Growing up in Malaysia, Danish Ravi had always been drawn to art. He sketched in his spare time and could often be found at local art galleries admiring paintings and photography.
“When I was young, my father had a small Konica camera. I remember I liked to see how the film developed”, says Danish.
He longed to travel to Indonesia or India to study art, but his family didn’t have a lot of money and couldn’t afford the fees. One day, he saw a second-hand camera in a shop window on his way to his telecommunications job. He bought it on a whim, and it was the beginning of his photography journey.
His artistic eye made him a unique photographer, and it wasn’t long before he was turning his passion into a living. He is drawn to photographing concerts in particular – the light and the energy that comes with a pulsating crowd and flashing lights.
“Every concert is different,” says Danish. “Different moments of magic.”
Despite his artistic eye, Danish’s budding career wasn’t without challenges. In the multicultural city of Kuala Lumpur, there was an environment of favouritism and a defined pecking order when it came to freelance jobs.
“In the city, everyone took care of their own – Chinese give to Chinese; Indians give to Indians and Malays gives to Malays. Sometimes I had to travel out of the city for jobs.”
But he was persistent. He approached one of Malaysia’s biggest events companies, asking them to give him a chance. They turned him down, but he went back again a couple of months later. And a couple of months after that. This went on for nearly two years, but Danish didn’t give up. Eventually, he got his break.
“They gave me concert tickets for that night and said if I did a good job we could talk,” he says. “That night, I went and photographed Alicia Keys in concert.”
When Danish left Malaysia in 2009 and took a chance on Australia, he knew he wanted to keep his passion alive.
“Photography is not just about freezing any moment in a frame”, says Danish, “it is about capturing the right moment.”
It was Danish’s wife, Rosie who found out about Ignite from their case manager. She went home and asked Danish how he would feel about starting his own business.
“I liked the idea of my own business, so I could choose what I do. Photography started as a hobby and then I realised: okay, it is time. This is what I love.”
Danish was put in touch with the Ignite team who got to work supporting him to start his own photography business.
“With Ignite I felt a sense of belonging, and that possibilities are endless,” says Danish.
He wanted the freedom working for himself would bring; the chance to chase the opportunities he is most passionate about. He favours any project in the realm of sports and entertainment.
“It’s very challenging and I’ve always liked challenging photography,” says Danish. “Sports and entertainment always mean new environments, new subjects and new angles.”
A fellow Ignite entrepreneur helped Danish create an innovative website showcasing his talent, and a marketing expert from the Resource Team collaborated with him to create his brand and a marketing strategy. Now, Danish Ravi Photography has a logo, business cards and a vision. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but Danish’s love for what he does keeps him going every day.
“Ignite gave me hope,” says Danish. “Ignite believed in me, and that makes me feel I can be successful again.”
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gaps have started to appear in his normally busy schedule. Several events he was booked to photograph were cancelled: from concerts to cycling races and the odd wedding.
“It’s hard when I lose jobs,” he admits. “It’s my career and my livelihood.”
As his business grows, Danish’s dreams for his future know no bounds. He hopes to break into the entertainment industry once more, and one day be a photographer at the Olympics.
“I want to build a name for myself like I did back home. I would love to photograph stars in concert again.’”
“Thanks to Ignite, I’m looking forward to the future.”
Check out Danish’s work at his Facebook: Danish Ravi Photography Facebook