Dubai based photographer Anshad Guruvayoor, also India’s youngest liver donor talks about the film he’d like to make!
How did you get into photography?
In 2008, I was with the UAE’s Horse Race Federation in office administration. I always liked photography but never considered it as a profession. It was a consuming passion. Since my job was involved in working with horse-races and events, I used to meet professional photographers and was curious and excited to see those professional cameras, lights and setup. I decided to buy a DSLR camera and try if I could capture similar beautiful moments. It was the first camera of my life. Then, slowly, I started working along with international photographers and started collaborating with them. I started learning a lot from these professionals. I slowly began to understand the scope and the opportunity photography could provide to me. At that time, I lost my job but I didn’t look for another one. Instead, I went to India and took a photography course from an institute called Shoot School Cochin. Then, I returned to Dubai and started looking for jobs related to photography and worked in a production agency as a photographer. From sports photography I went in to fashion photography, doing shoots for big brands and events. I started connecting with more people and slowly established myself in this industry.
What do you usually like to shoot?
I like both sports and fashion photography. But, fashion photography gives me more scope and range. I can instill creative ideas in to the frame and there is always a new challenge in each shot. I can play with the lights, the set and create excellent creative content. In sports photography especially with horse racing, I like the thrill behind action shots because it is extremely spontaneous. You have to really work hard and be very attentive to get the right shot.
How do you manage a regular job and your passion – photography?
For the last 7 years I am fully into photography. This is my regular job, my bread and butter. In these years I was able to work for many brands in the GCC. In 2019 December, I was doing a grand photoshoot for a company in Oman catering to 48,000 labourers. That was the time, the corona scare started hitting the globe. Slowly, opportunities started diminishing. At the peak of the pandemic and due to lack of work, I started doing public service. I became a frontline volunteer for KMCC services in Hind Humanitarian city. And then, I had an opportunity to work along with Dubai Health Authority as Administrative Assistant for the same Covid mission. In all these services and work, I didn’t forget my passion – photography.
You are the youngest liver donor in Kerala. Tell us about it?
I came to Dubai in 2007. During that time, one of my relatives, who was 16 years old, needed a liver transplant due to cirrhosis. Her father was ready to donate his liver but it was rejected as he had a fatty liver. I expressed my willingness to donate my liver. I was 22 years old at that time. Only, once the transplant was done, I realised that I was the first person in Kerala to donate the liver and the youngest in India to do the same.
Will you shoot a movie in the future? What topic will it be?
Yes. Like any person who has taken up photography as a profession, I also want to get into movies. I have learned a lot in the last 13 years of my professional life and like to capture moments of ordinary people. In the same way, if I ever do a film, It will be about common people and their problems. I, myself came from the bottom rung of life. My mind always echoes with stories about people like me.