NYFA: What is your personal background and how did you become interested in photography?
Maul Gohel: I come from a very simple family of engineers and businessmen. My dream was to be a cricketer but that didn’t work out. Like the saying goes, “Decisions make your life”—I dropped out of my MBA after the ﬁrst lecture and today I’m a happy soul.
I started capturing photos a long time ago but could not realize the feel of it. I used to play guitar in a rock band too. One ﬁne day I captured a whole rock show and people loved the pictures. Even that day I enjoyed capturing like never before. The pictures were so much appreciated. I was happy with the feeling that I can shoot some good rock ‘n’ roll images.
Later I started clicking everyday with everything. I got another rock show to cover and I didn’t have a professional SLR camera. My friend loaned me his and I shot the rock show for a local band. My interest and conﬁdence was growing higher and higher. The thoughts, the feeling and the vision which my eyes were looking for for so many years, ﬁnally I discovered something which gives my mind and heart immense peace and a beautiful feeling which is photography.
NYFA was my teenage dream, but it happened late but in style. I feel fortunate as after years everything falls in place beautifully with God’s grace.
NYFA: What was the most important lesson—if you can choose just one—that you learned while at NYFA?
MG: ‘Breaking The Ice’ was the best session I had at NYFA during my time there. It is the THING to interview stranger, discover their life and shoot portrait. Well, one of the persons tried to smash my camera and luckily I saved it. LOL. But ya it has surely played an important role in my career.
NYFA: You have worked in a number of different genres that include fashion, advertising, ﬁlm direction, editorial, and ﬁne art photography. How did your education at NYFA prepare you to work in so many different styles?
MG: Each and every day we were assigned projects with different subjects like you mentioned; art, fashion, and so on. So, I remember we were shooting each and every day, then post production and print. It was a pure rock ‘n’ roll feeling to me at NYFA. That is the NYFA I dreamt of. Coz I have dreamt it and NYFA did not allow me to sleep; instead NYFA made me live my dream.
NYFA: Do you have a particular genre of photography that you are most passionate about? And if so, what about that genre appeals to you?
MG: Fashion and advertising thrills me most. It is super challenging and the world is going ‘Glamorous’ so why not with my vision? It is the most creative and lively style to portray.
NYFA: How does your love of imperfection come across in your pictures? Why do you ﬁnd yourself attracted to imperfection?
MG: The day my pictures will be perfect, I will feel bored about it. No one is perfect in this form of art. If I try to shoot perfect photographs then it will look more like plastic. The only reason I am attracted to imperfection is the liveliness of the photograph. I connect you more to the image and the atmosphere of it.
NYFA: You won the award for Best Photographer for Fashion, Advertising & Contemporary in the world at Fashion TV Photographer’s award at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. How has that effected your career?
MG: Oh! The award is like a dream come true which I feel fortunate and honored to achieve it for family, friends, my country, and NYFA. Being the ﬁrst Asian to win and the ﬁrst NYFA student is a very proud feeling. The Cannes Film Festival as we know is one of the world’s greatest ﬁlm festivals so I feel like my photography career has ﬁnally progressed to a higher level now. It has opened many doors and I thank God for each and every day. Trust me it is rock ‘n’ roll (roll = ﬁlm roll). LOL.
NYFA: How did your photography education at NYFA also prepare you to shoot videos?
MG: Actually, video was my hidden passion which I only just discovered recently but the aesthetics are same. So I started directing fashion film and shooting video.
NYFA: What advice would you give aspiring photographers in terms of obtaining work? How have you managed to ﬁnd success as a professional photographer?
MG: Don’t just ‘own’ a camera, keep shooting like you’re shooting for your dreams.
NYFA: How can NYFA photography students get the most out of their education?
MG: Through the faculties, through the projects, and through the atmosphere at NYFA. To me it is the world’s best ﬁlm school ever.
NYFA: Any additional words of advice that you would give to aspiring photographers looking to establish a full-time career in photography?
MG: All the best for whatever you do, but do what you love. Happy Clicking 🙂
To read more about Maul Gohel please visit his website – www.maulgohel.com