TPL: What drew you to photography? What was that moment that you decided to pick up a camera? Talk to us about your photographic experience on the streets of India.
CV: After I did my Master's in Computer Science, the next couple of years went by quickly - job, marriage and everything in-between. Then just after marriage, I got a chance to work in the United States for around 2 years. We were in our mid twenties, and so the idea was to visit as many places in the USA as possible and to save those memories, I bought a point-and-shoot camera. I captured some beautiful memories in the USA and we returned back to India in a couple of years. Then it was around 2016, the time of mid-life crisis for me, when those philosophical questions started to creep in my mind - what am I doing, how can I find happiness, what do I really love doing. And it was my wife who helped me find the answer - "Just pick your camera, go out, and shoot", she said.
And like a good husband, I followed her advice 😉. I came across some groups who would go out and shoot in Delhi, which is just an hour's drive from Gurgaon. The groups would mostly go to the historical monuments, and Delhi has so many of them. I am an introvert, so these photowalks helped me a lot to get confident walking with the camera and being able to shoot. Delhi is heavily populated so it's impossible to shoot without people getting in the frame. Even if this sounds unbelievable, trust me, this is true.
And so one walk turned to another, and soon I started getting comfortable going out solo. I was shooting everything - monuments, flowers, walls, people - you name it. Then one day I came across the gallery of Navin Vatsa on Instagram - I am sure it was that day when I really got hooked to this genre of Street Photography. I will talk more about this later as I can see there is a question further down that is more apt for talking about Navin's work.