“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde
In this series we shine a light on artists expressing their individuality, documenting what they love, working hard on their craft, and sharing it with the world.
We spoke to Jinal Govind, a landscape and wedding photographer who grew up in windy Wellington, and still calls the city his home – all about pursuing a career as a photographer and staying inspired.
Photography is something Jinal has had a passion for, ever since he was a young boy who picked up a Kodak disposable camera in a garage sale. Fast forward a few years, he decided to explore more of the world and travel through Asia. That’s when he decided to buy a DSLR camera.
"I’m talking 3 years ago now. I knew this is something I wanted to pursue, to be able to tell a story through photos and here I am now."
The places that it takes him and the memories he makes is what makes photography so rewarding for Jinal.
"I could be in the mountains, or trekking through the forests and it always blows my mind how beautiful the natural world is. At times, I’ve been humbled to be in its presence. It’s very easy to take the world for granted in our busy lives, so I’ve definitely learnt to appreciate and feel more connected with what’s around me. These are the moments that I try to capture and share in hopes to inspire others to see the world a little different than most."
When I asked Jinal about how he deals with being in a creative rut, he said he believes as a creative, we all have these moments of being in a creative rut and it’s perfectly normal.
"It’s very easy to feel lost in such a saturated industry. I personally find, just taking a break from everything and heading into the outdoors on a solo adventure, or going for a run in the bushes helps me reset. Being surrounded by nature inspires me on its own. There’s nothing like watching the sunrise or sunset and just being appreciative of existing at that moment. I try to remind myself why I do this and where this journey has taken me. I’m a firm believer in your tribe shapes who you are. So, I like to spend time with like-minded people and friends with a similar passion as that helps push my creative boundaries."
He also looks through the work of his favourite photographers and heads out to that location to try and challenge himself to shoot it differently in order to combat creative blocks.
Jinal says he feels so blessed to have grown up in New Zealand with its snowy mountains, crystal blue lakes and lush forests. Having travelled most parts of the country, he says Aoraki National park definitely has his heart. The very first time he saw Mount Cook, he just fell in love with it.
"It’s such an impressive mountain! A close second would be Tongariro National Park. I love being able to explore it, as I feel you never run out of things to do there. It’s also quite close to home which makes for a fun roadie."
I asked Jinal to share the photo he is most proud of and the story behind it. He says this is probably one of his favourite photos he's taken to date.
"It’s actually a recent one. Taken from this winter, when me and some friends decided to climb up Mount Taranaki. It was a gruelling climb in complete whiteout and -15 degree wind chills. We spent the night in Syme Hut and woke up early the next morning to attempt the summit for sunrise. On our way down, I captured this moment of my friend Ryan in some of the most surreal winter scenes I’ve ever experienced. There was nothing but ice, not a breath of wind and the soft sunlight hitting the giant maunga which casted some beautiful shadows. I was in a complete state of ecstasy and it will be a moment I’ll treasure for a long time to come."
Lastly, what advice would he give to people starting out?
"Do what makes you happy. I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s about enjoying the art of photography, getting creative and appreciating the moment you are in. Often I forget to enjoy the moment, because I’m too caught up trying to take a good photo.
Try not to follow trends that you see online. It’s fine to get inspired by them, but be different in your own way. Get out and shoot as much as you can. You don’t need the latest gear to take a good photo. I mean I have seen some amazing photos just off an iPhone. Make friends that love photography as it’s crazy how much you learn from others. Honestly, I feel like I am learning constantly and I’ve just scratched the surface of where photography could take me, so just keep at it!"