Sunday, April 3, 2016

When Dad Asked Me Why Photography?

Last night seemed very long. The entire night I kept looking at my wall clock for it to strike seven. I had to go and talk to dad. Dinner table had turned onto a battle ground of words. He kept asking me why I wanted to spoil my life by doing something that had no value. Basically my parents, especially my dad, wanted to believe that there cannot be any other stable career beyond a degree in law. So high time! I had to make him understand that I am not meant to be a part of that boring law college and I don’t understand anything about that subject. 

So as soon as it was seven, I told myself, “keep your calm, everything will be fine.”  I opened the door slightly to check what everyone else at home was doing. Mom was in the kitchen as usual preparing Poha and sandwiches for the breakfast. Dad was in the balcony reading the newspaper, absolutely in no hurry to reach his office and Rahul seemed like texting his girlfriend (I am good at reading faces) lying in the couch.  So this was the perfect time. Whole night I had rehearsed the entire scene.  I went up to my dad and took the newspaper from his hand and started counting the number of colored images in those 20 pages. There were about close to 60 images including a new car that was to be launched this week, a necklace piece from the collection of our city’s renowned jeweler, some home appliances which were available on discount, a picture of our city’s amusement park, a new real estate property that was coming up in the suburbs, some images of the ongoing cricket tournament and some pictures of our politicians and people from the corporate.

I think he got a slight hint of what I was doing. But I had to do more. He didn’t seem convinced. I picked up the Airport Magazine lying next to Rahul. Dad had brought it home when he was travelling to see grandma last month. So I repeated myself. There were again some 45 images of different places and some commercials.  Now, I told him “look dad, everything around you has photography in some form or the other. In today’s time, nothing sells without photography. Everything around us needs to be advertised and advertisements without photography is absolutely incomplete. Our print media heavily banks upon photography. With each passing day, the demand for the photographers has only been going up. So how can we say that it is not a stable profession? There is always a scope for good photographers in the industry. And above all Photography is my passion and I love everything about it. I do not wish to hurt you. But those thick text books don’t get inside me. I only understand things that I see with my own eyes and not what is written somewhere. Please allow me to enroll myself in a photography school.”  He stood up and walked off.

It’s been two months now since I took admission in a photography school. Dad is still upset with me. But I am quite determined. I will convince him soon. I will follow what my heart says and not what a textbook says.                                                                                

( be continued)

Author: Anuja Agarwal

Thursday, March 10, 2016

10 Famous Architectural Beauties One Must Capture Using Their Lens

Here is a list of world’s famous architectural buildings that every photographer with interest in architecture and history would do anything to capture them through their lens; trying every possible aspect (the sunset view, the aerial view or the mirror effect) to get the best. These marvelous beauties have been a source of inspiration for many for hundreds of years now.

1.    Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

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Soaring to a height of 451.9 meters, the 88-strorey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewel. Majestic by day and dazzling at night, the Petronas Twin Tower is an internationally recognized landmark.  The towers were designed by Argentine architect, Cesar Pelli, who chose a distinctive style to create a 21st century icon for Kuala Lumpur.

    2. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa or more accurately referred to simply as the bell tower or campanile, is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from the medieval Europe. It is located in the Italian town of Pisa, one of the most visited European cities.

     3.Eiffel  Tower, Paris

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Engineer Gustave Eiffel built this iconic wrought iron lattice tower on the Champs de Mars in Paris, France in the year 1889.It was a defining moment of the industrial era as the structure was completed in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days.  Over the decades Eiffel Tower has seen remarkable achievements, extraordinary light shows and prestigious visitors. It has always been an inspiration for artists from different walks of life.

4. The Colosseum, Rome

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Located just east of the Roman Forum this massive Flavian Amphitheatre known as the Colosseum was commissioned around AD 70-72 by Emperor Vespasian. It has been a site of celebrations, sporting events and bloodsheds. Today it is a major tourist attraction, playing host to 3.9 million visitors each year.

     5. Taj Mahal, India

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The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and one of the most famous buildings in the world. This monument of immeasurable beauty stands majestically on the banks of River Yamuna and is synonymous to love and romance. It is a white marble tomb built in 1631-48 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in the memory of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal.

 6. Sydney Opera House, Australia

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The Sydney Opera House is an iconic landmark and has been identifies as one of the 20th century’s most distinctive building. It is a multi-venue performing arts centre and is an icon of Australia’s creative and technical achievement. It design and construction has attracted worldwide acclaim.

 7. Burj Al Arab, Dubai

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The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is more than a stunning hotel, it is a symbol of modern Dubai. The hotel stands on an artificial island 280 mts from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is the third tallest hotel in the world.

8. Fallingwater, Pennsylvania

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Fallingwater is the house of the Kaufmann family designed by America’s most famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was built between 1936 and 1939 over a waterfall in southwest Pennsylvania, 43 miles southeast of Pittsburg.  The Kaufmann residence instantly became famous and subsequently in the year 1966 it was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

9. Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

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Almost from the moment it opened in 1997, architect, Frank Ghery’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, represents a magnificent example of modern and contemporary architecture.  The use of cutting-edge computer-aided design technology enabled Ghery to translate poetic forms into reality, thus providing an innovative and seductive backdrop for the art exhibited in it.

 10.  Burj Khalifa, Dubai

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Burj Khalifa, the mega tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is the tallest artificial structure in the world standing at 828 meters. Excavation work for Burj Khalifa began in 2004 and the building was opened in 2010. During its making, the building passed many important milestones on its goal to become the tallest man-made structure the world has ever seen.

Author: Anuja Agarwal

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Essential Tips on New Born Photography

Every time I see a new born around me, the first sight of Avni, my eldest niece, comes right in front of my eyes. I remember those tiny fingers, that little nose and those small eyes which mostly remained shut. I was so scared to hold her the first time. Now with two more addition in the family, Yashvi and Adhira, I feel a little more confident seeing a new born, though the excitement still remains intact. There is so much excitement and enthusiasm, raising the total energy level of the house.

It’s so much fun to once again bring out the camera and capture those small little moments of the newest member of the family.  Time flies very quickly and before we even realize, this adorable phase of the baby would have passed.  So kick aside all your laziness and go ahead and take some amazing shots of your baby. Be rest assured that you would be giving him/her a treasure for lifetime when he/she grows up. I have tried to pen down some simple yet very important tips that one should keep in mind for a new born photo shoot.

Choosing the Right Time for the Photo Shoot

Most people are either confused or not prepared for time of photo shoot.  They are uncertain in which month they should get a proper professional photo shoots for their new born. There are usually two phases,

a.       Posed Pictures:

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To get those perfectly posed angel like pictures, photo shoot must typically happen in the first two weeks of birth when the baby is mostly sleeping and is hence “mold-able.”  During this time the baby is usually not very fussy and can give you some perfect shots using blankets, wraps, hats & headbands.  With proper editing, the end result is extremely polished and beautiful.

b.  Lifestyle Pictures:

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This type of pictures gives a more casual approach as the intention is to capture the daily lifestyle of the newborn.  These photo shoots can be done up to 8 weeks old when the baby starts showing some movements. It’s fun to capture their laugh or naughty expression. Pictures with parents, siblings and grandparents show the baby’s involvement with the family. Memories of this time frame usually start fading away and hence it is extremely important to capture them.

Be Prepared and keep the baby happy

This is the most important thing amongst all to-dos for new born photography. If you want your photo shoot to be just awesome, make sure that you have done your preparations right. First, ensure that the room is warm where the shoot is supposed to happen so that the baby is comfortable when you keep changing their clothes. Next, choose the time of the day when the baby is most likely to remain calm and happy and not their sleeping or feeding time. Every child has his or her own time. Third, make sure that the child is well fed before the shoot so that they are more relaxed and joyful.
However, please note, that even after all your preparations, there would be some potty breaks or just random breaks if your baby gets cranky. Build that patience, after all your new born is the BOSS!

Using Props for the Shoot

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You could use some props to make your shoot more fun and interesting. But remember to keep them simple. The focus should be on the baby and not the prop. A wide selection of newborn  photo props are available in the market including faux furs, stretch knit wraps, crotchet baby hats, stretch lace wraps, headbands, cocoons, hammocks, crates  and other photography props.

Also if there is a hidden creative side of yours, you could make some of these at home yourself. It would not just take care of your wallet, but also ensure the quality of the product being used for your baby.

Be a part of the pictures

Please stop worrying about still losing your pregnancy weight and be a part of the picture. Make sure that there are some shots of you holding the baby or cuddling with baby. It may not seem important now, but later, once your baby grows big, this would be a priceless treasure for both you and your little one.

Happy Clicking !!

Author : Anuja Agarwal

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Five Things That You Learn After Being A Travel Photographer

Travel photography being recognized as a full time profession is a blessing to the tourism industry across the world. So as more and more people are taking Travel Photography as a serious profession, we would like to add that it is a profession that not just helps you in paying all your bills, but also allows you to discover yourself and enriches your life. It gives you an opportunity to experience those moments of life which you would have not thought of otherwise. Below are five most important things (the list is endless) that you learn once you step into it.

             1. Go slow and live the moment

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Patience is the key. You can’t be a part of a mad rat race and enjoy your trip both at the same time.  You need to slow down and give enough time to absorb the surroundings.  Spend some time and pay attention to the smells, scenery and noises around you so that these small things become a part of your memory. Leave all your worries behind once you have left home and be a part of the place where you are, whole heartedly.

1               2. Be confident and make friends

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It is only your self confidence that keeps you going in an unknown land. Trust yourself and follow your intuitions. Talk to strangers, make them your friends and try to obtain as much information as you can about the place where you are. The locals tell you so much about the place and culture that no travel website or magazine can ever tell you.  In the process you will make few amazing friends and create memories to cherish for lifetime.  They become some of the most valued ones in your address book.

             3. Doing all the things that were being put off 

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This is one of those professions that give you enough opportunity to visit all those places where you always wanted to go. There is freedom to do some of those things that were put aside due to restrictions and responsibilities at home. There is enough time to re-discover your interest and hobbies which were lost over the years. So make maximum use of this opportunity and don’t let time slip out of your hand.

               4. Learning and development 

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Being a travel photographer, you are blessed with opportunities for self growth. There’s something satisfying when you can show off in front of your folks that you can speak a number of languages. Throwing around a few Greek or Spanish words leaves you with that little pleasure. You become more open to their language and their culture.
Also, there is a different sense of satisfaction, when a mountaineer gives you some free tips on mountaineering while shooting them, or when a farmer gives you some advice on how to keep your pulses safe at home or when some great chef teaches you some cookery lessons.

               5. Being sensitive 

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It is only when you move out of your comfort area, you realize how blessed you are. When you see people with so little, enjoying their life so much more, you start valuing what you have. Travel opens your eyes to small, ordinary things of life-things that are undervalued, but have great significance. You become more sensitive towards waiters, chauffeurs, florists, vendors and all other people whom we interact to on a regular basis but don’t pay much attention. You develop a deeper sense of respect for them.

Author : Anuja Agarwal

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I often asked myself, where do I make good photographs? Until I read this beautiful line by Elliot Erwitt, “To me, Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

If ever, we take out some time from our busy schedules only to observe, we will realize that there is so much happening around us all the time, right in our backyards, regardless of where we live.

We only have to open our eyes and our minds to take notice of them and visually move into the lives of the people that we are looking at and experience them. 

Once we start shooting, we realize that street photography helps you get closer to strangers and get intimate with them. You don’t just build the nerve to get closer to your subject and frame them better, but you also become friends with them, interact with them and live with them through your images. You shoot with your heart.


So I conclude by saying what Alex Webb once had to say, “For what does a street photographer do but walk and watch and wait and talk, and then watch and wait some more, trying to remain confident that the unexpected, the unknown, or the secret heat of the known awaits just around the corner.”

Author: Anuja Agarwal

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

It's not what you see...It's the way you see...

Quite often we come across articles/posts/updates that say, ‘Whoever owns a DSLR, is a photographer,’ or that it is one of the easiest things to do. To every person with such an opinion, I would like to say, please read and find out a little more about this art.

Yes, everybody can click pictures. And, with the advancement of technology and easy availability of simple software, editing pictures also appear a cakewalk to most. But it is only a truly talented photographer who can make the most mundane and ordinary subjects look ethereally beautiful. One needs an eye and not just a camera. Also, why can’t people who can afford one, invest in a DSLR solely to capture moments? It might only be a hobby for them. Or, maybe, just another expensive gadget in their collection.

Clicking outstanding images does not only involve looking into a camera. Right from the way you hold your apparatus, to the angle in which you look, to the frame, the composition, the shutter speed, the lens used, the shot, the post-processing- it’s not easy at all. It really requires a proper understanding of the art.

Some respect, please!

Author: Garimma Agarwal