Professional photographer Amrit Rivas only found his new passion a short few years ago but his work is fast attracting attention. Amrit specializes in portraits, light photography, landscape and fashion photography.
The first time The Scene caught up with him, he was shooting SAS Designs’ Fashion Show ‘Golden Treasure’.
Amrit who was born in Georgetown lived for a while in Zorg on the Essequibo Coast. He later returned to live in the city.
According to the former St Andrew’s Primary pupil and past Institute of Professional Education (IPE) student, even while he was in school he was never really sure what he wanted to do when he was older. He remembers well though, he was always the guy cracking jokes with his friends adding that he talked a lot back in school and was always “break dancing,” which he humorously said, he’s grown too old for now.
“I found my interest in photography when I was 19 years of age,” said the 22-year-old. By 20, he got his first camera. “I remember too well the day I got my first camera…. it took two weeks to get to Guyana. It was the longest two weeks of my life, I would say. The first photo I took was one of the moon.”
Prior to getting into photography, Amrit had taken a liking to videography and did videos for special occasions up until his camera arrived then videography was put on a shelf.
His love for photography came after being inspired by the Cooperative of Photography (COOPH), an online magazine that recognizes and supports people passionate about photography. It is the very first brand to produce stylish and functional clothing specifically designed with photographers in mind. It also offers professional photography workshops.
“The way Cooph would come up with amazing ideas for shoots using household items to create amazing effects; that’s what mostly got my attention,” Amrit said.
“Photography for me is something I can do to take my mind off the stress that life tends to bring; it’s more of a hobby,” he said. And while photography may be just a hobby or something he finds an escape in, his expertise has brought him numerous jobs already.
The self-taught photographer explained that at first one of his challenges was having the shutter speed too low, where his photos would blur, while having a high shutter speed produced dark photos. Spending time learning his camera, he quickly caught on and in no time he was getting the shots he wanted, knowing just the right shutter speed depending on the object he was taking and the velocity of it. And though that would have been a quite an accomplishment for him, he couldn’t celebrate more when he got photography lighting right; life as a photographer got better with that.
Apart from his photography, Amrit is a graphics designer, creating logos, business cards and fliers and because of this profession, he enjoys dabbling in graphics whenever he edits his photos.
It was photography that took him on trips around Guyana capturing its wonders and sharing his experience. “When it comes to going on trips, for me it’s like getting ready for the Olympics and I get all excited. Two days ahead of my departure, I’m usually checking to see if my battery is fully charged and if my camera and everything else in order, all set for the adventures ahead.
“I remember the time I went to a village called Paruima which is next to Venezuela. It’s pretty amazing there, the mountains surrounding the entire village. Being in the outdoors was an unforgettable experience. Though I didn’t get to explore as much as I wanted, I still had a great time shooting there; it’s an experience to remember.”
Amrit is often back and forth between the tight schedule of his full-time graphics job and doing photoshoots so another trip anytime soon is still yet undecided; however he’s always anticipating a trip.
In the meantime he’ll be perfecting his skills and plans to do a few more courses in the coming year to master this art. Where does he see himself in five years’ time, in his own words, “Hmmm… well I’d love to be a pro by then, rocking my Canon Mark III.”
For persons wanting to get into photography, Amrit admonishes them to first learn about their cameras, the different settings and what they’re used for then they can work on the lighting of their photos.
In his limited free time he enjoys doing more photography, graphics designing, playing football and going on adventure trips in the countryside. Amrit who loves working with colours in both his jobs says his favourites are black and blue, mostly dark colours.
To see more of Amrit’s work, check out his Facebook page at Amrit Rivas.