Chasing dreams- The story of Lobsang Nima and how photography discovered him

The pains of life pass Lobsang Nima by as he picks moments and freezes them through his lens and observant eye, capturing life frame by frame.

Now, the teenager, who works with a borrowed camera, hopes to turn his passion into a profession.

His mother Tenzing Chotten works at the local PWD office and as a result of his father’s ill health, the young photographer often has to do odd jobs before taking to the camera.

Lobsang now has his own camera :)

Lobsang now has his own camera 🙂

However, once the bug bit him a year ago, it took less than a year for the 14-year-old lad to become an accomplished shutterbug, and his captures were recently showcased at an exhibition on the sidelines of the recently concluded Tawang Festival in Arunachal Pradesh in India’s Northeast.

Along with various cultural performances, the festival had featured several exhibitions, of which one was Lobsang’s.

The New Delhi-based Art for Cause had set up the exhibition stall.

The society had also conducted a photography workshop in Tawang in September last year, where Lobsang discovered his passion for the camera.

Lobsang’s works feature an eclectic mix of portraits and landscapes.

The teenager said he does not have a camera of his own and that he uses his “sir’s camera”.

The sir referred to is Irshal Ishu, a photographer and the founder of Art for Cause, who organised a 10-day photography camp in September last year.

Ishu said he saw great potential in Lobsang, which prompted him to take him under his wing.

Lobsang now trains under Ishu directly and has recently travelled to New Delhi and Ladakh as well.

“It was not easy to pick one student among the 700 who attended the workshop last year,” said Ishu, adding, “Lobsang was eager to learn advanced techniques just two days into the workshop.”

A practising Buddhist, Ishu said it was his “dream to come to Tawang because it’s so close to Tibet”.

He said because of his work in the Indian Himalayan region that primarily deals with the Tibetan cause, he isn’t permitted to visit China.

Ishu’s photographs, which are also on display, show Tibetan Buddhist influences.

At the opening day of the Tawang Festival on May 1, Arunachal Pradesh governor Nirbhay Sharma had said security of the state should be of utmost priority in order to promote tourism.

For young Lobsang, however, these things do not matter.

“I want to become a better photographer,” he said.

I am happy that this story played a small part in inspiring my friend Kobyum Zirdo to raise funds and buy Lobsang his own camera. First published in May 2015. Link:

2 thoughts on “Chasing dreams- The story of Lobsang Nima and how photography discovered him

  1. Nice story Ranju. I am sure there are Lobsangs around the northeast who are skilled but lack opportunity. I enjoy reading your features on Arunachal Pradesh, so keep up the great work. 🙂


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