Indian born photographer Jassi Oberai has been a professional photographer for 10 years. But it was almost as if he “bumped into photography” by accident. But when he did, it caught hold of him and never left. He says “during one of my corporate tours, I bumped into a gentleman doing wildlife photography. I just walked up to him, asked some silly questions and that 5-minute session inspired me enough to come back and buy my first DSLR. Strange but true”.
From that point, Jassi was hooked and he started photographing daily. Gradually he started making inroads in the already crowded field of photography and started getting exposure and recognition for his work. At some point in between all of this, he started taking assignments as well. But his first major step in his photography journey was when he decided to go full time into photography education and became a Photography Mentor. Nowadays, as well as his own photography, Jassi now also leads photo workshops and tours for photographers of all levels through his company Xploring Light.
From capturing brilliant landscapes, shooting portraiture and various other genres Jassi does it all effortlessly with his great use of colors in everything that he shoots. In his own words, “colors can give a whole new look to something rather mundane or something we are used to. To me, that’s what I like the most about photography- looking at the world in new ways”.
Jassi, where are you from?
I am from Delhi, India.
Where do you currently live?
I currently live in Delhi.
What genre of photography do you specialise in?
I specialise in landscape, travel, culture, portraits and fashion photography.
Describe your style of photography?
I aim to shoot simple and easy shots. I do not understand complicated compositions and that is how I am trying to create my own niche.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working towards living my passion which is to reach out to as many students of photography as possible and helping them realize their own photography dream.
What is your next project or assignment?
I am headed to Ladakh with a bunch of passionate photographers to explore and photograph the stunning terrain together.
Are there any photographers whose work/style you admire?
I seek inspiration from everyone including beginners. I believe there is something new to learn all the time and you should seek inspiration from everyone.
What is your favourite memory of your experiences?
It was while I was in my initial days of learning that I met a very senior photographer and showed him my best images (the ones that I thought were best at that point of time). All he had to say me was that I would not become a good photographer. That really hurt me but it was also the day I decided to up my resolve to prove him wrong. It’s my favourite memory in my journey because had he not ridiculed my work, I might not have pushed harder.
What’s the biggest photographic challenge you overcame?
My inhibitions of holding the camera in public places whilst doing travel photography.
What’s in your camera bag?
Lumix S1, 16-35mm lens, 70-200mm lens, NiSi ND Filter Kit, Intervelometer, Sirui Tripod.
What photographic equipment would you never leave home without?
I always have my camera with me.
What advice you would give anyone who is starting out?
Give yourself enough time for photography and do not be in a hurry. There is no such thing as instant gratification. Also, understand the difference between a social media influencer and a good photographer.
Any pitfalls they should avoid?
Getting into the social media rut. It is an extremely powerful tool and the key word here is a “tool”. Do not make it rule your life.
Lastly… if you weren’t a photographer what would you be doing?
I was already working in a corporate sector and probably would have continued in that boring job reporting to some uninspiring person people call a “boss”.
To see more of Jassi’s work visit his website.
All images by Jassi Oberai. All rights reserved. No usage anywhere online or in print without permission.
Interview by Kav Dadfar.