3-9 May 2013 #654

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22-year-old Georgina Foster started Pokhara Photography to train young photographers in the region

Inspired by Pokhara’s stunning landscape and armed with her Art School background, 22-year-old Georgina Foster from the UK started Pokhara Photography in 2012 to train young photographers in the region and encourage them to explore it as a career. Nepali Times caught up with the entrepreneur in her office at Lakeside.

Nepali Times: How did Pokhara Photography begin?

Georgina Foster: When I first came to Pokhara in 2009 for my three month photography project at Pokhara Aged Shelter, I was disappointed to see that there was no art scene here. In London, I had always been surrounded by opportunities to explore the arts. Here, I met a lot of people interested in arts, but they had no place to develop their skills or explore their interests. I started Pokhara Photography so that emerging photographers in the city have a platform to start out from.

Do you think there is scope for photography in Pokhara?

Young people in Pokhara who are interested in photography hesitate to take it up as a profession because they think there is no future. But I don’t agree, I feel there is a lot of potential as well as money in this field. Unfortunately, all the resources and money in the region have been poured into tourism and no one wants to invest in the art industry.

Tell us about Pokhara Photography’s work.

At PP we encourage budding talents as well as provide them with opportunities to earn. We conduct lots of workshops and training to develop skills. I have also started a database of photographers and am currently trying to find placements for them. PP also runs two social enterprises- Creative Designs comprising of young photographers, which offers designing services to businesses and companies around the city and Pokhara Photography tours which aims to give young cameramen and women the guidance and experience they need to improve their skills. We started working in September and have trained over 200 photographers so far, we still need to reach out to more people but this is something that will happen over time.

How difficult has it been starting a new venture in a foreign country?

It definitely isn’t easy running a company and that too in a foreign land with limited funding. But I am someone who believes that through hard work, talent, passion, and dedication, people can achieve anything they set their minds on. If you never take risks, you never achieve. Without this attitude, I wouldn’t be here today.

Are you happy with the response that PP has generated?

It’s only been nine months since we started and the response has been very positive so far. I work with very talented and honest people in the city that are not only my students but also my friends. It has been wonderful to see them grow into good photographers. There are a few skeptics, but overall I am very happy with the progress we have made.

Where do you see PP in the future?

I plan to open a permanent photo gallery in two years where we will host regular exhibitions and conduct training. Once PP has established itself, I will hand over the responsibilities to a reliable and capable team that I have worked with and trained for over two years and return to England.

Srijana Chok, Pokhara


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