Jun 6, 2013


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The Whale

Beginning the process of creating a visual identity was a daunting task. I knew I wanted it to be a strong representation of me and the elements that have shaped, influenced, and inspired me but the question was how to accomplish it in a way that would bring people into my world who have never met me. This is my journey and I have to say that none of this would have been possible without my friend Ryan Malmberg of Finch Design who brought this identity to life.

We begin with a name.

The name Nirav literally means “silent” but the way my mother always described it was by using the analogy of the steady, calm flow of water. This analogy immediately places me on the coast starring into the vast ocean. It’s always been a special place to me…a place I could collect my thoughts. I took Jen, on one of our first few dates, to the coast at midnight where we built a fire and talked until sunrise.  The coast is also where I proposed to her.  I knew that incorporating the ocean would be important.

If you knew me as a kid, then you also knew there was no absence of imagination.  I constantly created whimsical worlds to explore.  Some of my favorite movies incorporated elaborate and quirky worlds full of wonder such as the films of Tim Burton. I wanted my visual identity to incorporate some of that sense of wonder.

Next I established more specifically what elements go into what I love to see and capture. I knew there was a few common points to all of my work influenced by experiences in my life so I made a list of those things that I look for, be it conscious or subconsciously: solitude; peace; grace; elegance; adventure; simplicity; creativity; emotion; journey; love; friendship; strength.

We end with a name.

During the process of identifying the focal point for my identity something incredible happened. My son Jonah was born. It all suddenly became very clear… the whale was introduced.

Looking into the background and symbolism of the whale I found ties that fit into the elements and characteristics of my work.  For instance, in native american cultures whales are symbolic of creativity. They are also often associated with grace, solitude, adventure, journey, peace, and strength. It seemed we had found the final piece to the puzzle.

So now here we have it. Every time I see this site, it reminds me of the amazing moments and people in my life.  This is my fresh start and I’m excited to move forward, grow, and share my experiences and stories with you here.

Speaking of the amazing people in my life…

Thank you to my wife (and best friend) for being so supportive and amazing through this crazy transition. Thank you to all my couples and friends for your love, trust, and support. Thank you to my family for always standing by side no matter what decisions I make and teaching me to appreciate all the incredible things that I have. Thank you Jonah, my little bear, for smiling at me each day and making me a better person. I can only hope I’m half as good of a father as my father is to me.

With love.


Music by Yellow Ostrich

  1. Jen

    This is wonderul. We love you and are so proud of the accomplishment you’ve made with your photography. Love u!

  2. alyda

    I LOVE IT!!! it fits you exactly and it looks so amazing. yay for you xx

  3. Tonhya Kae

    It’s perfect. Just perfect my friend. Congratulations.

  4. Will Kim


  5. Cole

    Really happy for you Nirav. This is branding perfecting and I hope it aids in elevating you to even great heights.

  6. Tina

    I loved your explanation of what inspired your new web design…very touching.

  7. Christy Tyler

    LOVE all of it Nirav! Love your explanation of it and I think it represents you so well. Congrats!!! I know what a process this is!

  8. Geeta Patel/Satish Patel

    We loved your explanation. We wish you all the best and proud of what you accomplished in very short time. We love you.

  9. Jakob

    Love it, buddy. It’s perfect for you.

  10. Rose Dykstra

    It must be so satisfying to be able to see such a long journey come together. I love the stories behind the new changes and how meaningful they are to you and how everything is seamless here. Your work, the new site, the flow of it all – is wonderful. Thank you for sharing a bit of the process with us =)

  11. Jakub

    Looking really nice Nirav

  12. mike

    I believe it.