Although you have established quite a name for yourself in the industry, it is almost impossible to live up to the name your father Rakesh Shrestha has created for himself. Do you feel pressured? How do you deal with comparisons?
To be honest, when I was younger, I was very nervous about comparisons because it is always difficult to be like someone so famous and path-breaking within the industry as my dad was. It was scary initially when I started my career because I was always compared to my dad. Over a period of time, I just realised that what I am trying to create is not just a name for myself, but it is about the imagery. My style is very different from my father’s, although I learnt so much from him. I would credit him for everything when it comes to my career and being given so many opportunities by him. So, it’s gratitude that I feel today but the beauty of it was that he never interfered with my style of working.
He let me find my own way and it truly means something when you fail yourself and you have to pick yourself up and learn those lessons the hard way as opposed to the things handed to you on a platter. So he let me do everything and made sure that he didn’t help me at the start of my career.
I always used to wonder why he didn’t help me but what he really did was let me figure out my path, myself. He always persuaded me to work hard and figure it out and I now understand why. The fruit is much sweeter when you pave your way to the top yourself.
Did you accompany your father on photoshoots when you were a kid? Any special memories that you would like to share with us?
Yes, I assisted him for a very long time. He treated me like an assistant and not like his son, which was very nice and baffling as a 21-22-year-old; as to why he doesn’t give me special treatment.
For the longest time, I never wanted to become a photographer as I was too scared. Even when I was assisting my dad, I never thought that this was for me and was just doing it because I thought there was nothing else to do. I tried my hand at photography, but I wasn’t very sure if I wanted to do it for the long run. Three years into assisting my dad, he took me on a shoot as a second assistant to Dubai, where we shot in the sand dunes. We were shooting Celina Jaitely and my only focus was on the magnificent sand dunes as I had never seen anything like that before in my life. The beauty of it caught my eyes and made me realise that this job has a lot of potential, not just capturing the most beautiful things/people, but something that also gave me a chance to explore new places. I love to travel so I decided to become a travel photographer and that’s just how I started my journey.
Tell us something about your friendship with Shraddha Kapoor. What has been your reaction to dating rumours that do the rounds in the media?
You called them rumours yourself! I have nothing more to add to it.
Do you have any acting aspirations?
No, not at all. I am very happy behind the camera.