Vinoth Raj Pillai Photography
My mum once told me that when I was a child, she was very worried that I would be mute cause I didn’t start speaking until I was 3 years old. That was perhaps the beginning of when I started having difficulty expressing my thoughts through words. Only until my teenage years, did I discover a new means of expression, through art. From doodling, drawing pictures of my favourite comic characters or even carving their images on my brown wooden desk in school. I believe my passion for art stems from my dad’s side of the family, who tend to be very talented and gifted in arts.
Upon graduating from high school, I faced the decision of deciding my career path. My future. The combination of our very humble background and the typical Indian mindset, my parents didnt want me to detour from the successful Indian blueprint. Which is by being a LEAD i.e Lawyer, Engineer, Architect, or a Doctor. Without my dad’s knowledge, I applied for a graphic designing course as my first option and engineering as my second. The university I applied to however shared the same ideology as my parents and offered me a place in their engineering course instead.
I took a break from the arts, and did what every uni student did, partied, had fun with my friends, crammed for finals. In my 4th year of uni (2006), I picked up a camera and found a new outlet to express myself, through photography. I started documenting stories about myself, stories about people around me. Close friends said that I had the eye for photography, and encouraged me to continue shooting, and so I did. Even back then, I felt an immense sense of happiness and fulfilment whenever they looked at my photos of them.
After graduating, I started working as an Engineer and shooting weddings during the weekends.
And that’s when I learnt how to listen. How I started listening to how things were unfolding around me. That smile on the groom’s face when the bride walks down the aisle. That look of pride and joy on their parents’ faces seeing their child marry their soulmate.
Today, I have finally gathered the strength and courage to pursue my passion full time. I thank my parents for blessing me with the strength and courage to pursue my passion.
All my life I was looking for ways to express myself but now, I’m going to take a step back.
I’m going to listen, and I’m going to tell a story.