Born and brought up in the capital city of Goa, Vithal did his primary education at Sharda Mandir School before moving to Canadian International School in Bengaluru and currently, he is pursuing his education at ACS International School Egham in England. Besides his studies, Vithal also spends lots of time pursuing his interest in sports and photography. Here are excerpts from the interview with Vithal.
Give us a brief introduction of where you grew up, your schooling and where you studied, including your specialisations and anything additional
Hi, I am Vithal Dempo. I was born and raised in Panjim, Goa, and studied at Sharada Mandir School. Later when I was 5 years old, my family moved to Karnataka and I continued my education at Canadian International School (CIS) in Bengaluru.
At the age of 13, my family moved abroad to Portugal to help expand my views and knowledge of the world. Currently, I am living in England and continuing my studies at ACS International School Egham, where I plan to spend the rest of my academic years.
Along with academics, I am a sports enthusiast and often spend my time watching football, cricket, tennis, martial arts, and boxing to name a few. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, photography, and gaming. I often do these things in order to relax my mind from the stresses of everyday life.
Tell us about your background and a little about your entry into the field of photography and social work.
Photography started off as a hobby for me. I grew up in a business family, and I often recall myself being a rebellious child so naturally, I wanted to do something different. My passion for photography started right from the tender age of 7-8 when I used to click photos with mobile phones borrowed from my friends and relatives. It was more a natural instinct rather than a forced habit. This passion for photography kept growing exponentially, especially after I became a teenager. My entry into social work was influenced by the charitable work I had done in my schools with my grandfather.
How did you pick this up and how was the process of learning and understanding for you?
Photography wasn’t something that I just picked up over the matter of a couple of days. It’s been a work in progress for many years. If you see some of the pictures I have taken over the years you would burst out laughing! According to me anything you do, whether it’s photography, engineering, or banking, it’s a journey. It’s a long process of learning and improving: something I discovered many years ago that changed my perspective on life.
Over time I have researched, reflected upon and positively criticised my photography skills to a standard in which I am much happier. However, I claim that “perfection” is something no one can attain so I still follow the same principles in order to keep myself humble and focused on creating and posting pictures that I find of high quality.
Tell us about the challenges that you faced along the way
Challenges arise for everyone. I have faced plenty of them- some harder than others. One is the sudden loss of interest in photography. I remember that time as being quite dark and difficult as I tried to navigate through my passions to find a future job and I must say that without the help of my parents, my love for photography may have never been reignited.
I definitely owe a lot of my current and future success to my parents. They always stayed beside me during hard times, especially when it came to things I was passionate about. They and my sister always supported me and helped me overcome these challenges. Some other minor challenges I have had over the years include low self-confidence and a lack of discipline. These severely affected my photography journey as the quality output of photos decreased significantly. However, with the help of my friends and family, I was able to bounce back and start doing what I love.
What were some of the key events or programs you might have been a part of? How would you highlight your journey into this, and what was the main goal for you?
Some key events and programs I have been a part of were “Contextual Learning” and “CAS”. These programs allowed me to not only develop a passion for community service but also help build my passion for photography and other activities. Recently, I was able to volunteer and work for “El Shaddai” in July 2022. We were also able to raise a large charitable fund for them. El Shaddai focuses on providing education to children in slums and we thought it would be a great cause to raise money for them. These programs and events have never been forced, self-benefit or publicity. Rather, I like to do these programs to give back to the community as a way of being grateful for the life God has given me and my family.
What are your future plans?
Currently, I’m focussing on completing my final academic year before heading to university. What follows is unknown. I would love to do more charitable work like I have this summer, and continue supporting many different charities whilst also sharing my passions. I will definitely continue to share pictures of mine on social media. If you would like to follow the page, it’s @stimulating_snapshots. It’s an Instagram page where I post daily pictures I have taken, along with quotes to compliment them. Apart from that, I am excited to turn to a new chapter in my life and see what is there to come.
Any tips or messages for the people who are aspiring to enter this side of the career that you have taken up?
For people aspiring to be photographers or start photography, I will provide you with a piece of advice that I feel changed my perception of photography. It is important to do what you are passionate about, and never feel the need to post a picture or do something which you aren’t satisfied with. Always follow your instincts.