Isa Khan - A Photographer Should Know How the Picture Is Going to Look Like After Editing, Even Before He Picks up His Camera (Photographer & Content Creator)

Isa Khan is a photographer, actor, traveller, theatre artist and an economics teacher. He started his career in teaching at the age of 22. 

He started photography around 3 - 4 years back and now he had completely dedicated himself in content creation employment. He has also acted in some short movies on YouTube, some web series and TV commercials.

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I was born and brought up in Shahabad, Uttar Pradesh, which is a very small town. I did my elementary education there. When I turned eleven I went to Aligarh Muslim University and stayed there in a hostel. My school name was Minto Circle School also known as STS high School. 

That was basically a turning point of my life as that was the first time I went away from my home and started doing things on my own. In 2008, I came to Delhi for my graduation. I graduated in bachelors of business administration from Jagannath International Management School (JIMS) which is located in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. 

After completing my graduation I started working in the corporate sector. I worked for 1.5 years in the corporate sector and realized that I was not cut out for corporate life. That’s when I decided that I will start my coaching institute. I continued with this for almost 3-4 years and at the same time, I started travelling as well.

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

Almost 4 years back I was going through a rough phase in my life. Before that, I was not used to be an outgoing person. I didn’t like travelling. Because of the rough patch going on, I thought that I should go out and travel a little to get a break from the regular things in life and move on. 

That’s when I took my first solo trip to Kheer Ganga. After that, I started travelling consistently and frequently. Initially, I used to click photographs with my basic mobile phone camera and post it on my Instagram. That’s how my Instagram journey started. Then I thought why not do it a better way. 

That’s when I decided I will learn about photography. I started reading photography blogs and saw a lot of YouTube videos just to know how photography and art works.

So, photography for me happened by chance. I started uploading photographs on my Instagram handle and people started liking it. My followers grew and brands started approaching me.

3. According to you what are the important skills that one should have to be a successful photographer?

The most important thing that one should have to be a successful photographer is to have a vision. Just like a painter knows before picking up the brush that what’s the final product is going to look like. Similarly, a photographer should know how the picture is going to look like after editing, even before he picks up his camera.

Another thing would be to look upon things with a perspective which is different from everyone else and this thing comes from practice.

4. What are the various opportunities available for aspiring photographers?

There are various types of photography like travel photography, fashion photography, wedding photography. I am a landscape photographer. In landscape photography, there are ample amount of opportunities. 

If you have a good number of followers on Instagram, you can post your photographs there and brands may start approaching you. Apart from this, there are a lot of websites where you can put your pictures and people can buy them. One can also sell the frames and rights of their picture online.

5. Did you ever think or dream of becoming an actor?

Since my childhood, I dreamt of becoming an actor. I have acted in some web series. Apart from this, I have done TV commercials for subway and some short movies on YouTube. I haven’t launched myself fully-fledged in acting career but whenever I get an opportunity I try to grab and execute it.

6. What is your mantra of success?

Work hard and do only what you love. I think it is very important to love what you do. I would also like to add that you should do every possible thing to fulfil your dream. You have to live your dream every single day in your head.

And I would also say that one should never believe in short cuts as they don’t work every time.

7. Tell me about your experience as an educator.

My journey as a teacher has been a rollercoaster. I started teaching when I was 22 years ago. Initially parents never used to take me seriously. I used to sit and convince them that I had the capabilities to teach their kid. But after the good results of their wards I earned their trust. 

I started my coaching institute too which I ran for 3-4 years. After that, I also taught in other institutes as a faculty. In the year 2020 due to COVID-19, I started teaching online but didn’t get much response. And at the same time my Instagram grew a lot. Instagram introduced its concept of reels. 

Few of my reels got viral on Instagram. So that was the time when I thought that I should take retirement from teaching. Now I have dedicated myself completely to content creation employment.

8. Which is your favourite book and why?

I used to read a lot before but now I don’t get much time to read. One of my favourites would be “A thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. It is a story about two women living in Afghanistan. It is a very beautiful book.

Another one would be “Paths of Glory” by Jeffrey Archer. It is based on the story of George Mallory who died attempting to climb Mount Everest in 1920s. I liked it because I like trekking.

- Isa Khan 
Instagram @khan.isa 

- Interviewed by - Anushka Gagwari