Name: Sehaj Deo
Title: Ecommerce Fashion Photographer
Company Name: Freelance Photographer
Program of study: AEC in Professional Creative Photography
Graducation Year: 2019
In the years since he arrived in Canada, Sehaj has taken his photography career to the next level. He progressed from being a young student learning about this industry to becoming an artist of multiple talents. His journey as a freelance photographer has opened up all kinds of opportunities for him.
What title do you currently hold and what are your main functions?
Currently, I am working as a freelance photographer. I am mainly focusing on Ready To Wear and E-commerce. My tasks range from making sure the studio lighting is good to go in the morning, working with the stylist, hair stylist, retoucher and the model to get the output according to the standards set by the company and of course overdosing on coffee every day.
Describe a typical day in your professional life.
Every day is as exciting as the previous one. In the morning, I make sure the lighting and the camera on the set have been set up. Then, with the team, I make sure we are ready to photograph the day's clothing. And here we go! These photos are eventually published on my clients' websites.
Describe your career path.
It's been a wild ride. I did my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jalandhar, a city in Punjab (Northern India). Back there, I didn't feel there was enough competition around me or any inspiration to be better, so did my research & moved to Montreal. Here at LaSalle College, I got my Media Strategies & Advertising AEC in 2017 and then joined Commercial Photography AEC in 2018. After graduating in 2019 October, I tested working in marketing full-time & photography on the side, but I learned there is only so much I can put into my passion if I am exhausting myself doing a marketing job. I eventually saved up for some time and then threw myself into the unknown, and now here we are.
“I randomly decided to go & sit with a group of people at the college's cafeteria and to date, the deepest friendships I have are with them.”
What is your fondest memory while studying at LaSalle College?
Meeting all the people I met from all different backgrounds and learning & growing from experiences with them. I remember on the first day of college I randomly decided to go & sit with a group of people at the college's cafeteria and to date, the deepest friendships I have are with them. I was also a part of the LaSalle College Entrepreneurs Club, through which we won the Quebec Entrepreneur Club Competition held in Drummondville.
What was your favorite subject while studying at LaSalle College? Are you applying this today to your current career?
My favorite subject was Image Processing and Retouching. I learned so many new techniques from my professors, and I am still applying those techniques in my work.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes to share?
My professor Michel Cloutier was helping me select photos for one of the final projects that I had to present in front of the jury. As he was helping me select, he stood there looking at the photos for some time. As there were only 8 photos to present in the set, it was hard for him to get rid of the good photos.
What was your general feeling and first impression when you started out at LaSalle College?
This was an opportunity for me to grow, connect with better artists, and learn about a new culture that I am fascinated by.
What surprised you the most when you arrived in the workforce?
I spent so much time editing and retouching the photos. Shooting and preparing a photo shoot with the clients I work with does not take that much time compared to how much time I have to sit at my work table, editing for hours. But I don't mind that, that's the time I get to hear podcasts, so definitely a win-win.
What advice would you offer to a student currently enrolled in the same program you took or to your younger self?
Don't focus on what other people are doing and focus on what you can do & learn. And go easy on the weekends.
“Nothing helped me as much as knowing about the industry from someone who has a first-hand experience in it.”
What are the qualities necessary to succeed in your field?
Persistence. Photography is a very competitive field and I'm nowhere close to where I want to be, but persistence is what keeps me moving ahead. Even if you got the talent, there's only so far you can go with the talent you have. You have to be persistent and consistent in making sure you're a little bit better than the day before.
Who are your role models and why?
My parents come at the top. Along with a lot of other things, I am thankful for them teaching me how important it is to have a good work ethic and a good moral ethos. I would also like to mention Michel Cloutier, my professor at College LaSalle. During my one year, in the program, I was constantly asking him questions about the industry and the best techniques I could apply to my own style. Nothing helped me as much as knowing about the industry from someone who has a first-hand experience in it.
Anything you would like to add that would be inspiring to our next generation?
Believe in yourself. As an international student, it's easy to lose that belief once you move to a new country and start your own life. What matters most is trusting yourself and your abilities.
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