“Wildlife photography is unpredictable,” says Alvia Syed, an undergraduate Philosophy student from Gargi College and also a wildlife enthusiast who recently set up her own exhibition ‘Tranquil Tapestry’ in Indian Habitat Centre, Delhi, quite a remarkable feat to be achieved by a self-taught photographer.
Having successfully exhibited her work at Indian Habitat Centre M.F. Hussain Art Gallery and Bluebells School International before, it all started on a trip to Kerala when a ten-year-old Alvia began clicking nature and animals. Photography, she clearly defines, is her passion and she has been travelling across India at various Wildlife and Bird Sanctuaries, National Parks, Biodiversity Parks and Zoological Parks spotting and capturing wildlife.
I interviewed Alvia, wanting to know her journey into this field which she claims has only begun. On having any role models for inspiration, she reveals her inspiration has come from “people, places, animals and situations” more than anything else.
For Alvia, wildlife photography is about patience, observation and timing. I asked for her greatest picture but she says it hasn’t been captured yet, however, agrees that every picture has its own speciality, its own life. Alvia likes to keep no strategy when shooting in wildlife, focusing only on the aesthetic composition of the image and lighting. “I capture what I like” she simply states.
The process of setting up the exhibition is quite a challenge itself involving designing, short-listing photographs, printing framing, booking the venue among many things but when it is done, “it’s a great feeling” as Alvia says. It always brings her to the ground and she appreciates people’s support and encouragement around her.
The present exhibition was dedicated to Mrs. Gurnam Soni (Founder Principal, Bluebells School International) who had inaugurated Alvia’s first three solo photography exhibitions, but sadly, she passed away this February. The exhibition was inaugurated this time by Ms. Suman Kumar (Principal, Bluebells School International) who is herself a wildlife enthusiast and has had many conversations with Alvia about animals.
Achieving and making one’s dreams a reality is a collective effort and Alvia makes sure to constantly show her gratitude to those who have believed in her, encouraged her, even just said a few simple kind words. “Being kind and humble is what I ask everyone to go for” she says.
Alvia displays her photography now with the added passion for her work – to bring about a change whether it’s for animal conservation or poverty. Again, it has been possible only because of the people who supported her and made her see this. “Honestly I feel, people not just turn up at your exhibition to look at your collection of photographs, they are there to support your initiatives and dreams.” Youngsters like Alvia and their stories only strengthen one’s beliefs in the idea that dreams are seen and they are fulfilled.