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Check Out Arunava Nag’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arunava Nag.

Hi Arunava, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I started with my Dad’s old DSLR when I was 15 and would simply take photos of butterflies and birds in my backyard. Fast forward to 2019 I bought my first camera and went on to try all the genres of photography – landscape, wildlife, Astro however nothing really appealed to me in terms of expressing myself.

It was a bold move for a not-so-social me to ask out without any portfolio to shooting entirely stranger, and that was all. Portraits, human emotions, and fashion gave me an outlet to express myself. I slowly branched into other kinds of media work like promotional commercials, dance, short films, food, and so on. Currently, I work with Indian weddings, fitness, and product commercials, both as a videographer and photographer. I occasionally do workshops on photoshop and photo/video lighting and cinematography.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting out without any knowledge or portfolio was always tricky. During my first year, I was a software engineer and after my job and weekends, I did my photography and youtube videos. After a year I left my job to attend graduate school when it became really difficult to continue to fund my passion into a living.

It was always like a freelancer wearing many hats, such as a web developer, social media manager, photographer, videographer, and marketing, however funding my passion for a full-time creative job was always tricky, as a college student. Also 2020 onwards the pandemic made it extra challenging to find clients to work with.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am constantly traveling for work, and when not traveling I am doing my Ph.D. research with drones and flies. It is not easy to balance 2-3 jobs, however my creative work gives me purpose to keep going on. Currently as a creative i focus on either branded content or Indian weddings. Interestingly I always avoided couple shoots and weddings, as I was not sure what should I do to make it artistic. I have always picked up projects where I can express myself.

However, after having visited home this year after 4 years, I felt how disconnected I have been from my people, my culture, my tradition, and everything that defines me as a person and who I am. So I returned, and I couldn’t find a better way to resonate and express myself than through Indian weddings. It’s not entirely about money but being able to vibe with like-minded ideologies, language, dressing, culture, ceremonies, food, and shake a leg to my favorite songs on the DJ floor has been the best part of it in the past few months.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Mentors can help you jump through years of searching and gathering knowledge. While starting out everything might seem intimidating, pricey, but be confident in your mentor’s reputation do not be afraid to invest or make mistakes. That said just don’t learn but go out and put it into practise every single day. Networking is key, and do not wait for a gig to walk in. Go grab it, answer facebook job posts, showcase your work in exhibitions, Facebook groups. Use social media wisely.

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