Mumbai: Entrepreneurship and financial independence are the two mantras which drive millennials. And Prathima Pingali, a 22-year-old photographer, admits that enterpreneurship runs in her blood. It was this pioneering spirit which helped her bring a new focus to her calling as a professional photographer. Not only is she India's sole professional 'pet photographer', she has made it to list of the top 100 globally ranked professional photographers this year. The Andheri woman is a media graduate born and brought up in Hyderabad.
“The pet industry is rapidly growing, and photography is something I love, so I tried to mix the two for a better purpose,” says Prathima. She unhesitatingly reveals, her entrepreurship and money-making skills are genetically inherited from her father, who is also her pillar of support. The shutterbug was snapped up by the camera in Class 10. Her picture of the Powai lake in 2013 bagged her the 'environment and sustainability' photography award from Singapore. Enthused, she decided to take up photography as a profession.
In an era when her colleagues are walking the path of wedding and event photography, she chose to take the road less travelled, taking up pet and maternity photography assignments. She also dabbled in commercial photography, using pet dogs as models. “With YouTube and Instagram, the markets have become more diverse, as well as transparent. If you do something out of the box, you will be noticed,” she adds. Being an ardent animal lover, she also runs her own pet clinic and shop in Hyderabad. Often she sells merchandise based on her photography and spends a significant portion of her earnings for the protection and rescue of stray animals.
“Often the money I earn is used in buying reflective collars for the stray dogs, which reduces the chances of dogs getting hit by cars at night,” she informs. The young photographer has already collaborated with numerous pet product brands and is presently preparing for a pet exhibition, to be soon held in Juhu. The proceeds from this event will go, as usual, to her pet cause -- the rescue and welfare of stray animals.