Stavan Shah graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce degree and helped his dad manage his business. However, he quickly realized that neither did he enjoy sitting in front of books for hours nor did he like sitting in a cabin handling finances and auditing purchase orders. He always loved to travel, interact with different people and explore new places. His photographs received a lot of appreciation on social networking sites, but the major boost in self-confidence was when one of his wildlife photographs was awarded with prize in Pixel Photography competition organized by Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India. Something that started as a hobby, quickly developed into a passion and within no time he was all set to attain a formal education. He successfully completed his Diploma in Photography course at CEPT University in 2011 under the guidance of Prof Parmanand Dalwadi.
During the same time Stavan was hired to shoot different tribes of the remote villages of Kutch, Gujarat for a non-profitable organization called Shrujan. Having spent all his life in a metropolitan city in India, this documentary project was completely out of his comfort zone and a real eye opening experience. As he documented their lifestyle, culture and tradition it made him realize how even a small village has so much beauty hidden in it. Staying with them he was amazed at the warmth and hospitality that he received. This made him realize that these feelings did not correlate with the financial richness of a person but depended solely on the richness of their virtues. Every tribe had a different way of living their own life, not only based on their professions, local art but even their dressing style. In spite of their diversity, a common link between all the tribes was that how they survived the harsh climatic conditions of the desert of Kutch. They had a simple way of living, complained less, smiled more and appreciated the little things in life that are often taken for granted in a city. The work that he did for Shrujan as a lead documentary photographer will be showcased at Asia’s biggest textile museum, which will open its door in mid 2015. His work was also published quite a lot of times in the leading newspapers of India like Divya Bhaskar that has a monthly subscription of 120,000 readers.
After his work received a generous appreciation in India, he decided to test his photography skills at an international level. He was extremely excited when he got admitted to Tufts-School of the Museum of Fine Arts for pursuing Post Baccalaureate in Photography. The classes and studio experience that he received here not only enhanced his photography by several folds but also helped him gain new professional skills. He recently exhibited his work at the New England Art Sale, which is the largest contemporary art sale in New England. This exhibition made him realize that it feels great when your work is appreciated but it feels even better when two of your photographs are sold in an international market for a competitive price. His Post-Baccalaureate in Photography at Boston has helped him lay the foundation stone for his international photography career. However, he feels that he has barely scratched the surface and there is a lot more that he needs to learn. Learning and exhibiting his work in Boston will be an invaluable experience in itself.
Stavan Shah now works as a Wedding Photographer who focuses on beauty and detail, and is experienced in showcasing the bond between the two partners and the importance of friends and family. Shah’s work reveals his attention to “the real side” of every individual. He wants to reveal their personality, their role in the celebration and the message they want to convey at this important event.
He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and is available to travel internationally, from the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean to India and Europe.
He believes that photographers are blessed with the ability to capture smiles, emotions and memories that last a lifetime and beyond.
So, hello world, “SAY CHEESE!”