Capture the moment: Talking to Nepali origin photographers based in Australia

  • January 22, 2020

Image: Group of Nepali women join hands during celebration of Teej. Prakash KC/Melbourne Photo Project, Facebook

Prativa Shrestha

“Capturing a moment” is one of the best arts a person can master. Photography may seem glamorous and lucrative, but people who are genuinely invested in photography know the real deal of getting noticed and finding clients in the initial phase.

Nepalese Voice interviewed three Nepali photographers based in Australia, Prakash KC, Jeewan Rasaili and Abhinaya Ghimire to learn about the feasibility of photography as a profession for Nepali students in Australia. They also shared some tips for aspiring photographers based in the land Down Under.

Prakash KC who has established himself as Melbourne Photo Project is a Melbourne based event photographer. KC started off his career with a humble photo studio in 2003 in Nepal. After that he went to the renowned ‘Pathshala South Asian Media Academy’ in Dhaka to study photojournalism in 2009 which boosted his career.

However, after landing in Australia in 2014, KC had to do odd jobs like any other Nepali students to pay his bills. It was difficult for him to pursue what he was passionate about. However, after covering small events here and there, KC successfully resumed his photography career. As of now, his photography career keeps him so occupied; he has a difficult time maintaining time for his family.

Student life brings a lot of struggle, especially when you must support yourself in a foreign land and you are trying to follow your dream. But according to KC, this is the time to build network and sharpen your skill. He advices, “You don’t have to start with a big project, practice at your friend’s birthday or any family events”. “Nowadays, photography is social media based, so if you share your work in social media platform you will get exposure”, he emphasizes.

Photographer/Videographer Jeewan Rashaili
Photographer/Videographer Jeewan Rashaili

Jeewan Rasaili, a freelance videographer and photographer, is a popular name among the Melbournian South Asian community. When he arrived in Australia, he already had a decade long experience of cinematography in the Nepali entertainment industry. With his experience and no restrictions towards working hours, Rasaili was able to make it through.

Talking to Nepalese Voice, Rasaili remarks upon his earlier difficulties, “photography is an expensive profession, earlier I used to struggle while purchasing new equipment”. Currently, Rasaili has his hands and calendar full juggling time between directing music videos and covering events.

Rasaili expresses, “It is extremely difficult for students to buy expensive equipment which gets updated every year”. “This profession may look easy to do, but it requires hours of post-production work which learners need to understand”, Rasaili says.

“Continuity is the key and meeting clients’ expectation plays big role”, meanwhile he reminds “you need to understand that it is an art form, so be creative. Post your photos in photography related pages, post in Instagram, you never know you might get client from there”, Rasaili advises.

Photographer Abhinaya Ghimire
Photographer Abhinaya Ghimire

Abhinaya Ghimire, a media graduate of Kathmandu University, came to Sydney in 2017 for higher studies. Ghimire was a freelancer in Nepal, his projects included wedding photography, videography, and was also involved in photojournalism and assisted in cinematography.

His passion for photography did not fade away even after moving to a completely different country where he had little to no network of people. He struggled to pay his fees and bills, but he invested his time in looking for freelancing projects by developing networks in Sydney. Ultimately, he started to find projects in night clubs, cruise, and different events as well.

However, according to Ghimire, photography alone cannot pay his bills. Ghimire emphasizes, “Photography is my priority, I have to polish my skills, otherwise I will lag in the competitive market”. He adds, “Despite the entire struggle, this is what I love to do, and I know, the work I am doing at present will build my portfolio.”

With an increased number of concerts, family events and social events being organised within the Nepali community, it has fostered a greater scope for Nepali photographers.

Rasaili, KC and Ghimire had a uniform voice on not limiting the client base. Australia is a multicultural country with unlimited opportunities to explore with. Therefore, going multicultural certainly expands your horizon.

There is a high competition among Nepali photographers in Australia. Nevertheless, it would be quite impressive if Nepali photographers prove to be a competition in Australian market with your talent.