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Meet Anuja Thakur

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anuja Thakur.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was artistically inclined, even as a child. I enjoy creating art through different mediums – be it photography or oil/acrylic painting. I got my first DSLR in 2005 and was immediately hooked, especially with travel photography. It was about 10 years later that I started taking photography seriously. I started following photography forums, going for meetups and sharing my work online. San Diego has a great group of photographers who have been instrumental in my learning. I also did a lot of self-learning through books and YouTube videos. That year, I entered an image in my company’s photography competition and to my surprise won the first place out of more than 500 entries.

Encouraged, I went on to submit one image that I was especially proud of to the San Diego County Fair Exhibition of Photography, where it was accepted and displayed. But not only that, I learned towards the end of the exhibition that my image had also sold which had me thrilled! I am now selling my images through my website.

I am thankful that this year I had two images exhibited at the San Diego fair, out of which one has won a special sponsor award from Watts Digital Imaging!

Please tell us about your art.
I started off with oil and acrylic painting about 10 years ago. I mainly do landscapes but have started dabbling in some abstract work lately. About 2 years ago, I took up photography which I have become very passionate about. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. For me, a picture should be able to capture the feeling of the moment.

But photography is not just about being in the right place at the right time, there are very few good shots that are flukes. In the words of Ansel Adams – “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” And to make a photograph, there is a lot of planning, research and detail that comes first. There are a lot of apps out there to help you with planning and timing (such as the PlanIt app) as well as some good old scouting of the area to get a feel for the spots.

I am always looking out for inspiration in my surroundings. I observe the scenery around me and the colors. I try to jot down ideas on my phone so I can come back to them later.

Many times I may get an idea which I will mull over for several months and add upon it until it is perfect before I actually work on the project. It also helps to live in a beautiful city like San Diego where I am surrounded by inspiration. There are infinite compositions possible, with the ocean so close, and the mountains and desert just a short drive away.

Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
An advice I would like to share with people aspiring to get into photography is to collaborate and work with other local photographers. I have gone for photography meetups in San Diego which are free and met many local photographers who were very helpful, and have guided me on various aspects – in terms of technique or which equipment to buy. Their perspective has helped me tremendously to grow, and this can be attained free of cost.

My final words of advice would be: Persist and practice!

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