“I a Mumbai based photographer. I completed my graduation from J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai in 2007 with photography as Major. My college years not only groomed me aesthetically but also provided me with a sound understanding of photography as well as related media.
Having assisted the ace fashion photographer Prasad Naik, I started on my own in 2009. In past two years he has worked for clients like Kaya Skin Clinic, Red Fm, Vodafone, Reliance, Officer’s Choice, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Wagh Bakri Tea, Aquaguard, Aquasure, Vinegar and many more.
I believe in learning by best of his abilities & making most of any opportunity.”
Why are you a photographer?
I don’t really remember how I decided to be a photographer. I had this connection with camera since I was a kid. I had a toy camera, which kept me busy for hours. Somewhere I knew I liked this field. Once I got into J. J. School of Art I got the opportunity to know photography in better sense. In my 3rd year I chose photography over other elective subjects because I knew this is what I am good at than anything else. And that’s how it started.
Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer?’
Once I was discussing with my uncle about photography and its prospects so he said ‘Why don’t you try your hand on my SLR? Try it for few days and you’ll know yourself.’ That’s how I got SLR in my hands for the first time. After spending hours n hours experimenting with it I was pretty sure that I want to be a photographer.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
It amazes me when I look back that I never had a role model in particular. When I was growing up I got inspired a lot by what was happening around me. There was not specific person or thing, I used to admire any quality of any random thing.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
Since I started assisting Prasad Naik, he became my mentor & inspiration. Whatever I am right now is majorly about what I learnt from him. Even Prabuddha Dasgupta and Patrick Demarchelier’s work fascinates me a lot. I can just keep looking at their work for hours.
How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
The photography has changed from analog to digital in recent years and I think that is a major shift we have seen. Not just the technique but even the approach has changed. In analog photographer cannot see the result instantly, also it is expensive. You cannot go on shooting hundreds of films as you can shoot hundreds of frames in digital. So study of the frame before actually shooting it was a crucial part and it demanded a lot of precision. Whereas in digital, it is convenient and economical because we can shoot a lot of frames and see the result immediately at much lesser cost. But at times because of it, photographers tend to rely on technology a bit too much. Execution & art direction have always been important, its just that now their importance has gained a wide acknowledgement.
Given a choice, no other constraints, film or digital?
What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
I think the sector is emerging. With some good ad agencies coming up with better ideas and excellent execution, the print advertising is making wonderful progress. Also there is much more skilled labour available in India than it used to be earlier, may those be stylists, photographers, art directors, etc.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I’m an artist so I draw inspiration from absolutely anything. May it be an article, a poem, a painting, a song, a concept or at times my own work. But to name a few Raja Ravi Verma, Smita Patil & Frida Kahlo are some inspiring personalities. Specifically talking about photography Prabuddha Dasgupta and Prasad Naik always inspired me.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
No. Obviously there have been hard times in my life but I never doubted about my skill. I never had plan B.
Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
Not really. Recently I have not come across anything striking in print advertising. But just to talk about print, editorials of Prabhudhha Dasgupta, Prasad Naik and Tarun Khiwal are really exciting.
What’s your dream project?
Shooting for Vogue cover page is my dream project. I also want to shoot Lakshmi Menon, Deepika Padukone, Kate Moss and Milind Soman. I find them just perfect as a model and a treat for a photographer to shoot.
Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
I would have gone dinner with Smita Patil and Frida Kahlo if they were with us. They have been always inspiring for me.
What’s on your iPod?
Indian Classical, Old Bollywood classics, Gazhals, Folk and country music from India and worldwide.
Mac or PC?