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The Gambia through the lens of Gremin K Manadan

My Magazine 2023/01
5 min
I am Gremin K Manadan. I am from Thrissur, a township in Kerala, India. Our family is my mom, dad, two sisters and me. I have been here in The Gambia for the past nine months. My sister and family have been here in The Gambia for the past five years, and my mom and dad are in India.

I did my engineering in Production Engineering in my hometown in India. During my engineering days, this craze towards photography got into my mind. I started with standard digital cameras and mobile cameras for taking photos. Later during my final year of engineering, I had a bike accident, and I had to sell it. I bought my first DSLR camera with the money I got from the bike. It was Canon 550D.

One day I realised that clicking photos gave me more adrenaline rush than riding a bike. So, from that day, my camera was like my better half. After my engineering study, I did a diploma course in photography as well.

I worked in different fields of jobs but always found happiness when looking through the viewfinder. Since I am also a crazy traveller, it helps me take lots of memories with me throughout my life that I freeze through my viewfinder.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography, as I mentioned earlier, is my life. I love to capture the moments before they vanish from in front of our eyes. I have always had this passion towards making life still so that happiness can be cherished again and again throughout my life. We come across so many beautiful colours, so vibrant that we fall in love with, so all those lives around us made me happy, and I also wanted them to be with me forever. So, the solution was photography for me. A painful example from my life is when we lost one of my best friends in a car accident, but I have all his memories inside me, and I had this great cherished time that I could capture some good photos of him, and it still gives us his memories and all those happy times we spent together. So, for me, photography is Beautiful Memories.

How long have you been working in the photography field?

I have been in the photography field for the past nine years. I have worked for many people. I even had done many good wedding photography, product shots for advertisements, portrait sessions, modelling shoots, baby shoots; and I also directed a short film during the corona, and it was about Covid 19 virus. And I have done a few celebrity shoots back in India as well.

When did you first realise that you have a talent for photography?

My talent for photography was first brought to my realisation by my friends itself during my college days. I used to take lots of photos of my friends, making them look like models. And during my college days, I got a few prizes in photography competitions as well. And after my studies, I took photography seriously, and I got a chance to work with an archaeologist to take some photos of a few ancient relics, and it was published in his book. So, from then, I realised I have a talent in this and I started building my career.

Are you specialising in a specific type of photography?

I am more into modelling shoots, product shoots and street photography. But I am more specialised in Modelling/Fashion photography. Because I love to capture portrait photos a lot, I am improvising in that field and finding more options every day. Now I am using Sony Alpha 7R3 professional camera. And I also love to take photos of babies a lot. It gives me so much happiness.

Why The Gambia?

As a photographer and a traveller, it will be a big dream to move to the African continent, as it is a big career breakthrough. You have so many of frames and memories, which indeed gives you so many opportunities.

I came to The Gambia mainly because my sister and family are here. Through them, I heard many good things about The Gambia, and I was so excited to come here. The people, the food, the beaches, the mangroves, the creeks… everything was so new and different to me when I came here. Since it is a small country, I felt everyone is so friendly and helpful to each other. So, I want to show the world what The Gambia really is.

Many think that African countries are full of violence and all, but I wanted to make them realise how beautiful the country is and the whole of the African continent. I want to build a good career in photography here, I also want more people in The Gambia to get involved in photography and build a career in one of the best areas where you can not only earn good money but also can enjoy it a lot. I would also like to expand to neighbouring countries like Senegal. And another thing about The Gambia is the climate; it is so moderate that it makes travelling so easy for you just to wander around.

What do you enjoy the most in The Gambia as a photographer?

As a photographer here, I mostly enjoy taking photos of the lifestyle, people in The Gambia. Here you could find many extravagant faces which speak lots of truth about their life. I love to capture the lifestyle which is different from the outside world, and it gives so much meaning to life. I could find lots of happy faces when I roam around, with a wide smile, they just give me a frame full of life. And The Gambia, with lots of culture around its every corner, offers many beautiful photos that show the brighter side of all the different communities here in The Gambia.

 

I also enjoy moving around beaches taking photos of different things—especially the Tanji and Bakau sides, where there are so many happenings taking place in each second.

And I also enjoy watching birds and taking photos of them. Wildlife photography is yet another area where am planning to give more heart.

What are your favourite sites in The Gambia?

My favourite sites are just everywhere in The Gambia. But I love to go to the village sides, framing so many lives. I also like going to the Kartong side, where you have this Pelican Island and all those creeks. Clicking around mangroves is also a fun time. And other places I liked are Tanji, Bakau, Senegambia strip, Banjul market. And beaches always excite me. I am also into the Gambia modelling sector, planning to collaborate with some Gambian models. And many wall arts on the way to Kotu beach and Senegambia makes a good backdrop for some beautiful photos.

Follow Gremin

Looking for a photographer for personal events? Contact Gremin on +220 242 28 93

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