My name is Vidhu Soman. I am a co-founder and editor of Shutterstoppers.
Something about myself.
I started photography in 2010 as a hobby. I had never used a camera, nor taken any photographs before. Art was elusive for me. In 2010, I was jobless, and I wanted to start a hobby, and that’s how I tried photography.
It was hard at the outset, but with the help of the internet I learned the techniques and basics of photography and shot photographs every day. I strove to improve myself, and I have never stopped photography ever since.
I am not specialized in any type of photography. I like to photograph anything that interests me. I love the process of making images. I hate to do a particular technique, or style, or genre for the rest of my life.
I am not talking against a professional photographer who has a brand or style. I know that these days you see people talking about developing a unique style and consistency in images to get noticed. I am not against it. But I am against the idea that every artist or photography must do that to be successful. But if it works for you, you can do that.
I love to experiment new techniques others use, and I draw inspiration from other photographers, and I study their work. May be someday I settle with a style or one particular genre. I don’t know. I would like to see where this takes me.
Okay, I have blabbered so much about the philosophy of photography. Now you might be wondering what have I done and you would want to see my work.
Just like everyone else, I upload my photographs in social media. You can check out the links to my social media. No, I don’t have thousands or millions of followers for my work. Nevertheless, you can check out my work, and let me know if you like them.
I haven’t entered any competitions in photography, so I can’t brag about it. I wish I could have done that. I have never thought of entering into a competition because I have always thought that I have to keep improving. I am never satisfied with the images I take. Everytime I make an image, I make sure that it’s better than the images I took last year.
But there are some incidents when others noticed my work:
- A couple of nat geo editors picks (you can check out my nat geo profile under the published tab)
- Microsoft’s Bing featured me in march 2014 and one of my photos was bing wallpaper worldwide.
Okay, enough bragging. I told you all this because when you read my articles in shutterstoppers, or elsewhere, you would know that I know what I am saying.
About me in brief:
Country: India (from Kerala)
Languages I speak: English, Malayalam (an Indian language)
Hobbies: Photography, philosophy, reading and writing, and drawing
Philosophical beliefs: Existentialism, some objectivism, Buddhism to understand the mind.
Sports: Not really a sports person, but I like to play badminton.
Anish G Nair: Tech Hand and Co-founder of Shutterstoppers
This is my best friend Anish g Nair. He takes care of the technical side of shutterstoppers. He has a startup ‘White collar’ and these days he is busy with that although he is always there whenever I need a hand at shutterstoppers. Anish and I started developing an interest in technology and computers back in 2001. Whenever I get any idea, I go to him. He built shutterstoppers, optimized it, and made it look like what it is today.
In my initial days of learning photography, he used to be my travel buddy. He loves driving, and we used to take regular road trips, but totally unplanned. It led me to places I have never been before, and it helped me to become a better photographer. I had never travelled anywhere, nor showed any interest in travelling before I started photography. He has always been into travelling and that’s one of the reasons I started exploring places. He is a different kind of travel bug than me. He went for a roadtrip from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala to Kashmir, covering about 8000 Kms. He loves to play badminton, and he is a crazy fan of soccer.
In most of my travel photographs you would see him in the foreground, and he is always ready to give a pose. He has encouraged me to go forward in every aspect of my life. Without him, I would not have made shutterstoppers and reached this far.
If you want to know any technical aspect of creating a website or a blog like this, shoot him a mail and he will help you out.
That’s all about me and Anish. Let me tell you something about Shutterstoppers.
A super community of photographers — Shutterstoppers
In my initial days of photography, I had realised that a community is imperative to learn an art form. I have never heard of any artist who has done great things in isolation. I have faced difficulties to get out of some creative rut, to understand some aspects of photography. Only by interacting with other photographers and studying their problems, I resolved those problems.
In 2012, I and Anish G Nair created shutterstoppers to develop a community of photographers to share knowledge and experiences in photography.
I know what you think. There are hundreds of photography communities in the internet. So why would anyone want to join another community. Isn’t too many communities defeat the purpose of a community?
It’s true. But that is precisely why I wanted to form shutterstoppers. I can blabber about the “uniqueness” of shutterstoppers and why they are different from other communities or better than other communities of photographers.
I am not going to do that. I don’t think any community is better than another community. A community is good if there is good communication between the members of the community.
Here is why I started shutterstoppers despite numerous communities out there:
A community is better than an individual. And a group of communities that communicate with each other (Sort of an inter-communication between communities) is better than a single community.
All online communities or those in your area are scattered. They are isolated communities. They barely ‘talk’ to each other. I get it. Everyone wants to be unique, and that is good for them.
But it is not good to improve photography or to develop your photography skills. It limits you to learn photography. You might be a member of few communities or may be all of them. But imagine when all the communities of photographers interact with each other. It would be a single community much stronger than a single community.
I publish some general articles here. You might find the similar articles in every other photography blog. So you may not find any reason to subscribe another photography blog.
This happens because photography communities don’t interact with each other. I don’t want Shutterstoppers to be just another closed photography community. I want this community to interact with other communities, and I want every photography group to interact with each other and make a super community of photographers.
So if you have a photography community or a photography blog, mail me and say hi. I would love to join your group.
When photography groups talk to each other, the quality of the articles will be improved and you can write articles on the same topic from a different perspective. That would help you understand the topic in-depth.
So, you see, shutterstoppers is not just about shutterstoppers. I didn’t create this community to be just another photography group. Shutterstoppers is about photography.
Shutterstoppers is about photography. It’s about learning and doing photography together — every photography community together.
If you are a photographer or a photography enthusiast, you are a shutterstopper.
With articles, digital products, and services shutterstoppers aims to provide value to each individual in every photography community.
I welcome you to join this community and be a shutterstopper. Let’s share our experiences and knowledge with each other and learn together.
You can reach me through any of my social media profile or mail me.