The Voice Behind the Lens - manaliphotography.com
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The Voice Behind the Lens

July 1, 2015

I’m Manali
Brand photographer & educator based out of Northern VA & DC. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard with wine & cheese or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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I’m no writer. I’ve kept a photo journal for about four years as a way of documenting my life, coupling photographs with some scribbles to preserve my memories as much as possible. But has the writing been spot on or even close to something I would share with the world? Absolutely not since t’s a diary of sorts. But looking back, I end up cherishing the words as much as I do the pictures because together they paint the bigger picture of that day from so long ago that I nearly forgot about. As I’ve started writing blog posts to go along with all the pictures I’ve taken I realized that it’s difficult to show what I’m like as a person along with showing you what I’m like as a photographer. 

However, in reality that’s exactly what happens when I photography you. You hear me talking almost constantly from behind my lens and in a way my voice shapes the session. I give directions for posing but more than that I say some silly things eliciting those candid moments that I then capture with a click. And at the end of the day, whomever is in front of my lens has a pretty good idea of what I’m like as a person behind that same lens. We get to know each other on both sides of the camera and I would really like my blog to be a place that I can get to know my readers & they can get to know me. Right now it’s pretty much just friends & family who care about me enough to take a few minutes out of their time to read me rambling and they can probably can hear my voice saying all this (in the off chance that I caught someone new’s attention, hello!). So every Monday I’ll be giving myself a voice by sharing 5 few things about myself that’ll give you a better idea of what I’m like as a person and not just a photographer (not that these two aren’t completely mutual because they really are).

1. I use a lot of parentheses when I’m writing because my mind interjects words everywhere. Ask my co-workers, ask my friends, I talk out loud all the time and more than often I’m missing a couple of words because I’m thinking too fast. I’m thankful for the peeps that understand my word spew.

2. I’ve been a dancer my entire life. There are home videos of little Manali spinning in circles and dragging other people onto the dance-floor a.k.a. our family room. It’s really quite adorable. Growing up I’ve had the opportunity to pick up a bit of different styles from Jazz, Tap & Ballet as a kid to Indian Classical Katthak (look it up, it’s pretty) to Bollywood Fusion & Bhangra in college. It’s quite sad but I don’t actually how to “gym” properly since dance has always been more than enough of a workout for me. I spend about 12 hours a week at dance practices in college and live in leggings as a consequence.

3. I love reading. It used to be fantasy novels but now it’s definitely photographers’ blogs. I soak them in (after fangirling over the photos of course) and have learned so much from them not just about photography but about business tips as well. 

4. I like to type. A lot. Couldn’t you tell? I joke that it’s the reason I chose to be a CS major. I learned to type without looking at the keyboard at the age of five. I am also not at all ashamed to say that me and my roommate and I have races to see who can type faster. On a Friday night. Total Geek status? Yup, we’re guilty.

5. I forget how tiny I am. Well at least until I see a picture of myself next to my brother. At hardly 5 feet I am constantly on my tippy toes or jumping on ledges to capture the best shot for photography. For some reason this doesn’t faze me and I always feel & believe that I’m totally average height.

And to end things here’s an iPhone picture (*gasp the quality I know*) of me on the beach where I’m convinced I belong forever!

See more of my adventure to OBX here or catch up or check out another personal post of family pictures I took.

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