which will be called ‘Captured Forever’. I have already tied up with candid photographers and videographers for the same, and the work is in progress.
You have the best of our wishes, Nupur! Now before I let you go, I have one last and perhaps the most important question! Up for it?
Nupur: (Nervously) Shoot!
You have accompanied us while we interviewed Jaipur women from all walks of life. So how does it feel to have traded places today? How does it feel being interviewed and being clicked?
(Smiles) It feels awesome! It means a lot to me. Although, I am feeling a bit shy being clicked.
That’s with all of you photographers… tell me something new…
No seriously! I am sitting here and being a photographer myself, I know the angles of clicking people. So that makes me a bit conscious.
Well, that was Nupur Agarwal and her photography for you all!
Team JWB wishes all you shutterbugs out there a very happy World Photography Day! Lots of love!
Picture Courtesy: Shashank K Tyagi