Please tell us about yourself

Parish Joshi is an experienced press photographer who works in a daily English newspaper Indian EXPRESS at Rajkot. It is interesting to know that he is in this field since he was 14 or 15 years old. During his career span as a press photographer he has witnessed many glamorous incidents as well as risky and shocking ones too. Like one of them was during the riots that happened in Gujarat. His camera was snatched by the mob, but luckily he wasn’t beaten. It was indeed interesting interviewing Mr. Joshi.

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Q1: Namaste Parishbhai. Welcome to Speakbindas. My first question to you is, for how many years you are working in the offbeat, unconventional and interesting field of Journalism?

A1: Namaste. I am into field of photography since I was a child. Association with newspapers started from the age of 15 or 16. My matron Uncle was a press photographer. So I used to go with him in the field. After learning from him, I also used to take photos individually for the press. And thus, I joined Indian EXPRESS(a daily English newspaper) when I was 19 years old. This year, I will complete total of 14 years working with Indian EXPRESS only.

Q2: So your education background is not related with photography?

A2: Nope. After graduation, I pursued masters in Financial Management and I had plans in seeking a career in that field. But after I received the opportunity of working as a photographer with Indian EXPRESS, my field got changed.

Q3: It is heard that now you have resumed your education. Is it true? (Smiles..)

A3: Yes (Smiles..). I had completed Bachelor’s degree in Journalism 10 years back from Hirani College. But later and now I got a feeling that, the spare time should be utilized for education. So now I am pursuing Masters degree in Journalism.

Q4: We can confidently say that you have mastered the field of Journalism, but still you enrolled for Masters Course in Journalism. Any specific reason for this?

A4: The desire to learn something new may be the specific reason. And in spare time, if I can learn new things along with acquiring the degree too, it’s a better choice.

Q5: Through one angle we can surely say that you have done practical journalism in the past years, and now starts the theoretical journalism (Smiles..).

A5: Yes, theory too is a necessary part. It can be used sometime in career. And after completing the course, if our vision gets broader then there are chances of creating something new in future.

Q6: It is said that Journalists are born, not created. Your take on this?

A6: Amm.. can’t say about journalist. But about being a photographer I can say that if you are passionate about photography, you have all the chances to grow in this field. Some people also have the technical certification background while they join this field. But my personal experience is that, if you really love photography, then you can do wonders in this field.

Q7: Photography is such a medium where you need to have creativity as well as sound knowledge of technology. What you have to say about those who have creativity, can they become photographer?

A7: At present, I see the need of technological knowledge too looking at the recent advancements in technology such as digital cameras. So if you have sound knowledge of technology, you can utilize the same for your vision in a better way. So to say, they should grasp the first hand knowledge about technology.

Q8: Indian EXPRESS is known for its sting operations. It is quite sure that in such sting operations, value of a photographer is high. And as you are associated with IndianEXPRESSS, you must have participated in such operations. How tough is it? 

A8: It is very tough because while carrying out the sting operation you are not allowed to reveal your identity. Otherwise, in regular scenario, as a Press Photographer we receive good comfort as well as importance. While in sting operation, we have to approach the situation by hiding our identity. Comparatively, for a reporter it may be easy, but for a photographer it is tougher job as it requires the skill of hiding camera.

Q9: Any such experience you remember that has been exciting in your career as a Press Photographer?

A9: After pursuing career in this line, there have been several exciting moments. But the shocking time was during the riots that happened in Gujarat (in the year 2002). At that time, I had to cover the photos of riots and mobs by wandering in city streets in the time of curfew. There I witnessed a very shocking situation, when I saw a mob of Hindus who had captured a Muslim person and were in the process of killing him and I was capturing the same. Looking at us (photographers), they (the mob) suddenly realized that photos having their clear faces can be printed in tomorrow’s newspaper. So they left that Muslim person and ran after us having swords in hands and all. They broke our cameras in that conflicted situation.

Such moments become life time treasure because in our field we mostly witness glamour but sometimes such uninvited events do happen.

Q10: According to you which carries more worth, Wildlife photography or Journalism photography?

A10: Well, both have their importance at their own places. Wildlife photography too is tough and it has its own class of interested people. For the newspaper photography, photos should be related to human interest theme as well as eye-catching. That is what we have to take care of. It has to have photo coverage of day to day happenings and which should be attractive as well that the reader’s attention is captured on photo first.

Q11: Parishbhai, Journalists’ life is not that smooth because the career is challenging. So, can you manage your personal life and journalistic life?

A11: There is no such great issue. But in this field, work needs to receive prime attention. So it is quite natural that family might have some complains with us. But it’s really not that problematic. And it can be managed.

Q12: It is more exciting experience watching a photographer who is clicking a frame than to hear his words. Though, Parishbhai you gave interview with such beautiful words, for which we thank you very much.

A12: Thank You.