Meet the dentist-turned-photographer who captured Saina Nehwal’s wedding on camera

Dr Namrata Rupani ran a dental clinic in Hyderabad for 16 years and then decided to get behind the camera to follow her passion. She now runs Capture Life, a company that integrates her practice, photography, and a fine art prints service.

Dentist, commercial photographer, entrepreneur, and TEDx speaker….Hyderabad-based Dr Namrata Rupani wears a lot of hats with élan. 

Dr Namrata Rupani is an accomplished dentist and commercial photographer.

Born and raised in Delhi, Namrata was inclined towards medicine and ended up specialising in dentistry from Christian Dental College, Ludhiana. She ran a dental clinic in Hyderabad for 16 years, but decided to explore the world of photography along the way. 

Today, she also runs a photography service and has captured several people and weddings on camera, including the nuptials of badminton players Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap.

Two years ago, Namrata set up an integrated company, Capture Life, which includes all her three business verticals: the dental clinic, photography service, and a fine art prints service. 

From dentistry to photography

Namrata was inspired by the doctors in her family to take up medicine. 

“I always wanted to try and pick a career that would help me prove my mettle, give me independence, and help show my calibre to the world,” she says. 

She began by running her own clinic in Delhi for two years, and shifted base to Hyderabad after she got married.

Business was good for the 40-year-old entrepreneur, but she soon hit an internal barrier. “A sense of meaninglessness” hit her. And it was her quest to understand what was missing in her life that motivated her to venture into the world of photography

“There was a brief phase in my life when I decided to go beyond societal conventions and explore who I truly was. I felt like I did not have something engaging to hold on to in life. I was questioning the entitled lifestyle we all live in, the privileges that we enjoy, and how they sometimes feel meaningless,” she says. 

Namrata tried various things during this period, but her heart settled on photography. She has been a photographer for 11 years now, and has been shooting commercially for over seven years. 

Living life to the fullest

Namrata has several accomplishments to her name, including being commissioned by L&T to document the construction of the Hyderabad metro. 

 “It was a very challenging experience for me. To show work in progress and tell a story through the same wasn't easy. Getting the right light and view was critical. It involved a lot of hunting for high-rise buildings (this was before the advent of drones), and shooting before sunrise and much after sunset,” 

The photos are now preserved in print at Muse Art Gallery, Marriott, Hyderabad, a fact that is “very fulfilling to her as a photographer”.

Intrigued by old architecture, Namrata finds old buildings to be her favourite when it comes to photography. They were the subject of her first solo exhibition, Stories in Stone, at the Goethe Zentrum in Hyderabad. 

“The exhibition was an ode to the sheer weight and values engraved in the stones in these old monuments, and the stories that still exist there,” she explains. 

Namrata was commercially shooting portraits when she started receiving requests for taking photographs at weddings. So from shooting portraits of sports icons, she transitioned to shooting wedding photographs. She has since then captured the wedding of sports stars Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap

Namrata Rupani was commissioned to shoot photographs of Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap's wedding. (Image credits: Dr. Namrata Rupani)

All her business ventures are bootstrapped and funded with money that she saved up, she says. 

Namrata runs a business, is a dentist and photographer, and seems to have her plate full. How does she do all that and maintain a work-life balance

“I don't really understand what work-life balance means. For me, work is a very integral part of life. No one part of our lives should overshadow the other. Mastering time management is something I’ve worked on and have been able to do quite satisfactorily,” she says. 

Lessons learnt along the way

Speaking about the challenges of being a woman entrepreneur, she says, “The main challenge for me has always been breaching a male-dominated society, to get people to take me seriously. Over the years things have changed for the better, and I hope my story encourages every budding woman entrepreneur.”

However, she adds that the journey has taught her that passion is not about motivation; “it’s about discipline”. Working harder and learning to honour the in-between moments have been her biggest lessons, she says.  

Namrata has a message for other aspiring entrepreneurs and people keen to follow their passion. 

 “Your actions should arise from your strength. Everyone who decides to follow their dreams encounters resistance in some form or the other. But we need to fight because it’s worth it. My motto has always been ‘if you believe in something, don't let go’!”

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)


Updates from around the world