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Life & Work with Zeel Sangoi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zeel Sangoi.

Zeel, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m a landscape and travel photographer from Mumbai, India. I completed my BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts and am currently pursuing an MFA in Photography from the New York Film Academy. Both my father and grandfather were photographers and I was lucky enough to learn how to use a camera as a child. I am passionate about documenting my curiosity for and observations of travel and the human experience.

I seek out adventure and look forward to continuing to document the world. For me, the camera is a way to communicate, a way to bring images that I hold in my mind to the surface, it serves as an evidence of my escape into beauty and a chance to see other perspectives.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would say to most of the time the journey so far has been both smooth and rocky but mostly smooth. I would say I was lucky enough to have come from a photography background, where I could always go to my father for advice or any of my college professors.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I started as a travel landscape photographer, recently my work also consists of portraits. I would say I specialize in travel and portrait photography. The thing that sets me out from others is that I don’t really pre plan a lot for my landscape photographs, before I even click the shutter on my camera the image is already framed in my mind, even when I do studio portraits, I feel like I already know what I have to do or how it is going to look like before the shoot itself.

I m most proud of the photography series I created for my graduating show during my BFA in California college of the Arts. The series was titled Observance. This series consists of ten images that were inspired my love for travel magazine. I made a couple of replica magazine covers and placed my landscape photography in them, making them a part of a travel and leisure magazine lookalike. It was such a success that I made the viewers believe that these photos of mine were actually published in those magazines.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I have been a travel junkie all my life. I have lived in Mumbai (India) for 18 years of my life and then I moved to San Francisco in 2016 and later in 2021, I moved to LA where I currently live. I feel like I feel how busy the city feels, and each city for me has a different vibe which I like exploring. The only thing I like the least is that I m exploring LA in a very heavy environment due to the pandemic.

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Image Credits
Zeel Sangoi

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