Beachroad Magazine chat with Vishal VijayKumar about life in Dubai and check out his awesome street photography.
When spending time in Dubai where do you like to eat, socialize and shop?
It really depends on that particular day. My wife and I are big foodies, hence we just head out and go with our instincts. Invariably we end up at Old Dubai or Jumeirah road. Socializing is mostly over a cup of coffee with friends at any good café in the city. Shopping is the easiest, I generally head to the nearest mall.
What are your thoughts on Dubai as a city and its evolution?
City of the future, that’s what I feel about Dubai. It is young, ambitious and lets you dream big. It keeps reinventing itself.
How long have you been in Dubai and how long do you plan to stay?
I have been here for over 5 years now. Dubai is now home.
What advice would you give a newcomer to street photography?
Wear comfortable shoes and keep your eyes wide open to capture the life around you
Any future plans / projects you can share with us?
It's a secret!
VISHAL ANSWERS THE BEACHROAD MAGAZINE Q&A //
NAME? // Vishal VijayKumar.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // IT Engineer.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION // Brand Manager.
WHO WERE YOUR EARLY PHOTOGRAPHIC INFLUENCES? // Matt Stuart – His humor in street photography is unbelievable, Bruce Gilden – Love the rawness in his images and most recently, Brandon Stanton – Love his storytelling approach.
WHEN DID YOU REALISE PHOTOGRAPHY WAS FOR YOU? // I have been shooting ever since I was a kid. It was somehow always second nature to get hold of a camera and take pictures. While growing up, I used to shoot with film cameras. Years later, I got hands on my iPhone. It actually rekindled my interest and ever since I have been capturing images.
WHAT CAMERA DO YOU USE? // Nikon D7100.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PHOTOGRAPHIC MOMENT YOU HAVE HAD? // It wasn’t a particular moment. It was my backpacking trip to Nepal along with my friends. That’s when I first tried my hand at street photography. At that moment, it was about capturing a new environment. But then soon after, I realized that I had brought back with me the culture, people and environment of that place. Ever since I have been capturing streets of various places.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Death.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // Evening walks with dad to the nearest shopping center in Sharjah, that’s where I grew up.
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // Frankly, it is difficult to name one particular person. But Sir Richard Branson tops the list for his positive outlook and never giving up attitude.
YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST? // Current favorite is Matt Stuart.
YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY? // The Empty Quarter.
IF YOU OWNED A GALLERY WHAT WOULD YOU CALL IT? // Black Hole.
IF YOU WERE NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? // Food taster.
IF YOU WERE ONLY ALLOWED ONE MORE ROLL OF FILM TO SHOOT WHAT WOULD YOU PHOTOGRAPH? // Family and friends.
WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH? // Travel photography.
WHAT PIECE OF WORK HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? // Every time I hit the streets it’s a challenge. I can never know what to expect each time I am on the streets. But then that’s the fun.
PHOTOGRAPHY ASIDE, WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Music.
WHERE IS YOUR DREAM STUDIO LOCATION? // Bastakia, Dubai.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE JOURNEY AND DESTINATION? // Osaka, Japan.
WHO IS YOUR GREATEST FASHION INFLUENCE? // None.
IF YOU COULD OWN ANY PIECE OF PHOTOGRAPHY WHAT WOULD IT BE? // Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry.
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY PHOTOGRAPHER ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // Matt Stuart for sure.
WHAT IS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // Baked a cake for my friend’s son.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION? // My parents.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CHILDREN? // Be curious.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Late sleeper.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Fake smiles.
YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIES? // Matrix, Requiem for a Dream, Dark Knight.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE? // Would not want a movie to be made on me
FAVOURITE MUSIC // Babe I’m gonna leave you by Led Zepplin.
LAST RECORD / DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // James Blake – Overgrown.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // Losing my Virginity.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Fountainhead .
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Sky Diving.
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // Japan.
LEAST FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // Haven’t been there yet.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Listening to music.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Both.
CATS OR DOGS? // Neither.
COFFEE OR TEA? // Coffee.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // Good company.
WHATS MAKES YOU CRY? // Bad company.
YOUR MOTTO / MESSAGE? // Be crazy, be wild, be silly, be stupid, be weird, be whatever because life is too short to be anything but happy.