Bhasmang Mehta is an Indian industrialist turned professional wildlife photographer based in North Carolina, USA. He runs a wildlife tour agency in India and USA, where he specializes in personalized wildlife tours in India and South America…!!!
1) Different people want different things out of their lives, so balance means different things to different people. What does this mean to you?
Back when my passion was not my profession, balance to me meant doing justice to both. However, now luckily my passion is my job, so I don’t have to worry about keeping a balance anymore!!!
2) What is one thing you wish you had known when you started taking pictures?
I would definitely say, more knowledge of animal behavior. Having a good knowledge of animal behavior is one of the keys to success in wildlife photography. However, it takes many trips to the forests to master this.
3) How did you get good at wildlife photography?
There are 4 main pillars of wildlife photography. Passion, patience, perseverance and practice. All these 4 qualities are essential to become a complete wildlife photographer. My journey started with a passion for wildlife. I started visiting various national parks and spent countless hours observing and photographing wildlife, which takes a lot of patience. It rarely happens that you get that perfect shot on your first attempt, so to get that perfect composition I had to visit the jungles more often, which is when persistence kicked in. And finally and above all, the more you practice, the better you become as a photographer. So all these 4 factors made me evolve as a photographer.
4) What gears do you use and recommend?
Well, I believe “the best gear is what you can afford”. You can start with the gears you have and then upgrade them. My journey started with Nikon, and in those 20 years I changed a lot of camera bodies and lenses, but the brand stayed the same.
5) Other than the camera and lens, what essential items do you take along for your shots?
Extra memory cards, binoculars, beanbags and tripods are always there with me on all my travels.
6) What does your workflow look like?
For me, it’s like visiting various national parks, exploring and tracking big game, photographing them. And when I get back to the hotel, I’ll review the photos I’ve taken, I’ll delete the photos I don’t like right away. Whether it’s because of the composition or anything else. Then I will select the best photos and store them in a separate folder to process after this trip is over.
7) What work influenced you the most?
There are a lot to be honest with you. Thomas Vijayan, Shaaz Jung, Russ MacLaughlin and Shannon to name a few.
8) What advice would you give to young aspirants in the field of wildlife photography?
a) Patience is the key:
The most important thing about being a wildlife photographer is to be patient. It’s persistence that counts. There will be times when you get the best shot on the first safari visit and there will be times when you might not get the perfect shot even after 10 visits. Either way, remember never to be disappointed.
b) Explore wildlife to the fullest:
As a wildlife photographer, you should enjoy the whole process of exploring the forest. Don’t just explore the forest and wild creatures, but also be mesmerized by appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature. That said, don’t exploit nature on your trip. The best way to get to know wildlife is to get out and spend time with these creatures. Animals need the utmost love, just like humans.
c) Do it with all your love:
It is very important for a wildlife photographer to be a wildlife lover first. Don’t enter this field if you’re drawn to the glamour, name and fame that comes with being a wildlife photographer. Be passionate about your work, make wildlife a part of your life, and get out there to take some amazing photos in the forests with the necessary precautions.
d) Never destroy the habitat of animals:
One of the important tips for all wildlife photographers is to not become selfish for your own good. Don’t disturb or hurt the animals to get your perfect shot. Just as you stay peacefully at home, let animals stay peacefully at home. Also, don’t scare the animals by invading their comfort zone.
9) How to choose animal photography as a profession?
If I’m talking about India, if you have to live just selling your wildlife photography, it’s pretty hard to do that right now. Most of today’s professional wildlife photographers had a job or business before getting into professional wildlife photography. So I would say take it one step at a time, learn the intricacies of wildlife photography and keep it as a passion while you do your job or work as a profession. And once you feel you now have that expertise and financial stability to survive in the wildlife photography business, take the plunge. It is difficult but NOT IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle reporter was involved in the creation of this content. The group also declines all responsibility for this content.