A small studio and a big dream had kick-started the journey in photography for Ashok Verma. On this day he has the credits of working with the biggies in the world of commercial photography along with his own place in the hearts of his admirer. The journey so far has been a ceaseless process of grabinging the new and then undoing it for the newer, always striving for the better, the different...
How and when did you take to photography?
My photography started when I was gifted a SLR camera (Pentax k1000) by my father.
It took wings and became an extension of my deep-rooted love for painting, sketching and writing since my school days.
I was not allowed to join an art college as it was considered a bad career choice and photography became the medium to bring out all my creative ideas to the floor. This all happened after I finished my school and three years of my graduation period. In 1995 I opened a small studio to take up photography as my profession, with no formal training and no mentor.
What do you love to photograph?
I love to photograph people be it in controlled environment while doing a Fashion or Advertising Shoot or totally candid shoots, working as a photojournalist. I started to do Street photography around two years ago which too involve complete candid shoots and people.
Why do you love this genre that you practice?
I love to shoot people because I feel I am blessed with the ability to understand human structure, feelings, emotions, expressions and character both physically and mentally. I feel I can bring out the best in a person visually by hiding their negative and bringing out the positive.
As a photographer, this connection between the photographer and the subject is very important to give life and soul to the visual I produce. A visual without a human element is a dead visual.
Any particular shot of yours that you love and why do you love it?
All the visuals I present on social media or on my website/blog are my favorite shots.
But over a period of time I start to hate them when I produce other interesting work. I feel the process of learning and unlearning makes this happen and it’s this phenomenon which keeps me going.
The day I feel that I know everything, will be the end of me. I am still learning and unlearning. So a photo which I love today becomes a normal when I improve, learn and produce a better work. This is the process of growth and self-evolving.
Your journey so far…
Started with a small studio and a big dream to become an advertising and fashion photographer.
With ups and downs and struggle I reached where I wanted to. Worked with top International advertising agencies, art directors, models and production houses along with international fashion designers and magazines.
Travelled the world to shoot, shoot and shoot. I got into Photojournalism around 5 years back; started doing Street Photography 2 years back.
Still I get up every day with a dream to do more, learn more and share whatever I have learned.
What difference have you noticed in your genre of photography over the course of time
The first change I see is in the mindset of photographers. As photography, has become more accessible to everyone. It’s become easy for everyone to jump into photography with digital revolution. Every second person wants to be a photographer. People are looking for overnight results and fame while doing photography. People have lost the patience and practice which is the base of photography.
The digital revolution and access to social media has made such a deep impact on emerging photographers that they feel that success can just be achieved by just buying the best cameras and laptops.
The fact still remains the same that there was no shortcut when there were analog cameras nor there are any shortcuts even after the digital technology has takeover.
It’s just that in today’s world we have produced more of would be photographers then actual serious professionals.
How do you handle adverse situation while shooting?
Patience and experience it the only way to handle any adverse situation. Doing homework before the shoot will sure decrease the probability of an adverse situation on the shoot.
Do you think gear matters? How?
Yes, gear matters. It’s like if I want to go to moon I will sure need a rocket to reach there I can’t go there walking or by a car. Same way the gear is important, I can do street photography even with a mobile camera but I can’t do advertising or fashion photography with the same mobile camera. So, it depends on what sort of photography you are doing or want to do and accordingly you will need gear for it.
If I am an advertising photographer I will need at least a medium format camera with high resolution.
If I do sports I need a camera which is fast (more FPS) similarly different genre of photography needs different type of equipment’s.
But getting the best camera is not at all the guarantee to get the best results out of it. Photography is about the person behind the camera. Cameras are just tools to be controlled by Photographers and get whatever they want out of it. Gear is Important but in the right hands or else it’s just a waste.
Your future plans...
Why waste my precious today for planning for a thing called “future” which no one can control or predict?
I live in present, I cherish it and give it a 100% of myself. Let the “FUTURE” come to today and be “present” and I will cherish it too.
Your in other roles than a photographer
My story is too long and deep to fit in here on these pages, besides that who has time to read these long stories. People are running out of time in today’s world they all live in an age of fast food and fast life, with everything instant.
Besides Photographer I play a role of son, brother, friend, husband, father while spending my life on planet earth.
Your suggestions for the budding photographers…
The only suggestion I can pass on to all budding photographers is simple, when you see a great photographer and get inspired by them to jump into photography, just see the number of years they have given to photography to reach to a point where they are able to inspire you.
In nutshell… there are no overnight success tricks for you. All you need to do is have a lot of patience, deep love and passion for what you do, not just in words but in actions. Never give up, till you reach where you want to reach, no destination is easy and no destination is inaccessible too.