Being Indian, from my childhood I have been exposed to the organized chaos that is a basic characteristic of my home country. Hence, I am very relaxed on streets anywhere – be it villages, towns or big cities. My roots have made me comfortable with myriad festivals, diverse cultures and traditions that transcend religious boundaries. India is a land known for its hospitality where strangers become friends and invite you into their lives.
So you start with trying to take a photograph and you end up eating with them. Or being offered a cup of tea even in the most humblest of homes. It is this incredible thrust and pull of life that makes the kaleidoscope called India what it is, the catalyst that makes me pack my bags and travel back so often to satisfy my inexhaustible craving for photographing its different facets.
1. What sparked your interest in photography?
Back in school, while other boys read comics, I spent my time in the library devouring National Geographic magazines. The photographs made my jaw drop. But, then the fascination was more with the photographs and not photography itself. Deep impressions without any knowledge of the process.
Cut to Dubai. I have to credit this magnificent city for getting me exploring the world of photography. Though a long story, in short, the city created an urge to capture the stunning cityscapes. Long exposure photography was an initial fascination. But as years rolled by, it changed and narrowed down to the genre of travel and portrait photography.
2. When did you start shooting?
In October 2010, I got my first DSLR – Nikon D3100. Never looked back...
3. How often do you shoot?
When in UAE, I believe in practicing and experimenting with cameras and various compositions. Though these photos are rarely published, it helps me better my work before my next trip. Hardly a weekend passes without practice shoots. Be it streets or home - you got to keep that shutter rolling.
But it is during my travels, where I actually concentrate on creating the compelling photographs.
4. Why do you love photography?
As my tattoo says, ‘Photography is my religion’. That’s the best I can explain.
5. What gear do you own?
Nikon D800 with Nikkor Trinity Lenses is my workhorse, while the Fujifilm X100s is my practice machine. The Nikon Fm2n and the Minolta SRT100 make guest appearances once in a while.
6. Other than your camera, what piece of equipment couldn’t you live without?
iPhone – Inspiration at fingertips
7. Who are your biggest inﬂuences as a photographer?
I also admire the work of Raghu Rai, James Nachtwey, Ed Kashi, Annie Griffiths, Jodi Cobb, Matt Stuart to name a few among many.
8. What’s your best advice for someone starting out?
Go out and shoot everything. Down the line you will find your style – then channel your energy into specializing in that genre.
Do not be overwhelmed by gear - utilize what you got. Gears make picture, add passion to it and you end up with photographs.
Buy books – lots of them and read them over and over again. Some of my favorites are Steve McCurry – Untold, Steve McCurry – The path to Buddha, Steve McCurry – The Iconic Photographs, The Street Photographer’s Manual by David Gibson, Street Photography Now…
Above all, DO NOT be enslaved by online fame, Never chase Facebook likes or rating systems on photography sharing sites. Instead, chase your passion to create and in
spire. Pour all your energy into generating a great body of work, which speaks by itself. Create your own signature. Never shoot for name or fame, just shoot for the love of the game. Rest follows…
9. Where can we see your work?