Monday, October 6, 2014

How Anshum Mandore quit a corporate career and turned his passion into a lucrative lifestyle

Source : Your Story ( Author - Rakhi Chakraborthy )

Anshum Mandore

Anshum Mandore created AM Photography with a single minded focus to follow his passion of clicking pictures. After spending seven years a corporate slave, with all his spare time spent on this hobby- he finally did what so many brave have done before him. He quit and started a brand new career from scratch. Except now he was his own boss and was doing what he loved. It has not been an easy ride, but then nothing worthwhile ever comes easy anyway. Today he is a go to name in the world of wedding photography. Though he has been most successful in that genre, it is not the only genre he specialises in. In conversation:

Can you recall any particular incident that sparked your interest in photography?

Not to be melodramatic, but the day I lay my hands on that camera for the first time was a defining moment of my life in the truest sense of the phrase. My first digital camera was a Sony Mavica, with a resolution of just 1.3 megapixels, a fraction of the resolution that most camera phones have these days. Quite surprisingly though, that little gizmo, despite being an early consumer model was fairly versatile and allowed me quite a bit of manual control. For a lot of people, an interest in photography sparks an interest in a particular camera as a means of making photographs. For me however, the camera itself was the driving force that led me to where I am today.


Armed with my newfound knowledge of basics and heightened interest in photography, I set out to capture the world around me. That camera soon became like an extension of me. Where I would go, my camera went with me. By the time I retired the camera some 5 years later, I had shot approximately 30,000 photographs with it, most of which I still have and continue to cherish.

Given that photography was such a passion, why did you decide to follow a full-fledged corporate career?

By the time my interest in Photography peaked, I had already been in a corporate career for 3-4 years, prior to which I had pursued and gotten my master’s degree in marketing (PGDM) from SCMHRD, Pune. At such a point in your career, the thought of quitting it all to pursue a newfound passion as a career, doesn’t even occur to most of us, especially in a structured traditional environment like India where you are expected to go down a low-risk high-reward predictable path. And even if it does, apprehensions are aplenty. Moreover I come from a Marwari family which although not very orthodox or overly traditional, didn’t really set any examples of family members pursuing ‘alternate’ careers.
My corporate career continued for another 3 years, during which I dedicated almost all my spare time to photography as a hobby.

Please talk about your stint in marketing, how you balanced your hobby and your career and your biggest takeaways from it.

I started my career in marketing with Frito-Lay India in early 2004 after being recruited from the college Campus. Following that I served with two other organizations in India and Dubai before I decided to call it quits in late 2010 to turn my passion into my profession. Balancing my marketing career with photography wasn’t very tough in the beginning.  Work time was reserved for work and most of the spare time for photography. And there were always times when the two overlapped such as having the opportunity to shoot an office event. Some of the skills that got developed due to photography, like Adobe Photoshop, were also handy in my marketing career. Of course, there came a time when balancing the two became difficult and I felt I was unable to do justice to either. That is when I decided to quit my corporate career and get into photography full-time.

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