We had the good fortune of connecting with Gurminder Banga and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gurminder, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
5 years ago I felt burnt out from my photography career as I felt I wasn’t doing much to be of service to others or creating an impact that mattered. I went on a personal passion project in India to document stories and moments of locals. I felt if I were to do a project that I love, it’ll help spark the creativity that I knew lived deep within. As I walked the streets & slums of Bangalore I met beautiful people with powerful stories. I felt this need to capture who they are in a soulful portrait, so that is exactly what I did! I felt after a very long time I was able to use my creativity in new ways and share them with those who have never been in front of a camera before.
I shared the images with my friends in the event industry and they gave the opportunity and idea to create an immersive photo experiences at an industry gala at the New York Public Library. The concept was to capture stylized portraits for all of their guests as they enjoyed the evening. The BangaBooth was a hit immediately! When people think of a “photobooth” what tends to come to mind is a flat backdrop, a few props and if you are lucky a half decent picture. Our approach is to truly capture a moment with emotion. Through our direction, lighting, set design and energy we are able to evoke an authentic expression that represents who they truly are, similar to what I did in India!
I can’t take much credit for the concept or the idea because it came as a by-product of pursing my passion for connecting and creating with others. I’m a firm believer that pursing your passion can lead to profits, if you are doing it with a pure intention.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe that in life everything is interconnected and in order to perform at high levels at work, the same dedication needs to be placed on your mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The one thing that keeps me feeling grateful and grounded is my 5am morning routine: meditate, journal, workout and doing the most important thing first. It took years to develop a structure that works for me and I’m still not a morning person! With experience I’ve just learnt that once I do the things that matter deeply to me, I can show up as my best self to others that count on me. You don’t have to wake up as early, or do as many practices, just keep it simple and try to improve daily by 1%.External success is important in the society we live in today, but internal peace & purpose is a goal worth pursuing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Love this questions, because for my bachelor party I essentially planned the entire trip. The vision was for everyone to embark on 4 day mental, physical and spiritual journey with the expectation that it would be a unique experience for each one of my friends. Here is what the schedule actually looked like in Banff, Canada
5hr Sunet Hike at Ha Ling Peak
Bike ride from Canmore to Banff
6hr Hike at Sentinel Pass
Dinner at home with Jim Elzinga (Elite Alpinists-leader of the Canadian Everest Light Expedition, the first North American woman to Summit Everest)
Grassi Lakes Hike
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My partner Misha believed in me before I believed in myself, that type of support and love is invaluable. My parents continue to teach me the importance of being of service to others and staying true to your spiritual beliefs.
Instagram: @g.banga, @bangabooth