Durban teacher’s passion for the lens becomes a business

One of Durban teacher Nirdev Udith’s atmospheric photographs.

One of Durban teacher Nirdev Udith’s atmospheric photographs.

Published Apr 7, 2024


Durban — With the naked eye, one would see a 50-years-young Durban school teacher, but through the lens one would see a passionate portrait and event photographer.

For a bit of fun, Nirdev Udith also captures landscapes as he walks through the city of Durban or travels around South Africa.

Udith, who lives in Parlock, Durban, has been a teacher for 24 years, but has always enjoyed taking pictures of nature, especially the sunrise when he was on the beach.

“In April 2019, I bought my first digital single-lens reflex camera and decided to start my own business, and I have never looked back on that day with regret,” said Udith.

He started I AM U photography and now has some family helping hands: “My 13-year-old daughter Dipti is responsible for all my behind-the-scenes video footage and still shots,” he said.

“The biggest moment in my career has been a shoot for an international organic skin care brand. They wanted images with a natural African feel, so on their trip to launch their product here in South Africa, they contacted me to do their products and model shoot.”

He said there were other milestones along the way, such as when he printed and distributed his first desk calendar, featuring images of Durban’s landmarks, in 2022. Udith said his inspiration came from emotion: seeing people happy makes him happy. Nature is also a great source of inspiration.

“The various shapes, colours and weather patterns inspire me when I edit and create my final images.”

Udith said he was passionate about the outdoors and he made an effort to spend time in nature. He loves catch-and-release fishing at a dam.

He has two studios, one in Parlock and one in Chatsworth, but said the industry was a challenging one: “There are many photographers out there and I have had to set myself apart from the rest. I have had to create a unique identity and that is an ongoing journey.

“In the future, I aspire to have a bigger and better-equipped photography studio and become a sought-after portrait and lifestyle photographer.”

Independent on Saturday