Rajiv Chopra | Why Photography?

Why Photography?

September 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

This may be a strange question for a post. However, I think it is a pertinent one. This may be a strange question for my first post on this site and, it is still a pertinent one. 

Some of you may know - or may not - that I spent most of my working life in the corporate world, and I still do a little bit of advisory work. Most of my work now, is in photography, writing and setting up a media business. This is where I will go in the future.

Anyway, I have been in discussion to do some advisory work for a chap, and they wanted me to be their spokesperson. That is, until some of his team saw photographs of me, on Facebook, taking photographs. This shook them, and they hinted that it would  be nice if I would tone down / give up my photography, especially since I am not yet a big name photographer. The image of me in a studio did not convey the requisite amount of seriousness. I took umbrage at this, and declined.

So then, I asked the question - why photography?

When I was in my teens, my desire was to go to the USA, and do my PhD in corrosion. For a variety of reasons, that did not happen. While 'chatting' with Merilee Mitchell, I mentioned that, if indeed I had gone to the US, I may not have turned to photography. She disagreed, and said that either which way, photography would have found me.

So, here I am, with a camera. I do indeed sometimes dress like a complete ruffian when I am out with my camera, and this is cool. I like to be comfortable. The memory of suits and ties has not gone, and while I don't object to them, I no longer feel the need to wear them everyday.

So, why photography? I can't answer this in one post, so maybe I will split it over the next few posts.

Briefly, photography, for me, is life. It is life, as I perceive it. Now here, i am talking of my personal projects, and not stuff I may do commercially. There was a time when I would shoot randomly. As I grew, I started to think about this more consciously. Then, less consciously. Then, more consciously again.

The choice of my subjects has changed over time, and the way I shoot and edit has changed as well. It will change again over the next twenty years and, I intend to remain fit, so that I can photograph.

But, to repeat, simply - photography is one of the two ways (the other is writing) that I perceive the world. 

And that, is why photography.


Photograph taken in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi.

In the middle of the night.

Homelessness, sadly, is a fact

If you look very carefully, you will see the homeless people on the pavement.

Revellers walked the streets not 20 metres from where they slept.

It's not a pretty picture. The elbow of the chap next to me has made its way into the frame. You can barely see the second person, as he lay in the darkness.

The old man sat there in the light of the neighbouring shops, as they did good business.

Sad, yes?



No comments posted.

January February March April May June July August September (1) October (1) November (1) December
January February (1) March April (1) May June July (1) August (1) September October November December