"Every Artist Was First an Amateur"- Rishav Raj

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1. Tell us about your journey. What inspired you to establish WeClik?

A guy, aged 15, an IT geek, having a dream of being a Software Developer. I remember I used to download HD landscape wallpapers for my laptop from the Internet and wonder how these images are clicked. Are these for real or created over some high-end computer software?

I'll be honest, I was never into photography since childhood. I didn't know much about it. Neither was I interested nor did I want to try it out. Years passed and all this began from a small road trip. I took a sunset shot from a mobile phone and posted it. Everyone liked it.

One of my close friend Sanchit Kumar Singh, he was also an amateur but I can say he was my senior in terms of skills. He taught me the basics and I practised. While he was learning, he used to go for street photography on the weekends so he started taking me with him. 

Eventually, I had taken so many photographs on my phone. Few were good but most of them weren’t. I was following various famous photographers on Instagram, that helped me a lot, to learn about frames and other basic details.

I never restricted myself with any specific genre in photography. I started with shooting sunsets and sunrise. Later on, I started doing street photography. I have countless stories from evening street photo walks. 

Things changed, I joined a renowned studio in my city 'Meow Studio' in 2016. I worked there as a wedding photographer for almost a year. Amid all these things, I realised my interest in Portrait photography.

My seniors would always scold me for clicking photographs of girls and guys. But I wasn't able to explain it to others. That's how Portrait photography became my genre. 

Then in 2017, two of my friends and I started WeClik together. This whole idea was of my friends but since they asked me to be a part of it, I agreed. We had a fresh start with all positive thoughts in our mind.

WeClik, the name says everything itself. At WeClick, we are always there to capture the best moments of your life in the best possible way. We started it as a local business, photography and videography service provider. Today, we're one of the best photography service providers and we're serving pan India.

2. What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it? 

If I will talk about challenges, I'd say I faced a lot of them. But one of the initial ones was arranging a camera. I remember the time when I used to rent a camera on weekends from one of my friends. 

My parents were not too strong financially to buy me a Camera just for trying something new. Time passed and approximately after a year, I started pleading my parents to buy me a DSLR on EMI so that I can learn and earn both. It took almost a year to make my parents agree on that.

I finally got my camera, it was a Nikon D5500 along with the basic kit lenses and an external flash unit. I was so much into photography that I did not even care about my studies. I was pursuing Bachelors of Mass Communication from St. Xavier's College, Patna at that time.

As a result of this, my parents got a call from my college regarding my attendance and I was not surprised as I already knew that it would happen someday. I was continuously shooting weddings those days and I missed more than half of my classes in the semester. My attendance was only 3℅.

My parents asked me to choose either my academics or my photography. They were not expecting that I'll leave my studies for photography. But I did that. That was the toughest challenge I'd ever faced.

I was not in communication with my parents for almost 2 years. Today, I feel glad whenever I think about that day, knowing that I chose the right path. Now my parents are even supporting me in the best way they can and that's the best part.

3. How and when did you realize your passion for photography?

In this modern era of smartphones, we have got good cameras in phones with good outputs. Back to my sunset shot, it was June 25th, 2015. I was travelling back to Patna from my native village. 

We stopped en route at a Dhaba for some tea and snacks. The Sun was about to set. The beautiful view of the sunset was in front of my eyes. I asked my friend to give me his phone, as he had a costly smartphone from SONY, that had an excellent camera.

I took a few shots of the sunset, reached home, tried to process it a bit with some basic photo editing app called PicsArt, used some Instagram filter, posted it and shared it on WhatsApp with some of my friends who were already in photography. 

They liked it and even appreciated it. I felt really good. I can’t state that feeling in words, from that day itself I started clicking photographs with my phone. And thus the journey began. 

4. What are the important skills one should have and also the various opportunities available to be a photographer?

It’s been almost 4 years since I started doing photography professionally and I've got to know that if you want to shoot extraordinary photographs, you'll have to be extraordinary first. 

There are a few key skills one should have, you'll have to be very creative, concentrated, patient and the most important one is you should know technical details about your camera.

Photography has a very wide field of opportunity, it depends on your genre of photography. Few of them are photojournalism, fine arts, fashion photography, commercial or industrial, etc.

5. Tell us about your dream photoshoot project?

I don't have any dream shoot project as of now, but yes I have a goal of shooting weddings and portraits globally.

6. What is your favourite quote or anecdote related to your field? 

My friend and my photography coach, Sanchit always used to tell me this, 'Every artist was first an amateur'. This is my favourite quote.

- Rishav Raj, Portrait & Wedding Photographer

- Interviewed by Agatha Coutinho
-Edited byShilpy Sharan

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