Maulik Patel : My Story
These days, it doesn’t sound strange if an engineering student picks up a career that is way out of his field. There are so many trolls and jokes trending on same. I am one of those who dared to choose photography as a main profession, in spite of being an engineer.
Throughout my student life, I was a sincere student. In past 20 years, I had never even thought of being a professional photographer, neither the camera attracted me. But yes, I had a creative background and a family environment which always motivated me to create and visualise new things. I think this helped me turn photography into my profession.
After schooling, I pursued computer engineering as my main stream subject. During 3rd year I got my hands on one bridge camera (Sony HX1-My first Camera) which was a gift by my cousin a year back, but I never attempted to try it. As a gizmo & gadget freak I stared exploring the camera in technical terms, clicked some pictures of Sunsets, Trees, Peacocks, birds and everything around my house. Perhaps, the photographer in me was waking up. Gradually the camera was gaining all my interest and I started capturing more pictures. In evening time, I used to go at my terrace and click some self-portraits. Progressively I started learning how to edit pictures, I came to know about PhotoScape and then Photoshop. Initially these things looked like a cockpit of a plane to me but I never thought of giving up the fight. Because my passion for photography was definitely higher than the struggle I was facing. I always had the urge in me, to learn and try these things. So I am mainly a self-taught and self-grown photographer. I have learnt many different techniques of editing software, tips and tricks from Google, YouTube and every other web source.
By now, I had found my passion for photography but it was still a hobby. Though the spark in me had already ignited, I couldn’t imagine taking up photography as my profession.
For the time being, I started clicking for family events, cousins and many of my friends.
However, still I didn’t had that professional touch, but the photographer in me was secretly developing. It was Saturday afternoon when a friend of mine, who is a photographer too, told me about photography workshop to be arranged by him.
I attended the workshop and cleared my doubts regarding photography theories. I also came to know about many other interesting topics. The workshop proved to be the ultimate turning point for my life, after which I started doing street photography. To enhance my skills, I started joining photography groups, made many photographer friends, and was somewhat sure to choose photography as my career. My journey had just begun, and I was so excited about it.
But as they say, nothing worth having comes easily. Now the greatest challenge for me was to create my own portfolio and get some expensive equipments.
Meanwhile I started shooting for some of my model friends with the bridge camera. I was quite happy from their response and appreciation, and day by day I kept learning something new.
In 2013 I participated in Ahmedabad Archives Photography Competition. I submitted my final picture for the competition with my fingers crossed. Fortunately, it was me who won the 1st prize and I got a huge amount of ₹ 25000 as prize money. I was on cloud nine that day, feeling like the king of the world. I decided to get myself my first DLSR camera, Canon 60D, with the prize money.
During the year 2013-14 I started my 365 days Photography Project that helped me a lot for turning into more creative and dedicated photographer. I challenged myself each day to click better pictures and was in a competition with myself. In Jan 2014, I successfully completed my 365 days projects and started getting some good commercial projects via clients and ad agencies. Thereafter I also started promoting my brand “Be Unique “on social media and other platforms. Soon from the appreciation of my work, I started getting many wedding as well as fashion shoots. Since then, I have never looked back and continued my learning process till date.
Be Creative. Be Patient. Inspire People and Never Stop Learning.