His qualifications include math graduate, law student and executive of a company. By all accounts, Vikram Bawa was meant to be anything other than the fashion photographer he is today.
But after losing it all, he picked up a camera, took a chance… took a couple of pictures. A blitzkrieg of popular campaigns later, Bawa tells you how to crack it in the glamour world.
1. If you have the money, enroll in a photography class to acquire basic knowledge of photography: I practised for six months — shooting everything I could to learn the basics of lighting and composition. Or try looking up the Internet for ideas.
2. Experiment: Shoot everything you see, even if you’re only interested in fashion photography. Fashion is not about catalogues and clothes, it’s about developing a style of your own, which can be showcased through garments.
3. Make contacts with everybody from your maid to a fellow photographer: You never know who can give you a lead to a great assignment. Also, try and intern with a photographer. Many amateurs who’ve assisted at my studio are doing great work and have learnt the business aspects of photography. If I had a mentor, my career would have probably taken off faster.
4. Acquire the right temperament: Only 10 per cent of your shoots will be ones you enjoy doing. Mostly, you’ll have to deal with all kinds of people and assignments for the money. You should be able to take everything that comes your way. It took me 10 years to be able to say that I’d only do assignments I love.
5. And finally, be your own critic: Edit your body of work and only present the best. Amateur photographers tend to include every picture they’ve shot in their portfolio. If you can’t see the faults in your own work, you will never grow.