Thepragive Story: The Photography Journey


Like most of you, I was started taking picture in my phone. It was around the mid of 2014, I was capturing anything, any kind, random stuffs, and trying to take a photo from such a weird angle with my Samsung Galaxy Grand, equipped with 8MP camera. Though I have a Canon EOS 550D–a SLR camera which you can produce a better quality of picture–I don’t know why, taking picture with phone was very fun at the moment. I got satisfied of my gallery, yet today I feel ashamed when I look again.

April 2015, it was the month of my 16th birthday. My father bought me a new SLR camera as a present, Canon EOS 70D. As today, I’m still using it. Just a week, I started to try this brand new stuff. I went around Kota Tua and Sunda Kelapa and I was stunned by the result, despite the ‘basic’ lens, 18-55mm that I was used at the moment. Eventually, I changed my gear to my new SLR. Street photography has became my favourite genre since I fell in love with photography until now. You can capture everything that happen on the street, every single moment, expressions, small creatures, and human’s activities, it’s like your photo can tell a story by itself. As my interest in photography growing through the time, my personal Instagram, it was named @hazarth, I changed it to @thepragive, since then until today, and made my first logo.


thepragive Logo Plain
thepragive’s 1st logo

Time flies, and I use my camera more often as I joined in a documentation team for several times. Joined in a comitee was very exhausting, I must admit. When it was D-day, I didn’t waste my time. Became a member of documentation team means I ordered to take picture or record a video as an evidence of an event. The result was satisfying, sometimes. I uploaded some good photos to my Instagram account in order to keep filling my feeds.

Sometimes, I explore the city, Jakarta, while do a photo hunting. Most of my journey, I use public transport, especially Transjakarta, to make sure that I won’t get into a trouble because in that time I didn’t have a driving license (finally got it in August 2017). My photo spots aren’t in my walking distance, so walking is……. 99,9% impossible.

I joined my first photography community in the beginning of 2016. It is a huge photography community that has a regional group in some provinces of Indonesia, like Jakarta, Central Java, West Java, Aceh, etc. I learned a lot from the community and I ‘forced’ to enhance my photography, also I was built a relation among the members, we have a good relationship one to another. I was the second-youngest member of the community. The youngest was a freshman in a senior high school, it means he is younger than me a year. And the rest are people who slightly or much older than both of us. It wasn’t a problem since those peeps are very-very kind. My followers escalated, also my number of likes. Joining a photography community is a leap for me, huge thanks to those who accepted me warmly. And today I feel very lucky to become a part of the community, because they have tighten the regulations of new member recruitment.

Next, I joined in a street photography community, my favourite genre. These people are younger than those who in the last group. Most of the are slightly older than me, a college student. Some of them already became a full-time worker, either in a company or public service. My closest friend is @gregoryjasson, an architecture student in Tarumanegara University, and he is such a great guy.

In the mid of 2016, I got some inspiration from several accounts from abroad. Such as @novess (now @ryanparrilla) and several community accounts like @pocket_streetlife and @storyofthestreet. I took the inspiration from them and greatly affected on my feeds. This time was my last year in my senior high school, so I need to pursue my study in order to get into a university. Obviously, this period wasn’t the best time for shots. I do photo hunting rarely. It’s not a setback due to my change in priorities, which studying is much more necessary as it will affect on my fate for the university enrollment, and soon will affect on my fate for the rest of my life. The result, I finished my 5th semester with a decent grade.

My photography life in the 6th semester, the last, was getting even worse as there was no time for camera. There were 5 exams that I should undergo with from January 2017 to April 2017. And there was still 1 exam left, a state university enrollment test (SBMPTN) in June 2017. About one month and a half, this is the gap that I should use properly to study. Good news, I can do a photo hunting again after my camera lying on my box for such a long time. I had a trip to Yogyakarta in the end of May 2017 and took many dope shots there.

Shit happens, I failed on the test, yet there were a number of university enrollment. I was enroll to several university and now I’m taking bachelor degree of urban and regional planning in Brawijaya University in Malang, about 900km far from Jakarta.

Back to the topic, I was using Adobe Lightroom for the first time in the mid of 2017. Before, I edit my photo only using the editing tools from Instagram. I really love the result of the editing and regret why I don’t use this tools before. And I found another inspiration from abroad, dominated with cityscapes, dark tones, and urbex. Such as @demasrusli, a fellow Indonesian who is an Australian residents currently, with his community account @globalnightsquad. The others @nightsnlights, @pat_kay, and @tk_north. Indonesian photographer such as @billsatya and @forbiddenpoint, and several community @streetshared and @streetactivity.

Some photography style is currently in my wishlist: taking shots from a skyscraper’s rooftop, architecture, and doing night shots more often. And seriously, a GIF format of a timelapse, I want to make it soon.

Using expensive gear doesn’t mean you’ll easily capturing HQ pictures, and vice versa. Erase those mindsets, good people. Start appreciate your peer’s art only by his/her skill and effort. Don’t say “His/her arts must be astonishing, he/she is using expensive tools,” it’s hurting seriously. Means you are praising the stuff, not the person behind those all. Imagine you become an amateur footballer, and once you buy a pair of football shoes, the same type with CR7’s. Will you be as good as him just because you wear the same kind of boots? Think about it.

Thepragive out. See you next time.


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