“Prathik Panchamia here! I am from Tamil Nadu, a professional freelance photographer based in Bombay.
I live by one quote — “It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha.
I specialize in Travel and Wedding Photography and Black and White Landscapes. I also own a company that I started with the lovely Raechelle, who also happens to be a dear friend, called “The Wedding Fotografós”.
The Wedding Fotografós, specializes in Candid wedding photography and Wedding Films. Along with that I have started another photography company with the beautifully talented Bhavya Kotian. This company provides professional photography services in the fields of Travel, Dance, Fashion and Architecture.
It was not always sure about seriously venturing into Photography, but it eventually became my calling when I started to pen down serious thoughts about my future. From my second year of Under Graduation, I knew I wanted to become a photographer.
For me it was quite an easy decision. My classmate, a very good friend one day got his beautiful Nikon FM10 to college. And we just started clicking random photographs. Back then digital photography was still taking off. We had to buy films, click and then give them out to develop. There was a rush I experienced, waiting at that studio for the photographs to be printed. I’ll never forget that feeling till date! Receiving the hard copies in my hand staring at my work and I knew it, this is what I want to do!
After that, there was no looking back. I wanted to learn more, know more and shoot more. But my first hurdle was to convince my family. Coming from a Gujarati family, we take pride in ourselves on being businessmen. To get my family to wrap their heads around this was a time taking process. They were taken aback. For me to take up something that no one had an idea about was unfathomable. But I knew I had to prove my capability to them. Slowly and steadily I started proving my mettle and how serious I was about it. Finally they did come around.
You meet someone whom you idolize and then you meet someone who inspires you. I had a chance to meet the Late. Mr.Prabhu Dasgupta. A self made photographer, who learnt the art on his own without doing a fancy photography course. He learned things the hard way. Being a self taught photographer myself, I idolize him and take a lot of inspiration from him and admire his work!
Chennai gave me my inspiration. I went to Chennai for a winter internship program as an assistant to Mr.Sujith Kumaar and Mr.Surya Galla. Mr.Sujith Kumaar, an ace advertising photographer in the country. Working there, was a huge turning point in my life. Can you imagine living off only Rs.3000/- a month? Well, I did that for 2 years. I was determined to make it and to reach the zenith, so whatever the hurdle came my way, I was ready to take it up.
It was an amazing learning experience for me. It strengthened my desire, to watch him work and teach me things about photography. It was the best photography course I could have asked for. He was and is till date my first inspiration. That experience and learning is a big part of who I am today.
I’ve moved around a lot. From Madras to Bombay to Bangalore and now I am finally back and settled in Bombay. It’s difficult to find something unique about your work that is appealing to the clients. Everyone does good work. Therefore, there is a ton of competition. You have to dig deep and dig hard to find out what is unique about you and push that skill even further.
As a travel Photographer I specialize in Black and White Photography. As a Wedding Photographer, I tend to concentrate on the emotions and aesthetics together.
Along the way I have achieved a lot of things. I hosted my first solo exhibition in my hometown, in 2013, called “Faces of an Expressive Country”. My work has been published in a lot of magazines, dailies and websites in India as well as abroad.
In 2014, I was selected as one of the top 10 photographers in India by National Geographic. I’ve also gone trekking up to Mount Everest Base Camp with NDTV GoodTimes.
Presently, I am working on a few other exhibitions with Bhavya Kotian. We are going to keep that under wraps for now. We are waiting for the collection to be complete and then announce it.
At this point in my career I am happy but not content. And I don’t think it is a bad thing. I am happy that I have achieved and accomplished as much as I have, but I am always hungry for more. I am hungry for experiences, learning more, meeting more people, travelling more. Believing in the journey, I don’t think I will be content ever!
DO everything you can to make your dreams come true. Avoid taking short-cuts. Successes from shortcuts are short-lived. Toil hard, there will come days that will set you back, and there’s nothing wrong in being a little sad about it, but always surround yourself with people who can motivate and push you to be better.
Your company plays an important role in shaping the kind of person you become. If you want to be successful, then surround yourself with people who’ve tasted success in their own way. Learn from their experiences and motivate yourself.