Dhruv Verma, a Engineer by name but a Photographer by passion is a person who got his photos featured in National Geographic Traveler India Magzine. He is a 2nd year student of Engineering in Manipal Institute of Technology. He is a photographer, MUNer, debater, trekker, mountaineer, squash player and engineer in the making.
He shared some of his stories with us. The intentions became clearer that he has the true passion for Photography.
1. What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?
I started photography in the 9th grade due to my mother’s brother, who is a brilliant photographer. So he had bought a DSLR and I decided to try and test it. Soon my parents bought me one and then there was no looking back, I was obsessed with it. So that’s how I started off and over the years I’ve gradually become better. The one form of photography that really intrigued me was astrophotography. I trek a lot so I constantly get to see the night sky lit up with stars. I tried capturing it and eventually got good at it, but I would not say I’m a ‘professional photographer’, I still have a long way to get there.
2. How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film, chip or paper in just the way you want?
To get something in a photograph the way I want it is by imagining what exactly I want in my picture before clicking it. I think of how the picture should look and form an image in my mind looking at the surroundings and then transfer that onto the camera trying to obtain a very similar if not the same image.
3. Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
The main photographers that influenced me and continue to do so are: Cory Richards (a NatGeo photographer), Nimit Nigam (another photographer featured in various magazines) and my mother’s brother, Gagan Verma. Each of these photographers excel in their own field. Cory Richards is a professional mountaineer and his passion for climbing and clicking inspires me. Nimit Nigam is a photographer based in Delhi, who has been featured in NatGeo, BBC Earth etc and is a brilliant astro-photographer. I aspire to reach his level and maybe beyond someday. Last but not the least Gagan Verma has been my biggest inspiration since the very start when I picked up a camera. He too has been featured by Nikon and has been on various trips with Nikon all over India.
You might also be interested in “How a DU Student Got Prestigious Dr. Kalam Award For His Social Work!“
4. Your photos got featured in National Geographic Traveler india Magazine, how do you feel?
When I found out my picture got featured I was elated. I had submitted it to NatGeo via email but never expected to get featured. When I was going through the magazine I just happened to see a familiar picture and then I realized it was my own picture and I was ecstatic. I was notified by NatGeo the next day after seeing the picture in the magazine so the entire thing was a surprise and it honestly felt too good to be true. It had always been my dream to get featured in NatGeo and well I did.
5. For what reason your pictures got featured in National Geographic? From where it all started?
NatGeoTraveller India had this photography competition in association with Travel Uttarakhand which had popped up on my newsfeed. So when I saw this I read up the details and sent in a picture. 25 pictures were shortlisted out of 18000 entries and mine was one of them and hence it got featured in the magazine.
6. Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
What I really want to do with my pictures is make memories. I don’t just click pictures to show people where I have been and all that, I click so I can conserve the moment in reality. So when I show people that they can see a part of my memory in front of them. Apart from this I love travelling and have traveled a lot in India. So through my pictures I wish to express the unseen beauty of India to which most people are oblivious.
7. How was your experience on travelling where you took the pictures? What was that feeling?
Travelling is one of my favorite things. I absolutely love it especially in the mountains. Snow, ice and high altitude the recipe for thrill is what makes me return to the mountains every year. So when I took this picture I was in Uttarakhand at this place called Auli in December. Winters in the mountains are very harsh and the wind makes it even worse. When I had taken the picture the temperature was -12C. So least to say it was not the most comfortable place to take pictures but the outcome and the sheer beauty of the moment made it all worth it.
8. What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
What truly inspires me to take pictures is the beauty of nature and everything around me. As I said I love capturing memories and that ability to do so is what fuels my passion.
9. Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?
Weather can be very unpredictable especially in the mountains and it can easily ruin a trip. Hence before going anywhere I thoroughly do research about the best time to visit and make sure I check the tentative weather before actually going. Hence I check these factors and plan my trips accordingly to ensure I can get enough pictures.
10.Would you like to continue sending your pictures to National Geographic?
Yes I will continue to send pictures to Nat Geo and will hopefully get featured again.
Ultimately “You don’t take a photograph, You make it”
Also published on Medium.