Vaisakh had keen interest in photography right from his childhood days which he pursued relentlessly. He is right now an accomplished photographer and his photos have been selected by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL)and displayed at Aluva and Kaloor stations. Know more about Vaishak and his work.
Waiting mother: The picture was selected by Kochi Metro Rail Limited and is displayed at Kaloor station
Tell us about yourself and your passion? How and when did you recognize your interest for the same?
As a child, I always admired the beauty of everything I see around. My childhood days were spent in a small Kerala styled house few miles from the seashore. I never missed a chance to see the sun sinking into the sea-the vibrant shades of evening sky, mesmerizing cloud formations, fishing boats and the beam of light from the light house. I craved to recreate what I saw and started drawing them on paper but the results were discouraging.
Then one fine day my father brought home the first camera, ‘Kodak’ 35mm film Camera. I celebrated the next few days of my life clicking everything. At the end of third day, on advice of my 4th standard ‘techie friend’, I pulled out the raw film from the roll to see the photos and it happened to be a disaster. Only then I realized the film needs to be washed and developed in a photo studio and also that usage of camera is a costly affair. But my father was kind enough to trust me with the camera again and then I became the official photographer for all our family getaways and school functions. I still remember classmates bringing their cameras to me for loading the film rolls and I purely enjoyed the attention.
Later with the launch of digital cameras, the story changed and it took away the complexities of using a camera. Very soon, mobile phones were launched with low resolution rear cameras. It was while pursuing degree, my mother gifted me a camera phone called ‘Cybershot’. I still love clicking with mobile phone cameras and today’s mobile cameras are almost at par with most entry level DSLRs.
Why did you decide to pursue your interest? Monetary benefits or just pure love towards your interest?
Since college days, it was my dream to own a DSLR camera and got one after joining my first job. It was an entry level Nikon DSLR which made me fall in love with this brand and eventually started to take photography as a serious hobby. My job required me to travel across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep, few North Indian Cities and my love for photography helped me to even take up really long travel schedules which was a tough call for my colleagues.
Till now, I have not achieved any monetary benefits from Photography. All investments were made purely out of passion. But now I am looking forward to generate some money so that I could buy lens and photography gears! Recently, I had completed a fashion photoshoot for a well-known boutique in Kochi and look forward for such projects.
What keeps you motivated? Have you received any recognitions/ accolades or acknowledgement in your field?
Last year, four of my landscape photographs were selected by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) to be used as wallpapers in ‘Kaloor’ and ‘Aluva’ Metro stations. The themes were ‘Monsoon’ and ‘Rivers’ respectively. This was a great motivation for me to invest more time and effort in photography as the photos were selected from an open competition. I have few friends in my ‘Facebook’ and ‘Instagram’ pages who are passionate about photography and they reach out for camera related queries. I happily help them with my limited knowledge and discuss new methods and experiments. This is a real motivator and I believe that sharing knowledge will make us better!
How do you manage and get time to devote towards your interest?
Photography is a great stress buster. After a busy week at work, I make sure I go out with the camera and click some pictures or I watch YouTube videos to learn new chapters in photography. Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease and you always find time for it. I normally engage in photography during holidays and weekends.
If not the current interest, what would you have been doing?
I would be just repeating the ‘Work, Eat and Sleep’ schedule in life. If photography wasn’t there I would have won the ‘World’s laziest person’ title without much competition!
Were your parents or family members supportive of what you are doing? What impact have they had on your life?
I get massive support from my family, friends and colleagues. My mother and wife were initially concerned about the money spent on photography gears, but now they are aware of the seriousness with which I approach this passion. I could see happiness in their eyes when they saw my photographs displayed at Kochi Metro stations. They even shared their ‘proud selfies’ on Facebook!
Have you got any plans on how to take your passion forward?
To be honest, I do not have any stringent plans but as one may say human desires are always endless! I have few places in mind to travel in next couple of years so as to make a ‘travelogue’ with photos. ‘Hampi’ and ‘Leh’ are two of them.
Another area of focus is fashion photography. Since one year, I have been experimenting on various lighting approaches for human portraits and have developed photography lights and reflectors using common household stuffs.
What does a typical day off from work consist for you?
I make sure that I spend enough time with my family. They are always my priority. I take them for an outing, to new hotels in town or go shopping. I have a 2 year old who is playful and she makes sure that I don’t sit idle!
Any regrets till now? If yes, will you like to share it with our readers?
No regrets! Life is young at any point of time. We can always heal and move on!
If you were given a choice of meeting any person you want from your field, who will be that person? What will you ask that person?
I closely follow many international photographers on their YouTube channels and Instagram pages. But a person whom I have always admired is a painter ‘Raja Ravi Varma’. The way he portrayed stories of his characters in his paintings is simply adorable! The composition, the lighting pattern, those minute expressions could be used as reference for clicking photos!
Any message that you want to send to your readers?
In my view, photography is 60% art and 40% technical knowledge. So for both the slices you will have to spend time in experimenting and learning. I often hear people saying ‘photography can never be taught’, but I would say-like any other art form, you can never finish learning ‘photography’. It is also a game of lighting and timing, which you can play around to bring in your own style and dimension. It is said that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, so all photography enthusiasts out there, keep clicking! You are freezing moments for future.
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