Hey Wicked Hunters,
I’m so excited to share this week’s podcast with someone who’s a master in storytelling.
Subodh is a photographer who left his job to pursue his passion for photography. In this podcast, he shares how he came across many challenges to staying afloat during the pandemic. He thought he had to let go of working on his passion for photography.
But during the toughest time, Subodh finds the courage to push on and pivot to stay true to his purpose. Subodh is a master of storytelling both through words and photography. A true inspiration.
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Need, something else shows up? You know, that’s how light works, you know, if you’re true to what you do, and especially after COVID, I realised, you know, I said, the COVID story is a long story. And I literally thought that’s the end of my whole journey, you know, the photography, end of it, let’s go back to work, because I’m done. But that’s when something happens. You know, a number of things have happened in COVID Unexpected jobs, some unexpected awards, I don’t even participate in photography competitions. But during that time, there was no option I had to participate so that I can earn some money out of it and sustain myself till the COVID goes away. So I won awards, I got unexpected jobs from really big, big corporate companies, which kept me afloat, and then came NFT. And it completely changed the game. So whenever you feel that’s it, that’s the end of it. Just know that it’s just a passing phase, and it will be okay. So yeah, follow your passion, everything’s gonna be okay.
Here we go. Hunters, welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast, where we share artists journey, and how they find hope, purpose and happiness, true photography. And today, we have somebody who’s very, you know, very iconic in the NFT world, and he is someone who have such an incredible work, both in all kinds of genre, and I am so honoured to have him here, because, you know, he runs a lot of Twitter spaces. And for those of you who are not in Twitter, it’s basically a place for us to voice hang out around each other. And he got one of the craziest story. So this is one of the reasons why I want him here to share some of the story in, you know, not only to intrigue you, but also in hope that you can draw inspiration from where he had gone through. So let’s welcome to both Shetty both how’re you doing Welcome to the Art of Photography
podcast. I certainly. And hi to everyone listening. So nice to be here. It’s always interesting to get a chance to share your story because that’s what we do. You know, we are storytellers, and they can never be enough that we can speak about our journey as well as our art. So it’s good to be here.
Ya know, like, absolutely. And I think you’re really good with storytelling is something that, you know, every time I hear you talk, I always try to learn and pick up the way you tell a story. It’s just so, so intriguing, and really keep you on the edge. So I really enjoy that. So hey, no doubt
that he said that because I was keep wondering if I make people bored in my spaces with my stories, you know, because sometimes I go all over the place because I am a guy who’s very curious. And I’m not a guy who just sticks to photography. I go everywhere, you know, I am into cosmic stuff, you know, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan and all that. I’m towards the other side. I watch a lot of podcasts, including all this Joe Rogan stuff. So yeah, I go everywhere. So I bring everything to the table. Wherever I can connect the dots. I’m like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. This makes sense. So sometimes I wonder if my storytelling is all random. But I’m glad that makes sense.
Well, it’s, it’s interesting, right? Because a lot of people have different kind of take to it. But I’m, I’m very similar to you. I love hearing like, I get curious very easily. And I love to explore. So when you should, you know, tell a different thing about a totally different thing about the initial story that we were talking about, I actually get really intrigued about it. So I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m sure you know, a lot of people are on your space. I’m sure they are really enjoy it. But um, you know, you you made a lot of success in the NFT world. And I can say that you’re one of the person who helped shape the NFT world right. Now, before we kind of get into that. And, you know, like your amazing photography, not only in wildlife and other genre, just tell us a little bit about who is both, you know, and how did you get started with photography?
Third, no, I’m, I come from a corner in India, which is South India, there’s a small little town called Manipal. So that’s where it comes from. Manipal is known for its educational universities and everything. It’s spread across the world, including the place I’m right now in Dubai. So even in Dubai, we got a Manipal University, which comes from my back door. So yeah, it’s very famous place for education. That’s where I come from. And as far as you know, my photography goes, I came to Dubai in 2009 in search of a job at that point, I had no photography in my life. So I came to look for a job because just to go uh you know, find something which is worthwhile came to the why and I had a pharmaceutical degree. So I got into this pharma field and I used to be the pharma business and yeah, eventually device is a beautiful country city with a lot of wonderful cityscapes and Burj Khalifa and whatnot, it’s very well organised and very much ready for photographers to explore. So in between all that, you know, there was Facebook, which is quite new at that time, and in Facebook, I would see that photographers from Dubai are posting pictures of Dubai in a very beautiful way. And yeah, we all know, you know, photography versus our eye, there’s a difference. Because in photography, there’s editing this blue hour, this golden hour, which is not that vibrant in our normal life, you know, we just see it in real way. So that photos really got me I’m like, Wow, man, these people are creating some standards. And I think I shouldn’t be creating the same because they’re all next to me, you know, this all wonderful structures. And that’s how I began photography, I got a camera, and it was just a Nikon three, one double zero, which is the most basic camera can buy. Because it’s not so sure, because there have been phases in my life, where I’ve got a guitar, for instance, before photography, I got a guitar, I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna learn music and I failed miserably. And I realised, I should be more careful because that guitar was very expensive one, and then it’s of no use, because I can’t play the guitar. So I’m like, I’m not gonna do the same mistake with my photography. So I got a very, very cheap camera with a kit lens and explored the streets of Dubai, shooting all the cityscapes and everything. And then I realised, okay, there’s something in this photography, which clicks for me, you know, I have some kind of an eye for it. Because I would always, even in my real life, you know, whatever I do, even right now, as I speak to you, there is keyboard in front of me, there is mouse in front of me, there’s the airport in front of me, even when they’re on the table, I like to keep it organised, I don’t want it to be scattered all over the place, that compositional thing is always in me, keeping things in order. So that’s exactly what I did with photography, I was trying to create a order in those chaos. And I realised there is something called composition, which comes to me naturally, and I took it took advantage of it. And we may hit Facebook today. But Facebook is where I got all the encouragement. During my beginning days, there used to be a lot of photography groups, and I would take my, you know, beginner style images and post on the group. And they would give me feedbacks. And I learned a lot through that process. And I realised that, you know, it’s a bunch of people who are creating all these things for nothing but happiness, you know, just for the sake of feeling good. And I realised this is a nice place to be. And that’s how it all began. Eventually, he wants you in every picture I took during those days in the beginning, this would be 301, double zero, then I got a wide angle lens, I would pop up a ND filter on it, and 1000 which is like crazy, high amount of nd I wanted everything to be a five minute exposure, nothing less would do. So that was my initial phase. And then I eventually started getting bored of it. I’m like, Is that the end of my photography? I’m not connecting to it anymore. So then one of my friends told me into street photography, I said, No, I’m not interested. I don’t want to do streets. Because Dubai has two sides. One is the Burj Khalifa and the buildings. Other side is the old Dubai with real people doing real things on the streets. People mean, he said, Come over, just try streets once, maybe you will like it. And I tried it. And that was the life changing moment, I would say in photography, because I completely quit the cityscapes and got into street photography, meeting people talking to them, having some tea with them taking their portraits, you know, everything is a chaos and in between that you’re finding some gems that really clicked for me. And that’s how my photography began. And then eventually you start meeting the right people connecting with a small bunch of you create your own small little group and then you start going out more and more, it becomes something that you look forward to, you know, you pretend to work for five days during the week, just looking forward to that two days of weekend when you can go out and shoot again. That gives the boost which is incredible, I’m sure in every photographer understand. Yeah, no,
I totally it’s like a getaway for us. Right? It’s a way to be free and be ourselves and be able to express ourselves. Now that’s that’s really interesting. I don’t think I’ve heard that side of you know, of the long exposure part so you’re really intrigued with the really extra long exposure creating that really smooth scene and then you turn into street photography and that kind of sparked your your idea. I mean, your your love for photography. Now. What are you know, like, I guess when you say you tried guitar before, and I’m sure as someone who loves to explore everything, right? I’m sure there’s a lot of things that you like to try in the past. So what make you stay in photography, like what what is different compared to guitar and other thing that you have? pursued and try and, you know, want to be good at?
Yeah, I mean, one, there are a couple of things, you know, if I have to again, go back to those days, when I got into streets, what made me connect to the streets is the stories that comes along, you know, because you don’t just meet a person, you meet a building you I mean, not made, you see a build, take a picture that’s about it, there’s no conversation, it looks great, it gets a lot of whatever, Marie shares and everything, but still, you’re not communicating anything really interesting there. But in case of people, every time I point a camera, you know, even before you point a camera to a person, there will be a small conversation, can I take a picture of you, this and that, and then there’ll be some jokes, and people usually get nervous. And all those little things which you navigate as you get to the point where you take a picture, that’s very, very interesting for me, because I get to learn a lot. And I come from India, and in Dubai, it’s a mix of India and Pakistan, and all kinds of nationalities, Egyptians and whatnot. You know, everyone, there are 170 nationalities in UAE. So you have a chance to communicate with so many people, and sometimes you you you can make a picture, without even knowing the language, you know, if it’s India or Pakistan, I can talk in my language, Hindi, and they will get to know what I’m trying to say. But there are certain times when you meet a Chinese, they don’t talk a word of English, how do you communicate, I still want this picture. That navigation, you know, makes it a lot of fun, you know, do you just realise that humans are humans, you know, it’s, it’s so much fun. No, you explore the psychology and how it all works. And at the end of it, you know, you bring a smile on their face, you have a smile on your face by the end of it. And even eventually, as that thing progressed, and I realised that I love people, I love to shoot people, but they’re still in my mind, maybe just another face, you know, I liked long exposure of city that accepted to STS, maybe there’s something else I need to do, maybe I still not found that real side of my photography. And that’s how I realised that I should travel and travel to the Himalayas, my very first trip was to the Himalayas, and in India, and when I went to the Himalayas, it’s my first time seeing all the snow peaks and everything. I took all my wide angles, and ND filters and everything, because I thought maybe this is the real face of my photography, where I’ll put a nd take a picture of this Himalayan peaks, and I’ll be so connected. But then I realised you went to Himalaya, I was interacting with people more, I was enjoying meeting those locals more than the mountains. I enjoy seeing the mountains, I love that lack of oxygen, it makes me feel more alive, weirdly. But what really connected to me was the locals, you know, the people on the land. So again, I realised people are my strength, you know, I need to do this more and more and more, and it gives me wings, you know, because throughout my life, I don’t know how it works in your country. But in India, we are always busy with study, study, study till one point and you get your degree and then you go out and start working. There’s no real exploration happening there, you know, nowadays is changing. But before during our times, I feel I’m not that old to say during our times, that is the 1990s There are still no such concept as to ask you get your education, you’re also travelling and exploring none of those things. You just study, study, study, and you get a degree, you’re into job, and then you just live that normal life. But here, it gives me a chance to explore the world for the first time and all because of just one little thing in my hand, which is camera, which gave me all the excuse. And I began travelling like a lot, it is literally a viral infection. Now once I took the flight and went to Himalayas, I’m like where next? You know, and I still had a job, full time job. And I would still make sure that I find excuses, take some leaves of the job and get out and make this travels happen. I went to many, many places in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, one after the other, I started taking off places from my from my bucket list. So yeah, this connects connecting with people and excuse to travel to a new place, meet new people, and understand the culture, you know, it completely changes your perspective towards the world. I think that’s what keeps me going. It kept me going to the extent where in 2017, you know, 2010 is when I took photography 2017, seven years of managing photography, and my corporate job came to a standstill in English like either choose this or choose that you can’t do both. Now we know it because it won’t justify either often. So that’s when I gave up on my full time job. And I in 2017, I became a full time photographer, I put up my own company in Dubai, which is quite expensive to do and quite a risk to take. And since then, I’ve been doing photography workshops, which again is an important factor which keeps my photography going because I know that whatever I create, it’s one thing to just put it on social media this and that getting the likes and followers and whatever. But also at the same time you’re creating a bigger impact which is inspiring others to take up the same passion because a lot of people have cameras. It’s not a big deal. Everyone has a camera now, but making them step out of their comfort zone, making them travel with me so that I can show them what I see how I feel, why it’s so important to capture these people that is a catalyst, which keeps me going. And that’s why I do photography workshops full time, that’s my full time job now. So as such kind of motivation, there’s nothing that can stop it. Yeah, wow, that’s, that’s
inspiring. And, you know, like, I totally can resonate with that, you know, having to being told that the only way to succeed in life is to go to school, get a good grade, and then you go to a good university and get good grades, get good job, get married, buy a house, and you die, right. And, honestly, like, I didn’t know any other way of life until like, when I was 30. And that’s when I left my career as a mechanical engineer. And, you know, I didn’t even know what I was doing. But I, I know that it’s not what I wanted to do. And I know that I love photography. So I totally can resonate with what you meant, you know, especially. And like, when you look at the Western culture, it’s a little bit different, right. And they’re encouraged to explore and take a gap year before before the, the before they full time work and stuff like that. So they can actually figure out what they want to do in life, whether they like that lifestyle, or whether they like the nine to five, which nothing too, nothing wrong with it at all. But I think the worst thing is when you do something that is not you, right, and just have that, that conflict within yourself, but really love what you shared there. And one thing that I really admire with you is the storytelling, right? I said this earlier, now you normally you do storytelling through words, but also through your photography. Now, I want to get into a little bit more of that. So when you go out there, right, whether it’s on the street, whether it’s the building, whether it’s the wildlife, or the landscape and travels. How do you translate what you see? And how do you translate that into a frame that tell us story?
Yeah, that’s a very interesting question. Because storytelling is always debated. In photography, even now, in Twitter spaces. There’s always every second day that someone comes up and says, Your photo should do the talking. Artists should not add descriptions. I’m like, No, you have to add your descriptions. Because, you know, because we are storytellers, what’s what’s this? You know, what’s the point, you know, without any story, just a beautiful image is common, you know, it’s everywhere. What makes the picture special is the story which comes behind it, because it’s the artistic emotion that comes along with it. So when I think one of the common mistakes that people do, even I did before, and I learned from that, through experience, is when you’re telling, trying to tell a story, don’t just tell the story of what’s in front of you, you know, if I’m taking a picture of, for instance, in order to do a quick example, one of my NFT was a wildlife image of a lioness with her cups, you know, it’s a single frame with one lioness and three cups next to her. My story could have been here is a lioness in Maasai Mara, in Kenya, sitting on a termite hill and watching the sunrise or whatever, that would be straightforward, because anyone who sees the picture, that story is there, you know, they will, they can read it, it’s common knowledge. So you don’t have to tell something which is already there. Tell something beyond that, you know, tell what you feel about it. Take it around, you know, in a different manner. For instance, in that picture, my story was about Lion King. You know, I connected the Movie Lion King, which we all know the Disney movie, in that movie, lion is the king and lioness is completely ignored. Because it’s a lioness. It’s all about the king what he does, and blah, blah, blah, fighting with his brother. I don’t know the story exactly. But it’s all about the lion as the hero. But in real life, when you see wildlife photography, when you see these lions and real, it’s never about the Lion King. You know, it’s always about the Queen, because she’s the one who hunts, who brings food for the whole family. She’s the one who protects the kids. She’s also the one who manages to keep lion in check. The King is kept in check by the lioness because they can misbehave sometimes. So it’s all run by the Queen, and no one talks about it. So here I had a chance to tell that story that Disney had some in no like knowledge of how the animal world works, they would make this lion is the real king of that movie and not the lion acid as a whole. So that’s the kind of narrative doesn’t have to be always straightforward. Here is this thing and that’s about it. Take it in other direction, tell what you feel about it. You know, as I’m shooting. I’m always thinking, you know, my mind is such I told you I’m a very, very curious guy and always thinking in different different ways. Even when I look at a lion or a cheetah or a leopard when I’m shooting them. I’m thinking of their mind, you know, like what they should be thinking right now. I’m never looking at a straightforward picture. I’m always looking in different different ways. For instance, a fly comes and sits on the face of a leopard I keep in mind The thing I keep looking at its eyes, what’s its reaction to the flight as it walks around its face? What is it thinking right now, you know, that’s the kind of thing I’m building in my head. And if I put that picture out tomorrow, I’ll maybe talk about the flight and the leopard together, rather than tell it that we’re sitting in a bush. Now, that’s very boring. So I always take it in different different directions, a whole image description of a leopard, where I didn’t talk of the leopard, I just wrote about its tail. Because the tail of a leopard is always it has its own language, it’s always moving with its thoughts. And you can always see, when it’s more curious, it moves in one way, when it’s very bold, it moves in another way. So I wrote a story just about the tale of the leopard. I didn’t even talk about the leopard itself. So those are the things you know, storytelling is very important. It’s your narrative. And your job as a photographer is to tell the story, otherwise, how will you be remembered? Not by your 10,000 likes, not by your 1 million followers, you will be remembered by your stories.
Yeah, wow. That’s, that’s very profound. And it’s really good to share that. And I think it’s, it’s a new perspective as well to kind of think about it from a different perspective. And I mean, I myself learn from that a lot, being able to look at a scenery, something that could happen, but tell it from a perspective of a different, different, different way, not only what you see, and that’s really cool, I really enjoy that. Thanks for sharing that even for
instance, when I went to Everest base camp, I had a bunch of pictures which I created, I posted them on Instagram, and this and that. And during that time, again, the same thing came to my mind, okay, I went to Everest base camp, what do I say I brag about being in Everest base camp? What do I do with the storyline, and I was thinking about it. And as well, as I was walking to Everest base camp for those 10 days, I have to look at the people around me, like I said, you know, I look at a flight sitting on a leopard. So here, I have like 100 people in front of me. So I observe each one of them what’s going through their mind, there’s a small kid walking the Everest base camp. This is a two year old male who’s walking the rest to Everest base camp. There are a lot of investors wanting to rush Basecamp. I’m thinking of all their stories, why they are here know what they’re trying to do what they’re trying to achieve. So I wrote a story about that, you know how it’s not about me making it to Everest base camp. It’s about why any one of us take that journey, whether it’s Basecamp, or whatever it could be whatever the face of your life, why do we take that journey? You know, I wrote a story about the why of why we travel, and what it means to each one of those individuals. So the stories can be taken in many, many ways. Rather than say, I went to a rich base camp, and I made this image, I can take it in my own direction, my own emotions. So yeah, we have the subconscious of thoughts. In always, we’re thinking, there’s a second voice in our head, each one of us have that voice. Just note the note down those voices. Because every time you start giving some thought to that voice, you’re hearing the story line, which you’re building, as you’re noting them down, you know, most of us unconsciously forget what our second mind was saying, you know, when you’re pointing your camera at whatever it could be pointing it your mind. Second mind is always doing the other narrative in your head, if you just give it some thoughts, and put a mental note to that you have a story right there. That’s the other side of the story, then what you’re looking at?
Wow, that is so much value, right? There’s so much wisdom, and I really love that. And, you know, just going to that storytelling, and you know what you say about the second mind. We talked you talked about how they are the obvious and they are the thing that that come into the story, right, the secondary and tertiary and the things that not necessarily been the main focus, not the the main, grand, grandest, most obvious thing. Now. We know that, you know, in this world, in this era, right now, there is so many different types of distraction, right, our phone is keep buzzing, and then somebody’s calling and, you know, we got our, our iPod, our iPhone, and you know, some people you have even like multiple phones and all this stuff. So how do you kind of separate that separate? The, you know, like, kind of isolate yourself in in this moment, so that you could hear and listen and explore what’s in front of you?
Yeah, I mean, I do deep space photography. And in deep space photography, we have a term called signal to noise, which is how much of signal and how much of noise are you capturing? So I think that’s the same thing here. You know, cut the noise, you know, there will be a lot of distractions, whether it’s NFT side of the world, you see how many dramas run there every single day. I don’t indulge in those dramas. I read them. I move on this AI conversation going on right now. What is AI whether AI is art, or is not art. I have my opinion. If I have a space, maybe I’ll talk about it. And that’s about it. Beyond that. I don’t go are, you know, going into every tweet and commenting on everyone and trying to prove that they are wrong? I am right. The moment you start doing into getting into that business, you’re wasting your time, you know, your time is valuable, and your energy is important. So yeah, just trying to avoid all those nonsense we know even Instagram, there is a real nowadays, people are doing all kinds of shit on that Instagram nowadays, know, wonderful artists are lost their track, you know, they’re doing whatever it takes to get that little followers and views and million, whatever. So I don’t even give a damn I do my reels, but in my own way now very classy way in a very cinematic way. I said, I will never get into that business of me walking with the camera, and then the transition happens. I am like, I don’t need all that, you know, that’s not the kind of artists that I am. So you have to just choose your poison, you know, and choose your path. A lot of my friends say you’re missing out on Instagram by not doing really, if you keep posting your wonderful cinematic videos, no one cares about them. If you put all your images, no one cares about it. I’m like, doesn’t matter. I don’t care. If it’s 100 people liking my image or 1000 people liking my image doesn’t matter. Whoever connects connects, or doesn’t doesn’t, I’ll just let it be. You know, that’s one of the things I do in my life, or just as being stoic. If you can’t control something, just let it go. Don’t break your head over it, you know. So I think that itself solves half of the issues. Otherwise, yeah, there is a lot of things. there’s Twitter, there’s Instagram, there’s a little bit of Facebook, there’s vero now new software, social media. And there is what WhatsApp and telegram and how many things are gonna manage. If you put if you intelligence into all these things. Even I have my friends, you know, I’m sure I hope he doesn’t listen to this. But if he doesn’t, that’s fine. But we, me and him, we were both photographers. And before, you know, before I came into nfts, and everything we used to, during especially COVID days, we used to have a lot of wonderful friends. But we disagree on many things. And we used to have a lot of arguments on WhatsApp, very passionate, not like we are punching each other on face. It’s just opinions. And it could be about COVID. Or it could be about vaccine and whatever. And we would argue a lot to and fro to and fro to and fro could go on and on and on forever. And now I realised that while I was doing that, it’s a waste of time. Now, whenever he sends me something like that, I just have a common response. You are right, even though I don’t believe in it. I just say you’re right. And that’s it, then what what else is left to say? He’s right, nothing to argue about. So I just let it be, you know, now I learned that style of just letting it go. If you want to think you’re right, you’re right. Enjoy the madness. And let’s move on, you know, so Yeah, time is very, very valuable. And I’m trying to now figure out ways to not waste my time on noise. Stick to the signal, signal to noise is very, very important. That is incredible.
And yeah, like, you know, there is there is a saying that, you know, in order to win the war, sometimes you have to lose a fight, right. And then sometimes you just have to let go and, and sometimes letting go is the best way to win. So that’s very wise of you to kind of share that. And I really
love something. We all have opinions. And we’re all passionate about our opinions. But it doesn’t mean you could just go and bounce everywhere your opinions, you know, just give it when it has to be given. If you just go around 100,000 times running around with your opinion, then you’re just being a joke, you know, so just keep it to yourself. It’s okay to not always have everyone agree to you, you know, it’s okay, we are humans. And there’s always agree to disagree which happens. And most often. The moment you stay away from this madness, you have more time to do something else. People ask how do you I have so much of time to run spaces? How do you have so much time to go out and shoot and to make all this photography trips? That’s exactly because of this reason? And I don’t I use my time for space because I save that time by not arguing with someone else outside. So why don’t you start saving time somewhere? You can invest it in the right place.
Yeah, that’s absolutely important, right, focusing on the right things in life that give you the energy and give you the positivity. And that’s great. And I think one thing that I want to get into a little bit deeper is what you said earlier about the social media, right? How the social media kind of drive that attention and drive, how people are putting out content and are and how people are consuming it. Now, I know that the social media is, you know, with everything that happened is one of the biggest source that creates impostor syndrome, one of the biggest source that create this lack, right because what people see on social media is it’s never it’s almost never like what it’s in real life. It’s the highlight of everyone’s real right. I mean, even peep when people share The struggles like I do share a lot of my struggles on social media. But even that, like you don’t know what I had to actually go through behind the curtain, you know, just to share that one thing, right? So what what do you what do you have to say for people who are kind of hitting this wall of imposter syndrome and, you know, searching for followers and looking for ways to, to get more exposure, because I think there are two different view of this, which is, you know, it’s important to get the exposure and get your, you know, social media kind of have the engagement and so forth. Because a lot of times, that’s when you get your sales, or that’s when you get your next opportunity. You know, there aren’t a lot of opportunity associated with the exposure you get on social media. But at the same time, there is also the negativity behind that, where it actually bring down, you know, the way you feel even the way you react to the world and behave as a person. So how do you have anything to say about how to find a balance and how to treat social media from that sense?
Yeah, I think I would be the last person to talk about social media, because I never followed I like I said, I never followed any of those norms of social media, and Instagram, there was a time when, as tax, you know, I have my own friends who used to use certain apps, which would create hashtags for them every single day, depending on what’s the most happening hashtags. They would say, use this app, use this hashtag. I’m like, I’ll not use a single hashtag, I don’t care. No, that’s my way. I don’t care if they like me, or if they don’t follow me. I just don’t care. And that’s the reason my Instagram is still below 20,000. You know, like, it’s taken eight years, nine years to reach that 20,000 Because I’m not never pushing it. Well, my friends, maybe they have 100,000 followers, who cares? You know, I don’t give a damn, you know, that 19,000 is also we know how Instagram works, you know, 556 1000 of them would be fake profiles. Maybe I have, let’s say 10,000 actual followers, that’s enough for me, you know, that’s my little crowd. I’m happy with that. And, you know, I really don’t care much. I don’t use any of those hashtags. Like I told I don’t do any of those trending reels, I do it my own way. And I never get into, you know, you had to post it this time of the day, you have to put post at this time of the night to get the maximum reach. I’m like, I don’t give a fuck, I will post whenever I want. You know, I don’t care. So that’s been always me. And that continues to be me. Even in Twitter. There’s a lot of algorithm things people talk about don’t retweet too much. I’m like, I’ll read it. 100 people every day, I don’t care. Don’t go to it too much. I’ll record record with everyone. I don’t care. So yeah, I mean, I just don’t care. That’s been my way. Even Twitter. I’m surprised. You know, it grew very fast. I came in January. And today, it’s what December, almost 910 months awkward. So I never expected all these things to happen in Twitter, I just came in thinking, okay, and other social media, and I’m just gonna be me, you know, again, I’ll never put any hashtags. And never do anything time based or anything that helps the algorithm, I’ll do everything it takes not to feed algorithm, I’ll do whatever I want. That’s all you know, I don’t care about algorithm and everything. We have spaces on this topic where people discuss, and I’m the bad guy there because I say do whatever the hell you want. Don’t care about the algorithm. If the shadow venue, they’ll bring you back not a problem. So yeah, that’s been my way. I’m the last person to talk about social media and never let it really influence me too much. And, yeah, you had to just create your own piece with social media, if you just chase, if you look at others getting 1 million views or 10 million views on tick tock. And if you want the exact same thing to happen to you, you’re wasting your energy, you know, just do good work, keep posting them up, and enjoy the process, rather than worrying about things you can’t control. So yeah, I don’t really I’m not the person to talk about social media at all. Yeah, well, I
think you have talked a lot about social media and I think that’s very important to have. You know, I personally still believe that it’s important to have the exposure but I think it’s important to have that mindset as well of sticking to your own thing and not diluting your value right I think that is I see that a lot of people like you say a lot of good creators are no longer an artist in social media because the reels is you know, more and more people get attracted to
reels. The world is growing.
There you go. And, you know, and and it’s I think it’s okay to have that in social media. But, you know, when when you are an artist and you do too much of that then are what what are you doing right, you weren’t that’s not the reason you’re here. It’s different, you know,
disclose that in the difference. There are two kinds of creators, one who just lowers and likes and reads. And maybe that’s their, that’s what you need, do whatever it takes, then there’s other kinds, who doesn’t give a damn, just does whatever he likes. And when I see Instagram or any place I go, whether it’s vero or Instagram, or even Twitter, you know, I know that I create a portfolio everywhere I go, I don’t like to post random things, my selfies my whatever, you know, my cat, my car, I don’t need all those things. I’m a photographer, and I’m going to stick only to that my voice and my language, then I’m a guy with a tattoo on my hand, which says religion, photography. So I need to take that thing seriously. So I treat it that way I can like my religion. So wherever I go, I make sure it’s my portfolio and whatever people, if they visit Instagram, they’ll see a clear portfolio of mine, what I do is exactly what I show. And beyond that, knows, even now I’m talking not talking to you with the camera on because that’s me, I don’t like to put my selfies. I don’t like to do any of those self indulgent things, you know, because I’m not that guy. For me, it doesn’t matter. You like my work? That’s my signature. And that’s about it. You know, beyond that, I can’t help it. You know, and same thing with Twitter, I keep a portfolio. Same thing with vero, I keep a portfolio. So I like to keep it organised. So that another kind of photography photographer who’s on social media, so if you’re the first kind, if you want all the followers and likes and reach and algorithm and everything you care about, then of course, you need to play the game, which people are doing on social medias. But yeah, it’s it’s it’s your path, you take your path, my path is this, I don’t care about all that.
Yeah, that’s incredible. And I think that’s one of the most important thing for us to stick to is, you know, whatever feels right to us, and whatever was, you know, our own path now, you know, just kind of take it back a little bit, you know, you talk about this photography, talk about the storytelling, and how you can impact people and all this stuff. Now, if I were to ask you a one liner question, right? What is your mission in photography, like what you’re hoping to bring to the world through what you’ve captured in the form of photographs?
Yeah, I do all kinds of photography, as you know. And wherever I do, there’s always a story that I stick to, you know, whether it’s wildlife, with wildlife, I’m trying to, from my own style, you know, I’m trying to create an awareness and make people appreciate this wonderful creatures, every time I speak about them, I speak with a lot of passion, I always mentioned, what’s the problem happening in this field of wildlife, you know, when it comes to these animals, and I can kind of stress on how valuable they are, how little they are in this world, and how we can maybe do a small little thing and create a difference, et cetera, et cetera. So there’s that, you know, I’m always I love wildlife. And from my childhood, I have been loving them. And I bring all that passion to that field. And with my portraits, I always like to tell the story of people there, you know, mostly, it’s about what I learned is what I try to preach, which is when I have to travel to these corners of the world, and meet these people staying in the most humble way, and at the same time, most happiest people I ever come across. Because what I see in Dubai is miserable, you know, the people have so much of money, they’re driving a Mercedes and whatever in a Lamborghini. And still, they’re not happy to concede in the face. But when I go to this corner of the world, and people have literally nothing, and they’re still the happiest people. So I try to communicate that, you know, there’s some learning, that’s my learning from these places. So wherever I go, I find those books, you know, as to what makes me go there again, and again, because I’m not a person who’s ticking off all the countries in the world. And that’s not my mission. I’ve seen some photographers do that. It’s cool. If you want to visit every country in the world, that’s incredible. But for me, it’s always about going back to the same place. You know, once I go to a place, it’s not like, I’m done, I’ve visited this place, it’s over, I’m done with this place, I go again, and again and again, because I like to go into the depth of that place and understand the real, more and more depth of the stories behind those people and how they live and what they do. So yeah, these are the narratives that I’ve played with. And I think overall, you think of a broader perspective, after 50 years, what what is that I’m trying to create is just a beautiful narrative of how beautiful the spaces are. And those spaces may be very limited. Maybe I’ll have 15 places explored in complete depth, rather than how 120 countries explored in 50 years. I don’t want that attack, I just want those few places explored very, very well, in every sense possible, you know, so, yeah, for instance, I go to the Similan village, that’s a bunch of villages around and so whenever I go, I was trying to create pictures of people and tell their stories. Then I started exploring more towards the Buddhist side of it, you know, because they’re all Buddhist. And there are monasteries, first trying to understand from the monks side of life, you know, what they do, how they stay. What is their prayer rhythm, this and that, that I was trying to explore for some years now. I want to go back and explore the wild side side of it, you know, because they have snow leopards in that. So you need to go in certain times to find those snow leopards that adds another layer to that place. Every single time, you know, I try to keep on building on the same thing. So I want to be that guy who has taught maybe 15 places in absolute depth and created a nice long story through many, many years of visiting, rather than be the guy who visited 120 countries.
Yeah, that’s, that’s a really good thing. You know, I, I was in the same place. You know, before when I first started photography, I’ve been to I think, 27 countries. And after no 28. And after I started photography, for real, I’ve only been to an extra one country because I noticed the same way it’s more interesting to go into that then all of these places, just going to the popular place, right? It’s just, it’s, it’s incredible. When you see people just go to the main attraction, take one shot, a selfie, and then they go home, they like, don’t look at the other place. You know, they didn’t even go around the corner. And it’s incredible. And yeah, I can totally resonate with that. Now, you know, when I want to talk a little bit about Nepal in the Himalaya, and I know how passionate you are about it. But one thing that I never heard is that what what really what really pull you about the Nepal in the Himalaya region that makes you really love that area compared to any other world? Because, you know, there are a lot of beautiful places around the world. Right. There are a lot of interesting culture everywhere. beautiful mountain tops as well as the landscape. But why Nipah? Why what keep pulling you into Nepal in the Himalaya region?
Yeah, that’s a terrible question. Because I really don’t know. I just don’t know sometimes there are things which you can’t explain. I think Himalaya is one of them. You have been to Pune. Basecamp. So you know it. So you know, my I can, that’s my curious mind. I told you I look into Cosmos a lot. I look into a large number of things. And there are many sections of things that I will look into in much depth. And one of them is Himalayas. You know, if I look at my book cabinet right now, I think almost 50% is photography books. Other 50% is Himalayan books, you know, people who have climbed this wonderful mountains, I have, I’ve read almost every book possible in our field. And I don’t even have a place to store those books anymore. Because that’s how much I get intrigued by these mountains. Because the first time I saw it in my life, as I said, my travel photography began with Himalayas. The first time I put my eyes on it, I knew that okay, this is gonna be something very, very interesting for my future because I knew right then that I’m going to be coming back to this place over and over and over again. Because I don’t know what’s about it, you know, even when you go to Everest base camp, or you go to Annapurna base camp or any of these base camps, which is hard track, you don’t really know if you think it’s like you see in movies, people running around with full energy. No, you are, you are tired, you know, you are dirty, you are smelly stink like shit. So let’s start painting and you know, everything is weird about that place. It makes you feel like what the fuck I’m doing here. But at the same time, I feel alive. You know, being in between all that madness. I feel good about it. So that’s what I like about that particular place. It’s a suffer fest, but at the same time, it makes you feel alive. I know. You’re laughing a lot. I don’t know what stinking part was funny, I guess. I don’t know. But yeah, that’s what makes Himalayas what it is, you know, lack of oxygen makes me feel good. And also, you know, like, one of my idols, you know, when it comes to I like people who live their life to the fullest without giving a damn and technically like, they know that life is so valuable. One of them is Reinhold Messner, if you know, Reinhold Messner, he is the first person to climb all 14 peaks, Himalayan peaks 8000 metres without supplementary oxygen. So I read a lot about him. Maybe I have some 20 books from him right now. Sitting in front of me as I speak. I read all of his books. I’ve seen every documentary that he has made. You know, these are the people who really make me want to go back to Himalayas because their passion is very contagious. And when you read the books and exactly why they go back, is exactly what you go back. I want to see everything there they have seen. So yeah, just a lot of things. You know, I said, it’s very hard to explain. If you’ve never been to Himalayas, you’ll never know. But once you go there, as I said, it is sufferfest but you’ll enjoy the suffering of that place, you will come back much smarter and wiser. There’s a reason why Indian monks and Nepali Buddhist monks go to the mountains to do their meditation. They can do anywhere but they still go to the extreme Himalayas, because there’s something about that place which cannot be explained.
Yeah, I know it, I can, I can tell I can I can feel the same thing when I was in Annapurna. It’s just something about the place that it felt magical. And the reason why I love a lot is that it always reminded me every time I go hiking, it always I always asked that question. I was like, Why? Why? Why am I here? Why do I put you through all this struggle, but as soon as you came down, you have a shower, and you just go, what is next? Right? What’s the next mountain to go out to? And when you say that, it’s just it cracked me up? Because it reminded me of that moment, every time you go up, and you look at this big wall in front of you, and you can’t even see the summit, because they’re so high and you go like, what am I doing here at 10pm at night, going into this mountain with all this crap behind me. But yeah, there’s something about, you know, the achievement behind that there’s something about the peacefulness behind it. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, one of the stories that I tell from one of the piece that I just released, it’s about the freedom you get when you get out there, and it feels like, you know, everything just doesn’t matter. So I can, you know, yeah, really
also, another reason for that is because, first of all, you’re in a complete remote place, especially when it took off base camps and everything, you’re cut off completely. There’s no internet, there’s nothing, you know, you just have you and maybe a guy who doesn’t talk much. So you’re not talking to him a lot. He just talks once in a while. So you’re it’s just you and the mountain and maybe a beer or a chai in your hand. And you’re sitting there in the middle of nowhere. So these are the moments which we are missing right now, you know, because we’re in such a fast life, social media, they send that phone buzzing all the time, in that place. You just realise that your phone, you’re holding the phone, but it feels like useless. And because there’s no internet, you don’t know what to do with that phone in your hand. And then you throw it away and just look at what’s in front of you. And just you look at lost in your thoughts, you know, you you get a break that your brain requires. And it starts processing things which have been lagging behind in the RAM. So yeah, it’s like a nice reboost to your brain, and it helps you clear a number of things. So yeah, when I always say, you know, doesn’t matter what the question is, you know, Himalayas are always the answer because it will give you answers for questions, which you didn’t even know you had. So you know, that’s what they do. And yeah, like, for instance, when I was in Annapurna base camp, like I told like you also said it’s a suffer fest. It is the hardest trick I’ve done. An Irish base camp was hard, but it was okay. But Annapurna was absolute madness, you know, and I was not in my best form at that time, because I just came back from a trip to the US. I went to New York and all that things, and I came back and immediately, I went to Annapurna base camp without even trying to give myself a break because I just wanted to go to Himalayas, maybe because I saw New York and I really wanted a break from that city. So I went all the way to Himalayas. Annapurna base camp, it was bloody hard. It was raining all the time. It is not really comfortable. You know, I was wet from head to toe, every single day of the walk in six days is completely wet. And it was really, really hard. Same thing again, I asked myself the same question what the fuck I’m doing here. I could have been staying in Dubai and relaxing my warm home. But I was there anyways. So it happened. It is the best camp the first once it is the best camp for the first time when the rain stopped. And everything was visible under Pune in front of you. Extremely gorgeous. And then it was just a small break of 30 minutes and then it started raining again. I’m like shit, okay, now I need to walk back. You know, you know it walking down is harder than walking up to the base camp. So I’m like, I need to go down with all this rain again. My mind was like, please get rid of this place, you know, if you want to. And I was like, Can I call a helicopter get to get off this place because I don’t want to walk again. So he sat down recently quarters right now in this weather. I’m like, Okay, let’s walk. And I told my guide, how long is the walk to reach Pokhara which is the city we need to go to the city at the end of it. It takes for four nights of walk, you know, like every four nights, your stay in the mountains. And then finally you reach a point where you can go to the city. I’m like, No, I’m not going to stay the walk for four days in this rain. Let’s do one thing how much is the kilometres he said almost 38 kilometres of walk to reach to the point where you can take a car to reach the city. I’m like, Okay, let’s walk from now. It’s seven o’clock in the morning. We will not stop for a single second. No food. No nothing. We are water bottles. We just keep bringing water. Are you up for the challenge? It’s like no, no one does that. 38 kilometres in a rain downhill. You can’t do that. I’m like, let’s do it. And we worked nonstop. You know, I have that phone screenshot in my phone. I burned like 1000s and 1000s of calories. You know, maybe it was crazy. I never burned so much calories in my life. So 38 kilometres. We walked from seven am to 4pm nonstop, not a single break. We just kept walking because I wanted to get out of that place. You know, there are those instances also in MLS. It’s not like always romance. So yeah, but that’s what makes it interesting. So as soon as I came back, I reached my hotel in Pokhara. I took my shower, I felt good again. And then I came to the reception of the hotel. And the hotel had a number of maps of Nepal, you know, of all the base camps. I just came back from a base camp where it was. I had to walk 38 kilometres to escape. And now I was looking at this posters on the wall, and I’m like, which is this base camp? This amount of sleep? I’m like, Okay, this is my next one. When do I come back? So that’s the mattress.
Yeah, no, I heard that story before. And, you know, it’s just crazy. And I know how frustrating it can be when it’s raining and all that stuff but doing 38 kilometres on the way down all the way to, you know, from Annapurna base camp. That’s 5000 5000 Plus, right, and it’s just crazy. Yeah, no doubt you burn all that calorie man, you got all the rain, you got going downhill all the gears, of course you burn all that calorie. But that’s Yeah, that’s really cool story, you know, and it’s true, right. And I think this goes back to what we say earlier, a lot of times people don’t see this struggle, about, about the journey. But I think what I noticed from, from the way you approach life, the way you approach your journey, is that you have a way to still enjoy the journey. Even if, you know, there are challenges now, you know, I know that is something that’s very difficult to do nowadays, especially looking at everyone else’s successes all the time, right? So for the listeners who kind of in that situation where they’re like, Okay, I want I’m in a and I want to get to where I want to go next, right, which is my dream, whatever that may be. But this every time I hit a journey of challenges, I feel discouraged. So, you know, how can people enjoy the journey to get to where they want to be?
One day? I think I’m not an expert again, of this, because it’s very, very much, it’s up to each individual to choose their happiness. So my way, you know, is my way always your way, it doesn’t mean it has to be the same way for both of us might, what I say may not resonate with someone else. So it’s up to each person, each one has their own, you know, priorities and life and family and loved ones and etc. So yeah, it’s totally different, you know, I can’t preach because, you know, for even for a single example, is I’m not married. So if I say something, people will say, yeah, that’s easy for you, because you’re not married, I’m married, I have two kids, I can’t do the same thing. So it can be different to different people. But yeah, you need to find your own peace, with how you can create that balance and feel good about the life that you have. You know, for instance, I was in Tajikistan, and it was one of those craziest, the craziest roads, you know, there, the place is beautiful, but the roads are horrible. It’s next to Afghanistan. You can you’re always next to Afghanistan, there’s just a small river, which divides you and Afghanistan. It’s it was at the peak of Taliban when I went there. So people are a bit scared to come, but they still came. So we are going through that journey. And you know, at one point, the road is so bad, so horrible, that you just your bones feel like they’re all broken, you know, and one of my friend who was there, he’s a corporate guy, and he has a job in Dubai in a luxurious place. And all that is taste. So he came on that trip. And he is not used to this things much. He likes adventures, but not this kind of adventure, it was a little bit too much for him. Because at the end of the night, you stay in a small little house. And it’s not like a five star hotel. So everyday are struggling through the journey. I enjoy that. But he had some problems and happens in between the journey. We just stopped for a smoke and we both were smoking in a corner. And he’s like, I don’t know, I think I shouldn’t have come on the strip because it’s too hard for me. I told, first of all, just look at your surroundings. And you’re standing right here having a smoke. Look at look in front of you. There’s Afghanistan. And look at the right side. There’s Himalayan mountains upon mountains. And you’re here, you know, what are your colleagues doing right now? They’re smoking in Dubai, of course, in their office, but what are they looking at the same blocks of city and the same stupid office they have to go back to what’s next nine days, you’re free, you know, you’re in middle of nowhere. How many people should I visited this place which are visited right now? Maybe 5% of the world’s population, you are the lucky one. You know, enjoy that moment. Because you are lucky enough to be here, you know? So that’s how I put things into perspective. Whatever happens, always see it as one of those. You know, we have a chance to travel if you have that chance alone. You’re already lucky enough compared to 80% of the world because others would love to do that, but they don’t have the means or freedom to do that. So I think we’re already lucky enough that we have this passion, we travel the world. And that’s enough blessings, just count those blessings, and you will feel good about it. That is such
a good advice. And, you know, I think, going back to what you said earlier, it’s about, you know, where do you put your focus on? And just hearing what is the story that you tell me, it seems like, you know, your your friend at that time was in a really good place, but his focus was on the negative part of it, and not the positive part of it. And that really changed a lot of perspective for a lot of people just shifting that tiny bit of perspective. Right. So, yeah, that’s, that’s a really good, you know, a really good advice. Now, you know, one of the thing that I’m interested in is, you know, you’re I came across you in the NFT world, and you are, you know, one of the voice in NFT. World, a lot of people hear your wisdom and follow your wisdom now, what, what draw you into the NFT in the first place, and what made you stay in the space?
Yeah, that’s super important for me, because NFT has not been one of those things, which has completely transformed my life, at least, in terms of my passion. Because I came, you know, as I said, I do workshops for a living, and my workshops are travel workshops, and need to travel to a place to do whatever I do. And that’s my revenue, you know, that’s my income. And that’s all that’s my sole income. That’s the main thing, I don’t do anything else. Even if I get commercial jobs in Dubai, I would just push it across, you know, to my friends, I would say you do it, I don’t want to do this job, architectural, or whatever, you know, event photography, and never like all those things. Because I’ve quit my job with a very, very particular team, which is I want to travel and I want to take people along with me, and that’s about it. So I do that full time. It was great. Till COVID came in, you know, when COVID came, we all know, world shutdown. And then travel stopped and my sole source of income came to an end. That was the biggest hit. And when you think of it, I stay in Dubai is such an expensive place. And travel has stopped. Everything that you have earned is now disappearing, like super fast pace, you know, like Dubai, it doesn’t take much time for money to operate. So it’s going through that really, really rough phase in my life where things are going really south. And I’m like, What the hell do I do now? 2020 is gone. 2021 is still the same. There are so many rules to travel, no one wants to travel because there’s so many paper works and this and that. So they’re just not really working. And I’m like, That’s it. I’m done. What do I do now go back to Job, put the tie and suit and get back to work. That was almost a situation though. I didn’t want to do that. So that’s when NF T came into my life. You know, it came a little bit late. I wish I entered you one more earlier. But one of my friends who’s into NFT He kept telling me because he knows exactly what I go through every single day. I mean, every single weekend we go together to shoot and that guy always says come to an empty come to an after you are going through this tough time. I think NFT is your answer. You know you can earn some money and pay your rents and at least take some break from your your hair start turning white what’s going on with you. I’m like no NF T’s this NF T’s that it’s a bubble. The typical bullshit that people say I used to believe all those things. So at the end of it, he finally convinced me one fine day he just said, please open a meta mask and come to an update. That’s it. Today’s the day. And we finally opened the meta mask and he convinced me to come I came in to Twitter, nothing I know nothing about Twitter. I know nothing about nfts I just entered with one follower being my friend who pulled me in. And then eventually I started interacting with people and I realised that the whole community thing which people talked about is actually true. You know, the people are different in NFT. At least during those days in the bull market, people are very, very active and very, very friendly. And everyone is trying to pull each other up rather than push each other down from like, Okay, this sounds interesting, this better than Instagram and all that. And finally, I came up with a collection and first Genesis collection, which was all my email and portraits, some of my best works, I put it out at a very affordable price. And within the first minute of launching that collection, one of my collectors just happened to collect it within the first minute of dropping it. He bought a pitcher at 0.5 at the end. During those days, it was like almost $2,000 I was like $2,000 for my pitcher. In the minute of dropping, I was like I had tears in my eyes because there’s something which I never experienced before someone was valuing my work, whatever money money is secondary in that place. Someone valued it, you know, within a second within a minute of dropping. So I realised you know eventually as things moved on, I realised that this place is absolutely brilliant, you know, everything that I thought the illusions that I had was all wrong and yeah, since then I gave myself 100% to it. And it’s been wonderful you know, after that have launched many many collections sold out many many collections, and no doubts That that is paying my rent, it’s been my all kinds of things in all the bills that I have, it has helped me float through it. So it’s been wonderful. Yeah, I think it’s a blessing, which came at the right time. Otherwise, by now I would be back to work, maybe giving up all my dreams.
Wow, that’s what a journey isn’t it and, you know, you come in there and you know, you know, coming from somebody who think it’s all, you know, all the objection that everyone can come in, don’t want to come in from and then you finally convince come in and know you’re here with, you know, one of the biggest boys in the NFT world, you know, sharing your wisdom and your stories in there. And I think it’s just incredible. Now, for, you know, for for, for the people who cannot like jump in here and think like, okay, you know, NFT is just a money making scheme and all this stuff. Is there, is there, what’s the future of NFT? For you? Like, is there anything that you are excited about the technology itself? Is there a culture a community? Or is there is it only solely about, you know, selling your art and being appreciated for for your work in a different
form? Yeah, it’s multi layered. I don’t even know how to get to this point. Because future who knows the future, you know, none of us know the future. So NFT is the same. Who knows? Right now, it’s not just about the money. But money is important. And as a full time photographer, money is very, very important to stay alive and to follow the passion. So I appreciate the NFT space for the money it provides to everyone offers and puts a value to our work, you know, other than if you look at before, it is all about, come and shoot our restaurant will give you exposure come and shoot our wedding will give expert What the hell what we do the exposure, no one takes that for a bill. So yeah, that was the world we came from. And now here is a place where I have even collectors who always say bump your price. And sometimes throughout my journey, they always said increase your price, your work deserves more money. And they made me push my value all the way up, because they themselves forced, you know, it’s one of those places where the people who are buying are not bargaining. They’re either saying go up with your price not go down. So yeah, that’s a very unique place to be in. And as far as future goes, I don’t know, you know, I am just as I told you, I just go with the flow, whatever the flow is, I just go with the tide. So I’m sure you know, there are a lot of wonderful visionaries in nfts, a lot of wonderful collectors who have a great vision to what they want to do. So I’ll leave it to them, I just go with their guidance. So I’m learning every single day, I’m no guru there. I’m just a student, every single day absorbing the space, learning something new and spilling it out to those people who don’t know, so it’s all learning from each other, which is happening there. So who knows the future, I hope it’s bright. And like everyone says, we are just no tapped 1% of the potential of NFT and blockchain, there’s a lot more to do. You know, I stay in Dubai. We see it here every single day, the wise adopting new and new ways to government. I mean, it’s including new and new ways to adopt blockchain right now. If you lose your passport, and if you go to complain to the police, it becomes NFT it becomes it goes into blockchain. I don’t know what the complaint becomes a part of blockchain or whatever. So there’s a lot of things happening, real world uses to come you know, so I think there’s a lot to do. And we’ll just be there when it happens.
Yeah, no, that’s incredible. I know your work is incredible. And you know, you’re right. The two things that really were really struggling from the artist is you know, exposure people think that exposure will give us something and at some cases it does you know, the right exposure can give us benefit but in most cases it doesn’t bring any benefit back apart from people you know, liking and following you. And you know, unfortunately we can’t we can’t you know, put a foot in a table from follows and likes and the other thing is the value of money how people are valuing it right? I think in collection in the NFT world, a lot of people value it more as as an art as an emotion as something that they they connect with well as in the real world. It’s more like a commodity right? It’s more like yeah, you just buy a print you know, like print is a print and of course there are people who really care about the art as well. But most people are just like, Okay, well you know, your photo is great, but IKEA sell it for 20 Exactly. What what I paid $500 for, for your friends. Right and that’s, I think that is the biggest difference that you see in in in in the NFL is that wins Somebody appreciate you are they appreciate your art not, you know for what it is not not that it’s jpg, not that it’s, you know, how many pixel against how many pixel at 300 pa PS? DPI, right, but it’s about the emotion, the photograph that connects from there. So
yeah, so that’s a huge scope. Apart from that, you know, which is brilliant, and they’re appreciating our art, which is brilliant. At the same time, look at where NF T’s have taken us. You know, like, when I visited New York with my parents and my sister, we went to Times Square, my sister was like, this is Times Square, the biggest, greatest billboard in the world. Some of the best things are exhibited here. I’m like, Oh, that’s so nice. And then we came back, that was in 2018. And in 2020, you want and this year, somewhere in this year slicker, if you remember, they slowly got a platform and ft platform, they display it works off their artists on Time Square, the same time square. So my image was there as well. And I sent it to my parents, my sister, my relatives that my told my sister, do you remember he said, The best of the best in the world gets displayed on this billboard? There is my work right now, you know, so that’s NFT, I would never be on NFT. Amen. Sorry, on the Time Square, if not, for NFT NFT opens up that door, you know, it brings the world together. It has a great influence. Right now, it was exhibited in Miami, before that was exhibited in Venice, right now, like as having the exhibition in a beautiful place in Rome. So how many places you know we are going along within that one year span? Imagine this is just one year of work? Not even one year, nine months of work? So where did it take us in five years from now? So we’ve been given this time to Instagram, we have been giving this time, same amount of time and value to Facebook for all this years, where has it taken us? Maybe it has taken us some places. But still, this as NFT has done all these things, within nine months, it pays our bills, it gets us exhibited across the world, it connects us to the world of amazing collectors and artists coming together. So and it’s just the beginning. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what would happen in the future, maybe who knows, our pitchers will be on boots Khalifa.
under percent, we’re excited about that? Well, so both it’s been, you know, such a great conversation with you. And you know, hopefully one day, I can bring you back in here because there’s so much to talk about, you know, you, like I say, just as such a good people to talk to. Now. One thing that I always ask my guests when they come into this podcast is that if there is one advice that they could even, you know, they could give their younger self or people out there if there is one advice that you can only give out, what would that advice be?
I think I’ll keep it quite generic, because that’s the truth. Follow your passion, everything’s gonna be okay. That’s it. Whenever is the end of it? Yeah. When everything that’s the end of your journey, something else shows up. And that’s how life works. You know, if you’re true to what you do, especially after COVID, I realised, you know, I said, the COVID story is a long story. And I literally thought that’s the end of my whole journey, you know, the photography, end of it, let’s go back to work, because I’m done. But that’s when something happens. You know, a number of things have happened in COVID Unexpected jobs, some unexpected awards, I don’t even participate in photography competitions. But during that time, there was no option I had to participate so that I can earn some money out of it and sustain myself till the COVID goes away. So I won awards, I got unexpected jobs from really big, big corporate companies, which kept me afloat, and then came NFT. And it completely changed the game. So whenever you feel that’s it, that’s the end of it. Just know that it’s just a passing phase, and it will be okay. So yeah, follow your passion. Everything’s gonna be okay. All right, well,
thanks a lot for that support, then, you know, for people who cannot want to check out your work and you know, your NFT and you know, some of these incredible stories behind the moments that you’ve captured, what is the best way to find your work as well as to connect with you.
I wish I could save go to my website. That would be very cool. But one of the Chinese companies stole my domain name. So I don’t have my website right now. So that’s over. So you can go to usual stuff, you know, Twitter, so worth chatting with. And then there’s Instagram support city, I’m sure you can just link it up wherever you post it. So if you don’t follow me, it’s okay. Now with the 100%
I will definitely put all the links on the description. So you know, for people who are intrigued and want to see more of your work, they can do that. But look, it’s been really good conversation. Really enjoy your passion behind Now, not only the stories, but also the, I guess, the passion behind your passion in photography, it’s just so much energy when you, you know, when we talk about all of this, and I really enjoy that, you know, it’s a really fresh breeze off air, you know, to to get that. So that’s great. And, you know, thank you very much for being here. I know you’re, you have a lot of things happening. So that’s, you know, I really appreciate you putting aside your time to be here and
know when you chose the best day possible today, the Twitter space are down. I don’t know what Elon Musk is doing. But sometimes he goes crazy. So he’s blocked all the Twitter spaces today. So I think it’s a good day to take a break. So the perfect day to be here.
All right, well, fantastic. Well, well, we can this hopefully you get a lot of benefit from there. There’s so much wisdom and there are a lot of good storytelling that man I just could hear it for days in and day out. Now. If you haven’t already followed suit both please do check his work out like you know, his work are incredible. A lot of his wildlife is absolutely stunning. I actually when I first saw suppose work, it was more about the wildlife. So I thought he was a wildlife photographer until I came across some of these other work. So do check him out. He have a passion in photography. And he showed that in many, many ways, and I really enjoy that. So thanks a lot for being here. Thanks a lot for listening and tuning in if you are still here. And don’t forget, hit to hit the subscribe button if you want to hear our next artists. But also leave a quick review. Let me know what you want to hear more of let me know what some of the things that you enjoy from this podcast or if you have a certain artists that you want to hear in this podcast. But with that being said, well, thank you very much for being here. And I’ll see you next week. So both Thank you very much for your time and your wisdom and yeah, I’m sure we’ll come across in an adventure someday, somewhere along the you know, around the world. But with that being say, I guess we’ll see you around in Twitter spaces.
For sure, Stanley. Thanks so much. Take care
Transcribed by https://otter.ai