Posted by Shruti Srivastava
Anuradha Marwah is a former IT Marketing professional. She left behind the corporate world in order to pursue a life in wildlife photography. She travels to various wilderness locations in the country and has had accomplished various accoladed in her career. For more insight on her wildlife and conservation-based works, she can be followed on Instagram and Twitter.
Shruti Srivastava: Which was the first camera that you held in your hand?
Anuradha Marwah: The first ever camera I had was a Yashica film camera when I was in school, and always enjoyed taking pictures.
SS: If it was a film camera then do you ever miss film cameras?
AM: I think I was too young to realize what I was doing with the camera to make the comparison. I seriously started approaching the subject of photography about 10 years ago and that was with a digital camera, which certainly has its advantages.
SS: What challenges do you face as a female photographer and a female wildlife photographer in India?
AM: Generally, the industry has been dominated by men, but numerous women have been making their presence felt in this arena and their numbers are fast growing. Fortunately, till date, I haven’t been in a situation which I would relate to a challenge of being a woman. The subjects and the camera are gender neutral.
SS: How has wildlife photography changed from when you started?
AM: One noticeable change is the number of women and young kids who now actively pursue wildlife photography. Another change is the move from shooting conventional wildlife images to creative wildlife/nature photography, there is more creativity involved, more emphasis on conservation photography and imagery which tells a story.
SS: Recently, a picture with an elephant calf ablaze, fleeing a mob, won the Sanctuary Nature Foundation’s best wildlife photography award. What are your views on the human-animal conflict in India? Do you think there is any solution to the problem?
AM: Yes it was a heart-wrenching image which depicted the plight of wildlife. Kudos to the photographer for bringing this to the forefront. Human-Animal conflict exists wherever humans and animals share the same space and India is no exception. Conservation photography is a strong tool which helps highlight such issues to a larger audience and inspire action to mitigate conflicts.
Every problem has a solution, all it takes is for people to be educated and made aware, policies which protect the interest of both wildlife and humans and in some cases stricter laws and their implementation.
SS: If it was any different then how has been your experience of working in Africa and other places different to working in India?
AM: Nature itself is so amazing and diverse, it would be unfair to compare between locations, and every place has its own challenges and advantages.
SS: Parents in India are still not very supportive of their children pursuing any form of art. What do you have to say to such parents?
AM: I think this has been steadily changing. I come across many young schools and college kids pursuing photography. I would advise the young generation to pursue both academics and their chosen art form or sport with equal vigour and urge parents to support their kids in this.
SS: Are conducting workshops in cities like Lucknow and Guwahati different from conducting them at places like Delhi and Mumbai?
AM: No doubt the metro cities do offer more opportunities for people, but the enthusiasm and the willingness to learn is the same everywhere.
SS: How was your experience at the Canon iClick workshop at Lucknow? What are the types of photography women in Lucknow are interested in?
AM: I have enjoyed conducting the Canon iclick workshops, over the last few months in Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar, Guwahati and now Lucknow. It’s great to see so many women interested in photography. I have come across many young ladies who want to pursue challenging fields of photojournalism, wildlife and documentary photography.
In Lucknow too, I was amazed at the number of women who were keen on nature and wildlife. I also had the opportunity to see some of their work and was really impressed. I urge them to keep up the passion and keep learning.
Shruti Srivastava is a Lucknow based freelance writer. She blogs at shrutilekh.wordpress.com
All images courtesy Anu Marwah Facebook page.