Archive for the ‘creative’ Category

Creative Candid Wedding Photography … Dreams??

Creative Candid Wedding Photography Dreams

Creative Candid Wedding Photography Dreams

1. What should I expect from my first assignment? And what should I expect my client to expect from me?

A. Usually DVDs or printed album is the deliverable. And obviously Candid moments. As there are thousands of customs in India, you can expect a variety of clients.

2. Am I expected to take ‘contemporary or creative shots only’ or as a new-age photographer should I expect to be asked to shoot plastic shots?

A. Something that you have to be clear in the head. If you can manage both then go ahead. But if you cant then tell the client I can’t. Also some people will ask for plastic shots at the wedding. So as far as its not distracting your candid work, then go ahead and click one shot.

3. Equipment? Any must-haves you suggest. I already have a 50mm 1.8 prime along with a 18-55 3.5-4.5 standard zoom and 75-300 4-5.6 telephoto. Should I rent out a lens with a lower aperture?

A. Yes, you will need wider apertures. So rent/buy. A 1.8 aperture is good enough mostly.

4. Online I’ve always seen pro-photographers advising rookies of carrying an additional camera as a back up. Should I rent out a camera? It is my first assignment and my budget is tight, very tight.

A. Yes, having a backup is good idea. But obviously it depends on your budget. If its not falling in your budget then don’t. (a little bit of prayer should help managing with one camera)

5. Speaking of a budget, how much should I charge? I am planning to travel to Dehradun via train. Plus if I am renting out equipment, it would turn out to be an expensive affair. Considering it to be my first assignment, I was thinking of charging somewhere around the range of Rs 10-20K. Too much to ask? I am travelling half the country across to shoot this that is why.

A. I don’t think its too much to ask. As the amount of effort needed is a lot. And if you are planning to do it seriously, 10-20k per day will never look sufficient and eventually you will lose interest in it. If you are doing it for fun, its all bonus.

6. Lastly, presentation. I don’t know any place famous for such albums. Do you suggest me hunting for a place where they print good albums and send them a copy?

A. Canvera is a good option, but be sure to include costs of printing and designing. If you feel that album is too much of headache or its costly, tell your client straightaway.

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How to present your best folio to get most constructive feedback? #day2

Off late I get lots of request from people to see their work and comment on it.

So I thought I should write about some things that should be kept in mind before writing such a mail to anyone, so that you get the best feedback.

1. Introspect

First of all try to criticize your own work. Do you find some faults? How it could have been clicked better? In terms of lighting, composition, situation? If you do not find the solution, then it makes sense to ask someone.

2. Just picked a DSLR

I just picked a DSLR, I started clicking things around me. Do u think I can be a photographer/do u think I click well. The question effectively is “is my camera working fine?”, the answer is yes, so the first impression you will create is little bad.

3. Too many albums

I love all my pictures and there are just 500pics and 50 albums. Nobody in this world has time to look at someone else’s images and critique them, unless they are of awesome quality. And if you have that awesome quality then you don’t need feedback anyways.

4. Love my subject too much

I loved this sunset/bird/flower, so I clicked 10 pics of it. Repetitive images don’t please anyone (moreover it makes you look like more amateurish) , unless they have something unique in terms of composition/lighting or they create a story, if they don’t, sadly you have to remove few of them.

If you want your work to look professional in future, you can not escape right now by saying I am an amateur.

So ideally if you want constructive feedback from anyone, you should present them with about 20images and in case feedback on them is good, then you can ask them if they would like to see more.

Finding Your Real Passion – Day 1

Finding your real passion

Finding your real passion

Recently I was asked few questions by some of my friends about the desire to switch from regular software job to photography. And they were at the cliff where I was standing 6months back. So I thought why not share my opinions with others. I believe that these question will apply to pursuing any passion.

Here is a small checklist,

  1. Do I have all the equipments already. If not, Where will the money to buy/rent that will come from?
  2. Have I decided what I want to click?
  3. Can I immediately get work (or at least enquiries) when I leave the job?
  4. Am I just running away from my current job? (I just want a holiday/break from my job. )
  5. Do I have people which will help me connect to others?
  6. Do I have dependencies in family or any other financial burdens? (parents, wife, kids, drinking … etc etc)
  7. How important money is? (When the cash flow stops it becomes a tough thing and not everyone can handle it)

These are the questions I came up with, for which there is no perfect answer as such. But they can be just food for thought.

So now coming to the questions that were asked to me.

1. I have the finance Which could probably last me 6 Months without a Job.
A. Sounds great. But I believe there has to be some money flowing from photography already. I would always prefer to not touch my backup money. Also when I calculate backup money, I also have to consider some hidden costs for equipments.

2. I am not too sure If I am good enough
A. I wish there was a medical test to tell ok now you are good enough to be a photographer. Sadly there is no such test. And only way to know is to show to some professionals and to review things yourself. Just ask that what makes this picture different from others. Can this picture be easily taken by someone else? What am I doing differently?

3. I am quite Mercuric in nature, so dunno for sure What is good for me.
A. Every artist is Mercuric, they like some things at one time and hate it other time. I don’t think that it can be answered by anyone. (sounds too philosophical .. but can’t help that)

4. how could One Identify the true passion ?
A. I wish there was one medical test for this too. The way I would do it will be to ask myself following questions, the answers to which can not be a perfect yes/no
a. What I enjoy most (currently )?
b. Can it pay me, if not immediately then in future? (with onion prices fluctuating randomly, you would want to earn well immediately)
c. How good I feel I am at it compared to the competition in the market? (identifying competition is the biggest challenge here)
d. Do I have people to help me with my decisions?

These questions can decide feasibility of a passion. Like when I was doing theater I liked it a lot, but it failed at b,c.
So when I decided to quit my job, I can tell you my condition,
a. 100% yes.
b. 75% yes. (I was confident that I can take out my monthly expenses out of photography)
c. I had no clear answer to this, as I did not really know who my competition was. I just wanted to take a break and try out things.
d. 100% yes. At various stages of my life, I had friends who questioned my decision to quit my job. But when I decided to quit, my Brother-in-law and my sister were biggest support. My parents never opposed my decisions, they questioned it but still they did not force me to take decisions. Also I had people from fashion industry who had noticed/liked my work. So I had HOPE of getting work from there.

5. One thing I know is : Praise gives me happiness, even if doesn’t earn money. but then again Money is Necessary, One can not live off Pure fame.
A. Praise gives happiness to everyone. I think the answer to this question is done in 4th question.

6. Can i start part time and see how the response is with the time and when i gain confidence i can quit my regular job and go pro?(I seriously think of this ALL the time :) )
A. Obviously confidence and part time work go hand in hand. On one fine day I can not just say that I wish to be a photographer. For some people time to gain confidence takes time, for some it never comes.

7. For how long this business would survive?
A. Business?? What business?? I am just following my passion. Well, When you quit your day job and start something on your own then it does become a business. I have never done a course on business management. So I am still getting a hang of “How to get more business”. And frankly I do not know how long this will survive. I do ask/think about questions like, what if everyone becomes a photographer tomorrow? You might get such dreams too :D . (I still keep getting dreams about the theft of my old camera ;) :( )

So unless your business is something that is necessity of people, and will keep growing, it can end any day. Also one thing I would like to mention is that people might/might not get you business, but they would surely get you thousands of ideas :D .

8. What if it didn’t worked out for me after some time say a year or so?
A. You need to think about getting an alternate job, which is not an impossible thing. When I had quit my job, I had given myself a timeframe of 1 yr. And post that I would have joined another software job (I would have hated myself and others too :D , for it).

I still think I would become Papa in one of Ekta kapoor serials in case photography doesn’t work for me :D . (I will Just try)

9. Should i have some backup plan too in parallel of this?
A. Everybody would love to have more money. So if I have cash flow coming from somewhere else. I would be more than happy. I would have loved to have the software job which would just take 3/4 hours a day and rest of day would be for me only. But sadly there is no such provision.

I think the final answer always lies within you. That should I do this or not?
So I hope this solves some of the questions. In case you have more questions, feel free to ask me.

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IITian who can click!

Disclaimer: None of the characters/incidents in this article are inspired by 3 Idiots.

Them: “What was the reaction of your parents?”
Me: “They were speechless, and are still speechless”
Them: “What happens to the knowledge you gained in IIT?”
Me: “IIT teaches you lots of things, not only technical stuff.”

Though I was always inclined towards creative fields, I opted to appear for JEE, which is the best engineering exam in the country. And like every kid from a mid-size town, IIT was a dream. It still is a dream.
When I got through JEE, my heart used to say, if not computer science then I will choose architecture branch. But while filling the options, mind won over heart. And I chose the standard options – Computer science, Electronics and mechanical. There was no architecture in my list.

After getting into IIT, you are treated like a king by your family/friends/city. But once you reach the college, everybody is an IITian. And the race to gain the technical knowledge from the best professors in the country begins. Sometimes the mind just refuses to gain the knowledge. But after surviving an exam like JEE, you get the confidence (confidence rating=75%) that you can pass all the exams. And this confidence actually works (may not get you the best grades though).

I also got a chance to nurture my art skills at IIT. Various competitions related to arts specially the Diwali celebrations more popularly known as ILLU and Rangoli started the creative itch in me. Years passed by. I graduated from IIT with some more knowledge in Arts. Like most of the students, I also got placed into a good MNC. One of my friends had predicted that I will stick to the same MNC all my life. I said “maybe”.

Job security is a prime concern in India. We prefer security. And my job gave me lots of job security. It gave me enough money to enjoy life as well. And I made it a point that I enjoy my life. Most of people in India want to keep earning for everybody else in the family/society. And forget to live for themselves. I hope that changes in the future.

Once I moved to Bangalore, I got more chances to do some creative courses. I started learning animation and I decided to go to US for studying animation. My family was shocked when they heard this. My mom asked me “what happens to your IIT degree?”.

Anyway, after analyzing the financial viability of animation, I dropped the idea of pursuing it. (Confidence rating=70%). At the same time, my bro-in-law had bought a digicam and I started doing photography, people liked my work. I got inspired by two friends of my friends Anupam and Gaurav, who used to maintain a daily photoblog. I also started my photoblog on flickr. I used to write a small interpretation/story associated with each picture. It was well received. And this gave me more motivation. (Confidence rating=90%)

I bought my first camera (DSLR) when I was on a business trip to South Korea in Sept’2007. And then the journey started. I started doing more and more photography. Some people used to comment on my photographs daily. There were many people who silently followed my work, and would tell me once in a while that my photographs made them happy. This would bring me a sense of satisfaction. (Confidence rating=95%)

Arts related jobs are not very highly rated in India, so a decision to move into photography was still a far dream. Many people have the habit of commenting without looking at your work. “You want to move into photography from a software job? Are you mad?” this is something which you might hear often (confidence rating=85%). Anyway I used to compare myself with myself. And I wanted to keep improving on my work. (Confidence rating=95%)

In between I also attended some theater workshops, which gave me some nice friends who supported my creative side. And this gave me more confidence.

Time moves very fast, and it was already 2 years that I maintained my photoblog. The response became better. I had never tried to sell my photographs. (I still haven’t). But there were some people who hired me for some assignments. (confidence rating=100%)
The turning point came when I was selected to cover 2010 Kingfisher Calendar Launch event. My work from the launch event got me some more fans. It increased my confidence to make a career switch. (Confidence rating=150%, confidence threshold exceeded). I decided to take a tough decision. I decided to quit my job.

There is a big difference between “what you can do” and “what you wish to do”.

When an IITian decides to do an MBA just after IIT, nobody really cares that what part of his knowledge from IIT he is going to use. But when the same IITian goes to a non standard path, people start raising eyebrows. But what I feel is if you have the passion, then there will be results, maybe slow maybe fast. But there will be results.

दिल तो बच्चा है जी

पिछले कुछ दिनों से मेरा कवि (read as कौवा ) मन कविता लिखने के लिए बेकरार था और इश्किया फिल्म का गाना दिल तो बच्चा है जी सुनके मेरा कवि मन जाग उठा और आपके सामने ये कविता प्रस्तुत है … किसी भी त्रुटि के लिए क्षमा करें
*** इस गाने के सभी पात्र काल्पनिक है ***
**इस गाने को copy करते समय credits अवश्य दें**

ऐसी लागी भूख जो मिटती ही नहीं
दांत से बासी रोटी कटती नहीं
उम्र कब की बरस के सुफैद हो गई
कारी दाल चने की पचती नहीं
वल्ला ये गैस बढ़ने लगी है
चेहरे की रंगत उड़ने लगी है
डर लगता है ऑफिस में सोने में जी
दाल तो अच्छा है जी – २
थोडा कच्चा है जी
दाल तो अच्छा है जी – २
ऐसी लागी भूख जो मिटती ही नहीं
दांत से बासी रोटी कटती नहीं
उम्र कब की बरस के सुफैद हो गई
कारी दाल चने की पचती नहीं
रा रा रा …

किसको पता था बाजू में बैठा
colleague ऐसा पाजी भी होगा
हम तो हमेशा समझते थे कोई
हम जैसा फर्जी ही होगा
हाय जोर करें, कितना शोर करें,
मेरी स्क्रीन पे ऐंवे गौर करें
boss सा कोई कमीना नहीं
कभी तो रोके, कभी तो टोके,
इस उम्र में खिलायेगा धक्के
डर लगता है facebook chat करने में जी
दिल तो बच्चा है जी – २
थोडा कच्चा है जी
हाँ दिल तो बच्चा है जी

ऐसी उदासी बैठी है दिल पे
हंसने से घबरा रहे है
सारा साल कामचोरी में काटा
appraisal में टकरा गए है
mail आता है तो ऐसे लगता है वो
आ रहा है यहीं देखता ही न वो
recession की मारें कटार रे
तौबा ये लम्हें कटते नहीं क्यूँ
आँखें मेरी खुलती ही नहीं क्यूँ
डर लगता है timepass करने में जी
दिल तो बच्चा है जी – २
थोडा कच्चा है जी
हाँ दिल तो बच्चा है जी

– कवि देव

Best Photography Business Card Design

Recently my visiting card got selected to be featured on the website http://www.cardonizer.com/ as one of the most creative business cards. I had not submitted the card to them but they themselves asked me if they could feature it. And I was more than happy. They also asked me few questions related to card, like what inspired, material and more designs. I had already planned to blog about the card. But then this thing happened before my plan could be executed. (For the past few months, I have not been allowed to be LAZY)


My visiting card which was featured amongst best visiting cards

So what inspired the card. When I started with the idea of the card. I had two things in mind, one it should be SIMPLE, and second it should connect to the heart. My website name had already been decided by then (http://cam-dev.in ), so I decided that my card will be a camera, a simple camera. So the first criteria got fulfilled, now the next task was to make it connect.

My 2year old nephew had a role to play in this, he had this nice toy camera and when I would go to my sisters place, he would relate to me with the camera. Whenever he saw that I was carrying a bag he would say khichik-khichik (click-click, his term for the camera) and try to see me through the viewfinder … so the idea was a simple camera with a viewfinder to see the world. So the front of my card was cam with dev written on it. (which made it relate to my website cam-dev). And while reading the contact information you could see the world through the viewfinder.

I designed the first draft in Adobe Photoshop (A mistake, as I am not really a design expert), then I was asked to convert it to vector format by the PrintXpress people.
My first design had a simple ring to denote the lens. It got reviewed by few of my friends and then I got it printed. It did not look like a lens and the card looked too empty. Also I had chosen 40% black for the contact details, which looked very light after print and it was not legible. So the card design was updated with a lens glare and color change for the contact details. I decided to go for the thickest sheet possible(280gsm ivory) , so that the card was more durable. Also the person at PrintXpress was quite helpful in doing the selection.

In between I had got 200 cards printed in Mumbai, hoping to distribute them when I went to Kingfisher Calendar Launch party. But I just gave 5 cards. So I decided that I will get the rest punched too. When I was collecting the cards from PrintXpress, then one gentleman asked me if he could have one for his collection. And I happily agreed.

**Update:
Its also featured here
Also featured at here

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