In this episode of Magical Mornings, we featured Naina Redhu is a professional photographer, visual artist and blogger with a career span of 17 years. She is also an entrepreneur of her very own brand Naina.seal
Here’s the interview of Naina Redhu with UnitePod.
Q. You have been doing some fascinating work out there. All our listeners would like to know a bit more about your journey. How did it kick start and reach the point where you are today?
Naina: Work-wise Naina’s Journey started 17 years ago, we all collect experiences and learnings from our childhood I suppose, I think it started when I saw my father using a camera for the first time and I was fascinated. I would ask him many questions; what is ISO, what is a film, how do you load film, because back then we only had film and log cameras. I was always encouraged to sketch if I wanted to, color and I used to enjoy drawing as a child. I would love to doodle. For my education, I did my MBA in IT in marketing. After that, I had a job for about a year. My job was as a management consultant, I used to be based out of Bombay those days.
It was a very interesting job, which set me on the path of creative thinking in a structured way. After a year working there, the Internet had opened up in India with platforms like Twitter. I joined these platforms. I was on LinkedIn. This is where when I started exploring my skills in HTML and CSS. I started designing websites for a lot of clients who were US and UK-based. That is what got me freelancing. I quit my job and for the first four years, I was doing graphic designing and logo designing. I also had a blog where I used to document all these processes and case studies. I have always been blogging, writing and documenting my life. Eventually, when Digital Cameras came to India, I asked a friend of mine from Australia to bring the digital camera for me as it was extremely expensive in India and that is how I started doing professional photography work. For the past 2-3 years I have been into painting as well. I have also sold some of my art to clients all around the world. One of the major contributing factors was that my parents never really said “Don’t do this”. Always supported and encouraged me.
Q. You have your podcast show known as The Naina Redhu Experience. Tell us more about that?
Naina: My podcast is called The Naina Redhu experience and it was inspired by Joe Rogan his podcast is called the Joe Rogan Experience. I think that was the first podcast I had ever listened to I think it was back in 2014 or 2015. My partner Bharat got me on to that podcast and I was fascinated and I listened to a couple of authors, I have listened to a couple of scientists and I listen to a lot of Joe Rogan podcasts. And I was like hey this sounds so exciting I didn't plan to have any friends or guests on my podcast I was more looking it in the line of a more talking head podcast which is picking up topics and talking about it. It was interesting to do it but it is complicated in the sense that there are so many things I do its kind of hard to be very regular with it so I haven't been very consistent or regular with it. I've had the podcast for a while and sometimes inspiration just strikes me and I decide I need to talk about this my podcast videos and audios usually do not extend beyond 15 minutes I guess the longest one is most probably 30 minutes. I have more than 100 episodes on my podcast so far. I just immediately record when sometimes I have something I want to talk about. There are so many platforms these days you also go to Instagram live sessions.
I'm also on a few other podcasts in which I get in few in which I get interviewed and then sometimes I just sit and think do I have time to do my podcast. I don't plan to give it up any time soon because honestly I quite enjoy it. But I think I enjoy far more time listening to other people's podcasts than doing my own. Mainly I talk about things like brand building, small business, how they can utilize social media, I talk about the business of photography specifically in a market like India because there is not a lot of content about India's specifically. It hasn't been but now there is. And there is a couple of podcasts that have been personal when I lost a friend of mine. It's a very me thing. You know if you listen to the podcast will get a very good idea about what I am trying to explain and the kind of person that I am.
Q. What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
Naina: There is one resource that has helped me along the way that and that is the Internet. But you also have to understand that the Internet is backed by people. So in that sense of one resource that has helped me is in all facets of whatever I do is other people. I have had help from you know people that I never thought I could communicate with but then you send them an email. And people to take the time to help you out. I once had someone send me a box of books from Palo Alto. Because I was fascinated by the company and I send them a very passionate email. And I was like I want to work with you. And they were like oh here's a box of books. And yeah I think it has been always been other people who have helped me. I want and have been doing anything if it wouldn't be because of other people. People who have encouraged me. People who visit my Instagram handle and appreciate my work. People buy my work and art. People who hire me as their photographer, People who will come and leave comments on my work, people who come and read my blogs everything have helped me a lot. Every small thing counts and they have made it count. And I am a solo entrepreneur I don't have a team I don't have people from who I bounce ideas. So it's all the Internet people online being strangers turn into friends. People have met during life now I chat with 2-3 days gap. And we bounce ideas off of each other it's like having an extended team of mine. In other people has been my resource and I have learned so much from them when they share their experiences whether in person or people who have their blogs that I have read over the years and I've learned so much from them.
Q. Where do you derive your inspiration from?
Naina: Honestly, I have the opposite problem I have to tamp down on my inspiration because it's everywhere. I see things and I sometimes feel like the way eyes see visuals and or a landscape I look at it and I look at the potential and I am like I need to capture this. And if I have an idea for a painting and I will write it down in my notes and I will come back to it after a few days sometimes a few weeks and sometimes even a few months. And I'm like I haven't worked on that idea then I experiment and then I come up with something new inspiration is everywhere. And animals plants water bodies they've all inspired me in a very different way they all fascinate me. People mostly people they fascinate me so much I love meeting new people and I enjoy so much learning about them they inspire me a lot and the feelings they invoke and me the conversations that I have with friends and family. A dream that I might have had, a book that I have read and then there is a lot of other stuff that has been happening that has inspired me in various ways. And I feel that inspiration is everywhere my problem is that I have plenty of inspiration songs need to cut down on them to work on something like that is like so many ideas that I have and there are only 24 hours in a day so I have to be very careful when I pursue a particular idea on that I don't want to waste my energy and time on something. I want to pursue everything but then honestly this is barely any time.
Q. Is there any incident that you feel was the life changing point in your life?
Naina: I think there's a lot of stuff in my life that has been like a life changing moment. I get affected quite easily but I also read meaning into a lot of things that I see or conversations that I have I have had so I think I have lost count of the number of times that I have had felt like oh my God this is life changing. It's been books that I have read, it's been people that I have met, but mainly I think it was my first job that I did and I quit. I remember my boss asking me like what am I going to do and he was not asking me on a bad note in but then it got me thinking like what am I going to do and then I had visited an office party and then someone over there and asked me that do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life. What he meant by that was like a 9-to-5 job where you travel in the morning to your office and then get over by 5 PM and then go back to your house and then you have no energy to do anything else in life. And I think at that moment I was like wait no I don't want this for myself, I cannot imagine doing this for another year forgetting about the rest of my life. There have been other stuff as well but then also when I decided to pursue art and I was like hey if I'm not gonna do it now then when will I do it.
Q. Tell us more about your childhood and how it molded you into the person you are today?
Naina: I think one of the things that I remember very clearly from the childhood days I used to be in school and I was not even a teenager and I watched a movie on television for us. It wasn't healthy in the film and it had a scene in which the female protagonist is standing in front of a mirror and the male protagonist tells her, look at yourself you are so beautiful and she was like I'm not, I'm so ugly and then he said no look at yourself and repeat it you are so beautiful to say that I am so beautiful. I remember as a child, I had very low self-esteem, I had very little self-confidence and I thought I was ugly. So I decided that hey I'm going to copy this actress and I'm going to do this and I did it, and it kind of helped me look at myself in the mirror in a different way. As a child, I used to be scared of public speaking, and now leave in a room with thousand people I would not be scared at all. As a child, I used to be very shy and always very am out of the light I used to keep sketching and drawing but now I am in like now oh it's like I do stuff like it's no tomorrow.
Q. If you could step into my shoes, what would you have asked yourself that I didn’t?
Naina: I would like to ask them Is does it gets easier as you get older? How do these things change as you get older mainly your profession your career and your work life and life in general? And I always like to know what people think is different from what life was 20 years ago. So my answer to that would be an I don't think it gets easier, I think you get better at doing the stuff, You realize and learn that a lot of things that do not matter. So you tend to take it a little easy on many aspects but it's also I don't think it gets any less scary and I am still quite afraid of oh my God what is the project does not work. And I don't think that this goes away we might not talk about it openly but I think the impostor syndrome especially for creative people, for someone like me I think all of us have it. As I have grown older I have learned to talk to myself and I learned to tell myself that it's going to be okay.
Q. What message do you have for our listeners and all your fans and where can they connect with you?
Naina: The only message that I have already I think I've already repeated previously is that do stuff that makes you happy, I understand that we have responsibilities so there is some aspect of work that needs to be taken care of. But apart from that, you could look at the things that make you happy. And one of the questions that I get asked for a lot when I do consult for small businesses and other entrepreneurs and they are like I want to start a blog but isn't it too late and you know people don't even look at blogs anymore do you think it's relevant. And I am like I always tell them that just start I mean blogging or anything that you do and enjoy you should start, when you start doing it it's not about making money for being the best out of it but you do it for yourself. What if it becomes something because you put in so much of your time and effort then it's great but it's not going to happen if you don't even start. So I think whoever I have met till now I've always told them this one thing that just starts go follow your dreams and don't think about it too much go ahead with your plans and hopefully everything will fall in place. You figure it out, you experiment and if you want we can change things in and out and maybe you decide not to do it anymore since it's not working anymore but at least we'll have some experience and you'll be happy about the fact that you at least tried. And as long as it comes to connecting with me I am on pretty much all social media platforms and on my website my name is Naina and I have an online store where you can purchase my art and photography prints. I love connecting with new people so hit me up.
Naina, Thank you so much for joining us. It was great talking to you. And pleasure having you here on UnitePod.
That’s a wrap of another episode of Magical Mornings featuring Naina Redhu, a photographer, visual artist , blogger and solo entrepreneur.
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