While the world has been harping upon becoming more accepting of having a girl-child in the recent years, I have been more than fortunate in this regard. My dad always wanted a daughter so his happiness knew no bounds when I was born. He had even decided my name prior to my birth. Today if I’m this confident woman who has travelled countries to pursue her dreams, it is thanks to my dad’s support and love.

The day I decided to move to Glasgow to pursue Media and Advertising was a very difficult one for my dad. Though he was very happy and proud of what I had achieved and what I wanted to achieve but that he would not be able to shield me anymore shook him.

But our bond grew stronger despite being in different time zones. After completing my education, I took up a corporate job in Glasgow which helped me learn but did not make me happy. This struggle did not go unnoticed by dad and that’s when he asked me to come back to India to be a part of his photography business. My first day in the Marketing Department felt just right too. I realised that I had always loved photography. 

Dad began a business of developing film rolls in 1992 when I was two years old. By the time I was 5, he was running a chain of photo processing labs. It is during this stint that he developed a passion for photography and started shooting. He loved taking a camera everywhere and I loved to pose. I have been my father’s favourite model ever since he started shooting.

Joining his business was the best decision I ever made. My dad has been an apt mentor, motivating me even when I make mistakes. Today we work together and he humorously calls me his “boss”! From learning the tools of the trade to being an ideal friend and a great mentor, dad has been all this and more transitioning effortlessly between these roles.

Yes, we don’t always agree with each other because we see things differently. Our difference of opinion could be because of our varied exposure and experience or because we are from different generations, but we understand each other’s potentials and sensibilities. And that’s what makes our relationship so strong.

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  • Soniya Dembla


    Soniya, with her double degree in Marketing and International Business from University of Glasgow and her experience in advertising as well as filming, heads the management of Camera Crew, a Luxury as well as Destination Wedding Photography and Filming company founded by her father Rajesh Dembla in 2006.