By Sakshi Aggarwal Verma
When I moved to Hong Kong over 8 years ago, it was as a young mother, a trailing spouse, and someone who had happily given up a fairly good career at an international bank in Mumbai. No complaints, because it was my choice.
New country, brand-new baby, new people, meant that I had tons to keep me busy for sometime. The time at home also gave me an opportunity to work on developing my hobby of photography.
Eventually, after a couple of years of being a full time mother, I did get back to a full-time day job. Career-wise, in many ways, it was a great opportunity, and I totally enjoyed my new role in a very international, professional setup.
Somewhere along the way, I did realise that photography was my calling. Decided to give it a couple of years, and my best shot. Feedback from my clients was good, and word of mouth certainly helped the most.
However, in a world, where smartphone pictures can make it to the cover of TIME, it is important to differentiate and evolve.
I specialize in natural, candid and relaxed portraits. My subjects range from pregnancy portraits, newborns, to babies, and families. I strive to make each session a good family memory, and create custom artworks for people’s homes. I would like these pictures to be heirlooms for the family.
While I am not “against” portraits clicked in a studio, wouldn’t it be so much better to have portraits clicked in your own home. In my head, all pictures against a black/white background look identical.. while every home is unique to the family that lives there. As a photographer, there’s a lot more that’s not in my “control” in outdoor pictures. But that’s the element that makes it all very exciting.
Over the years, I’ve matured as an individual, and my style of photography has evolved as well. When I started, young kids and babies were my main subjects. I now do a lot of teen portraits, environment portraits, and large family shoots. Professionally, I know I have a long way to go. There’s lots to improve upon. Loads to learn. Personally, I have started enjoying street portraiture a lot more. I now travel a lot more within India than I did earlier. When I am behind my camera, in my head I step out from the scene, and am looking in. Like Alice through the looking glass! It’s wonderful exploring my own country, and seeing the beauty in it like I never did while I still lived here.
Being recognized by readers and families in Hong Kong, 2 years in a row, has been very reassuring. I’ve spent many nights editing, and working on my skills. Most importantly, photography was not a path I took up just because I wanted more time, or because I had nothing better to do. I chose photography as a career, and have been giving it as much as I would give to a regular day job. Quite often, more than that. Success in your profession needs commitment, and a passion for what you do. There’s a long way to go before I would call myself a success, but I am grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to make a career out of my passion. I gave up on a full-time day job, and always remind myself about it.
Sakshi Aggarwal Verma is a home maker, an entrepreneur and a connector of people
Feature Image Credit: PublicPhoto.Org
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