Parmeet, Tell us a bit about yourself and your photography background and business…
Time flies but memories stay — these are the words I live by. I have always been fond of capturing photos. Whenever I photograph a client, my priority is always to capture emotions and stories through the lens. When I migrated to New Zealand from India many years ago, I had to leave behind a large collection of photo albums, comprising many beautiful memories of my family. The experience made me realise the importance of photos and prompted me to take up photography, which soon became a passion.
Today, photography has become such an important and valuable part of my life. It’s truly what I was always meant to be doing. Me and my camera are inseparable.
Following a lot of hard work and many sacrifices, with the help of my supportive family and blessings of my loving friends, I was able to take my passion a step further by starting my own company. Soulful Memories Photography specialises in portraiture along with event photography and street photography.
You've recently been exhibiting your 'The Gathering of Life' series, tell us more about that.
My photographic exhibition featured around 200 photos out of the thousands I captured on a recent solo trip to Nepal earlier this year to celebrate my birthday.
It was always my dream to see my photos being displayed at an exhibition, and as they say- dreams do come true!
When I showed my friends and workmates the photos, they encouraged me to publicly display my work. I got in touch with the New Zealand Nepalese Association and asked them if they would like to be a part of the event. They were extremely supportive and made everything possible. Together, Soulful Memories and NZNA collaborated to fund raise for underprivileged children in Nepal through donations and selling photo prints at the exhibition.
The number of people who attended the first round of exhibitions (200+) totally exceeded our expectations and I couldn't be more proud. The second round also attracted many new guests and people who were unable to attend the first. I was so overwhelmed with all the love and support. Many community dignitaries were able to make it and were also full of praises for the beautiful culture of Nepal.
For me the best feeling was seeing people from different communities and cultures coming together to support a noble cause and appreciate the photos as well as the country.
"Sadhu" by Parmeet Sahni
In your mind, what makes a successful portrait?
I always try to look for an interesting story to portray through my portraits. I believe that the expressions of your subject can change the entire mood of the photo, so it's good to take multiple shots that you can choose from later during processing. The background of a portrait plays an equally important role as the subject of the photo. I don’t hesitate when it comes to unique and interesting backgrounds as they add to the overall narrative of the image.
"Vibrant Varansi Ghat" by Parmeet Sahni
As a member of Excio, could you tell us your thoughts on joining our creative community?
I think joining this community and becoming a part of such great and esteemed photographers has been one of the best decisions I have made. It is a great platform to express yourself creatively as an artist and connect with others in the field. I was blown away and very inspired by the work of other photographers I have seen on Excio. It’s very interesting to see so many different styles and techniques- there’s always something to learn. The team of Excio is also so pleasant to work with, which makes the whole experience even better.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
It would be great to take “The Gathering of Life” to more cities in New Zealand and around the world. I am also very keen on taking more trips in the future and bringing back even more cultures to our beautiful Aotearoa.
"Pashupatinath Bagmati Aarati" by Parmeet Sahni
Parmeet will be featured in issue 13 of New Zealand Photographer magazine as she takes us Behind The Shot for one of her portraits in The Gathering Of Life series.