Featuring Sanjay Jogia
When I met Sanjay Jogia of Eye Jogia Photography on the bustling exhibit hall floor at WPPI, he said he was actually relieved to be back in the crowd on the floor. Gesturing toward his “Judge” badge, the Luxury Wedding Photographer said he had just finished judging the WPPI print competition.
“We were stuck in a dark room for 11 hours a day looking at images. We had hundreds and hundreds of images to go through.” Sanjay has been a Print Competition Judge at WPPI for the last 3 years, so I asked him for some advice on how to stand out.
“We’re looking for creativity. For impact. We’re looking for originality.” Sanjay made sure to include the technical side of things. “The camera settings, lighting, light shaping, and then the editing. The quality of the editing, the re-touching, and then finally, the quality of the prints. It’s important that the quality of the finishing, the mounting and the presentation is good as well.”
Print Competitions | It’s All In a Day’s Work
Despite the long hours in dark rooms, Sanjay says judging is his favorite part about attending WPPI. “It’s very inspiring for us as judges when we’re sitting on a panel and an image comes up and there’s a different take on that particular category. We love seeing images that blow us away. The standard is getting higher and the judging is getting harder.”
Even with the stakes being raised every year, Sanjay says new entries continue to surprise and move him. “I think the industry of photographers is driving the print competition standard up because they’re getting more inspired every year.” The longtime judge believes social media plays a large part in that inspiration. “Somebody creates an incredible photograph, it goes to social media, it generates an incredible reaction and it inspires other people.”
Named one of the top six wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photographer Magazine, Sanjay Jogia splits his time between his home in London, the destination weddings he shoots all over the world, speaking at conventions, hosting workshops, and teaching at events like WPPI. “I’ve been teaching for probably eight or nine years in London, mainly, but this is my second year teaching at WPPI.” Sanjay gives classes at expos and has started offering one-on-one classes when students approached him and were looking to develop certain areas of expertise. “If my schedule allows for it, then I’ll do a dedicated workshop, maybe two, three, four, five days. It just depends on what people want.”
There’s Nothing Like Good Feedback
Sanjay is passionate about encouraging photographers to get feedback on their work from their peers and mentors. Something he wished he did earlier on. “I spent the first two years in my career going at it alone. But one of the biggest things that made a difference to my imagery was critique.” Sanjay suggests trying to get a one-on-one critique with someone you admire, even if it’s over Skype.“ Just take a bunch of images and go for that critique, it’s much more valuable than a new lens.”
Often times, when a photographer is just starting out, or even expanding, Sanjay says they spend too much money on equipment. “As a purist, I would say it doesn’t matter what your equipment is. If you have talent, then it will always shine through and then you can enhance that with good equipment and software.”
[Additional Reading: How to Handle Criticism as a Photographer]
A Healthy Work/Life Balance | Eye Jogia Photography
Coming off a packed first few months of 2019, I asked Sanjay how he centers himself during busy work trips. “You’ve got to find your balance and you’ve got to find the thing that you enjoy.” For Sanjay, that’s running and listening to music. He also cherishes spending quality time with his friends and family, but admitted it isn’t always easy to make it happen. “The wedding photography industry is incredibly antisocial. We work in other people’s social time. We’re working in the evenings, editing during the day, running our businesses, meeting with clients and always working on weekends.”
Sanjay is lucky enough to work with his wife, Roshni, whom he calls “the heart” at Eye Jogia Photography. Still, every day and with conscious effort, he strives to strike that ideal work/life balance that makes it all worthwhile.