Ashutosh Shinde, the DCP Expeditions’ panel expert is indeed a zealous Wildlife Photographer
Geeta S Shinde
Satyadeo B Shinde
20th June 1978
Proudly says ‘imd1’ for
Ashutosh Shinde loves to be ‘the one’ amongst the crowd and hence he took up Wildlife Photography as his expertise. Brought up in Mumbai, He is the Vice President at Yes Bank. In spite of this he assures balancing his time equally towards work, passion and family. The photography craze hit him when he visited Gir forest with his wife in 2013 and since then there was no looking back. Along with wildlife photography, he is also skilled in different genres such as Food, Fashion, Product photography, etc.
We are really keen to know; how did your journey begin?
I am a Wildlife lover since childhood and wanted to see it closely. I decided to visit Gir Forest at Sasan with my wife. With a point and shoot camera borrowed from my friend, I visited this place and came a step closer to the nature. The journey began from there. I started taking interest in knowing more about photography. I joined many forums on social media to see the images posted by many photographers. I started reading about technical and other intricacies about photography. Eventually in October 2013, I bought my first DSLR.
What were the hardships/hurdles you’ve encountered and how did you overcome them in your journey?
I am employed with Yes Bank Ltd. Being a corporate professional and still nurturing my passion for photography has always been challenging. After the stressful week, I ensure that I dedicate my weekend mornings for Photography. Social and family responsibilities are no less than professional responsibilities. But I have been lucky enough till date to manage them all and still keep my passion on top of the list. I remember listening Sachin Tendulkar’s interview aired on Radio during his retirement time, where he was explaining how he overcome his reluctance to early morning practice sessions and followed his passion. It was very inspiring and kept me going with managing all Family, work and passion. Certainly this is not possible without the support from family, especially my wife, Trupti.
Know me Beyond Photography
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rani Laxmi, Swami Vivekanand, Sachin Tendulkar
I draw Inspirations from
Anyone who believes in living life following his/her own instinct and not under influence of any prejudice.
Food I Love
Food I Hate
Nothing, I am 100% foodie
Had I not been a Photographer then
I always wish if God had gifted me with good voice to Sing
Like Vacations at
Any place where I am accompanied
Favorite Pass time
Favorite Movies / Series
Hindi Films like Anand and 3 Idiots
Favorite Actor / Actress
Madhuri Dixit, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
My various mentors and friends who have lived their passion are my influencers. I get inspired by India’s youngest mountaineer, Arjun Vajpai. His passion to conquer the toughest peaks in the world, shows his strong will power, determination to set & achieve goals. Personalities like Sachin Tendulkar leave lifelong impression on every one of us. The tough time he has seen during his childhood to become a good cricketer and the efforts which he has taken to achieve it, is very inspiring. Sachin’s interview which I mentioned above, was one of those inspiring moments. Steve Jobs was another one whose story can leave you awestruck. These names are pretty famous but there are millions like these who have achieved lot of success following their passion. So the bottom line is, anyone who understands his/her passion and works diligently towards achieving new heights every day in that field is inspiring and influencing for me, irrespective of his/her celebrity status.
Tell us something about your GURU?
There are many great people (including non-photographers as well) whom I have been considering as my Guru. Some of my teachers during school days, who taught us how to learn and not mug up anything. Importance of understanding the basics & logic of anything in life is what was taught by them. During my post-graduation time, one of our professor said a beautiful line, “If you are successful that doesn’t mean you are happy, but if you are happy that means you are successful”, this has left a lifetime impression on my life.Now coming back to Photography Gurus, I would start with the first and the best mentor I came across, Mr. Caesar Sengupta, founder & CEO of DCP Expeditions LLP. I owe him everything that I have achieved in photography. I feel elated every time when he appreciates, criticizes my work. He criticizes my bad images, every re-action of his on my photography keeps me going.My Other gurus are Amit Rane for his amazing technical knowledge about all genres of photography. Soumabrata Moulick, my friend, brother and guru in photography. He is an ocean full of knowledge and best part is his willingness to share it with each and every one. Mr. Rahul Sachdev, one of the humblest master of photography I have ever come across. But again, having mentioned about all my gurus, everyone from whom I learn something new is my guru and I respect him/her for that bit of knowledge.Last but certainly not the least, ongoing contribution of Google and YouTube cannot be ignored when it comes to mentioning about Gurus.
Success is incomplete without its share of setbacks. What advice would you give to others about handling them?
There is nothing called as setbacks in the field of creativity. You experience downfall when you feel your work is not being appreciated. Though having spent only 5+ years, my career is still in the initial mode of its life cycle.Never consider yourself to be the best or to have known everything. There is always a scope of learning and improving. One has to do better than yesterday and compete with your own self rather than comparing with anyone else.
Do you think Photography and its learnings can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career?
It’s a medium to connect with nature especially in case of Wildlife Photography. Otherwise also, it helps you learn looking at things differently. Photography teaches you to look at things from many angles, perhaps we need to follow that approach in our life as well.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
Age is a no bar for photography. I know people aging 60 years and above attending my workshops and expeditions and show equal amount of enthusiasm as a teenager. Mindset to learn is and to accept critical evaluation of your work is the only pre-requisite for getting into any Art form.
How has technology transformed the world of Photography?
Unfortunately I haven’t yet done old age Film Photography and experienced dark room processing, hence I would not be the right person to comment on Photography’s transformation from Film era to Digital era. But I would say the technology is still evolving and will continue to evolve to enable us to make better images. Google and YouTube are the new virtual gurus who help you evolve as a better photographer. But it all will act as an aid to photography, after all making good image is a skill of an image maker.
What according to you is scope of Photography in India?
Photography was once considered as a low-profile profession. I remember being a wedding photographer was once considered as a very low-profile profession and now people spend lakhs of rupees on getting their event covered. Pre-wedding shoot, wedding shoot, maternity shoot, couple shoot, family shoot and the list will go on. Many institutes have now added Photography as an optional subject in their academics, this shows the scope of Photography not only in India but worldwide
If you were to bring one big change in the way people get trained in Photography what would that be?
Include photography as a mainstream subject since the school times. However having said that, since Photography is an art and can’t be forced on anyone, the selection of this should be given as a choice and not to be forced.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Photography training in remote parts of India?
Internet has virtually connected the world together. However, inclusion of Photography as a part of school curriculum will eventually reach all parts of India.
Your piece of advice to parents who are skeptical about their children taking up a career in any co-curricular activities?
If your kid has inclination towards any Art form or any other activity that is traditionally not considered as a form of profession, then please nurture that hobby and encourage him/her to pursue that as a career. Today, every parent want their kids to grow as a successful individual, but unfortunately the parameter of ‘Success’ is only and only Money, High Standard of Living, etc. These days there are many counseling sessions done for students who are approaching the high school age and help evaluate what he/she is best at. Make use of such aid. My only advice is to first understand what their kids want and help them pursue what they are good at and what they wish. It will make them happy and as I mentioned earlier, being happy is the first step in becoming successful.
Your piece of advice to the youth of our country?
Be honest with yourself and pursue what gives you happiness. Rather than getting into the rat race of competing with others by sheer comparison in terms of earning, designation etc.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I Am The 1”?
When in the crowd of many, my family members, my friends, my colleagues points out at me and say he is the best wildlife photographer (though I also know I am not the best and there are many stalwarts in the field). When someone especially at my workplace who doesn’t know that I’m a photographer and gives spellbinding reaction after seeing some of my work, gives me a different high and I feel “I Am The 1”
What is your Success Mantra?
Live your passion
Any other thoughts you want to share?
Shared a lot already, but once again would like to say do not compare yourself with anyone and try to compete with yourself only. Keep learning till the end of your life