“Man on a Mission”-Jasminder Oberoi is a Master Photographer for whom life has just begun at 40. A self-taught creative person, Jas, as he is called in professional circle, is keen on dedicating his life towards imparting quality photography education to help people pursue their passion and follow their heart.
Jas has tied up with Canon India in his mission and organizes photo tours for enthusiastic & passionate youth under the name of The Footmarks.
Catch the [eXclusive] inspiring interview with Jasminder Oberoi from our Masters X-Press Series.
Tell us something about yourself?
I come from a typical middle class family, and got to travel a lot since my father was in transferable job. I believe in hard work and know that there are no shortcuts to success.. I am a Pharmaceutical graduate by education but never got myself tied to my academic degrees and was always open to every opportunity that came my way, trying to realize my dreams. Success has not come easy for me. It took me 40 years to realize
what I wanted to do in life – call it destiny or whatever, life certainly has begun for me at 40. We are a close knit family with my father who is pursuing his passion of writing after retirement, my mother, a loving wife who is a full time home maker and two adorable kids – a 10 year old daughter and 5 year old son.
How and when did your love for photography start?
Hmmmm! I guess it was there since my childhood. My father and uncle (my father’s younger brother) were passionate photographers. I grew up watching them click, develop in dark room (my dad had one in our home) and then discuss. But somehow being from a typical middle class family the only thing we could think in those times was to study hard, get educated and get a good job. I somehow followed photography almost all through my life. I was always interested in photography and admired good photographs. It was in 2007 when I went to Corbett National Park and interacted with one young passionate wildlife photographer (do not even remember his name now), that I immediately purchased my first DSLR Canon 400D and then there was no looking back. There’s hardly been a day when I have not clicked since then.
Did you undertake any formal training for this career? Where do you take your inspiration from?
Other than reading a few books, some articles online and attending a couple of workshops, I’ve had no formal training. When I got my camera it was more or less trial by fire, which is arguably the best way to learn. Humble magazines like Better Photography and Smart Photography have really helped me progress.
There’s so much you can learn from both magazines – I really love them. I’ve attended a few workshops but honestly most were disappointing since they withheld more than they disclosed. The main idea behind most workshops was to lure the students to full time courses the organizers offered.
I take inspiration from every pic even if its clicked by a rank beginner. There is something to learn from everybody.
Tell us something about your work? What kind of photography you do and what are your future plans?
This is hard for me to describe. I like to shoot mostly anything. I like the challenge of going from shooting landscape one day to close up the next and dabbling in portraiture the day after. I love nature, and great use of color. So in lot of my photographs you’ll see very vibrant colors. A lot of times this can give a whole new look to something that’s rather mundane or something we’re used to. To me that’s what I love most about photography – looking at the world in new ways.
As for future, I would like to dedicate my life towards imparting quality education to all the budding photographers. As I just mentioned that most of the workshops I attended were a big let down and that is where I want to make a difference. In fact I think we already are trying to do that, which is probably the
main reason that there are almost 30% repeat participants. We are like a small family and we walk that extra mile to ensure each and every participant goes back happy.
How tough it was to leave your job at a big corporation and do something you have been passionate about?
It was not tough to leave a job but it was tough after that!! *Smiles* My last stint in job helped me pursue my passion to the fullest and that is when I actually realized what I wanted to in life. I was away from family located out of Mumbai and utilized my long weekends to pursue my passion for photography. When I finally
decided to call it quits, it was difficult for me to convince my family why I was taking such a drastic step. But then I was committed to my passion and today my family is with me and supports me 100%.
You have tied up with Canon India to organize workshops for all those interested? What are some of the general tips that you share & some advice that you give to your students?
Yes my association with Canon is probably the best thing that happened and today my only aim is to ensure that we justify the brand we are associated with by delivering nothing but excellence and quality. There are no shortcuts to success.
The only advise I give to my students is to focus on self than focusing on the gear. The most important part in the entire gamut of photography is YOU. It is YOU as an individual who will make the difference between an outstanding and a mediocre photographer. Sadly most people will spend thousands and lakhs in purchasing the gear but find a few hundreds of rupees required for learning, expensive.
Some words for DesiQube and its readers.
You guys are doing a fabulous job by digging out the hidden desi talent and bringing them face to face with the admirers of art. There is so much one can learn from each other and take inspiration from and grow as artists. And you folks out there reading this, stay hooked on as there is no other forum available right now which can let you know about so many fellow desi artists.