It’s rare but all the more fulfilling when our hobbies turn into passion. Meet R.K. Vanlaldinpuia, a radiographer by profession, whose love for art and capturing moments led him to take on the camera and pursue photography. He used his hobby and passion as a tool to fight his depression. After going through all the hardships, he learnt to face the world with positivity and wishes people to see hope through his photographs. Read on to get to know him better!
We had a chat with R.K Vanlaldinpuia, a passionate photographer from Aizawl, Mizoram. He talks about his inspirations, how he finds time for his hobby while working full-time as a radiographer.
Hello, RK! Please share a little about yourself with our readers.
My name is R.K. Vanlaldinpuia and my friends call me Rk or Puia, whichever one you prefer. I’m 26-years-young and right now I’m in Chawngte, Kamalanagar; if you search for the name in Google map you’ll find that it’s on the western border of Mizoram, closer to Bangladesh than Aizawl. I have a younger brother and a younger sister. My father’s an Evangelist (Literature Worker), who is right now situated in Nepal with my dearest mother.
I’m a radiographer by profession and besides taking radio-graphs of sick patient, I take photographs of people, places and anything that is out of the ordinary. I’m from Aizawl, Mizoram, the capital but right now I’m posted here in Chawngte due to my Governmental Posting. Lately, I’ve been busy with programming trying my hands at coding and seeing where it gets me, apart from my daily habit of taking out my DSLR (Nikon d3300) and pointing it at people to try and capture their emotions.
What initially sparked your interest in photography?
My love for art and capturing the beautiful emotions of people, that is what sparked my interest in Photography. When I say love for art, my hobby earlier was sketching pencil art whenever I felt sad or happy. I used to draw a lot during my young adult days when I had a lot of depression and low self-esteem, back when I was finding my feet in the world. It use to give me a sense of home, a safe haven from all the other negatives. And i guess that’s when i started to realize i want to capture people’s emotion and to make other people feel a sense of nostalgia in my photos and give them a piece of this beautiful earth.
Talking about my depression to the world isn’t an easy thing. I have to dig deep down inside of me to share stories about my weakness and my short comings but I hope that it will give people the strength they need to pull out of their own depression and use it to fuel their passion and desires.
Photograph of an old lady sitting by the staircase of a locality in Mizoram | shot by Vanladinpuia
A shot of one of the local kitchen in Mizoram, by Vanlaldinpuia
Night view of Chawngte town in Kamalanagar, Mizoram captured beautifully by Vanlaldinpuia
How has your upbringing influenced your working style?
As I mentioned earlier, I had a long spell of depression and low self-esteem due to our upbringing. Mostly due to us growing up in a totally different environment/country from where we were born and suddenly going back home after 12 years to mingle with kids of my age there. The term used mostly I think is – Third Culture kids, back then I didn’t know of such things but due to my parent’s prayers and my willingness to not give up, I tackled it through art. Pencil art at first and later on photography. It gave me that desire to capture emotions and people from my quiet place. To show the world how I see the world from my corner. A corner that’s a bit uncovnetional amd quiet.
How do you manage to indulge in your hobby, when you work full-time as Radiographer?
The good thing about rural posting is that you don’t get the same amount of work load as one would get in the city. So, we have ample time to do our side jobs, hobbies, sports, etc. Mind you, I go to work during OPD hours during daytime, plus the emergency on calls during nights. So, our free time are mostly during the afternoons and when the OPD’s are done.
Where do you take inspiration from?
I take inspiration from my friends on Instagram mostly. If I have to mention a few, they are @mamapachuau , @georgesla , @nunmoia_hnamte and few others . And the famous Steve Mcurry. I like his style of storytelling and his composition, Fan Ho’s Black and white Photography. And I guess Instagram as a whole.
Black and White photograph of a little girl running around in their yard | by Vanladinpuia
Black and White photograph of a ballet girls | by Vanladinpuia
What do you hope people take away from your photographs?
I hope that when people look at my photos they see that the world is beautiful. Even with all the bad things and the negative thing that happens in our life and in the world, it is still beautiful. I want to show people that it’s okay to be hurt and alone sometimes; tell them that it’s not abnormal to feel alone, dejected and unwanted. And to make them understand that it’s not the end of the world but there are so much more to this world than our problem. I want to show them that tomorrow is a new day and to give people hope, basically. I want to give people hope and I guess you can see that with most of the captions that I use to make in my photos.
What gets you particularly excited about pursuing photography?
The idea of capturing emotion, the idea of capturing movement, the idea of capturing light coming in through the window and creating a sense of warmth; to capture those things gets me excited every time.
Vanlaldinpuia’s beauitiful shot of a light coming in through the window
Candid shot of young kids amidst nature | by Vanlaldinpuia
Tell us about your most memorable photo.
My most memorable photo I took would be of my grandmother last year January, the day after I got my first DSLR. She was my first portrait click. And she passed away last November that makes it even more valuable for me.