An Interview with Amazing Street & Travel Photographer Aarohan Tiwari

Aarohan Tiwari is Delhi based photographer & software engineer by profession. He started his photography journey as a hobby but, now he is a full-time freelance photographer.

Read his amazing journey of Photography!

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I’m 24years old. I’m a software engineer by degree and a full-time freelance photographer who left his 9-5 job. Born and brought up in Delhi. I’m a person who loves to meet new people and learn more about their stories and culture. I try to find joy in the littlest of things. There’s something unique about everything, so I love cherishing the sweet details of life. In time, I have become a commercial photographer and I love taking up projects in different genres of photography, over the years I have got the opportunity to work with some of the best brands out there, like Canon, Oneplus, SanDisk, BMW, Volvo, Danielle Wellington, Uber, Hotstar, cad bar-restaurant, etc.

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 started off as a software engineer but life had other plans. I worked in the marketing and sales department for a very reputed firm, but somehow that only made me realize that photography was something closer to my heart. I got a job right when I was in college but was bored with the monotony involved. I really liked photography since my childhood but only after graduating from college, I realized that I actually wanted to pursue it further. I started learning more about it from different sources and finally took the leap. After I graduated as a Computer science engineer in 2018, I became a full-time photographer and a content creator on Instagram. I took up various projects in college on a paid basis without any third-party guidance. It really helped me in building a portfolio. Eventually, my experience with fashion shoots, food photography, travel, and street photography filled my Instagram account with variety. I’ve loved photography since childhood but it never came out as a passion/obsession for me until I got into my 2nd year of college (end of 2015). Looking back at the time when I actually started capturing my city, I feel I was too curious to learn and eventually became obsessed with taking pictures all the time while roaming around the streets. the whole process didn’t even feel like a process that I was going through. In the beginning, I spent hours daily learning about compositions and storytelling. I used to try and shoot something every single day which I still try to do. Going out and exploring the city became my passion and eventually, I realized that this is what I wanted to do.

 

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

My camera bag consists of Canon 77d with four lenses, 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 50mm 1.8, 10-18mm. I post-process all my images on my laptop using Lightroom and Photoshop.

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

I work commercially in different genres of photography which helps me earn my bread and butter. Basically, I take up photography projects in various genres. Ranging from food photography/ product photography to fashion as well as travel photography. Also, Instagram plays a major role in helping me earn a side income. It helps me in working with different brands that need advertising /influencer marketing on the platform. So I tend to take up photography projects and help promote brands on Instagram as well.

 

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

The basic idea is to make them feel comfortable first. If the person in front of you feels relaxed and comfortable then you’ll get their candid expressions easily. You need to converse with them sometimes and ask them questions that ease the situation. Believe me, a simple smile can do wonders. Whenever I’m on the streets I genuinely get into conversations with people just to make them feel comfortable. This is what has helped me over the years.

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

Honestly, there isn’t a single thing that I wish I hadn’t bought. Everything thing that I purchase is well thought of beforehand. I’m not a big spender at all. Though just like every photographer I always feel like getting new gear my brother gets all the credit for keeping me grounded. So back to answering your question, no I don’t regret buying any gadget.

 

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A post shared by Aarohan Tiwari (@aarohantiwari)

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

All my work that you see on Instagram is mostly post-processed on Lightroom desktop. Though all my commercial work is mostly post-processed on photoshop as it gives a wider range of options while editing.
I always shoot my images in RAW. As a lot of my work revolves around cinematic color grading, I love to have more details and a bigger playground to work upon. As soon as I import my pictures on lightroom I tend to adjust the contrast, brightness, etc. I shoot a lot of my images underexposed to get more details in the highlights. Then comes my favorite part- The curves! Playing around with the curves and the individual color panels is my favorite past time! The whole post-processing takes up a lot of time but is definitely really interesting.

8. Whose work has influenced you most?

There are many but nature is definitely my biggest source of inspiration. I find inspiration in the simplest of things. The idea of getting influenced doesn’t work well with me. I love finding stories and moments of inspiration.

 

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

I wish I knew that post-processing is an essential part of photography. Learning post-processing is itself an art. Also, Photography in general is like alchemy. You only get better at it with time and practice.

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

Having faith in myself is the most important aspect of making a career switch. It’s very important to build a good portfolio before you make that switch. If you can start working as a photographer even before making the switch then that’s definitely going to help you out ease the whole process. As you’ll already have experience. It really helps in getting constant work once you leave your corporate job and I believe that is needed to build your confidence at first. Be open to learning from the professionals in the field as much as you can but at the same time don’t forget your own vision. Always remember that your vision makes you unique.

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