Wedding Photographer – Ananya Rijhwani shares her inspiring journey!
6 March 2017
I was born in a Sindhi (absolutely non-Sindhi thoughts, though) family in Banaras/ Varanasi. I have been born in a free family. I was always given the freedom to do what my heart loved to do. Whatever my parents haven’t been able to do, they made sure I did it all and they gave me all the freedom to do it.
Since childhood, I had an inclination towards art. I started Kathak at the age of four and I think my mom and dad knew about it too. After class 10th, I studied in Hindu all-girls school with my majors in Art subjects.
I read somewhere that ‘every entrepreneur is an accidental entrepreneur’ and I think that is very true.
Earlier I wanted to do dancing and get into choreography, but I later realized it involved a lot of body shaming and I somehow wouldn’t be able to digest it.
Gradually I developed an interest in Photography. I started hanging out with photographers and artist from different countries and started getting stronger with my mindset to be a photographer.
I skipped for a graduation degree and wanted to learn on my own self and grown on my own self into this. I did intern a few people and later learned that nobody could teach you the art. Everybody would teach you the technical part of it, but nobody would teach you the art part of it. You get to find your art on your own.
After getting into photography, I diverged into weddings in a very short span of time. I realized I am a people’s person (Just like my dad). I can talk to people and I can write stories about what they do and how they are like and what they are as their own selves and when I combined it up with photography, I found I wanted to photograph people at the most beautiful time of their lives.
I left my house at the age of 18 to do what I wanted to do. In India, for a girl to do that is very rare I think.
As every other entrepreneur, I have too seen good time and bad times. I have seen days when we as a team have shot in two different cities, while days when we had no weddings at all. I have seen days with bad clients, days when team edits were delayed, days when I never saved a penny from the project, days when the team couldn’t be paid well, days when clients never paid me as promised. But at the end of the day, it has all sailed through and it will all sail through as well. 🙂
Photography is my life. Photography for me is the expression of what I actually am. My work is who I am, it’s all about my ambitions, my victories, my losses, my trials and my tribulations, my loves and my breakups all wrapped up into my expression of it.
Work sometimes takes its toll and I am really a hyper person. Stress parts sit easily on my head. I read books, do water brush painting and also practice coloring yoga and some adult coloring books to relieve me from stress.
My simple mantra of life is: EAT – TRAVEL – SHOOT – LOVE.
I want everyone to learn two things from my journey:
1) Don’t fear anything.
I have always been fat. I have always been overweight. I hate body shaming but I have faced it many times with very near and dear ones too. This December, I did paragliding and I can’t even imagine, someone around almost 100 Kg jumping from 2400metres above sea level. I was in the air for 16 minutes and trust me I would have never done that. I am shit scared of height, but constantly travelling to mountains since I am living alone, I think I have lost the fear of scaling heights and it made me literally stop whatever comes to my mind and jump for paragliding. I want to do the same with all my fears, all my restrictions in life.
2) Focus on your work, not on your earning
I have learned to pay my own monthly bills, take care of studio expenses and wages. I have gone through frustration, insecurity, doubting my own self and my dreams after continuous failures and bad days at work. Being away from parents, and not being mature enough emotionally to handle all this, I have often cried for days, been depressed and not eaten for a couple of days at a stretch. I have gone for days and nights without sleep and lived through times when I had no friend to boost my morale and applaud my choices in life. But at the end of the day, I have always learned one thing from my dad, Don’t focus on earning more it will only bring more stress, focus on the value you want to create through your work.
I am woman of courage because I took the plunge to do what I wanted to do and it’s not easy, trust me it’s not. A lot of people come and tell me that.
See her photography here: Weddings By Ananya Rijhwani
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