“Since childhood, I always wanted to be an army officer. In 2nd grade, the teacher taught the class on the topic “Ambition”. At that time, I had no idea what it meant. As she went on explaining I don’t know why but that day onwards I dreamed of becoming an army officer. But it all changed during the 9th grade when I got sick.

I underwent a lot of tests at the hospital and the doctors couldn’t diagnose my condition. I got sick frequently in the 10th grade too. I became weak, my weight dropped to the 40s and my height stopped growing. After completing 10th grade, I lost all hopes of joining the Army. I became so frail that I was told by people, that a wind could blow me away. I wasn’t able to recover but life went on.

I qualified for 11th grade and took Commerce. My hopes and dreams of becoming an army officer were already shattered and this affected my studies in 11th and 12th grade. My parents asked me if I wanted to repeat class 12 or proceed with college. I didn’t really believe in a degree certificate so I did volunteer work. With volunteer work, I think we gain a lot of experience as well as certificates from different areas. Whereas studying for a degree, I thought, was to be focused on only a particular area.

I started volunteering in 2008 and 2013, and got linked with YDF. There I met a friend who sparked my interest in photography. I decided to give it a try. I like meeting people and learning different skills which prompted me to join the private sector. I then got the opportunity to work for MHPA for 6 months. I also worked for Zimdra automobiles for a year. I even got into the Royal Tutorial Project for 6 months.

In 2015, I met my current work team known as Smart Psycho group. We met in Phuntsholing during an event. They were into photography as well. They were all in 12th grade and I was much older than them. They came to me with an idea and wanted me to help them make a video for Teacher’s day. Based on a short movie from Thailand, we made a video for their teachers and everyone loved it. We decided to work together and that’s how Smart Psycho started. At the closing of that event, me and my team performed a comical dance and we were asked for our group’s name. Someone from the group said Smart (as he said we were all smart) and someone added psycho.

Back then we had no intention of turning our group’s work into a business. Most youth these days are into Rap. However they are not able to approach a production house that would help them make music videos. So they come to us and we give them a reasonable rate which helps pay the rent for our work space.Currently we got hired by few companies to organize their events. The biggest company we’ve worked with so far was a company from Singapore. We even got many offers from within Bhutan. Some didn’t take us seriously (as we were young) and didn’t even pay us. It’s only been a year since we registered our company.

Work is scarce these days due to the pandemic but on other days we make enough to feed ourselves, pay rent and even buy some small equipment.
I still plan to continue with photography though people think it’s tough to make a living with such jobs. I feel that we have to create our own opportunity and things will fall into place. Most youths complain there are not enough jobs but it’s not true. Before Youtube came into Bhutan, MTVs weren’t popular but now, there are many Bhutanese youtubers. So, I think there are a lot of opportunities.
A lot has changed since 2013, and now many people invest in the digital world, particularly digital arts. Photography has also gotten better and I see a lot of good photographers in Bhutan. As for myself, I can say I have learned and improved a lot. I know which equipment to use at the right time, the settings, lightings and many more. Back then we would capture at AUTO settings but now we use MANUAL mode which gives better results.I owned a small digital camera gifted by my father. It took amazing photos but compared to DSLRs, It’s not that good. I used to click photos on film cameras too, which is a wonderful memory.

I am also a Desuup. It’s an opportunity to serve my country and moreover, it brings back the feeling of being in the military, which has always been my dream. And I believe being a Desuup is one of the highest forms of volunteerism.”

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