Published:

Pirathees Selvam, Founder of Cloud 9 Photography

I arrived in Canada at the age of 11 seeking political asylum, leaving behind my parents and four siblings. I attended Silver Spring Public School where I faced various challenges due to the language barrier. Slowly but surely, I learned English and moved onto Albert Campbell High School and then T.L. Kennedy Secondary School.

Canada, a Land of Freedom
I arrived in Canada at the age of 11 seeking political asylum, leaving behind my parents and four siblings. I attended Silver Spring Public School where I faced various challenges due to the language barrier. Slowly but surely, I learned English and moved onto Albert Campbell High School and then T.L. Kennedy Secondary School.
Like many teenagers, my goal upon graduating high school was to complete post-secondary education and land a fulfilling career. However, at the age of 18, I had the responsibility of taking care of my parents and siblings back home. Thus, I took on a full-time job at Avis Car Rental.
Responsibility over Passion
Although I landed a full-time job and was more than able to support my family, my heart was not in it. My real passion was cinematography and photography. Before landing a job with Avis, I considered applying to film school. At the time, the cost of these film schools was out of my range.
However, I had to remind myself that it was a privilege to be in this country and that I should focus my time and energy on supporting my family back home. While at Avis, I worked my way up from overseeing vehicle maintenance to managing Avis Car Rental at that location. Although my family and friends were proud of my achievement, I still felt incomplete.

The Spark
As I settled into my routine lifestyle, a passionate fire was gnawing in me. My interest in photography became stronger as I had more time. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, knew of my passion and how I had set it aside. She encouraged me to purchase my first camera – a D90 Nikon. This sparked my motivation and I began practicing photography.
I used my passion for photography and interest in learning to practice taking pictures at family and friends’ events. After a year, I put my passion on hold as my father had suffered a stroke and I took take care of him.
In 2012, I got married and put in more time and effort into photography. I also started enhancing my photography skills by being a second shooter working alongside photographers within the Tamil wedding industry. From the experience and knowledge I’ve gained assisting other photographers and with my wife’s support, I developed the courage and confidence to attend South Asian wedding shows and showcase my photography skills.
A few months later, a trusted friend who was planning her cousin’s wedding hired me as the photographer. Eventually, I used social media as a platform to showcase my work. This landed me a few more clients. Thanks to the clients who trusted my work, I was able to build a strong portfolio that helped me take flight into my photography journey.

The Persistence
I chose to be more persistent and follow my dreams for one reason and one reason only – my son. I endured many struggles in life that stood in the way of my dreams. But for my son and soon my daughter, it is important that they follow their dreams. I will not tell them what to grow up and become. I want them to decide on their own. I will tell them to make sure that when they grow up, they choose to be happy. I do not want them to choose a path in life because they “had to”.
I want to be able to play an integral part in guiding them down the right path. I wish for them to not encounter the challenges I faced which stood in the way of accomplishing my goals much earlier in life. More importantly, I hope for them to understand that regardless of the challenges they may come across in life, it should never be a reason to hold back on one’s dreams.

Related Articles


TamilCulture ...
Aug 15
CA
Siva Samson R...
Jul 11
CA
TamilCulture
Jun 15
CA
Meet People
Collaborate with Tamil creators, professionals and businesses from around the world
Robert Rajeswaran
CEO, GoCode Academy
Sumi Shan
Partner, TEx Ventures
Kieran Arasaratnam
CEO, Uinspire
Meet People
Connect with Tamil professionals from your city and around the world!

Discover Tamil Businesses


0 Comments


Please log in or register to comment
Nirvani Pillay
Aug 31
ZA
Guest Contrib...
Mar 31
Amar Ramesh
May 31
myTamilDate.com
Jul 31
CA