Sannika Kalra

“Scary but fun. Risky but rewarding. That’s my life. Cliché as it is, I always say a passion can be your profession if you take a timely plunge. Today, I capture moments that become timeless memories. But finding my home behind the lens has been quite the journey!

Growing up in the ‘90s, we had limited career choices. Not wanting to pursue science, I got a bachelor’s degree in business studies, followed by a master’s in fashion management, where I developed a keen interest in photography and visual merchandising. On graduating I got placed with a big fashion retail brand.

I was barely learning the ropes when I got married and had to move back to Delhi. Not finding any suitable jobs and always ready to face challenges, I hit the reset button and said yes to an opportunity at a digital marketing agency, followed by an opportunity at a large MNC.
But the biggest adventure of my life was yet to come. Motherhood began. And with it came another move, uprooting me, this time to Bengaluru. I had to bid goodbye to my career as I knew it. While I enjoyed motherhood, I wanted something more.

Like every new mother, I began photographing my child with gusto. Though I had always loved photography, I embraced it professionally this time. Setting up a business wasn’t easy, but my digital marketing and social media experience was a huge asset. Connecting with children came easily, and I built a growing clientele of moms.. Just as my business was taking off, came another move.

My husband’s job brought us back to Gurgaon in 2017 and then came my second coming as a mother. This time, I went back to work early with a six-week-old in a baby carrier! While Covid affected work for all of us, I was able to tap into my experience in visual merchandising to expand my services to kids product shoots! Carefully planning my finances and leveraging past experiences were the 2 key success factors in my new career.

I started from the bottom, doing tons of free shoots to build my network and portfolio. Looking back, this was a business decision that gave me the highest payout.

With a growing business and working weekends, schedules are a juggle. But my girls see me as a happy, confident career woman. This is the legacy that I hope will inspire them to follow their dreams someday.”

Sannika Kalra is #6 of our #100careertransitionstories

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