My name is Jigar Champaneria, and I’m the principal photographer at Samay Studio. That photo to the left is me with my daughter. And I think it says a lot about my photographic philosophy & what’s important to me
From the beginning, I’ve always wanted to be behind the camera. Rarely did I stop and pose for a picture. More than likely, I was grabbing my dad’s Minolta or my little point-and-shoot. I took it to school to chronicle the fun that my friends and I had. I took it on camping trips. I took it on afternoon walks around the neighborhood. Heck, I had a camera on me even while getting married! Yes, I was the only groom taking his own photos while riding on horseback during his wedding procession.
All this camera toting has been about remembering. About not letting my memories fade away. Further to that, photography has been about the details in everything I’ve done. Traveling to the Taj Mahal for me isn’t just about the building itself. It’s about the sunset placing a spire in silhouette and how I’ll never forget the grandeur of that immense monument. It’s about taking in the moment and making it last. Attending my niece’s birthday party isn’t just about the gifts & cake. It’s about the sheer joy and surprise as the birthday girl rips open the wrapping on her presents. It’s about sharing that joy with her parents. With a new daughter, I feel a special joy in capturing every one of her smiles, cries, and emotions and sharing them with my own family.
I think about all of these sorts of things as I’m capturing a bride smile, as her mother gives her a hug, as her father gives her away. I think about the moments that await a couple as we shoot their lifestyle portraits in the streets of San Francisco. I think about the privilege I have to make these memories last forever.
I think about *this* every time I’m behind the camera.