Photographer & Founder at Living Lens
Ph: 9880008265 / Instagram: sreelivinglens
1) Would you tell us more about you and your interest in Photography?
I can’t still figure this one about me for I have taken on facets which I didn’t even gun for. I have been open and learn along the way every day. I studied to become a doctor and went on to do Hotel Management, and then to Marketing with UTV, and more marketing with Infovision, Surfgold, iMint, and finally settled into advertising as head for McCann//MRM, Bangalore where the freedom to experiment and see new ideas executed became my fertile creative ground. 20 good long years its been!I never thought I would get into professional photography. I started of watching my father in his dark room and having seen thousands of images in black and white being shot. It was a silent learning then. Each positive I held and it took me to a story of the moment that very moment. Very surreal on how the Image truly impacts the conscious mind. My first image probably was shot when I was 6 of my parents on the steps. 40 years later I would still get them to pose similarly and again when you look back it is surreal albeit digitally.My clients did see my images on the social media, and thus I landed my first assignment with the then Hero Honda, followed by GE Healthcare etc. Google was my biggest assignment with over 200 images for them. I didn’t even know how to handle the strobes then, but Youtube helped and equipped with that went into a big brand shoot and it worked just fine. One thing led to another, it was a natural progression. What followed were candid shoot-outs, street photography, fashion photography, travel, kids, babies, weddings and what not.I started sharing knowledge through photo workshops. Photography was more than just shooting with a camera, a subject, object, seer etc. It was more spiritual to me. I would be able to zone into a meditative state with the camera.Once I finished my shot, I believed it was done with. I rarely look back at the scenes or even desire to publish or take it to a larger audience. The process of the moment unfolding, the sense of the moment, the smile it brings, the memory you get lost in, the possible stories, the stark truths, the goodness one feels as a human being is what binds me to the shutter. Making images matter is my belief. There will be tons of images and millions of photographers, what does one do with this finally is a question? Does the image have any impact to oneself, to others, to society? If I can be instrumental in getting a person to reconnect to themselves once again, then I am happy.
2) Can you please tell us about the types of Photography you indulge with?
I dabble in everythiing, with no head or tail of the genre I am digging for. Give me a phone, a point and shoot, a dslr or a mirrorless ( the best of it all) and I am happy shooting from family candids, babies and kids, wildlife, birds, nature, landscapes, temple architecture, street moments, fashion, weddings, events and advertising. I still havent found my space.
3) What is the inspiration that keeps you going?
The ability to have influenced a change in someone which they have lost in time. The ability to juxtapose art and spirituality in the photograph. My inspiration is the Divine itself. And I seek the unseen seen in the unknown known. All that I am or do and my inspiration is because of my guru, master and friend Maitreya Rudrabhayananda ji. I want to express what I learned over the past 20 years in meditation and spirituality through my images.
4) How do you feel when your work is exhibited and viewed by tons of people?
It feels nice naturally, that many people can see the real photograph rather than just a digital image.
5) Can you tell us something about Photography and its inception?
Photography really began when the first human being started clicking memories with his eyes.My funny take to the inception of it all probably is – ‘Inventions happen because of a lack, fear, or a demand. The fear of losing memories led to photography lol!’The desire to freeze something from mid-air into a 2D sheet was unbelievable actually. But it happened with the invention of the camera!
6) To you, what is Photography?
A divine connection, a shared moment which can alter states of mind from individual to society itself. Take Raghu Rai’s picture of the corpse of a child of the Bhopal tragedy. The shot of the naked girl running after the Napalm blast in Vietnam, the pictures of D Day, 1944. Anything which allows us to become better humans is Photography. Everything else is the gratification of the self. Just a lot of “Look I caught a tiger shot”. Or here is the shot of the deserts of Kucch but I am nowhere connected to it. Photography has to have a soul connection, otherwise, it will remain a fleeting dead pixel in the end.
7) Please share us some of your achievements in Photography Profession?
1. My first recognition was a World HSBC Calendar selection
2. Then came, National Geographic selecting Shot of the Day for “the mystical birds of Bharatpur”
3. Followed by street photography recognition by Canon Rotary, Pondicherry photo festival.
4. Quiet flows the dirty Yamuna was published showcasing a priest in front of the frothy Yamuna
5. Sunflower smiles – a shot of a sunflower field worker near Mysore, got to be displayed at the Louvre, France as part of an International Photo competition
6. Portrait of a labourer was featured as top 10 portraits in the world by the Imaginarium.
7. Bullock cart racing in Palakkad was exhibited by Photostop
8. Chennakeshava temple was exhibited at the World Trade Center by Photostop in Bangalore
9. Shooting the Masterchefs as exclusive photographer in Bangalore when they visited for World on a Plate
10. Shooting as exclusive photographer for Mrs. India Karnataka
11. Shooting as exclusive photographer Nobility for Ability which had the royals of Jaipur, Patiala, Celebrities, a Polo match and a Rohit Bal fashion show. The images get to be featured in Vogue India soon.
8) Can you tell us something about your Photography community?
From my photography workshops, I mentor additionally through a closed FB and WhatsApp group. From the students, they get hired to work with me on various projects time to time.
9) Can you tell us about the general response you receive in exhibitions?
I do believe it is good
10) What do you think about the scope of Photography in the modern Digital world?
It is very limited because of the shelf life. Hardly seconds now in the digital world. People will take images from the phone and it will all be lost in digital space. When you shoot so much the lazier one becomes to even extract and enjoy the images once again. Whereas a print always will evoke a conversation no matter where or when.
11) How do you feel about your association with Honeycomb creative support?
An amazing team which has helped me deliver the best prints with the correct rendition of color to my clients. I do not have to worry – because I can blindly trust them.
12) Can you share us your future plans and dreams?
The Living Lens is the brand and for me this I want to create like the Magnum from India.