Why Did 26-Year Old Apeksha Agarwal Leave Her Comfortable Corporate Life?

This photographer who calls herself a kathakaar has photographed talent ranging from models to musicians to film actors


Have you ever thought about leaving your regular day job and doing something that interests you? Ever thought about leaving the corporate world and becoming a photographer maybe? If yes, the story of 26 year old Apeksha Agarwal is something that will truly inspire you.

Instead of calling herself a photographer, Apeksha loves to call herself a kathakaar. Rather than using words or music, she uses various forms of light, colour and shadow to tell her stories. And just at 26 years of age, she has already worked across several continents and in different parts of the globe, with renowned and popular names.

I’d like to believe that there was always an artistic edge to my personality, but we grew up being molded into what society perceives to be acceptable and unacceptable. I always had a keen inclination towards art since childhood, but only decided to pursue it later in life. While I was doing my undergrad in London, I saw my inclination towards photography and decided if I ever get an opportunity I would dwell deeper into it. After my undergrad, I came back to India and got in the corporate world, but my interest was only in photography. So I applied for a photography course at the New York Film Academy.

While there, I met a master in this field, whose work I had always admired, Ash Gupta, and after graduating from photography school, I got a chance to show off my skills at his studio.

Interested In Becoming A Photographer? These Tips From Apeksha Can Help

Apeksha Agarwal at one of her shootsCirculating and collaborating is a very early stage process in the career, and in this time and day, having a great website and constant content on your social media is a great way to showcase your work and gain traction. There are so many online publications who are always looking to feature new work, and Instagram is also a great platform to submit your work! Direct messaging is also the new emailing for sure!

There Will Be Challenges, So Be Prepared

A portrait of Plabita Borthakur by Apeksha AgarwalA career in photography is not easy, says Apeksha. You definitely need to have patience and perseverance, and also have the strength to tolerate the rejection that is there everywhere, especially when you are young and new.

Also, being at the right place at the right time, or every place at every time, basically networking, is key. You have to get out there and push yourself to talk to people, ask to collaborate, ask for help and shoot every chance you can get. Any conversation could be the link that gets you your next big project. Purposefully immersing yourself among artists and staying in a constant state of learning will keep your mind open and ready to navigate new situations.

While There Have Been Many Challenges And Memorable Experiences, Apeksha Shares Some

A portrait of Isabella Kaif by Apeksha Agarwal
A portrait of Isabella Kaif by Apeksha Agarwal

We had the opportunity to shoot the famous photographer Tyler Shields as our subject. We actually suffocated him in a plastic wrap for a shot after he told us he could hold his breath for over 4 minutes! We didn’t let him do that though, and he was disappointed he couldn’t show off his skills because we were too afraid we would have a dead artist on our hands.

As far as the challenges go, it is challenging when you trust other team members to take responsibilities and if they fail, the rest of the team has to pick that up.

My most important advice is one that I am copying from my studio manager in LA – “Shut up and Shoot!”

Well, if you’re looking to make your mark in the world of photography, Apeksha Agarwal’s story can definitely inspire you to work at it and make your name.

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