Student photographer begins own business

With the increased quality on smart phones and the abundance of photo editing software, everyone and their grandmother can be self-proclaimed photographers. With just a few easy point and clicks on a touch screen, people can be tricked into thinking that they’re photography masterminds. Luckily, there are people who take the art seriously and have worked hard to master the camera. Second-year BBA student Gunjan Marwah is one of those people.

“It just kind of happened,” said Marwah when asked how she got into photography. “I think I realized somewhere along the road that I see the world in a different way and it really is about how I see it through my lens.”

That road started right here in Waterloo when Marwah was in grade 12 at Waterloo Collegiate Institute. A teacher had informed Marwah about a summer program offered by the Ministry of Ontario and her interest was piqued. This program, funded by the ministry gives select students start-up money to kick-off a new summer business as well as advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running.

“It turned out the deadline was the day I applied. So I put together a business plan and there came GM Photography. I got the program interview call the next day, got a $3,000 grant, and started it up,” she continued.

GM Photography is something Murwah started from the ground up. The company offers photography services for basically any photoshoot or public event.
Even though she knows the company is still in the starting stages, Marwah has personally shot birthday parties, baby showers and the like. The shoots can be tiresome and long, requiring extensive tripod work or intricate light placements. On the other hand, shoots can be short and sweet if the perfect pictures are captured right off the bat. Either way, Marwah knows that in order to make it in photography, you’ve got to be flexible.

However, even though her passion for the art comes free, the equipment doesn’t. As we all know, cameras can be expensive—especially the good ones. The way Marwah sees it, there’s variables based on the type of photographer you are.

“It depends on the photographer’s passion and style. Some focus on composition, so they shoot with anything from a cell phone to a 5D Mark III,” says Marwah passionately. The latter, believe it or not, costs upwards of around $3,000 dollars, not to mention the lenses.

“I’m at my second DSLR now and I also have a film camera from the ‘80s, but most of my investment goes into lenses. The reason for that is that each one gives a whole different style of image,” she added.

All in all, it can be an expensive hobby no matter which way you slice it, but in Marwah’s case, it’s not about the money it’s about the experience. Marwah has been all over the world shooting different locations, people, times and everything in between.

“Landscapes and architecture are my favourite to shoot. I just love traveling but I see it all in a different way,” she said.

Murwah plans to keep up the hobby she holds so dear while still trying to graduate from BBA and maintaining her other extra circulars. When asked what it takes to manage her time for photography, her answer was simple: “Passion. That’s it.”

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