Name: Namita Garg
DOB: 31st August
Occupation: Fashion Photographer
Currently Residing: Gurgaon, India
Favourite Quotes: All those who wander are not lost.
Whoever said 'learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later' has aptly been proved wrong. With a lot of women choosing to make a career later in life has the game of 'living life at your own terms' rolling to their benefit.
It is time parenthood is not restricted to one parent - the mother. Dads are contributing equally to share the load. A supporting partner plays an important role when the woman in the family tries to create her own niche.
Namita Garg is one enterprising woman who made a bold move to pick up a career as a photographer when her sons entered teen and preteen. Her passion to capture the world through a different lens - her lens - gave her the freedom of expression.
In Conversations with Namita Garg
What first drew you to Photography?
The fact that the photos have the potential to place you in the 'gone by' time forever drew me closer to see and capture the world around me through my lens. I loved looking at pictures of our vacations and then wanted to capture the things I liked on our future trips. For a long time, I did not realize that photography was 'my' cup of tea. But I guess the real romance with the camera started when I first got my kids to pose for me to shoot their innocence as I saw it.
What type of photography attracts you the most - fashion/food/product/kids?
Candid - I love to capture kids, people in a gathering, exhibitions. Think of a crowded place with diverse moods, emotions, and sentiments. Surajkund Mela, for example, is a photographer's delight. You get to frame varied shots of people from different regions in one place. In-studio I love clicking portraits.
Food has its own temptations, the textures and colors are to die for other than the taste. So, food photography is yet another area that has attracted me over the years.
What sort of equipment do you use?
I am on canon with a couple of lenses and filters.
Do you have formal training as a photographer?
Yes, I did take up a course with Raghu Rai Centre for Photography that helped me understand the studio lighting. But I believe it is inside you what the camera helps in bringing out. So you need to have a very strong connection with your inner self. It helps a great deal in conceptualization and capturing the perfect moment.
What type of editing software do you use for post-processing and what do you like about it?
I use Adobe - Lightroom, and Photoshop.
Among the gadgets that you own, is there something you wish you hadn't bought? Why?
In photography, it's always about what should I get next. And that never stops :)
You are the mother of a teenager and a preteen. What was the reaction of your family when you first told them you wanted to pursue a career in photography now?
My family has been encouraging throughout. As long as I do not want them to pose, they are happy. In this case, even bribing does not work. They are a huge support. My equipment is huge, bulky, and delicate. Whenever I need an extra pair of hands, my family pitch in. So I feel I am well placed.
How do you educate yourself for better pictures?
I have learned to be my own critique. The key is to keep clicking, be your own critique. See why one image works and why the other doesn't. Many times I have seen that one picture works for others while I have a completely different opinion - in such cases, I take the call.
Are all your photoshoots planned or some of the shoots are instinctual?
It goes both ways. With clients, I like to plan according to their requirements and the purpose of the shoot. The next step is to decide the looks, outfits, makeup, etc. When I step out to shoot an event, it is very instinctive. I love the outputs of both. It's very rewarding.
What inspired you?
I cannot pinpoint one aspect. But the first thing that comes to mind is that whenever we went for vacations I wanted to take along all that I was seeing with me - the beautiful temples, intricate carvings, huge galiyaras of temples and palaces, sunset, sunrise, mountains with the shadow of clouds and brightly lit portions.
I still remember my visit to Vivekananda rock and the waves coming and crashing on the stones. I wanted to bring the perfect clicks back home with me, and relish the calmness of the waves every time I felt the rush of the metropolitan city. Most of my family trip pictures had the scenic beauty captured more than the family members. I guess that's how my love affair with the camera began :)
Among your works, which ones your favorite?
It's like asking mommy 'who is your favorite child?' It's difficult to pick one work as my favorite. But, if you insist, I will pick up the captures from Surajkund Mela.
From a photographer's lens, I feel Surajkund has always been very kind to me. Whenever I have been there the reward has been amazing. So, if we talk about candid shots, I would say the Surajkund album I did just before social distancing is close to my heart.
Studio shoots - I love clicking portraits. I did a concept in Hawaiian look with a twist. And I loved the results. The flowers can be a great prop. Then I worked on a tribal look with my husband and that too was super interesting.
I like to see the ideas come alive on people and that makes me a portrait person. But then fashion also has its own charm which I like to experiment with. So, yes I can say that it makes me a fashion photographer.
But the photographer in me looks for interesting stuff in food, kids, and at other places worth capturing.
Check out Namita Garg's work here
Whose work has influenced you the most?
There are quite a few photographers whose work I like. But Rehahn is one brilliant photographer who captures the moment beautifully.
What details you believe make the best photographs?
It is the small things, the minute details that really make the difference between a good shot and a great shot.
Black and White vs Colour Play, what do you like the most?
Black and White will always be the winner.
How realistic is it for full-time moms to pursue photography as a career?
I am a full-time mommy. If I could make it possible, I believe you can too. All you need is a good plan, time management skills, and most importantly, passion to follow your dream. I would also suggest to be consistent and keep patience. Success does not come overnight. It takes time.
What is the one advice you wish to give other aspiring moms?
I would suggest, talk to yourself more often. Self-motivation is better than any other kind of motivation. And self-doubt is the most dangerous thing. Do not listen to yourself when in the self-doubting stage. Believe in your work and do not let yourself or others stop you.
Lastly, do not give up too soon. Give yourself some liberty to fail also on the way to living your dreams.