An Interview with Amazing Photographer Raghav Rai Ralhan

I joined my family business and I still am a working partner there but once my father saw the potential in my photography, he pushed me to explore this hobby a bit more seriously says Raghav Rai Ralhan.

Read his amazing journey of Photography!

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Born and raised in a city like Delhi I always saw a quite dynamic world around me. The mixture of cultures, People, Celebrations, and almost everything. In school, I was a very quiet kid and found those things interesting which others usually ignored. Later I realized that photography is a medium through which I can share what I see and find interesting in this world with others. Initially, I just used to take pictures casually from my smartphone and share it with my friends. But after getting good appreciation from everyone I decided to take my photography seriously and bought myself my first camera and share what I capture on Instagram. And since the last four years, I have been posting one image almost daily on my Instagram profile. And that has got me to the place where I am right now.

2. What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?

I joined my family business and I still am a working partner there but once my father saw the potential in my photography, he pushed me to explore this hobby a bit more seriously. I had the vision a photographer needs but needed some technical knowledge so I started gaining technical knowledge about photography from wherever I could and kept practicing my skill by carrying my camera every day with me to shoot and refine my photography.  And I uploaded all of my work on Instagram which is safe to say the best online portfolio for any photographer. People seemed to like my work and I gained a lot of respect in the field and also followers on Instagram. And in just a few years I went from attending workshops to hosting them. I have also been invited to some prestigious universities such as NIT, Delhi university, and Jaypee university for sharing my knowledge about photography. Because of that I started gaining attention from different brands and marketing agencies who saw potential in my work and approached me for both paid contracts and paid collaborations 
 for Instagram.


3. What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?

Well, when it comes to equipment my thoughts are a bit different from everyone else. They might say equipment doesn’t matter but I believe without the proper equipment you cannot give your best. My main camera setup is Sony A7M3 with Sony 24-70 f2.8 GM lens. As I am also Tamron’s influencer, I get you to use all of their lenses designed for Sony E mount. But 24-70mm focal length is what covers most of my requirements as a travel photographer. Other than that, keeping a good smartphone camera is also important for occasions where you don’t have your camera with you. And I am currently using iPhone 12 for that.

4. How do you get paid to do what you want to do with your photography?

getting paid is the tricky part when it comes to photography as it’s very hard to calculate your operating costs and charge accordingly. Also, not to forget that most of the people who hire photographers let’s say for weddings and other personal shoots don’t really understand the process and investments a photographer goes through. So, for me personally, I don’t do any personal shoots. I like working with brands and marketing firms for the purpose of content creations. That market is hard to get into but once you are there you’ll have a good time as most of the people are already familiar with the stuff a photographer charges for.

Other than contracts from brands I do earn money from selling my prints. Both digital and physical prints.

5. How do you get a candid photo of someone while still getting their permission to take a photo of them?

that is something that I do very often. The trick is that at first, I just casually tell them that I want to take their photo and obviously that makes them conscious but I take multiple shots and in between that a lot of candid moments occur like they might look here and there to see if someone else is looking or they just might talk to the person they are with and smile. It’s actually a tricky business but you just have to know your moments and with practice, I have known mine And that’s how I do it.

6. Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought? Why?

 Well, there is none. All the equipment I own I own it for a reason. I might not use it very often than others but It’s very satisfying to know that I have it when I need it. But something I will suggest to the readers is to do your research before buying anything and make sure that you really need it. So that you don’t regret making that purchase.

7. What kind of tools do you use for post-processing? Explain your workflow.

I edit all my photos in the lightroom only. I start by cropping the image and work my way through adjusting the tones, colors and then add the clarity and textures I need to make it pop out. I don’t use presets at all because I believe every picture is different and needs to be treated differently. Most of the time I know how I am going to process the picture right at the time of taking it which makes the process bit easier as compared to dragging all the sliders and seeing what works best for you. Some of the tools that I use on every picture are Sharpness with masking it, Clarity to make pictures shine and pop out and Textures to just make the image look sharper.

8. Whose work has influenced you most?

 Well, I am the sort of guy who gets inspiration from everyone around him. And that actually works because even an amateur photographer can have a unique way of looking at things. So, I try to interact more with all the like-minded people and get inspired by the way they see this world.


9. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Good things take time!

10. What advice would you give to amateur photographers wanting to change their passion into a full-time profession?

Be patient, be Adaptable, be humble and Never stop learning. Take everything step by step. Don’t buy the expensive equipment right away. Start learning from the basics and work your way up through that.
And always keep a backup plan ready. Photography is an expensive hobby and the returns will take time so make sure you are financially secured for that period.

other than that, if your work is really good. Nothing can stop you!

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