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49 Hours Studio: When Passion Becomes a Profession

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Passionate in photography, Utshav Singh Adhikari saved his two years’ earnings and pocket money to buy his first DSLR camera and started working on making profiles of companies, product reviews and other promotional activities on the contract basis as a photographer.

Slowly, as he grew his network, he wanted to create a photography brand of himself. With personal cameras and other tools as an investment, he initiated ’49 Hours Studio’ on August 31, 2012 in association with his photographer friends. Working by utilizing available personal contacts in the beginning, they later formally registered the company in the year 2014, and rapidly scaled up the company.

49-hours-studio-4Now, they are 20 team-members strong with 4 core team members, 10 photographers, 4 designers and 2 marketing and sales and customer relations officers.

They are currently working on creating the brand identity of various corporations and personal/professional profiles of people together with working for the fashion houses and the e-commerce sites. The company also provides their services in package of photography, videography, designing and animation services, all at one place, removing the hassles for corporates.

Recalling about the challenges in the growth and scaling up of the company, Adhikari says, “Earlier, we had to do everything on our own. To show that we existed, we had to do a lot of things. Now, we have been working as official photographers for different brands and companies along with working for advertising agencies. It feels rewarding to be reaching this position.”

Utshav Singh Adhikari
Utshav Singh Adhikari

The studio hires intern photographers and trains them in specific areas for a month to eventually promote them as staff members analyzing their performance.

The organization is currently working to start a magazine and establishing a news photography agency. The magazine will be of art genre showing the rich heritage of Nepal, more like a literature on the sector. As per the initiator Adhikari, they have been researching on the content development since the last one year. “The magazine publication work has already started and the first copy will be out in this November itself,” he adds. Regarding their news photography agency, Adhikari shares, “Our team is ready for the new beginning of the company as a media hub, including IT and production and back-end. Now, we are searching for front-end, after which everything will be ready to kick-start the business in a new way.”

Apparently the student of photography from New York Institute of Photography, Adhikari shares, “To be professional, hobby works only to some extent. Study and knowledge of the same is required for one to grow in the sector and work as a professional photographer and create a brand image of oneself. Moreover, one also needs to be good at building network and communication.”

Giving message to the youths, Adhikari says, “You need to explore the scope by yourself. If it’s not available, be passionate to that extent so that you end up creating it on your own. In foreign countries, platforms for one’s exposure are easily available which is completely lacking in Nepal. So, you need to have the courage to build that.”

He still remembers his father asking him on what he would do by becoming a photographer. He still remembers the question: “Can you earn your living from photography itself?” He was quite unsure about it that time. But, coming this far, he can say that, “Yes, I did a good job by choosing the sector.”

Presented By: Basanta Kumar Dhakal