I normally shoot breaking news events, daily life pictures and business stories.
We never had a camera at our house, until my father gave me a Yashika FX3 Super 2000 SLR when I was 19. I began cultivating my love of photography when I got a book on basic photography by R.H. Mason. After finishing each chapter, I would experiment with a friend’s camera. I also read books and magazines on photography from the library. Initially, there was a lot of trial and error. I even converted one of our bathrooms at home into a darkroom to try black-and-white photography.
I don’t remember my first assignment, but I do remember my excitement when my photographs were published in local media after my first solo photography exhibition in Kochi.
An elephant named Ayyappan fell into marshland on the banks of Vembanad Lake and got stuck. I was there for six hours, standing close to the elephant as it was being brought to the bank in a rescue operation. After a few minutes, there was complete silence from the elephant’s mahout, and I asked him what had happened. He said that the elephant had passed away. It was a very painful situation and the atmosphere was laden with grief. For several days, I kept thinking about that elephant.
I like taking daily life pictures, as it challenges you to keep looking for things to shoot around you.
Respect the subjects of your photographs and try to be kind. Be sure to do your research before heading for an assignment and don’t use editing software to enhance your pictures.
There are many Reuters colleagues whose work I admire. The amount of hard work they put in even before producing a picture is simply amazing. I also love the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, James Natchwey and Raghu Rai.