Not all the engineers become Chetan Bhagat or Ravinder Singh, some of them like Himanshu and Pranjal, Co-Founders of Epic Stories, turn into photographers and create the magic with pictures they click. In a conversation with QNA, Himanshu reveals how this journey started, the experience of covering celebrity weddings, what pictures are his favourite and a lot more, so say cheese!
From Engineering to photography – what inspired you?
Himanshu: I think almost every engineer would relate to the famous saying – ‘If you are good at something, do it after engineering’. Engineering happened by chance, I was studying diploma and it made sense for me to opt for further specialisation. But I never thought I would turn out to be a photographer when I was filling the admission form in my college. You know, you can’t expect much from a 19-year-old kid having a serious thought about what he wants from his career. I began exploring every possible thing in my college which shaped my personality. I designed posters, organised events, led a small team in Entrepreneurship Club at my college. Meanwhile, I experimented with a camera which I had borrowed from my friend. Universe spilled the magic and I started getting small paid gigs for photography in my college. People took notice of my art and my close friends encouraged me to step in the world of Entrepreneurship. That’s when I explored and ventured into being a full-time wedding photographer.
What kind of pictures you like the best – candids, bride, couple shoot etc? And why?
Himanshu: As an artist, I would want to explore everything that can help feed my soul. I try to bring a new and unique perspective to every photo I capture. Wedding photography challenges me at every step in my journey. It is so dynamic – a precious moment missed is a precious moment failed being captured. That picture might have been the reason for a smile on the couple’s face when they would have seen it 20-25 years from now. I want people to feel the same emotions years after the way they feel during the wedding, this is what keep me going. Therefore candid, precious and pure once in a lifetime moments are the ones that I love to capture.
You do free shoots for LGBTQ weddings, how many weddings have you done so far?
Himanshu: All of us here at Epic Stories strongly support the famous saying – ‘Love is Love’. Humans as a species have come a long way and we should be always ready to embrace something that can empower suppressed sections of our society. And let me say this again -‘Love come in all shape and sizes’, and we are ready to take every opportunity that celebrates love. As of now, we have not shot any LGBT weddings because we as a society have still not completely accepted this change but I wish someday I would definitely contribute to this kind act that makes this world a better place to live.
How different is it to cover a celebrity’s wedding?
Himanshu: Every wedding is filled with so many emotions and we aim to shoot every wedding the same way. The only thing that differentiates is the kind of pressure we have while shooting a celebrity wedding. Usually, you have all these paparazzi and every other thing in front of you. It’s very, very difficult to take out clean frames filled with emotions and artistic values when you have such hurdles around your couple and sometimes you just get seconds to take that perfect shot.
In these moments as a photographer you cannot panic, just try to photograph gracefully, think fast and anticipate your next move without freaking out. I remember the series of events that took place in Prince Narula and Yuvika Chaudhary’s Reception at Chandigarh. They were about to enter the venue and we had planned a few things in mind that might have turned out to be epic pictures. Next moment you see, there were hundreds of photographers waiting to photograph them. We lost all our hopes that we won’t be getting any good portrait/moment. Few eye contacts exchanged and we decided that we will weave out our magic, whatever it takes. You won’t believe with help of few bouncers, our crew become barricades for all of them and in that way we took some pictures that we had always dreamt of taking. Photography can be a tricky job. It’s more than what catches your eyes.
If given a chance to recreate a celebrity couple’s wedding album, which one would you choose?
Himanshu: Given the context of the current situations between India and Pakistan, I really wish to shoot the lovely couple Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik. Call me an ardent fan of cricket or global ambassador of love, I would take every opportunity that would reduce hatred and spread love. They have been a lovely couple and an epitome of inspiration for all of us. Also, art has always been an important factor in history that tried to erase geographical boundaries and promote camaraderie. There are a lot of good humans in both the nations, it’s just we need more platforms that showcase our love for each other and stop all these bullshit going on for years.