In the last few years, Sandeep Damre went from being a photography nobody to running one of the most successful photography operations. Sandeep is a multi-talented artist not only into photography but also a Creative Artist, A Biker, A Blogger, A Painter, A Cinematographer and much more.
Sandeep has many inspirational stories and experiences which he talked about in an Exclusive Interview with The Professional Times.
Sandeep grew up in Bilaspur (CG), which is known for its Railway establishments and huge contribution in Central India. He is an artist by his very nature, a talent that he had inherited from his mother but his father always wanted him to focus on his academics to become an engineer. The artist in him was encouraged by his high school principal at Saraswati Shishu Vidhya Mandir, Tilaknagar, Bilaspur.
Sandeep’s destiny made a mid-course correction and turned him into a World-Class Artist.
A lady examination supervisor saw him sketching in the lunch break during an engineering entrance examination.
She was amazed to see his skills and she told him that he is destined to be an artist and he must seek his college education in Fine Arts which then was something he had never heard of.
Colours and pictures had always fascinated him but it took him a while to convince his father who always felt that all that an artist can do is end up as a billboard painter.
He started off his artistic endeavours at Chitrakala Maha Vidyalaya in Nagpur. However, he was destined for bigger things and after two years of struggle, he finally got admission into the world-renowned institute Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, M. S. University in 1994 and graduated with a degree in Applied Arts in 1998.
During that period Sandeep attended a workshop in photography conducted by Thomas Lutge from Germany. The workshop enriched his understanding of the art of photography and nurtured his passion for the same. After that, there was no stopping for Sandeep.
His photographs and art were exhibited in various shows in India and Germany.
After graduation, he plunged headlong into the corporate advertising but his heart remained rooted in photography. He worked for Navnitlal & Co. Advertising Agency, Ahmedabad from 2002 to 2005 during which he directed corporate films and documentaries.
This kindled the desire in him to set up his studio. To facilitate this and to gain the experience he went to London for four years from 2006-09. He came back to Ahmedabad, India where he set up Studio 60 in September 2009.
The film ‘Circle of Light’ holds a special place for him as the direction and videography were done by him shot using Canon 5D mark-ll camera. He won the Silver Award for this Film among 143 countries at the COP 15 Summit, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009.
His photographs exhibited in Lalit Kala Academy, Gujarat and won many prizes. During his tenure working as creative director in Navnitlal & Co., he worked very closely with current Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the former Chief Minister of Gujarat, from 2001 to 2004 election.
During that period he worked on projects like Kalpsar, Vibrant Gujarat, Govt. of Gujarat- Higher and Technical Education, Kalpsar Project, Bhartiya Pravi Diwas Exhibition Design and Tableau Design and Election Films.
Sandeep is also famous wildlife, industrial photographer and Biker.
As an industrial photographer within a decade time he has worked on projects like – GSPC, ONGC, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Claris Life Sciences, Rolls Royce Cars, Porsche Cars, Maruti Suzuki, Adani SEZ, Govt of Gujarat, GEA, ET TMT, Welcome Heritage Hotels, UNFCCC, Flourish Milk, GSFC, GACL, APM Terminals, CERA, Mudra DDB, Sobhagya Advt, Radhe Builders, Goyal & Co. etc.
In wildlife space, he had spotted more than 350+ birds’ species and rare bird species like Sociable lapwing and Great Indian Bustard and Sarus Crane.
His wildlife working areas are Gir Forest, Jim Corbett, Nal Sarovar, Thol Lake, Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary, Badalkhol Wildlife Sanctuary, Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Khopra Jalashay, Bhairamgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhoramdev Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarangarh-Gomardha Wildlife Sanctuary, Pamed Wild Buffalo Wildlife Sanctuary, Semarsot Wildlife Sanctuary, Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary, Udanti Wild Buffalo Wildlife Sanctuary, Amarkantak, Janjgir, Mohan Bhatha, Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park.
He photographed a Demoiselle Crane with Tag V77. This bird was banded at Khurkh Valley in Mongolia on 30 July 2015. At the time of banding (ringed), it was a juvenile weighing 1350 g. – Nyamba, Wildlife Science and Conservation Centre of Mongolia.
Demoiselle Cranes, the smallest crane species, migrate over the Himalayas, crossing the mountain range at an altitude of up to 26,000 feet to reach their wintering areas in India. This rare photograph was featured on the cover page of Bombay Natural History Magazine.
He also spotted the endangered Snow Leopard in November 2009, between Leh to Kargil. He is a nature enthusiast and believes that conservation begins from home.
In the past 18 years, he has been installing Eco-Friendly Ganesha during the Ganesh Chaturti Celebrations at his home. He has used fruits, vegetables, flour, bread, puffed rice, paper mache, paper origami etc to name a few.
This year the Ganesha was made with Pear fruit. After the 3 day festivities, the Visarjan will be done symbolically and the idol will be kept as prasad.
Sandeep has joined the Enfield Pirates Ahemdabad Bikers Group, which has around 27 registered members and was formed in 2014. Sandeep said, “Riding on Enfield is a culture, which fosters brotherhood. Travel lovers from all over the world get in touch with Enfield Riders. We meet, stay together, talk about travel & culture and thus form a lifelong relationship.”
He also said, “We travel for the love of it and also for the social causes. On Republic Day, we rode to an Old Age Home, donated money and most importantly spent time with oldies and got their blessing.”
Talking about the challenges, Sandeep said, “At times it takes a lot of effort to convince a client to understand the importance of design. Although there is a shift in the thought processes the shift is substantial. Amazing journey… many difficult times but he always believed in sincere hard work.”
“Save nature, nature will save you”.
What nature will teach you, nobody can. Earth is our mother and we have to save her from destruction. One of the biggest lessons which Sandeep learned is nobody in the world will help you, so you have to help yourself. Hard work is key to everything. In life, there are many ups and downs but one has to be strong and be positive.
His travels have moulded his personality. He loves travelling and motor-biking. He has been many places in India and abroad. Love to do photography during travelling. Most of his work speaks about places, people and life. He also enjoys making sketches during travel, he likes mostly rural and heritage subjects.
He left home after grade 12, to pursue his passion in Fine Arts. He married the girl he loved. He believes in – No Risk, No Gain. During his studies, he started a part-time job from the second year to take care of his photography expenses.
His 1st job was working at an art gallery in Baroda and he used to work 1.00 pm to 8.30 pm and getting paid Rs.700/-, which was a lot of money for him in 1995. He was very happy that he could support his interests without burdening his father. Later he joined ad design studio as a part-time which helps me a lot to understand practical graphic design.
Talking about his weakest point, he said “He is an emotional fool, but he is ok with it. In profession, he doesn’t appreciate clients who pretend to be designers themselves and force their ideas just because they are paying. Still somehow has to manage and balance the relationship.“
Sandeep starts every day as a new day, new plans, new opportunities. He lives in today but always has a plan for tomorrow. He follows leaders those who did good things for society. He believes in god and always prays for everyone.
Talking about his favourite part of the current job, he said “Travelling, with Photography as his profession he travels a lot. After his work, he goes around villages and meets people, eats traditional food, local heritage architrave. Every assignment he learns new things. He makes new friends during the shoot, enjoys with them, and learns many things from them.”
Some of the media coverage of Sandeep Damre by national & international media.
Sandeep Damre’s website: www.sandeepdamre.com