Spotlight Interview – Sanjog Rai

Sanjog Rai is a fashion and editorial photographer who is currently living and working in Milan. Sanjog is originally from Nepal and although he is working really hard to create a name for himself in one of the most competitive fashion centres in the world,  he agreed to complete a full feature interview for Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out about some of his career highlights in his native Nepal, why he likes shooting on location and what he’s hoping to achieve for the rest of this year and beyond.


Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Q: How did you get into professional photography?

I never thought I would get into photography as I always wanted to be a pilot or an aeronautical engineer. I didn’t have this photography side of me till I met some Korean friends in one of the cultural exchange workshops in Nepal. They all used to have this big cameras with them and one of my friends, she asked me to take pictures for a while and I never stopped from their. It was really fascinating. I gave up my dreams of being Pilot because soon my photography hobby became my passion.


Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?

I like photographing everything that is related to fashion.


Q: How was 2010 for you?

It was going really great when I was in my country Nepal, I was working with one of the top magazines and also I had many clients there but than I moved to Milan in September. I had to start from scratch which was quite difficult for me. Its really hard to establish yourself in Milan especially when you don’t know nobody, but now I am getting there. I have some good clients.


Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Q: Who inspires you?

Lights, cameras, models.. When I have camera and lights in my hand I feel invisible.


Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?

I was a big fan of Alexender Mcqueen.


Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?

The ability to see things that normal people can’t. Not only to see but also to present them through lens.


Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?

Both, I have this ‘thing’ for film vintage cameras. I like to collect them.


Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?

It doesn’t matter as long as I am shooting. But there is something about shooting in location that pulls me, more things to explore I guess.


Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Q: Do you have an interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?

We had opened one Agency in Nepal and we were doing some portfolio shoot for our models. I took one the models to a auto garage where she was given one iron rod and she was suppose to hit a small iron bottle shouting out loud. So I asked her to shout out loud but she wouldn’t shout, just aaaaa then I kept on asking her to shout. Shout ! Shout… than she goes “you asshole fuckerrrrrr aahhhhhhhhhh” than booooom … she broke that iron bottle. We all were so surprised, standing there looking at her, then she said ‘oopps’ .

Actually, every shoot has its own particular charm that you cant forget. Every shoot has a story.


Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?

I think every photographer is unique in their own. Because what I can make other photographers can’t and what other photographers make I can’t. But to be specific my style is arty fashion. I combine fashion with art.


Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?

My photographs are like my children so you really can’t decide which one is your favourite. All is the same for me.


Q: Who is your favourite photographer?

Annie Leibovitz.. ooooo


Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?

I would love to work with Annie Leibovitz and that being both behind or in front of the camera. 🙂


Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Q: What does fashion mean to you?

Art and Attitude.


Q: Where are you based?

Milan, fashion capital of the world 😀


Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

It’s not easy, as there are thousands of photographers out there and to make yourself stand out in front of all those people you have to work really hard and also you have to have connections. I learned that without connections its not easy.


Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Being the first Nude Photographer of my country Nepal and to be featured in one of the top Newspapers daily.


Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

Everything, money, fame, shoots every single day. And most of all wanna make myself and my girlfriend proud.


Q: What do you do to relax?

Talk to my girlfriend.


Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

There are many but right now my iPod is filled with Audioslave.


Q: Do you have interesting hobbies?

Make my girlfriend laugh, if that counts as a hobby… Or sleep.. haha.. I am into sketching and singing too.


Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?

Keep out, Sanjog Rai is here. haha.

Well, if you want to be a photographer than just keep shooting. the only way you can learn photography is by practice. books and history might teach you technical stuffs but it will never teach you how to take pictures or see things. Life behind the lens is fascinating but its not that easy. practice practice practice.


Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Q: What motivates you to do what you do?

Everything about the fashion world, life, love, secrets of fashion world; more you get to know more secrets are to reveal.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

Like I can touch my elbow with tongue? Or how much I love my girlfriend? Oh yeah, I love my girlfriend very much.

My life is a continuous journey with camera and life behind the lens. I am passionate about what I do and 5 years from now you guys will definitely see me working for Vogue. 😉


Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai

Photographed by Sanjog Rai


Editor’s Note: Sanjog Rai is continuing to explore creative avenues in fashion photography and we can see the creative and commercial interest in his work rise over the coming months as he starts to work with an ever-increasing number of clients in Milan.


If you’d like to see more of Sanjog Rai’s work just check out the links below:


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About Urbanity Chic

Urbanity Chic is an interactive magazine for anyone who loves fashion and style.

Find out about the best style tips, fashion trends as well as in depth articles about the most influential fashion icons, fashion designers and fashion photographers.


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