In 2020, following a difficult year, he embarked on an international holiday to reignite his creativity and positivity only to find himself stranded at, thanks to COVID 19, his first stop Perth, Western Australia.
His journey through that emotionally and financially complicated year inspired the creation of his coffee table book, Light. It captures 15 inspirational people Parabjeet met in Perth at that time, in both his superb photographs and captivating prose. People he credits as being his ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
“My life swerved from a fabulous holiday into a crash landing, my three-month visit to Australia now stretched ahead for the unforeseeable future. With international travel prohibited I couldn’t get back home. I was borderline depressed and lonely,” said Parabjeet.
“Perth is an expensive city and things weren’t looking favorable for me especially without an income. I had no choice but to spend my remaining holiday money to get a student visa and do odd jobs to make it work.”
“And it did for a while, but I was facing the decision to sell my photographic equipment so I wouldn’t be penniless. I logged on to the classifieds to do just that and a “Photographer for Hire” ad jumped right out at me. That is where my story took a right turn,” said Parabjeet.
The job Parabjeet applied for and got, is not one renowned for creativity, but familiar to us all in Australia – a School Photo photographer. A job that does not exist in India.
His boss, Jeremy Atlan from 3P Photography generously gave him a car, deducting payments from his paychecks, so he could travel the sprawling suburbs of Perth in order to do his job and make a living with his skills as a photographer. They are now very good friends.
Photography for Parabjeet is not about pointing and shooting images. The alchemy he believes lies in knowing your subject and what makes them unique. There is a story in every frame and the learning never stops.
His Subjects in Light each have their own story whether it is 106 year-old Nellie Marriott, dancer Drew Holloway; Congolese model Astrid Tshidibu who features on the cover; or 16 year-old Boudene Huckle who helped him refine his outstanding underwater photography skills in the backyard swimming pool of a new friend.
“Light is a book about the people I met and lessons I learnt during a difficult period in my life. The 15 stories featured in the book, with photographs completely shot over the course of 2020, mean a lot to me because when I look back at that time, they were the light at the end of my tunnel.”
“I hope these stories inspire and make you believe in second chances as they did for me. This book is dedicated to life’s surprises,” says Parabjeet.
Parabjeet hopes to return to Australia.
Image: Light – courtesy of Parabjeet Singh