Questioning a Clicker : Kunal Rajput

A software engineer by education, Kunal Rajput is a professional photographer based in New Delhi. He graduated in 2009 from the Army Institute of Technology, Pune and worked with Infosys, Bangalore for a year before leaving the job to follow his true calling in life. Since then, he has been working as a commercial photographer.

In this short span of time he has worked for clients like Hotel Chunda Palace (Udaipur), Devi Garh Resort (Udaipur), BMW, Global Wines & Spirits, Kimaya Wines, Beaumach Designs, Aprilbloom and various NGOs, ad agencies, artists, music bands and product based companies in Pune, Mumbai,Bangalore and Delhi. His work has been published in leading newspapers like Hindustan Times, Times of India and magazines like Betterphotography.

1) Where did you study photography from and when did you start clicking?

I picked up photography on my own mainly by reading magazines and content on the web. In my opinion, learning while experimenting is the best way to begin because then you get to understand the exact logic as to why a particular set up/camera settings/quality of light is required for a certain photograph.

2) What would you say is more important – good knowledge/good equipment?

A good aesthetic sense and technical knowledge combined with the appropriate equipment results in creating a good photo. For me, having good knowledge is certainly more important than good equipment. With a creative bent of mind one could click amazing photographs using a mere cell phone camera!

3) Do you believe in the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words”?

Yes, of course. In fact, I have briefly explained the business perspective of this phrase on my website:

4) Do you have a special style in your photographs that can single you out like strokes in a painting?

Developing a style in photography like any other creative field takes years. I would not say that I have developed a style yet but yes I do have a particular way of taking photographs. Having said that, I love to experiment and explore different styles and genres of photography.

5) Your blog mentions that you’ve worked with BMW. How was the experience?

It was a joint project and working for a brand like BMW was an amazing experience in itself. Apart from the photo shoot I really enjoyed riding some of the world’s fastest super bikes.

6) How would you describe your lifestyle? Do you work to a specific schedule?

Well, after completing graduation (B.E.) I started my career as a software engineer with an MNC. If you lead a corporate life you normally work during business hours, that often extend earlier and especially later in the day. You report to one or possibly a number of managers, who are responsible for your day-to-day activities and long-term goals.

Today, in photography business I have the complete creative and decisive freedom. As most of my work revolves around products and hospitality industry, I often travel to different places for the photo shoots that normally last for a week or two. A lot of planning and preparation goes into creating good photographs and we often end up working for 18 hours a day but then it is always fun to do what you love doing the most. Work doesn’t feel like work anymore.

7) What motivates you to click pictures?

I guess it is the passion for photography. I really enjoy shooting and feel as if the camera is a part of my hand which stays with me all the time.

8) In your opinion, what makes photography an art?

That’s a good question. I faintly recall a story that I read a few days back. A princess hosted a grand dinner and one of her guests was a famous photographer. She said you click beautiful photographs you must be having an expensive camera to which he didn’t reply. After the dinner was served he said, the food was delicious you must be having an expensive stove! I would say photography is more of an art than science and one needs to have a vision to express one’s feelings and emotions in a photograph.

9) What role does talent play in capturing emotions and expressions in a photograph?

As I mentioned above, it is not the camera that captures beautiful emotions and expressions but the artistic vision of the man behind the lens. Of course, the technical knowledge is important but it is always the way you observe and look at things that makes all the difference.

10) Any particular photographer you look up to or would like to work with?

Steve McCurry, he is a genius!

11) Money is always a factor. Do you photograph more for your clients or for yourself?

Yes, of course. Money is an important factor and especially when photography is not just a hobby but your bread and butter. As long as I have the creative freedom, I always enjoy my photo shoots irrespective of whether I’m shooting for a client or for myself.

12) What goal are you working towards within your photography and when will you know you have reached it?

Photography is an ever learning process and no matter how good you are, there is always a scope for improvement. Every genre has a different approach altogether, I want to learn, explore and master various techniques to create beautiful photographs.

13) Any tips you would like to give to aspiring photographers?

Well, I don’t think I have reached that stage yet but I would love to share a thought. When you begin photography don’t just concentrate on the technical details of the camera itself but also try to develop a keen understanding of design, color, light, and composition. You need to know for your own sake as to WHY a photo is a great photo. Develop a sense of visual taste.

Anirudh Madhavan

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