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More Than Photographers: Rohit Lakhani on how he uses his camera to connect with nature

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More Than Photographers: Rohit Lakhani on how he uses his camera to connect with nature

FIND OUT WHY ROHIT LAKHANI IS MORE THAN A PHOTOGRAPHER

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

Rohit Lakhani was born and raised in Accra, Ghana; he currently lives in Mumbai, India. He has always been drawn to storytelling through photography and has been taking pictures for about 15 years. When Lakhani was in college he took an elective course in photography. In a recent interview, Lakhani reminisced about developing his photos in the early 2000s. “Those were the days of developing in a dark room,” he said.

Lakhani’s photos have been featured at exhibitions in Mumbai, and he recently travelled back to Ghana with PWB to work with the NGO Ghana Health and Education Initiative (GHEI). Currently, Lakhani is working on two projects – one is surrounding trees and the other is focused on smiles.

PWB recently sat down with Rohit Lakhani to talk about his journey as a photographer and the evolution of his storytelling.   

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

PWB: What makes you more than a photographer?

Rohit Lakhani: Life is so interconnected.  We are connected to each other, to trees, to nature.  We are interdependent.  More and more, I'm looking at life that way, and also, living that way.  I'm living more gently, more harmoniously and more in tune with nature. 

A lot of my photography work is focused on social awareness.  So, as a result, I meet people from different walks of life, on their own journeys. 

I see more beauty, vulnerability and gentleness in the world now.  I see that in people and in nature.  I've also become more connected and kinder with myself, and the more I connect with myself, the more I'm able to connect with others.  With nature, through photography, I'm paying far more attention to smaller details - like a leaf on the ground, or a branch on a tree, and even the chirping of a bird - and I see such beauty in the simplest of things.  As a result, I live with more gratitude and love now.  

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

PWB: How has your work as a photographer connected you to your community? to the world?

RL: My photography has taken me back to Ghana to work with two NGOs there – such wonderful people. Listening to the stories of others, of people from different backgrounds and circumstances is heart-touching. It really is a wonderful reminder to show of how we are all just the same, one community, one planet.

PWB: What does storytelling mean to you?

RL: It means sharing with one another – with the aim of it dissolving barriers and boundaries. It is one planet, after all.

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

PWB: Do you mind going into a bit more depth regarding the projects that you’re currently working on?

RL: Regarding the project on Trees, it’s just a calling that I’m feeling. I feel connected with trees and a lot of gratitude and love for them. As a world society, I don’t think we value them enough. They give us oxygen, food, a shelter for animals, and so much beauty to our planet. They bring balance to the planet. But look at the deforestation that is going on in so many parts of the world. It’s very sad and it breaks my heart. So, I’m taking photos of trees and publishing them online as a way of showing my gratitude, respect and love for them. I don’t see us as being separate from trees. We are connected. I don’t even think we can live without them.

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

Photo by Rohit Lakhani on assignment for Ghana Health and Education Initiative

PWB:  How does your work dismantle existing narratives surrounding nature photography?

RL: As I mentioned, I’m just at the beginning phases of this project, and the seed has just been planted (no pun intended). Maybe we can revisit the question in a few months.


To see more of Rohit Lakhani’s work, follow his Instagram accounts @smiles.of.humanity and @greenyearthy

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