The Inspiring Story of the Blind Photographer Who Shot an Ad Campaign with Katrina Kaif

Note: The article has been taken from Better India.

Why is it so amazing to not have any limits or doubts?

This profound quote by Aaliya Kamal, the blind photographer grappling with her artistic expression in the film Ship of Theseus, immediately comes to mind when you come across the work of Bhavesh Patel. Bhavesh is a visually impaired photographer who has shot one of the biggest ad campaigns in the country, starring Katrina Kaif.

An inspiration to many, Bhavesh is neither limited nor intimidated by his lack of sight. Photography, for him, is his passion, his artistic expression. A recent report by Bayside Journal gives us a glimpse into the mind of this talented artist.

In the interview, Bhavesh opens up about his creative process while working on the Lux photo shoot. “I shot those images while interpreting the sound of the fabric Katrina wore as well as certain machine-generated sounds that helped me interpret her movements. I was nervous before the shoot because I wasn’t too sure what I was about to come across but as soon as the shoot started, it went off pretty smoothly because there was no pressure to click pictures within the frame.”

For Bhavesh it all began in school, when his brother would encourage him to paint and help him by describing the things around. Bhavesh, however, wasn’t so confident about capturing moments himself. Not until he gained admission in St. Xavier’s College and met his mentor Partho Bhowmick, who specializes in teaching photography to the visually impaired. Soon, he went on to participate in the ‘Blind with Camera’ project.

Bhavesh, who had always wished to be unique, explains why he chose photography as his profession in a behind the scenes video from the Lux photo shoot. “I like photography for the very reason that, as a visually impaired person, nobody expects us to choose something that needs sight as the basic pre-requisite. That’s what makes me unique and that’s why I like being a photographer.”

Currently working with Barrier Break, he sees photography as his way of artistic expression. “I see photography as an art and I will perceive it that way. Professionally, there are many layers to it and it is a huge concept. The role of the photographer is to show society the real ‘picture’ and mirror the current situation. So, instead of sympathising with blind photographers, people should empathise with us. This would help people with disabilities feel encouraged to take it up and flourish in what they do.”

Now a confident professional with a passion for his work, Bhavesh gives credit to his mentor Bhowmick. Praising ‘Blind with Camera’ for providing a platform to blind photographers like himself, Patel says that they take the pressure away from the art and make the profession a passion. “There are a lot of blind folks that hesitate to come forward and experiment. He (Bhowmick) has provoked our minds to think differently and generate ideas and to explore the art to its highest level,” says Bhavesh.

There are many who hesitate to follow their passion because they doubt their own abilities. There are others who are afraid to take the plunge.

For all those reluctant minds, Patel has only one question: “How will you know how good or bad you are at something till you don’t make an attempt to go for it?”

So, feeling inspired to take that plunge, are you now?



Published by Saksham

Saksham Trust is a not - for - profit organisation, established in 2003. The sole aim of the trust is to empower persons belonging to this marginalised section of society through a variety of strategies. India has more than 14 million persons with blindness and low vision and above 70 million persons who cannot read normal print due to some sort of disability. A range of services needed to be provided to such persons for their social and economic mainstream into society. Saksham is guided by the Vision of a sensitised and motivated society that acknowledges the value of interdependence and appreciates the abilities of persons with blindness and multiple disabilities and willingly provides equal opportunities for all.

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