From washing grandpa’s film camera negatives to exploring possibilities in a genre that’s barely beginning to catch people’s attention, Dhruva Kotagi has certainly come a long way on his journey of photography, more in terms of experience than time.
By the time Dhruva quit his job a year ago, he had learned just enough about photography to embark upon a new journey as a professional photographer. Trained on basics by his photographer-colleague friend, Basavaraj, and further mentored by Sharath Chandrappa, Dhruva began his journey through the world of photography with a bunch of club shoots and wedding photography projects, which boosted his confidence early and gave him much impetus.
But Dhruva’s creative instincts always made him restless, to bring about a difference to the less-explored genres of photography, and soon, he discovered that he could make new-born baby shoots more exciting with the innovative ideas that flocked his mind. He began setting up props and working extensively in his studio to translate his ideas into reality, all fuelled by his love for art.
Says Dhruva: “Everyone loves babies, but most of us forget to capture some of the most pure, human moments that babies bring to our lives by nothing more than being themselves. Kids grow up fast, so it is important to make memories for keepsake. It would be such an amazing gift parents can give their children in the later years.
“While wedding photography happens to be a saturated area of photography, I wanted to give attention to a rare genre, which wasn’t much explored,” he continues. “I wanted to bring together my ideas and skills to delight parents by gifting them the most priceless moments in the form of photographs. This, I believe, will continue to make the child happy when he or she grows up, and that makes me happier, because the prospect of my art being acknowledged will remain for a longer time.”
Dhruva is fascinated by how invariably people become happy when they see photographs of babies and young children, and that’s why he wants to continue to invest his time in getting more people’s attention towards this genre of photography.
When Dhruva wanted to execute some of his ideas, he wanted the perfect camera equipment, and that’s how he learned about Toehold. He tells us: “We are living in such exciting times of technology growth that today’s technology becomes obsolete tomorrow, and sometimes I wonder if hiring equipment is better than spending to possess them. I love how Toehold’s approach to renting out equipment is simple and deftly handled.”
When asked what it is about the newborn baby photo-shoots that keeps him going, he said: “The beauty of a newborn baby photoshoot is the genuineness of it. It isn’t like pre-wedding and post-wedding photo sessions that can be planned out whenever we want. You cannot regret not taking enough photos of your baby once it is all grown up. And this is why even the photos are as natural as they can be.”
Dhruva asserts that the results he achieves are best when he works on impulse, driven by the moment. He also appreciates how his profession helps him get to know more people and listen to their heart-warming stories, and how their compliments humble him and cajole him into pushing the horizons of his art form to explore more. He dreams of being known more as an artist than just a photographer, by giving his art more intangible evocative dimensions to stir the minds and hearts of people.
We wish that Dhruva enjoys every bit of that transformation.
(You can visit Dhruva’s blog here: www.dhruvakotagi.com/blog)