“Photography as a Passion is different from photography as a Business. To be successful these two have to go hand in hand”
Could you tell how and why you opted for photography as a career and how has the journey been?
I was attracted to nature right from my childhood. I like to observe nature, right from small insects to huge mountains. I got my personal desktop when I was 14 years old. I was attracted to the desktop “nature” wallpapers. I used to change it every 5 minutes and observe it with so much wonder. I think my passion for making nature images started from there. When I knew I can make images like that, I didn’t think much, I just got a camera and started practicing. My family was so supportive and encouraging to explore my creative endeavors. Whatever I’m doing today is because of them. I formally started practicing photography from 2010 and started as a professional from 2013.
The journey as a photographer has been very interesting so far. There have been ups and downs, but the learning as a creative person never stops. There is so much to explore and I’m looking forward to them.
Did you undergo training at a photography school or attend any workshops to become a professional photographer?
Yes, I did my PG diploma in Professional photography from Light & Life Academy, Ooty after completing my Engineering.
How do you plan and execute a photography assignment?
When it comes to commercial assignments, I first discuss with the client about their requirements in detail. And I plan things well ahead by scouting the location and do test shoots before starting the actual shoot. This makes things easy.
When it comes to travel and nature assignments, I don’t plan much. I just plan my travel and make sure I’m at the right time. What happens after that is not in my hand as I believe controlling nature is impossible. I do my best to get the best possible image in whatever condition and situation that nature gives me. I’m also grateful that I was there to witness some amazing moments. But the most spectacular moments happens when I don’t have my camera with me.
What is your favorite part of a shoot and what are the challenges you face?
While doing Travel and Nature assignments there are several challenges you have to face. The most common one is trying to make something really unique. To get away from the beaten path. For that I go an extra mile to do something which is mostly avoided by others. To name it, usually photographers avoid doing panoramic images of subjects that are moving. I love to make panoramic images of seascapes. This makes the shoot more challenging because you don’t have a subject that is stable. I had to wait for the waves to match from one frame to another. In that process I have to get the light right at every frame. Getting the images stitched after the shoot requires lots of patience.
Typically, what does your camera kit contain?
I have a Nikon d800 camera body. Lenses are Nikor 50mm f/1.8, Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6, Tamron 90mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/4-5.6. I have a manfrotto 190x PROB tripod and a Manfrotto Panoramic head. Also 2 additional flash guns with wireless triggers.
Which has been your most memorable project and why?
My recent memorable project was the nature assignment I did in Andaman this year during April. It was a 12 days shoot. I usually love doing seascapes as I lived around coastal areas most of my life. Andaman is a paradise for seascape lovers. The best part was I got access to areas where there is less or no human population. So I was the only one with a camera and a tripod. I felt like having the entire area to myself.
Which photographer inspires you and what keeps you motivated to create such great imagery?
The first one that comes to my mind is Mr. Iqbal Mohamed, founder of Light & Life academy. I learned the craft from him. His nature images inspire me in so many levels. Apart from him, I really like the work of Mr. Art Wolfe. His nature work is so stunning that it will create that urge to pack your bags right away.
Tell us your idea of a perfect picture and have you clicked one?
I do believe in the idea of “perfect moment” in a picture. But more than that, the experience a photographer undergoes in the process of making a picture matters. That’s what motivates an artist to move forward. That very feel of seeing the image he/her made after undergoing lots of hardship. I have undergone many thrilling and not so comfortable experiences to capture that perfect moment. But after seeing the image, everything floats away. That very experience and the image together puts a big smile on my face the entire day. Each image is like a first love!
Any words of wisdom for aspiring photographers?
What I have understood from my experience is photography as a “Passion” is different from photography as a “Business”. To be successful these two have to go hand in hand. To have photography as a career you have to be a very good business person. Your passion alone is not going to help you earn money. I also believe that “Art” is an expression of who you are from inside. So be good and have good thoughts and your art will also be good.