Photographer + Traveler
Salt Lake City, Utah
Instagram: @tekwani | ninatekwani.com
Advice For Nurturing Your Spirit
Be kind to yourself. Spend time doing things that make you happy. Pursue a creative project that inspires you. Disconnect from things that don’t make you happy.
What does slow living mean to you?
Calm, peaceful, patient. Slow living means less stress, being more present, and having the ability to live in the moment.
Great advice that you’ve received?
Pursue a job and career you love. Don’t pursue something for money. If you pursue what you love, eventually the money will follow.
Where do you pull from when you create, or what motivates you?
I’m often inspired by other creators. I spend time on Pinterest creating inspiration boards, saving photos I see on Instagram, and flipping through print magazines and books. I also find a lot of inspiration when I travel. I always make sure that I have time to explore a place with no agenda, no timeline, and my camera in hand. That’s usually when I create some of my best work.
Any advice you have for creatives and entrepreneurs?
Take the leap, even if you doubt your ability to be successful. And be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. You won’t build a business overnight, you won’t gain social media followers overnight, but you will gain the confidence to know you’ve made the right decision the sooner you do it. The old saying practice makes perfect rings true. If you’re starting out in photography, the more you go out and photograph things, the sooner you’ll get the knack for it, and the more comfortable you’ll become with your camera. The same goes for learning social media! Keep going even when you feel things are working against you. More often than not, many others feel the same way.
Best Business Advice for Creatives
I didn't learn this until a few years in, but the best thing you can do is get set up as a legal business entity right from the start. Seek out a lawyer and an accountant to help. The more you take your business seriously from the get-go, the more others will take you seriously. What do you wish you knew 15 years ago? I wish I wouldn’t have been afraid to start the first moment I dreamed up of this work. I always put it off, in part because of the fear of failure. But it turns out, the only thing I did was delay the opportunity to master a new craft.
+ People often ask me what camera they should buy? There’s this notion that you need an expensive camera to be successful. But the truth is, the best camera is the one in your hand. Learn to master it and become comfortable with shooting in manual and shooting RAW images.
+ Learn to edit using professional software. My go-to is Lightroom. 50% of achieving my desired result is in camera; the other 50% comes from editing.
+ Become comfortable with lighting. Understand how it can impact your image. I love shooting at sunrise or during golden hour (sunset) since it helps me achieve my desired result and the sun emits a soft, warm glow, which is very favorable for photography.
+ Practice makes perfect. Keep shooting until you get more comfortable with your camera. Do the same with editing.
I love to wake up early and roam the streets when there’s no one out. I usually get most of my travel photography done in the AM since there are fewer people on the streets.
+ Don’t be afraid to travel without hotels booked or a set agenda. There’s something about the thrill of having no plans. And with hotel booking apps on your phone, you can quickly secure something last-minute.
+ Don’t over plan and learn to go with the flow. When you overcommit, things never end up going exactly as planned. You’re less likely to experience disappointment if things don’t go your way.
Self-Care and Wellness Advice
Don’t be afraid to try new things. I suffer from an autoimmune disease and recently discovered sound bath meditations. They have been so instrumental in helping me get through tough winter months and challenging days. I’m also a fan of acupuncture, naps, and staying home. I used to worry about saying no to friends, and now I realize it’s one of the best things I can do for my wellness if my body needs rest.