Dhir's Surprising Photography Journey...

Dhir's Surprising Photography Journey...

Hello friends, welcome to my first blog.

To introduce myself, I'm Dhir Jakharia - a wildlife photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya. I thought that since a lot of people ask me about my journey and how I got into photography, I might as well include it in my first blog. Hope you enjoy :)

My Story...

Well, a lot of people are surprised when I say that I am Kenyan-Indian. I am of Indian origin but was born in a small town in Kenya (3 hours away from Nairobi) and lived there for 13 years. Growing up, my dream has always been to become a professional footballer (I'm a die-hard Manchester United fan (lol)). It was the only thing I was obsessed about. On the other hand, I was always horrible at art and in fact, I hated art class in school. I always tried to paint and draw but it was always bad. Photography was just a small interest, as I sometimes enjoyed taking photos of random objects with a phone. I was lucky enough for my parents to buy me a small DSLR camera at the age of 14. Yes, I did enjoy taking photographs with that camera, but never explored it more because my passion stayed loyal to football.

However, I gave up on the football dream when I was 16. Truth is, I switched to a more realistic perspective and realized that football is every boy's dream (where I come from), and I was happy to gracefully accept that the chances were incredibly low hence I could enjoy football without having the pressure to turn it into a profession.

Coincidentally, my photography journey started right after I gave up on football as a career. in 2019, I visited Vietnam with my family for a vacation. Luckily, I had brought my camera with me. I took photographs of beautiful sceneries and subjects, and always showed them to my family. My cousin, in particular, loved my photos and encouraged me to take more. We even decided that I should post on my Instagram whose username was "professionalnewb" (*insert cringe emoji*). After that we decided to change it to 'spotclickpost' which is still cringe (lol) but iconic now I guess?

During that trip, I kind of fell in love with taking good photographs. So, when I came back home, it was as if I had a newly found passion. I researched the different kinds of photography I can do in Kenya and happened to come across wildlife photography everywhere. Despite living in Kenya my whole life, that was when I truly appreciated the wildlife that I have in my country. Therefore, I decided to take advantage of my access to wildlife (a national park just 20 mins away from my house) and try it out. What can I say, I immediately fell in love with the idea of capturing animal photos with a camera!

From there, I invested a ton of my energy into learning photography basics on Youtube and even signed up for photography workshops with some professionals: my dear friends and incredible photographers Priyanshi and Gurcharan. Within just 5 months, from knowing nothing about camera basics, I started partially dreaming about becoming a professional wildlife photographer. I knew it was extremely difficult, but this time, I never put the pressure of turning it into a profession. Instead, I focused on becoming the best photographer I can be.

My theory as to why I have been able to grow quickly as a photographer is that I have always been a dreamer. As soon as I gave up on football, my intense childhood passion to become a footballer was channeled into photography. Just when I began to take photography more seriously, COVID happened. However, being home for a long period was actually a benefit for me; it made me spend 100s of hours editing; which has ultimately become one of my greatest strengths today.

Unfortunately, my dad passed away during that period, which came as a huge shock for me and my family. As a 17-year-old boy, it was as tough as you can imagine. However, I was lucky enough to have the best support system I could ever ask for. I also believe that this played a huge role in my life, as well as my growth as a photographer. Perhaps my energy was channeled even more into photography and it was a coping strategy? I don't know, but it's possible.

When COVID restrictions lessened, I started visiting Maasai Mara and fell in love with the diversity there. I built a large chunk of my portfolio and following from capturing photos from there. Then, I started visiting more and more, and learned how to get better each trip.

Today, I am a college student studying Business Administration and currently doing photography part time. I sell prints and organize photography tours in Kenya (message me if interested). It is still my aspiration to become full-time, and I will continue to do so moving forward.

To conclude, that was my journey in a nutshell and I have always hoped to make my journey to become an example of inspiration, resilience, and why dreaming big is important. I'll leave you with a quote that I had personally come up with for my recent exhibition:

'Just like in life and photography, read the light and you'll get it right'.

P.S: If you reached till here, it would mean the world to me if you let me know what you thought about my first blog! (You can email/dm me on Instagram @spotclickpost). As I come up with more blog topics, make sure to share with friends if you found it interesting :)

Thank you and have a wondeful day,


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