Saurav Anuraj, The Photographer Who Redefined The Culture of Photography Among Youth in Patna

Left Engineering, Got a camera from his Father to pursue photography as a career, Sounds familiar?
No we are not talking about Farhan of 3 idiots, but about Saurav Anuraj, who left VIT and went to Delhi to fulfil his dream to become a photographer.
PatnaBeats got into a conversation with Saurav and came to know the amazing journey of Saurav Anuraj’s life, so far.
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PatnaBeats: Tell us something about yourself, your family and your upbringing. 

Saurav Anuraj: I was born and brought up in Hilsa (Nalanda, Bihar) in a small family consisting of my father and mother. My father is a college principal and a gold medalist in the education department. My mother is a homemaker with a masters’ degree. Being in the education department, my father was very much focused on my studies.

I did my matriculation from my hometown and completed my intermediate studies from Patna. I was sent to VIT, Vellore for my graduation, but it did not give me desired satisfaction. I used to keep myself busy in photography and eventually in the first year itself, I left that place for my passion and moved to Delhi to gain expertise and to seek a way to convert my passion into profession. I did many shoots for free in Delhi and focussed majorly on skill development. I did get some initial success and then time went by. I moved to Patna and started my own studio. With extraordinary hard work and robust determination I was able to create a successful brand, very popularly known as Meow Studio.

When was your first interaction with photography? What fascinated you?

Saurav Anuraj: On a family trip, my father had taken an old film camera with him to take some pictures. I remember my stubborn self, snatching that camera from his hands capturing moments of what turned out to be, a memorable trip.

What was your parents’ reaction to your choice of career? Did you have to convince them?

Saurav Anuraj: Belonging to a very educated family, my parents wanted me to walk the same road and were very concerned regarding matters related my studies. They wanted me to become an engineer, but I was not happy with pursuing engineering. I told them about my passion for photography and my dream to become a photographer. As expected, they were surprised and shocked.

Things were not as easy as it may sound but a great deal of convincing went in before they agreed. I locked myself in my room to emotionally blackmail my parents in getting me a camera. It sounds funny but it wasn’t that time.
My father did buy me my first DSLR camera, that was Sony Alpha A77.
Convincing my parents was a huge achievement.

Please share an instance where you went an extra mile to get a desired shot.

Saurav Anuraj: There was an event of the singer, Sona Mahapatra, in the city for which I was booked. Due to some misunderstanding in the management, instead of me they gave entry to some other photography group. I felt bad as I had planned a number of shots. I went and talked to the authorized people and managed to enter the place. I had to struggle to enter that place but the shots I had taken were used by Sona Mahapatra in her banners and hoardings. Surely a big thing for me.

Which genre of photography attracts you the most?

Saurav Anuraj: I like street and travel photography the most. We get to see different colours of nature. Here, a photographer can observe things minutely. I also like this genre because of the emotions street present.

You have named your company “Meow Studio” as in the sound made by a cat. What is the story behind that?

Saurav Anuraj: There is no big story behind this. I love cats and so the name. If you go through my phone’s gallery, you’ll see an album with hundreds of cats photos. I just love them.

Tell us something about your team at Meow studio.

Saurav Anuraj: Meow Studio is a team of young photographers who are passionate about photography and want their passion to be changed into profession. We are a team who specializes in wedding, fashion and event photography. It is because of the hard work which the team has put up, Meow studio has become the best in black & white photography, in birthday photography, and listed in the top 10 wedding photographers of India. We work great as a team and I’m proud of it.

Your initial days in Delhi were tough. Did you at any point thought not to pursue photography as a career? If yes, what motivated you to go on?

Saurav Anuraj: When I was in Delhi planning my career, I used to get very less motivation as photography was a common thing in Delhi. People did not come to me for the projects as they wanted an experienced photographer. This discouraged me to a great extent.

Then Delhi CG Animation Award came to our college in Delhi where I was chosen as its official photographer. Actors, Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta came there as  the celebrity guests. I was on the cloud nine when Esha Gupta shared her picture which was clicked by me on the social media with the picture credits. This motivated me to move forward in photography.

From Delhi, you shifted your base to your home state Bihar, what made you take that decision?

Saurav Anuraj: Photography was not appreciated in Bihar. People used to call photographer, a cameraman (one who holds a camera). I obviously felt bad about it and wanted to change the perception which people had about photography in the state. I knew, that by staying in Delhi, there wasn’t much that I could do, so I packed my bags and moved to Patna. I started Meow studio with a hope that people will start appreciating photography and eventually they did.
Today, after few years, I can say that things have changed, as Patna has a great number of enthusiasts who are emerging as great photographers and there are people who appreciate it.

Along with Photography, what else are you passionate about?

Saurav Anuraj: I’m a music lover. When I feel overloaded by work, I switch my speakers on to listen to some of my favourite songs. I also love to travel and I am a big foodie.

You are an inspiration to many youngsters in the city now, who is your inspiration?

Saurav Anuraj: Audi (Auditya Venkatesh), a Bangalore based travel photographer and Pravin Talan, a well known fashion photographer, are the people who inspire me.

What are your future plans? What are we going to see through your lenses next?

Saurav Anuraj: I have worked for a photo-story book, Amayra- The essence of life. This book aims to create awareness about the depression and suicide prevention among the youth. I have plans to work for few more social issues in a fascinating way through my lenses.  Will reveal them soon!

What would be your message/ advise to your juniors from the state who aspire to become photographers?

Saurav Anuraj: I would say that one must follow his passion and never giveup at any cost. No matter how rough the roads are, not to give up before the goal is reached.


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Quote of the day: “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”Alfred Eisenstaedt