We meet Ravi Kaushik who talks to us about his photography venture with his wife Manvi Gandotra and the excitement of living life as they say, ‘following a true passion’. It has its share of challenges, but the rewards are a personal treasure. We talk about their brainchild 1plus1 Studio.
Background: Both Ravi and Manvi are photographers by passion and continue to enjoy success in their professional pursuits within the corporate sector. Ravi began his journey as a photographer with a popular blog (Noisy Pilgrims) and after an MBA decided to make this his full time quest. Manvi is also a fashion designer with another great blog filled with all the latest tips and news in the space.
STW: We’re always excited to talk to people who ‘lives to work’ versus ‘works to live’, you know those who follow a passion. Tell us about the genesis of 1plus1 Studio. How did your professional/personal paths bring you to this point?
RK: Both Manvi (my wife) and me have been pursuing photography as a hobby for years. Infact you could say that’s what brought us together. After my MBA and a one year stint at Amazon I wanted to pursue something creative and further wanted to run my own business. Also making a direct impact on the lives of people at their most special moment was also an enticing prospect and that gave birth to 1plus1 Studio.
STW: Clearly you and your wife take beautiful pictures. How does someone go from enthusiast to professional, and be taken seriously as well? What with so many folks brandishing a camera.
RK: There are a couple of ways to do that. Experience is one way. Working with established photographers is another.We chose the former. Just do it year after year till you establish a reputation and work starts flowing in. After that you have to let the work speak for itself. Thats the formula we follow and it’s working out great.
STW: You have particularly chosen to shoot weddings. Is this a business opportunity driven decision or a quest for vibrant subjects to photograph? 🙂 Obviously both matter.
RK: Both really, we shoot couples, birds, streets and fashion. 1plus1 Studio represents the wedding photography side of our interest, we are pursiuing our other interests via noisypilgrims.com and styleinked.com .
NoisyPilgrims.com is a group photoblog with a whole bunch of really cool photographers spread over India with a diverse set of styles and worldviews. You can see pics of rare birds, the streets of Jaipur, sunsets over San Fransisco and so much more.
Styleinked.com is Manvi’s fashion blog where she reviews products, gives style tips and writes DIY tutorials. She’s collaborated with Tanishq and Lee recently and I do the photography for her.
STW: What does it take to be an entrepreneur in this space? How would you describe your journey so far?
RK: It takes a lot of patience. A reputation is a hard thing to build. We realise we have the responsibility of covering an important milestone in their lives in a special way. We’ve done a good job so far and the clients have been really happy. Nothing feels better than a skeptical father who didn’t see why anyone needs a candid photographer later sharing our pics on Facebook. 🙂
STW: What have been your most memorable shots since beginning 1plus1 Studio? Tell us about some interesting adventures for a great shot!
RK: Recently we covered a wedding in Jim Corbett, we got the couple to do a shoot on the banks of the Ram Ganga river where these bright white pebble like stones were scattered. We got a very surreal feel to those pics and also had a blast being so close to nature while shooting.
STW: Your life partner is also your work partner. That’s possibly a really good thing for work-life balance 🙂 What would you say makes you work as team? And does that help get a better shot 😉
RK: It is so much fun working with Manvi, she’s real good at making shy retreating brides open up. We are great as a team. We cover the wedding from two perspectives and from two completely different approaches that reflects in our work. Clients appreciate this. We also get to travel to new places and explore the world together. It’s been a blast. 🙂 Recently, after a shoot in Lucknow we took out a day just to roam the old bazaars and taste it’s sinful streetfood.
STW: Future plans for your studio and a glimpse into the road ahead? Where are you headed next?
RK: We want to do more weddings pan India and establish 1plus1 Studio as an exceptional premium service for couples in love who wanted to capture that.
STW: For those interested in this line of work, what are the various avenues you recommend within photography? Does this vary based on where in the world you are?
RK: India is a great place for photographers these days. There are a lot of publications starting up here and whether you are a fashion, wildlife or food photographer, there is enough work to go around. Keep your eyes open and keep at it.
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