Relative to my experience of working behind the camera, I have near-zero experience of standing in front of it, as the intended subject at least. But I usually take the opportunity to inquire the amazing people I work with what this experience means to them - particularly if they have just done this for the first time.

I have worked (and enjoy working) with non-professional or amateur models -- people who don't do this regularly or don't intend to "become a model", but stood in front of the Memora camera "just for fun". Besides the wonderful photographs you can keep and cherish for a lifetime, these are the top reasons why they think you should try modeling just for fun:

1. You discover a new side of yourself

If I had a dollar for every time I heard people say "Is that me?!", I'd be, well, someone with a lot of dollars exchanging them for Swedish Kronor. Jokes apart, this is the most common reaction I get. The photographer can find interesting angles, or create drama or set up an emotive theme -- but the truth remains that it's you, your expression and your presence in the picture -- ALL YOU. No amount of 'candid' selfies (apparently, that's a THING now) will give you the feeling you get after looking at your amazing pictures after a great photoshoot. When your friends look at those pictures and say, "Is that YOU??!" -- well, you want to feel that uplifting high! You not only surprise yourself but those who have known you forever.

2. You feel beautiful

Of course you're beautiful, and all the people who love and care for you make you feel that all the time. They express it with their words and love, and you express it to yourself with your beautiful smile. The beauty one person sees in you is totally different from what someone else sees -- even different from what you see in yourself. Everyone can tell you how beautiful you are, but do you know who can SHOW you how beautiful they find you? You guessed right! YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER :) A photographer is capable of translating his interpretation of your grace and glamour into a photograph that the whole world can see. Trust me, I have seen enough reactions to know -- it's a wonderful feeling.

3. Pro photoshoots are not selfies

Okay, you know this already. And it's so obvious. So why am I mentioning this? Imagine that you have pictures from twenty different angles - up, down, left, right, corners, close, far, through something, behind something, in front of something, with something, at places etc. And then there are themes, actions, wardrobe, elements. So many different light and shadow. The possibilities are endless. You'll discover so many new angles that work well with you :) Maybe you can try to recreate them later.

4. You can feel transformed as soon as the shoot ends

A lot of times my models told me that they feel a lot more enriched and confident after the shoot and after seeing the pictures, because A) They just discovered new ways of posing and presenting themselves, B) Trying to embody a character or strike a pose in front of a complete stranger breaks your shyness or hesitation (remember the first time you performed a song or a dance in front of friends or an audience? ... it's a beautiful thrill like that) C) It makes you more comfortable with your body and more confident towards the world. D) You learn to a little more with professional models because you get a taste of how it works - this makes you appreciate their work more. E) You get to tell everyone "I did modeling once" ;)

5. It may open a career option you never considered

Several people who did their first time modeling with me have received calls from agencies or fashion companies for modeling jobs. They told me how professionally taken photos brought them attention from model seekers. It's also true that most of them would never consider to do this professionally, but after a session with Memora they realized they have more confidence in themselves and some experience to back it up!

6. A creative contact is a gem

Okay, I said five, but this one's a bonus. And I'm really not trying to advertise myself here. The truth is, when you get to know a creative individual - be it a writer, singer, photographer, filmmaker - whatever that person is - it can act as an inspiration from time to time. Passionately creative people look at the world differently. Just talking with them or meeting them can change the way you look at the world. Besides, maybe you have a creativity you never invested in -- a creative person in your contact is a constant reminder that you can use your true potential too. They can encourage you to snap out of a monotonous cycle and make your life more exciting. And you know how I said, "Model for fun"? When you know a photographer personally, you have many chances of enjoying this process from time to time. If you don't believe me, ask any of the recurring faces of Memora Photography, and they'll tell you how much they love it!

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I'm not a seller of the usual. I'm a creator of the unique.

Since I've taken up photography professionally, I've received mixed reviews regarding my work from a business perspective. Many among my friends and fans said I must conform to the trend set by other professionals in this business/country to survive in the market. I'm not always a believer in conformity.

I am an artist at heart. While many may see it as "making money by doing what one loves", I see it as doing what I love, how I love it, while staying true to my original ideas. Money is a result that is welcome after my personal fulfillment through the process.

Before I agree to work with a client, I make sure of two things:

  1. I can deliver what they desire without compromising my creative freedom.
  2. They respect my style and honor my persona as an artist.

I don't want the identity of someone who makes money in exchange of camera clicks. I work to earn the identity of an artist whose time and effort should be valued. I don't want to be different from others. Neither do I want to blend in. The only thing that motivates me is being honest to myself, listening to the calling of my hearts and giving in to the waves of spontaneity when I work. Believe me. This is the best way to do things.

That's why when I have never worked with people who just want some "sharp-face-soft-background" photos taken with a DSLR camera. I look for people who want to be a part of artistic creations. End of the day, I can't afford to lose myself in the process of going pro :)

Do what you love. Be really good at it. Success will follow.



I'm remembering a favorite quote ...
Success is when preparation meets opportunity

This is how I took my first step into "people photography" in Sweden ...

Even almost a year ago, I was still a hobbyist photographer with basically no intention to go pro. Despite exhibitions and awards, achievements and encouragements, it never crossed my mind to take my passion to the next level. My wife, on the other hand, always tried to convince me that I'll lose touch with this talent of mine (as happened with many other talents earlier) if I don't make a bigger commitment. Hence, since sometime around January last year, I was mentally preparing myself to give this a shot. At that moment, I was still not into portraits at all, except flooding my camera with photos of my most beloved.

Out of the blue one evening, Maria, a friend of mine (from Russia, studying in Sweden) asked me to photograph her participation in International Restaurant Day as she should be opening a Pop-Up Crepe Shop in Uppsala. I said yes as a reflex, since at the back of my mind I was already preparing to "get into the game".

As I was going through photos of the day, I was convinced that Maria, as exhausted as she was looking in Restaurant Day shots, would make a wonderful model in a better day. Without delay, I threw the proposal at her for a portrait photoshoot. Turns out, she was hoping for a moment like this!

Exactly a week later, I went to meet her, with no concept in my head, with the objective of seeing through to her. As an amateur, I had in mind that I should first learn to see people deeply with my bare eyes, before I see them through the lens, if I want results to cherish. So we spoke, just spoke, as I pointed my camera at her from time to time while looping through light and heavy topics of conversation. And I was able to absorb everything I needed for my first ever portrait session.

So I was back there a couple of days later. This time not with an empty mind. It was one of those rare times when everything clicked. I had the light I wanted, the props I needed, and most importantly, my first official 'model' in Sweden was in her best mood. I came back with a set of photos where some are still among my dearest.

... and there it was. My first set of pictures from a planned photo-session. The earliest entries in a portfolio that now represents Memora Photography.



Photographing pregnancy is simply magical.

Not only because of being a part of the miracle of life, but also because of the marvelous connection I feel to the new-born. These photoshoots are some of my most favorites. These are times when I have been called to take photographs on the occasion of someone who was not even born yet. All the arrangements and preparations are surrounding that tiny little heart beating inside someone else's body. It's a feeling I can't explain.

And when the children in the photos above were born, I was ecstatic and emotional on a different level ... every single time. I have never met these little persons before and I'm a complete stranger to them, but I felt an instant connection and love the first time a photograph of the baby popped up on the internet.

One of the thousand reasons why I love being a photographer.



So here it begins ...

Almost a year has passed that I have been living the life of a semi-pro portrait photographer. Looking back, I see wonderful times, beautiful people, bursts of inspiration and stories of artistic enrichment. It came to a point where everything remains incomplete without jotting down somewhere in the webverse the beautiful details, the sudden thoughts and the permeating self-realizations.

So here it is. Not a portfolio display, a commercial venture or a showcase of pretense. But the very deep and true emotions of a novice artist through his journey as a portrait photographer.

Welcome ...
... and see you soon!