She has shot countless photographs in the span of her career till date as a wedding photographer, she has travelled to locales around the world, and she makes money pursuing what she really loves! Richa Kashelkar, a wedding, architecture and portrait photographer, as well as an illustrator based out of Goa is currently living the life that most of us only dream of.
We caught up with Richa to learn more about life, work, and happiness.
1) Tell us about yourself. How did you start with this unconventionally cool career?
I have always been inclined towards my creative side ever since I was a kid. I chose to study architecture (well designed spaces are still my love), and it was only towards the end of my college years that I was toying with my phone’s new and shiny VGA camera and accidentally discovered I liked clicking photos!
I finished architecture and worked at a firm for a few months before realising I enjoy taking photos more. Or, you could say I just didn’t want to be in an office, haha! I was 23 at this time, living with my parents, and with no responsibilities in the world. So in that sense it was very easy for me to just give photography one shot.
Social media spread my pictures around, and fate had it that wedding photography in store for me. I didn’t even know wedding photography was an option back then. I only knew I liked documentary photography, and weddings seemed the most natural choice after a point!
2) If given a choice out of the 4 photography fields you specialise in (weddings, couple shoots, portraits and architecture), which one are you most inclined towards and why?
I enjoy shooting moments as they are happening more than staged shots. This is the primary reason I choose weddings over editorial shoots. I also like casual portraits where I’m involved in a conversation with the subject, so that I have to catch the moods and expressions of that person as it occurs.
3) Storytelling and narrative are at the heart of what you do. In your opinion, what are some of the most important ingredients that go into making a successful visual narrative?
I believe that regardless of the platform – whether architecture or photography or paintings – what is most important is for there to be a core idea. That idea can be the simple appreciation of beauty, like in a well lit portrait, or an intricate concept where multiple things are happening in a space, but there should be a core idea. A reason why you are showing what you are showing. Without it, any narrative feels hollow.
4) Tell us a little about your illustrations that capture snippets of scenes from Goa, your home, and your life.
Our evening strolls through the Binsar sanctuary. Not a soul in sight, and only magical views of valleys and peaks and trees in full bloom, and a forest floor carpeted with tiny, dried leaves. . . . #note8 #autodesksketchbook #illustrationoftheday #illustratorsoninstagram #illustratorsofinstagram #autodesksketchbook #gouache #gouacheillustration #digitalart #illustrationartists #womenwithpencils #womenwhodraw #illustratorsofindia
Hah, I’m so surprised to see this question! I have only recently started trying my hand at Illustrations, after years and years of procrastination.
I have always been interested in drawing, and when I finally got around to doing it, I was overwhelmed by the limitless options you have in front of you. You can literally paint anything!
And yet, as I started doing more and more of these, I realised I was automatically inching towards showing the kind of life that I love. It happened without much forceful thought, but plants and animals and love and beauty, and a generally laid back life became an integral part of my drawings.
To me, illustrations are a way to express that which I am unable to do through photos.
5) Any upcoming projects we should keep an eye out for?
There is a temple wedding coming up that I’m kicked about, but apart from that, more illustrations if everything goes well! I am planning to open a print store once I get confident enough.
Written by Aishwarya Menon
All images credit: Richa Kashelkar