We had the good fortune of connecting with Rishi Deka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rishi, how do you think about risk?
I have been crafting a lot of poetry this year, and I would like to share my perspective on risk with a limerick titled ‘A New Trail’:
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I began my unique journey five years ago while in graduate school at the University of Utah. As a photojournalist for the student newspaper, I received an award for my coverage of Black Lives Matter, and I was even able to shoot former Vice President and 2020 President Elect Joe Biden when he spoke at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. I graduated from the University of Utah in Fall 2017 with a PhD in health services research with specializations in epidemiology and biostatistics. I continued my academic career in medicine as a Postdoc in Radiation Oncology at UC San Diego. My medical research in racial health disparities is in the fields of oncology/psychiatry and has been published in JAMA, JAMA Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Cancer, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. I am also an instructor in Biostatistics I and II at UCSD.
At the same time, I commenced my career as a freelance photographer. While creative freelancing is very empowering, it is arduous to get your work published and to build connections, a brand, and a renowned reputation. I currently contribute my work to Shutterstock Editorial and Associated Press. In the three years that I have worked as a creative freelancer, I have had my photography published in 42 countries countries across all continents and in media outlets such as Yahoo! News, MSN, The Guardian, ABC, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Welle, El Pais, and Good Morning America. Most of my work is in photojournalism and entertainment. I have had the opportunity to photograph a diverse array of people that includes Ringo Starr, Tiger Woods, John Legend, Dua Lipa, Laurence Fishburne, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Lana Del Rey, Camila Morrone, Paula Abdul, Andrea Bocelli, Billy Bob Thornton, Kiefer Sutherland, Florence Welch, Lizzy Caplan, Cheech & Chong, Alicia Garza, Madison Beer, and Chris Brown.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is famous for it’s beaches. There are a number of spots we could visit to get a diverse beach experience. This includes Cabrillo in Point Loma, Gliderport in La Jolla, Silver Strand in Coronado, Swami’s in Encinitas, and the campgrounds in Carlsbad. Due to my love for horror, the Whaley House Museum is a must see! And since a lot of my work is in entertainment, we would obviously attend a concert or two! Finally, for something more off the beaten path, we would visit Goat Canyon Trestle near Jacumba Hot Springs in East County. There are abandoned rail cars in the area with riveting graffiti!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All images taken by Rishi Deka.