Mitesh Addhate : In A Chat With An Advertising Creative

Mitesh Addhate is an international Art Director & Photographer from India. He studied Art direction from Miami Ad School in Miami and worked in one of the most prestigious advertising agencies in the world – Ogilvy New York. As a photographer he captures the inner emotions via his photography to tell a story that connects with every individual that comes across his work. He believes the secret to everything is in the nature and works to capture those moments that tells lot more than just a story. In his free time, he loves to do reverse advertising, socialize and go for a walk on the streets on New York to re-energize his creative side. 

Why are you into Advertising?
Advertising has always fascinated me with the power that it holds in inspiring the audience in a matter of just 7 seconds. Those 7 seconds could bring a positive change in the society and start a new revolution. The amazing creativity in those ads enticed me to look more into advertising as a career and eventually into art direction and I can proudly say that I have made the right choice. Advertising is all around us and we have been doing it since our birth. From advertising ourselves to our friends, to our parents and to the society we live in. It feels great to create work that could bring a positive change in the society and I have been lucky enough to be able to do such work. The satisfaction of being able to contribute towards making someone smile even in their tough times through our work is what excites me to work in the industry. It makes me love what I do even more after hearing people talk about the work that I was a part of.


Vaydehi Khandelwal : Photography

Vaydehi Khandelwal known as Camerawaali held a camera at the age of thirteen and knew it would be her whole life. She started training under a photographer at a very young age and by the time she was seventeen she knew that photography was her calling. She completed her Masters in Photography from Mumbai and soon after she was a part of various artists in residence programs in India and Italy…followed by shows, collaborations, films, wedding photography and specialisation in documentary art photography from IED, Madrid, Spain.She also owns a wedding photography company called Weddings-Before & After. Recently her project I AM VERY TIRED was featured by Leica and published on various art platforms. She is currently travelling, making pictures and working on her next street project.

Why are you a photographer?
Am a photographer because I was meant to be…

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
For me it was more of a process… of being exposed to photography at a very young something that I liked doing… to a profession.


Riddhi Parekh : Photography

Riddhi sees frames everywhere, not just because she is a photographer, she always saw them. She see people, their expressions, gestures, the play of light and shade and a profusion of colours – slivers of magic, and she try’s to capture it all! The opportunities are endless for someone who sees an image in any situation.

Having begun as a clueless teenager Riddhi found my true calling only after having dabbled in the Ad world. Her tryst in photography began with assisting ace photographer Nrupen Madhvani and her resolve to become a name to reckon with became even strong. After which she joined Shari Academy of Digital photography where my passion grew by leaps and bounds and she went onto becoming the Master Craftsmen of the year and also bagged the Best Fashion Photography and Food Photography Award, Luxoculus.

Why are you a photographer?
I am a photographer because I am terrible at math and have an attention span of a gold fish.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Yes, very vividly actually. It was my 6th month in my first proper job in an advertising agency as a brand planner and I was cribbing about how much I hate it to one of my colleagues. I was always good at arts and wanted to get into the creative side of ad making. I was trying desperately to find a way to get in to graphic designing and it seemed more and more impossible everyday. My colleague asked me a simple question: If there were no criteria or any restrictions what would you want be? I answered either a pilot or one of those cool National geographic wild life photographers. He said here you go bingo. Not sure about the pilot bit but photography seems like a good transition. And the next day I was researching about photography and within next 2 months I left my job and became a photographer.


Maya Pillai : Interview With A Photographer/Graphic Designer/Artist

Part-time photographer, part-time cat-stalker. She pays her bills by training school teachers in the art of Design thinking and creative classroom techniques. She burns the midnight oil while trying to figure out how best to combine pencil with a roll of film.
Why are you a Communications Designer?
I have always loved to talk, take pictures and draw. In that order. So becoming a communication designer just sort of happened without my doing much.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I went to Symbiosis Institute of Design for their undergraduate program in Graphic design, following which I went to the National Institute of Design to pursue a masters in Photography.


Sam Mohan : Interview with a Photographer

Sam Mohan might be considered one of the most versatile photographers among his peers. He has the intrinsic ability to switch rather smoothly between different genres of photography be it fashion or documentary, people or product, landscapes or architecture, and yet maintain his own individual style through it all. It is this ability that makes him a master of the art in his own right. His most exciting works showcase a play of light & color that makes the viewer transcend into the image itself. His images have a visual texture that borders around the surreal. It is seldom one can see this on everyday images.Sam Mohan’s images are beautiful because he sees them that way.

He has been signed up by Yellow Korner France for his work from the series ‘Killing the Stereotype’. This is being showcased in 85 galleries around Europe currently. He has been commissioned by The Times UK, Children’s Heart Link USA, Samvirke Magazine Denmark, Nature Magazine, UK and several other magazines across the country and globe to breathe life into some fascinating stories about people and places. He has also recently been invited by the town of Urk, Netherlands to do portraits of people from the beautiful fishing village. His commercial clientele include Puma, Nike, Lenovo, Aditya Birla Group, Titan Fastrack, Titan tanishq, Titan Sonata, BMW, Britannia, TVS, Pepsi, Sab Miller, Prestige Estates Pvt Ltd, Wildcraft, DHL, Bulchee to name a few. Sam Mohan lives and works out of Bangalore, India.

Why are you a photographer?
My dad was in the Indian army and every time he came back home on a holiday he would bring back pictures of all the places that he was posted at — which were far and beyond. It amazed me that there was such a different world out there. It sparked curiosity in me as a child. This world and different worlds like it had to be experienced and captured. Photography it seemed was the only way I knew how to.


Ian Pereira : In A Chat With A Photographer

Ian grew up in Colaba. He was educated in Mumbai and graduated with a B.Com degree. He went to London in 1979 and studied photography at the Polytechnic of Central London, UK and worked at Colorama Processing labs too. Spent 3 months in Chicago assisting various photographers. In 1984, Ian returned to Mumbai and begun his career as an Advertising & Industrial Photographer and have successfully completed 30 years in the profession. He specializes in Still Life, Industrial, Jewellery, Food, Industrial and Product Photography.

Why are you a photographer?
As a teenager I began to love photography. My Dad is a serious amateur photographer. I got interested in photography and on a holiday, one day, he let me use the camera. My parents then realised that I had some talent and encouraged me to pursue photography as a career. They then sent me to London to study photography


Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt “I want to be a photographer”?
As I mentioned, my talent for photography was obvious from a young age. My parents took us on a holiday to the UK and US in 1976. I shot a lot of images on the trip. My Dad, who was Co-founder of Chaitra Advertising, was able to use one of the images of the Statue of Liberty that I had shot, in an advertisement. It was then that I decided that I would make a career out of photography



Vishal Kullarwar : Photographer

Vishal started out to become an engineer but destiny had another career option in the offing. Astrange love for the visual art introduced him to the cameraand a ray of light appeared in an otherwise dark room. Ridden by this passion, he decided to save his dad some money and a lot of embarrassment by dropping out of college to chase his dream of becoming a photographer. His formal journey began with astopover at a Canadian graphic design college.He cut his teeth with reputed design houses and not-so-reputed ad agencies. Soon he shifted his focus back tothe viewfinder. He started off by assisting a top-notch photographer in India for over 2 years. Soon after, he caught a flight to Paris and then Hamburg for a honeymoon with his first love. Photography, that is, just in case some other thoughts are flirting your mind.

Vishal returned to India and went solo with his very own fashion and advertising studio. With a unique eye that smoothly blends the occident with the orient, he quickly shot to fame and carved a niche in the photography industry. Equally at ease in fashion, advertising and editorial work, Vishal describes his work as a result of wanderlust and evolution.These characteristics of the constantly changing fashion world reflect on his photographs as well.

Anardent aficionado of Richard Avedon – the genius top celebrity photographer- Vishal respects (not worships, mind you) his mentor by preferring to eschew the ‘pretty’ and bring out the stark underlying ‘reality’ of the subject.

Considered provocative yet soulful, his client and publication credits currently includes a rich repertoire of international& Indian magazines such as ELLE, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Chew&Swank Glossy, to name a few. He has also collaborated with leading ad agencies such as Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, BMB Madisson, BBH, Percept H and many more. Current international work includes – Poland’s Next Top Model, Lux, Formula 1 Team Force One India, etc.

An alchemist behind the lens, offering his most comprehensive art featuring top models, designers, advertising campaigns, fashion editorials, catalogs, etc. Also familiar with the commercial work that includes the Team ForceIndia project in his credit. He has exhibited his work in the prestigious D & AD awards (London), The World Press Photo, the Dubai Media City (IBDA), Lalit Kala Academy etc. Ventured out on his own seven years ago in the ever-demanding modern fashion world, Vishals passion for visual beauty and perfection continues to impress many today.


Ritam Banerjee : In conversation with a photographer

Based out of Mumbai, Ritam has never quite understood the need to create a niche. Shooting extensively across categories—travel, photojournalism, advertising, interiors, portraits, automobiles, fashion, food—he has always sought inspiration and challenge in variety. From training his lens at the blazing dome of the Taj Palace & Tower when Mumbai was under siege in 2008 to documenting the placid course of the middle and lower Ganges, Ritam has framed things as disparate as spas and slums, ketchup and cars.

Over the last decade, Ritam has worked with corporates and publications across continents, and has also been associated with the global agency, Getty Images.
Apart from stills, he shoots commercial AVs, and has recently won an International Best Cinematographer Award in London for his first feature film. Ritam has also been in the news for his theme-based calendars and his exhibitions.

Why are you a photographer?
Guess, I couldn’t think or dream of doing anything else. Life is all about what we see and the way we see them. So, perhaps, the innate desire to tell stories the way I see it led me to photography. Whether it’s documenting something or creating a piece of art, capturing a moment or depicting an idea, it’s really about telling a story and telling it well.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
My father, Robin Banerjee, was a serious hobbyist and still practices photography for the pure love of the medium. Seeing him and his work when I was growing up must have influenced my decision. So when I got the first opportunity to explore photography during my college days in Fergusson, Pune, I took it seriously and started my journey as a photojournalist with the Times of India, Pune edition. I haven’t looked back since.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Like I said: my father. His passion for the art was contagious. Thanks to him, I was exposed to the works of legends like Richard Avedon, Herb Ritts, Steve Mccurry, Annie Leibovitz, Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, Patrick Demarchelier, Max Vadukul, Henri Cartier Bresson, Raghu Rai, Raghubir Singh, Gautam Rajadhyaksha, Prabuddha Dasgupta and several others. Even painters, musicians and filmmakers influenced my sensibilities.

Though I grew up in a small town– Jamshedpur — my upbringing made the canvas in front of me that much wider. From Michael Jackson to Tchaikovsky, Monet to Nandalal Bose, Tagore to Shakespeare, Satyajit Ray to Vittorio De Sica, my education in aesthetics and culture has luckily been quite diverse.

Who was the most influential personality in your career in photography?
As I just mentioned, there were several who influenced my ideas and opinions. Hence, naming one personality wouldn’t do justice.

How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
With time, everything evolves. So has photography and us as practitioners of the art. Sensibilities have changed and so have the tools and techniques. The ability to instantly view the results and even tweak the images at will in post-production effectively means: one’s only limitation is the periphery of one’s imagination.

And yes, eye for detail, subtlety in styling and approach, precision in execution and innovation and imagination in art direction has resulted in a sea of change in the manner in which we even perceive an image today.

Given a choice, no other constraints, film or digital?
Both have their own charm. It’s like saying Test Cricket or T20?

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
Print advertising has evolved many folds in India. Not only in terms of ideation, even in terms of execution, we have achieved very high standards. Not only photography, but in many cases, even CGI has had a major role to play. Several jobs done here today are definitely at par with the work done worldwide.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From sounds of nature to people on the streets, everything influences my thoughts and ideas. I keep an open mind, as one never knows what might trigger that ‘Eureka’ moment. No matter where I am, be it in a coffee shop or in the middle of maddening traffic, I keep looking around. I often shoot such moments with my iPhone. Works of different artists also influence me. Whenever I get a chance, I try and collaborate with different artists to not just create but to learn and get inspired. This year too, I did two calendars, one with the dance maestro, Astad Deboo in Mexico and the other with the sculptor, Arzan Khambatta in Mumbai.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
I would be lying if I said no. There have been times, when the work at hand hasn’t challenged me creatively or technically. There have also been moments when the demands of the job have been unreasonable to the point of being silly. Sometimes things have seemed monotonous. Thankfully, such instances have been few and far between.
What’s your dream project?
Several. But if I had to choose one, it would involve travelling across the globe and collaborating with artists, designers and models from varied ethnicities to create a seamless confluence of different worlds within each frame.

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
Since I stay away from my family and the demands of my job don’t allow me much quality time with them, I always lookout for the next opportunity to have dinner with them.

Whats on your iPod?
I like all kinds of music. From classical ragas to rock, from Bollywood’s latest number to Hungarian folk, I love it all. What I play, from Bob Dylan to Munni badman hui, depends on my mood.

Mac or PC?
Mac. Since I have been using it for quite a while now. I guess, I am too used to it.

Ritam can be contacted via his website here.




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Charudutt Chitrak : Interview with a photographer

“I would rather talk about me through my pictures than in words. And may be thats why I m a Photographer.”

I have always tried to create pictures that come through self expression, even in advertising no matter how tight the clients brief is .
So you would know something about me in most of my images.

According to me a picture is pointless without a photographers view point a photographer has to put something of himself in every picture he takes whether it is for selling a product in advertising, documenting the truth in journalism or the opulence in fashion.

Why are you a photographer?
Because nothing seemed easier to me, as per me photography is extremely simple and that is what makes it so complicated.
It is one of the best ways to create art and at the same time document life ,photography gives you the power to freeze moments in time, it’s upto you how beautifully you do it.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Wanting to give photography a try as a carrier I looked for photographer to assist.
And got an opportunity to meet Pradeep Das Gupta. It was the first meeting with him in his Khirki Studio that comes closest to that decisive moment.
I was in awe of dada as everyone fondly calls him. His personality, his work and his space left no doubt in my mind that i wanted to be a photographer.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
As I was growing up it was like any other kid in school.
My role models were Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, Sylvester Stallone in Rocky and Cobra, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan. In short all the role models you can think of from my generation. I was and i am still very easily influenced . It was a great time. Sorry wish I could give a more intellectual answer.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
My mentor Pradeep Das Gupta.

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 shift from analogue to digital did not only changed the material, but also the pivotal moment has become a product of a more conscious thinking than what we called an accidental moment. No matter how sure or planned you were while shooting on film there was always something accidental and unforeseen to the extent of being mysterious, which you only realised when the film was later developed. That was the real juice or gift of photography to a photographer. That moment does not exists anymore. You know everything before it is printed, you are too safe and anything can be changed later on Photoshop. Todays digital photography is like knowing everything about your child even before it is born. God forbid if you had the means to design your own child your would never be satisfied and thats what digital is. Analogue is like the excitement, the joy of seeing your child for the first time.

This was exactly what we saw in the work of great masters of photography whether fashion or journalism the beauty of accident.
The technique of execution was a big part of becoming a master photographer (of course the idea was always of utmost importance).
But today you don’t have to be a photographer in the literal sense the line between a photographer and visual artist has burled out.

Today we shoot and shoot till we get it perfect or rather what we think is perfect.
Since technology is in a race to make photography a child’s play, photography has come down to only the exclusivity of subject and idea.
Which kills the romance that once revolved around execution of it, going to locations, waiting for the right moment, fabricating sets, and days of planning a shoot is in most cases has been replaced by green screen with endless days of staring into a monitor.

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
Are you kidding..
Unfortunately today advertising and therefore advertising photography with it, is a money game. Photographers come under the category of vendors
India is going through a phase where quantity is more important than quality. Furthermore the lack of awareness and understanding of art in majority of our population makes it even worse.

To be fair we cannot compare Indian photography to the world because considering the history of advertising photography in the west we are mere infants.

I am not saying that India advertising photography is not at par with the world but there is a lack of personal style and originality in our work which is because photographers here are not encouraged or chosen for a particular assignment on the basis of there personal style but for all the other reasons like rapport, cost factors etc. May be that is why we don’t have photographers in India like David LaChappel, Helmut Newton, Antin Corbjin, Tim Walker, Steven Meisel, who have their own distinct styles. S o much so that sometimes campaigns are designed around them.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything around me.
Anything and everything.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
As they say once a photographer always a photographer.
You just cant stop looking at the world in light, shade , objects, perspective and shapes.

So yes quitting photography would only mean two things not earning my bread and butter through it or when i have nothing left to say.

Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
Hoping to see one soon.

Whats your dream project?
My dream project would be to create fashion images influenced by social issues and current affairs. I feel in india our view on fashion photography is very limited to conventional aesthetics and beauty (what ever that means). And this is most evident in the field of celebrity portraits in India. I would really enjoy shooting a series of Indian celebrity portraits in my own way. Something that talks about there achievements, personality secrets etc. Rather than just a beauty picture.

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
I. Cant think of one person I am more influenced and greedier than that.

Whats on your iPod?
I can’t find my i pod may be its lost. But if you want to know what was on it then everything from trance to techno, underground to U2, Sting etc.

Mac or PC?
I am not a techno loyalist.
Which ever is more convenient and simpler to use at that moment.
Currently Mac though.



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Nitin Patel : Photography

Why are you a photographer?
Because I think that is the only thing I am good at.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Not really, But few things I had In my mind very clear when I started thinking about What I want to do in Life & for my Living,
Rather sitting at one place for the whole day it’s better to explore world around you.
According to me, observing things is much better then to read, write or listen in LIFE.
Work when you want to, not like you have to.