Richa Maheshwari, a photographer, shares more about her passion and how she has been teaching the art to the visually-challenged at National Association for the Blind
Travel addict, TEDx speaker, award-winning photographer and entrepreneur, Richa Maheshwari wears many hats with equal ease. Talking to this talented youngster, we find out more about her love for photography and how she is teaching the skill to visually-impaired children in Delhi.
A photographer with a penchant for fitness, Maheshwari also holds the Limca Book of Records in the fitness category for maximum burpees in one minute.
She began her artistic journey seven years ago while still in college. Her vision of RichaMaheshwari Films & Photography started with a creative dream while she was still studying Fashion Communication at the prestigious National Institute of Fashion & Technology (NIFT), New Delhi. “While most of my classmates worked to pursue coveted careers in graphic design or visual merchandising, I experimented with photography armed with my trusted companion — my DSLR Nikon D60,” says Maheshwari adding that it was then that a professor noticed her strength in communicating art and design through this medium, and encouraged her to hone this natural talent.
After taking up freelance opportunities and spending many sleepless nights researching and understanding the equipment, photography turned into a full-fledged vocation. For her, photography is a perfect creative escape. “It helps me translate my ideas and thoughts into reality and enables me to express my idea and story. Photography was a skill that came to me naturally, so I embraced it,” she says.
Photography has helped her channelise her thought process into imagery. “I picturise almost every sentence, situation or expression which helps me to be creative and also brings about the work-life balance,” she says. However, photography, like any other profession, is challenging and is a male-dominated industry. Has that dissuaded Maheshwari from pursuing it? No. “I do not let my morale and spirits go down just by knowing the fact that I am in a male-dominated industry. Instead, I focus on how I can better myself and be competitive enough to face these challenges while moving forward in the race,” she says.
Besides skills, one needs to be physically fit to pursue photography. “The strenuous outdoor shoots and even the indoor ones require you to be on your heels and lift heavy equipment for which you need stamina and fitness,” says she adding that it is one of the perks of the job.
But her aim is not to just capture photographs, but to touch souls and hearts. “Having achieved all this, I think it’s my responsibility to give back to society in whatever way I can, in my case I have been volunteering at the SPCA Noida shelter and have been teaching photography to the visually-challenged at National Association for the Blind (NAB), New Delhi.”
She has been associated with NAB for a long time now it because of which it always pushed her to do something for the benefit of the kids there. “The kids at NAB have been a source of inspiration for me at various levels — the way they lead their lives without complaining, the zest to learn new things and negating the impossible, taking up their daily struggles with a smile. I wanted to be a part of their growth, even if I could be of any use to them or extend any service which could empower them,” she says.
Teaching photography to visually-impaired kids is beyond imagination. However, Maheshwari decided to teach the children the basics of photography. “To begin with, I got Nikon point-and-shoot cameras sponsored for them, which was handy and did not require a great deal of settings and the kids picked up the rules and basics really quick. It’s been almost a year now and it is mind-boggling to watch their work, the finesse with which they follow the rules and the perfection of framing,” concludes Maheshwari.