A pro­fes­sion that was borne out of a hobby, evolved as an art form into a high- end lu­cra­tive pro­fes­sion

India Today - - FITNESS - By Mar­cia Ro­drigues

Eyes like a shut­ter, mind like a lens, is what one may re­quire to be suc­cess­ful in this pro­fes­sion. Pho­tog­ra­phy was once just re­garded as a hobby but, to­day, has changed into a high- end lu­cra­tive pro­fes­sion. Re­garded as an art form and hav­ing lim­i­ta­tions, with the evo­lu­tion of tech­nol­ogy, pho­tog­ra­phy too has es­tab­lished a strong base for it­self. Although, it is very im­por­tant for one to un­der­stand this pro­fes­sion be­fore delv­ing into it and call­ing one­self a ‘ pho­tog­ra­pher.’

Dabboo Rat­nani is one of the lead­ing pho­tog­ra­phers in In­dia and his most no­table work is his an­nual cal­en­dar which is also one of the big­gest show­biz events. His jour­ney into the pro­fes­sion was not a cake walk ei­ther and took him years to es­tab­lish him­self but pas­sion and per­sis­tence brought him a long way. “I started very young and en­joyed my work. I did my grad­u­a­tion through cor­re­spon­dence and as­sisted Sumeet Cho­pra for four years which changed my per­cep­tion to­wards pho­tog­ra­phy from a hobby to be­ing a pro­fes­sion.” Chang­ing his ini­tial plans to join his fa­ther’s re­tail busi­ness, Rat­nani be­came a pho­tog­ra­pher at the age of 22. In 1993, he as­sisted San­jay Gupta, a film di­rec­tor to shoot cam­paigns for his films and says, “There was no look­ing back since then.” While talk­ing about the essence of pho­tog­ra­phy, he says, “Most of­ten mag­a­zines are sold for their cover pic­tures.” The pro­fes­sion which is no more an art form, in­volves much more than creativ­ity,” he says.

The pro­fes­sion re­quires con­sis­tency, and fo­cus. One may also be­come a free­lancer and set up a stu­dio but the as­sign­ments one gets may de­pend on the ex­cel- lence of their work. Rat­nani says, “It’s a busi­ness process which has an art to it.”

Ama­teur pho­tog­ra­phers who in­dulge in pho­tog­ra­phy as a hobby have the in­ter­net to their ad­van­tage. Ab­hishek Mau­rya, an ama­teur pho­tog­ra­pher and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ex­ec­u­tive says, “Pho­tog­ra­phy is a re­cent dis­cov­ery and it’s some­thing I have a pas­sion for.” He doesn’t have the right equip­ment, in­stead uses his phone to click images. “I’m not sure about the equip­ment but ac­cord­ing to me, it’s the an­gle of an im­age that mat­ters,” he says. Although Rat­nani in­sists that one should in­vest and look at it as an as­set as it help cap­ture a per­fect im­age.

En­rolling in an in­sti­tute is an op­tion, as not ev­ery­one gets an op­por­tu­nity like Rat­nani to as­sist es­tab­lished pho­togra- phers. There are a few me­dia in­sti­tutes that of­fer cour­ses in pho­tog­ra­phy but one should make sure that the course teaches stu­dents the qual­i­ties re­quired to be a good pho­tog­ra­pher. Kurt In­der­b­itzin, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, An­na­purna In­ter­na­tional School of Film and Me­dia ( AISFM) in Hy­der­abad says, “Even though our academy is new but our global stan­dards, world- class alumni net­work and qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion aims to pro­duce qual­ity pro­fes­sion­als that the mar­ket de­mands.” AISFM is In­dia’s first pri­vate and not- for- profit in­sti­tute which also has the largest and best- equipped cam­pus. In­der­b­itzin adds that af­ter pur­su­ing pho­tog­ra­phy, one also has the op­tion of branch­ing out into Cin­e­matog­ra­phy. This is an op­tion but the change may be a chal­lenge for some and it is not nec­es­sary that good pho­tog­ra­phers would be good cine­matog­ra­phers too “It de­pends on in­di­vid­u­als and the pas­sion they feel to­wards their pro­fes­sion,” he says.

RAVI S SAHANI / www. in­di­a­to­day­im­ages. com

Pho­tog­ra­phy de­mands pas­sion and per­sis­tence for one to suc­ceed.

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