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Please tell us about yourself
Meet Vipul Sangilkar , a versatile wedding professional photographer, whose company ” KNOTTY AFFAIR ” has won awards and is ranked among the Top 10 in Mumbai. He was ranked 42nd in the world through an online website which has 4-5 Indian photographers in the list. It was his passion that drove him towards photography to look at the beautiful world through the lens. To begin with, he was initially involved in children portfolio shoots and candid shoots too. He never had plans to become a wedding photographer, it just happened to him. When he realized that his real passion was photography he left his job and started working on his own. “A photographer is complete when others can see the picture through his eyes”. His photography is all about preserving memories by capturing those rare moments and presenting them in the way we look at them. A wedding evokes happy, emotional and funny instances so he loves capturing a combination of it all for his clients so they can relive those special moments with a nostalgic smile when they look through their pictures even after ten or fifteen years of marriage.”
What made you take up such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
I had got my first DSLR when I was studying in third year of Bsc IT, started clicking random things, street photography, started with my friends and then like everyone else made a photography page on Facebook posted whatever I clicked and tagged my friends in it. Never had any intention of doing it professionally because back then photography wasn’t a much of career by terms of my parents and they wanted me to be an engineer. Post my last semester exam I was on vacation and started assisting a wedding photographer who paid me little amount per day and then there I met a Namit Narlawar who was shooting candid from bride’s side, I started following him on Facebook and Instagram where ever possible. I got my results and interviewed a job for tech support in Hewlett Packard also known as HP and was forced to quit because Namit liked my work and had assigments which he thought I was capable of. Thus I convinced my parents and bought my first professional full frame Dslr camera.
Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photography style and career path?
Basically, until I met Namit , I was just following photographers on Facebook and was not aware how they work. Biggest influence on my mind was how Namit worked and he shared that knowledge with me like a brother, other than Namit I have been following few International and Indian wedding photographers as well who not only capture weddings but the main essence which is emotions and stories into pictures.
Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that ?
Photograph is nothing but a memory an individual will have . Weddings are different, they are the most important thing which matters to the couple and they are gonna cherish their entire life. If your photograph shows a story which the couple after 15 years can recall then you have a perfect photograph for them, a perfect memory. To portray a story don’t just shoot the couple or an individual smiling and call it candid, we as a candid photographer not only capture the moment but also try to capture what emotion that person is having that moment of time. Weddings are all about emotions and fun , with a second u will lose what u just saw, you have to be quick and agile to capture them.
Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
We have shot more than 100 weddings over the past 3 years and every wedding is favorite as we get to learn new things from every wedding. Every next assignment is my favorite assignment because I want to make it memorable for the newly weds.
What motivates you to continue taking pictures intellectually or emotionally?
I have shot weddings which were not economically grand weddings because I have started from scratch. So shooting economically doesn’t motivate me. But even the smallest wedding has loads of emotions, the stories of couples their families, their struggles to convince their parents interviewing them is what I love and getting to know new people and getting along with them emotionally motivates me.
Any struggles that you’ve faced as a photographer and how did you overcome them ?
Photography is not easy, people think they can pick up a high end DSLR and can click nice pictures. Clicking nice pictures and capturing a moment are two different things. I have worked for 500 bucks a day traveled to darkest parts of Mumbai carrying my heavy backpack on my bike in local trains during rush hours and even have caught the first and last train of Mumbai. I believe that if you don’t struggle you won’t understand what life is and what you are capable of. I have seen my father getting up early every morning to go to his office and have also seen him doing part time jobs to fulfill our dreams. Keeping in mind the struggles and what I want to become in next few years I never gave up on the only thing which I thought I was best at apart from studies.
What is your biggest achievement in this field?
We as a company “KNOTTY AFFAIR” have won awards and are top 10 in Mumbai. But the biggest achievement for me was when I was ranked 42nd in the world through an online website which has 4-5 Indian photographers in the list. That was the biggest achievement for me.
How will you elaborate on your memorable experience being a photographer?
There are lot of memories as we shoot weddings around the globe and make new friends with the couple, but this wedding we were shooting in Hyderabad was unique and I don’t think will be meeting such clients again. We were shooting a destination wedding in Hyderabad at “The park”, the client and their parents where so down to earth that post wedding in the pool party we were the one enjoying with them.The reception party was held in a pub and that has its own memories. The groom’s father was invited us for drinks and we danced and enjoyed in the party as if it was our own friend’s wedding and we are not treated as photographers. Good thing is that they appreciated our way of working , the decency we have and how we carry ourselves during all the chaos of weddings and guests and still be presentable. That is one wedding I will never forget.
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Anything you would like to say to other young aspiring photographers?
Career in photography is not easy , you have to keep your focus. There will come a time when you will feel like there are no more assignments how can I cope up to pay bills and that is when photographers go back to where they started. They quit. I will say don’t quit. Be creative, don’t do what other 100 photographers are doing. Do something else, experiment, click daily and get your friends along and experiment with them. Follow work of those who have experience and have set the trend in this industry.