New Delhi, March 8: "People always call me 'sir' when they first call as they don't expect a woman to be behind the camera" are the words of Gurugram-based maternity and baby photographer Anega Bawa. While the rise in number of women taking to professional photography may be slow, it sure is steady. But behind the camera, is gender still at play?
IANSlife speaks to three woman photographers and Canon EOS Ambassadors, to find out.
Anega Bawa (Maternity, Newborn and Baby Photographer -- Canon EOS Maestro)
Anega Bawa is a maternity, newborn and baby photographer, having studied at the National Institute of Design. She holds an accreditation from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts -- Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"I studied and worked in design for 10 years but eventually realised my love for photography. During my pregnancy, I took a sabbatical for two years and further explored this newfound love. I started photographing my own pregnancy and then made my daughter my muse as I could not find any other photographer who made me feel comfortable or one that had the same aesthetics as I did. This is when I decided to become a maternity photographer and I believe that my design background gave me the much-needed glamorous angle during shoots which makes all my clients feel like celebrities."
"People always call me 'sir' when they first call, as they don't expect a woman to be behind the camera, but then when mothers realise that I am just like them, they feel more comfortable and confident. I am currently using the latest Canon EOS R5 camera because its speed is unparalleled and that is the most essential since babies smile only for a second unlike professional models. I love photography because it enables me to show people how I see beauty in them."
Aishwarya Shridhar (Wildlife photographer, film-maker and presenter -- Canon EOS Influencer)
Along with being a wildlife photographer, Aishwarya is a writer, filmmaker, and a passionate conservationist. Last year, Sridhar bagged an award at the 56th Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards -- making her the youngest and first girl to win the coveted award from India in the adult competition.
"My tryst with photography started when I was only eleven years old as I used to accompany my father for wildlife treks. During these trips of ours, I yearned to capture those memories forever and that's when I graduated to photography. I was gifted my first camera on my 11th birthday and soon after it became my favourite toy that went everywhere with me."
Initially, I wanted to become a CA but soon after I also realised that I won't be able to spend the rest of my life working a 9 to 5 job. I've always loved nature and documenting stories of wild animals, that's when I decided to make it my career and it was the best decision I ever made. When I was younger, men on the field often teased me saying "the camera and lens are bigger than you are" but I never took such comments seriously and let my passion for the wild take over. I grew up watching National Geographic and dreaming of showcasing my work on it and today I have turned that into a reality. My companion for all trips right now is the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II which allows me to capture action in the wild without missing a moment."
Sudha Khatri (Wedding Photographer -- Canon EOS Influencer)
Sudha is the co-founder of PixelStory.in. She is an engineer by education, traveller and foodie by passion, and by profession an ace wedding and portrait photographer. She loves to create time-less, natural looking, emotion filled, story driven, creative portraiture from wedding and life around her.
"I am an engineer by education having 13 years of corporate experience but was also pursuing my passion for photography throughout. When I finally reached a position in both my career and passion where the responsibility grew, I picked my love for photography and continued with PixelStory.in. I believe that my experience as an engineer taught me a lot about how to mix art and science together, to create magic on the camera! I always loved travelling and capturing human emotions which led me to the world of wedding photography."
"What I love the most about photography is that it changes your perspective about life -- it's called the art of reflection wherein you see and capture the beautiful side of everything. Photography has helped me become more positive in my personal life. It is a myth that women should not be photographers and not work late at night. If one is determined, then they can be as or more successful as any male photographer as a woman gets more access and understanding of emotions such as that of bride. Currently the Canon EOS R5 camera with 8K video recording abilities is a gift to every wedding photographer." - IANSlife