“Simplicity is my style”
Could you tell us how and why did you decide to take up photography as a profession?
It took a long time for me to choose photography as a profession, it had always been a hobby. Working in ad agency, I was into designing and art but I always loved clicking pictures and editing. I was not confident enough to make money out of photography and to take it seriously. After 6 years of advertising, one midnight I suddenly thought of quitting advertising and getting into full time photography. I was doing some freelance portfolio shoots and few product shoots by then. I knew if I didn’t start then I would never start. From there it slowly started picking up. So far, so good.
Have you undertaken any formal training and what role did it play in your growth as a photographer?
I have studied Visual Communication. It’s a three year art course where every semester you learn different elements like painting, graphic designing, short film making, and advertising. One semester was photography. I started taking pictures with a Nikon FM 10 film camera. The process of washing and developing film was very interesting. I got my first DSLR after my college – a Canon 450D. Whatever I learned from college was very basic, it took me a long time to master the information what I know today. It’s all self-taught, through experimenting and getting inspired from great photographers. Through learning all this, I have come to realize my style of photography. Friends who follow my work now understand my style, and on seeing my picture itself they ask, if it’s been shot by me. If I had assisted some photographer I might have followed their style. I taught myself through experimenting and am still learning. One can never stop learning, no matter how successful you become.
How do you define your personal style? And how is your approach towards any assignment?
Simplicity would be my style. I prefer clean simple layouts. I try and focus my entire attention towards my subject. I prefer locations with very less distractions or clutter, and use minimal equipment to make as natural as possible.
I mostly do ad shoots and editorial fashion. Ad shoots mostly come with a fixed layout, something which would be approved by the client. So I’ll have to stick to that style or make it better. Editorial and fashion shoots I get full control on the styling and experiment to try something new. For these shoots I first think of the kind of lighting that’s in my mind, the location to place the lights, and the kind of light modifiers to use. Then I make a style for costume and color reference. Once all these are fixed, we go to recce the location and do a quick test shoot so that on the shoot day there is very less confusion.
Which has been the most memorable or challenging project that you have worked on?
It’s very hard to pick one project. Every day the shoot projects that I get are different. If it’s a car shoot today, tomorrow it would be food photography, followed by a fashion shoot. So depends on that, the lighting would be different, so would the subject and the location. Every project has its own limitations and challenges – that’s what makes it hard to pick one project. Having said that, my first car shoot was challenging. It took me some time to get the lights right and the reflections to get a perfect shot. We did it the hard way back then, but now I know the trick.
Typically, what does your camera kit contain?
I have a very small kit which I use for personal work. I have a 5D Mark-III with Canon 24-105- F4 and a Canon 50mm 1.8
All ad shoots I rent my equipment. Since all the equipment gets updated every day I prefer renting them and use the ones best needed for that particular shoot.
Which photographer inspires you and what keeps you motivated to create such great imagery?
There are lots… I’m a great fan of Joey L, I love the way he lights and creates images. I also follow Patrick Demarchelier, Tom Munro, Tarun Khiwal, Dani Diamond, Von Wong, Dean Bradshaw.
How do you keep yourself updated about happenings in the photography world?
I think in today’s world it’s very easy to get updated about happenings in the photography world. What I use most is Instagram(www.instagram.com/nithinnarayan/) I get all information from the people I follow, the equipment updating. I also use Flipboard for photography news and Behance to see new work in the industry.
What advice would you want to give to the aspiring photographers?
The more you shoot the better you become. Keep clicking. Experiment a lot and find your own style.
To see more of Nithin’s work, click here