There are many passionate and talented photographers who wonder whether they should quit their full-time job to pursue photography professionally. Sapna Reddy is a photographer who proves you don’t need to — she has dual careers as both a full-time physician as well as a professional landscape photographer.
Based in Northern California, Reddy works as a radiologist who analyzes images to establish a diagnosis in hopes of helping patients achieve cures. Outside of practicing medicine, however, Reddy has also achieved an impressive degree of success as a professional photographer.
She has won prestigious photo contests put on by the likes of National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and Outdoor Photographer. Her work has been published internationally by global corporations and well-known publications. She conducts workshops around the world to help other photographers develop their creative styles and create meaningful photos.
Reddy’s photos are sold in art galleries in over 80 countries around the globe, and a large percentage of proceeds from her art sales go to charitable causes.
She’s also a brand ambassador for Sony Alpha camera equipment, GuraGear camera bags, and NiSi Optics lens filters.
As both a doctor and a photographer, Reddy knows well both the power of images to direct healing in patients as well as the healing power of images themselves for viewers. Interested in color theory and art therapy, Reddy’s goal is to use her creative expressions to create therapeutic visuals.
“As a radiologist, I’m trying to find out what’s wrong with the human body. As a photographer, I’m essentially looking for what is right. That perfect arrangement of visual elements,” Reddy tells SmugMug. “I think [radiology and photography] complement each other quite well. One is more intellectual. The other is more emotional. I like that balance.”
Reddy’s two careers complement one another, as her work outdoors helps her recharge for her work within the hospital. The images she creates are also perfect on hospital walls.
“After spending lots of time outdoors, I just felt more emotionally resilient when I returned to the hospital,” she says. “And I noticed that the walls of the hospital were very harsh, we weren’t really creating an environment for healing. I think it’s very important to create the right environment for the mind in order for the body to heal.
“I went to the hospital board and asked them, ‘why don’t we display images of nature?’ and they said, ‘well, Sapna, if you want to see pictures of nature up there, why don’t you go get them?’ That gave me the impetus to actually look into the concept of visual therapy—what is it that makes an image appear healing?”
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