Meet the Photographer
Fujifilm x Art of London meet Bal Bhatla, creative director and pro photographer, better known as Mr Whisper.
Before I became a photographer, I worked full time as a Digital Creative Director in a variety of Ad agencies in London. During the last few years, I noticed how Social Media was becoming increasingly important within the campaign work I was doing. Simultaneously my personal Instagram account was growing at a steady pace, and I began to get commissioned by big brands i.e. Lonely Planet, Jaguar, and Adidas. This got me thinking that perhaps one day I could leave my full-time role to become a freelance commercial photographer working directly with cool brands!
Fast forward two years, I quit my job and decided to freelance as a Creative Director which would then afford me the time and flexibility to see If I could make this photography dream a reality.
After a couple of years balancing freelance creative direction and photography. I was lucky to be receiving enough commissioned work to just focus on photography full time.
The name Mr Whisper was originally my graffiti tag from art school. However, once I began working, Mr Whisper became my creative outlet for any projects I made outside of work, not for clients, strictly personal. These included my Mr Whisper sticker packs, badges, a soft ninja toy, papercraft, T- Shirts. Basically anything I felt inspired to create, I would do so under the Whisper label.
So when social media came about, I felt it was time for the Mr Whisper brand to be revived. It’s memorable, people seem to like it, I like it and so it's just stuck with me.
I've been very fortunate to work with a great variety of global brands & incredible projects during my career.
From Street Editorials, to Automotive, Alcohol, Film, TV, Luxury Fashion, Travel, Festivals, Sports and Tech, it's been quite a journey. And learning to adapt my style is always a great challenge for each new project.
The only consistent factor throughout my career has been my Fujifilm system. No matter the scenario, it's been my camera of choice for every assignment beginning with the X-T1 - 4 and has never let me down.
I treat the West End like my studio, and you can find me there on most weekends.
In particular I’m drawn to the vibrant nightlife scene in Soho. It’s got those bohemian chic vibes, which transcends through the narrow streets, alleyways, buildings and people, all set against a neon lit backdrop.
Recently I've been inspired by the web 3 space. It's exciting to see how it's empowering artists and shaking up every industry in its path. The creative landscape that opens up is overwhelming with possibilities, Just like with Web 2!
Brighter Future has been a great source of inspiration. I'm honoured to play a small role in this creative initiative. Especially as it’s taking place in the West End of London, which plays such a fundamental role in my photography work.
At the moment, I am working on a nice mix of client and personal projects which will see me into 2023.
I’ve been planning my dream project with a client for the last month, which is all coming together and will launch later this year. I’m still pinching myself about that project!
I’m thrilled to be working on a variety of Low light photography with Fujifilm Workshops to begin in November.
Keep an eye out for my new website and my Genesis Street Photography book will be out next year with Trope publishing.
My best advice for anyone with a keen interest in photography…
It’s very easy to get caught up in the “Instant fame” of social media.
Instead, treat your photography journey like a marathon, it's not a sprint, you'll burn out too quickly, especially in today's 'always-on' society.
It really is all about ‘practice makes perfect’.
It’s always: You against You.
22.09.2022 - a year ago