Being a photographer takes a lot more than owning a camera and pointing it at pretty things. Indra discovered this when she got into photography for the first time during a trip to New York when she was a lot younger. A little later, she started taking portraits of friends and family and became fascinated with capturing the essence of a moment. Now she shoots around 25 weddings a year and for two years in a row has been in the top 10 of the worldwide Wedding Photo Journalist Association (WPJA) ranking! Enough reasons to get to know this avid photographer who’s also active on Gearbooker!
This is Indra, a full-time professional photographer from Enschede in the Netherlands. Indra specializes in commercial, event, wedding and portrait photography. Before becoming a photographer full-time, she was also a web designer. For the last 10 to 12 years, wedding photography has been her main business and passion.
“My mantra is to not only capture moments but make the moments really stand out. As a photographer – you never really stop learning and growing”.
A trip to New York that changed everything
Even though her father was a photographer for his whole life, the interest in photography for Indra only began during her trip to New York more than 25 years ago. “If you go to New York, you have to take pictures. It is a once in a lifetime experience”, I was convinced about that”. Her father had tried to explain to her many times before how the camera works, yet she was never really interested in it. Before the trip she decided to borrow her father’s analogue Pentax camera. “Of course nobody can explain how every setting in a camera works and what it does in one night, but my father did his best and I got some pretty okay pictures. Once I got back, I started to take some classes in photography”.
Indra realized that, as a photography subject, she really enjoys portraying people. “I think it is the most difficult thing to do mostly because you have to learn how to take pictures to make the subjects not only look good but also feel comfortable. To me, that was the biggest challenge”.
When she was still building websites as a job, her clients often asked her to do the photography for the website as well. Eventually, Indra’s interest in web-design got less and less, while her interest in photography only grew: “then one day I decided to start going full-time as a photographer and now I’ve completely left web-design.”
Wedding photography was not something that Indra wanted to do right away. “I wanted to give that a shot once I was comfortable enough with my equipment. Getting familiar with the camera’s settings for each situation to achieve the result I wanted especially when shooting a wedding”. Indra admits that it was a rather difficult learning process. “Around fifteen years ago, there were not so many specialised photography classes or courses, so I had to figure it all out on my own”.
An acquaintance of Indra asked her to photograph her wedding. “Which was my very first wedding reportage that I did, and it even was with still an analogue camera. That was the moment I really felt I like shooting weddings”. Soon after that she purchased her first digital camera from Canon and has been a loyal user of the brand ever since.
Over the past twelve years, Indra has photographed a total of around two hundred fifty weddings. Currently she is working on a sort of a curated collection of all the pictures she has taken throughout the years. Her photography style has not changed a lot over the years. “However at first, I was just blindly chasing moments. But you can do so much more in making the picture really stand out when you know the rules of composition and using light. This improved my photography so much”. This is also something at the core of photojournalism – a good picture is one that shows in one single blink what the moment was all about, but did not disturb the moment itself.
“You just capture it as it happens. And everything in the picture complements each other and emphasizes the moment”.
Throughout the years, Indra has participated in many wedding photography contests and her main motivation has been to see where she stands in terms of her photography skills. “When you then win a prize it’s really an acknowledgment that you are on the right path. That you’re good at what you are doing”.
Learning how to photograph is not always as easy as one might think – having a good camera is not necessarily the only thing that matters. “When I started to learn how composition and light can make a picture so much better, I realized that by keeping these things in mind it’s a lot easier to be a good photographer. Equipment is less important in this story”. That is what made Indra decide to give photography workshops to share her knowledge and skills.
Indra provides a variety of workshops for small groups amongst others about wedding photojournalism. She even has a workshop on how to photograph better with your smartphone. “I try to inspire people to see things in a different way, and I really like it when their eyes are being opened to these new perspectives.”
Want to find out more about the workshops? Make sure to check out her website for more information!
Gearbooker allowing you to create
“Where I live, the only possible way of getting gear fast is through Gearbooker. It is really a lifesaver in such situations!”.
The city where Indra lives is quite far away from everything. “This means there are pretty few photography supply stores nearby, and even there you cannot rent everything. Here the only possible way of getting gear fast is through Gearbooker.”
Also for cases when people are trying to figure out which camera would work best for them, I always suggest renting one and see for themselves whether it is something they like before actually purchasing it”. Indra can certainly recommend Gearbooker to photographers who don’t have (all) the necessary equipment for an assigment or who can use some backup material for that one time job: “Gearbooker is really a lifesaver in such situations!”.
Another big advantage of Gearbooker is the way it allows people to fulfill their creative passions without spending large amounts of money on gear. “I’ve supervised some students from the local photography schools here in Enschede. And it is really great that those students who do not have the best equipment, now have access to it by renting it on Gearbooker!”.
Indra’s advice for aspiring photographers
“When I started, the market was not as oversaturated as it is now. Yet, I think there are still opportunities for those who really go for it and try to analyse well how to use their strengths optimally”. If you are thinking of getting into professional photography or simply want to learn about wedding photojournalism, Indra has two pieces of advice for you:
- Find your own voice. – Don’t do the same as everyone else is doing. Try to find your own approach and just practice over and over again.
- Don’t work for free for too long. – Try to ask at least a bit of money for your services. Of course, it’s okay – when you begin – to do stuff for free to build your portfolio. However, make sure you don’t continue doing photography for free for the long run. Do things you want to do and shoot in a way that really shows your artistic vision.