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Featured Photographer — An Interview With Girish Suryawanshi

Girish Suryawanshi's profile pic Girish is a India based photographer. He is a self-taught professional photographer who loves to travel the world and shoot all the genres of photography. He is a full time IT Consultant and part time professional cameraman on the weekends.

Currently, he is working as a SAP Technical consultant with Accenture India and alongside nurtures his passion for photography by taking up photography assignments for photographing people, editorials, industrial projects and commercial work.

In this interview, Girish talks about his passion and personal life as a photographer.

Tell us something about yourself.

My name is Girish and I’m a self taught photographer who loves to travel the world. Pune is what I call home. I love shooting everything. For me, it’s about happiness, hope, love, pain, life, style, and real. I’m friendly and warm. I started photography a short while ago, I’m self taught. I have a strong bond with my style and fight fiercely to keep it and perfect it. I shoot people and emotion. I shoot weddings and love. I shoot buildings and lines. I shoot industrial projects and commercial work. I do editorials. I shoot fashion and nightlife. I shoot the world the way I see it when I travel. I am, A PHOTOGRAPHER, and I don’t desire to be called a certain kind of photographer.

Girsih's photograph

Where are you based?

I am based in Pune and I operate in Pune and Mumbai (India).

You started as an IT professional and worked with some big names in the IT industry. How did you transition to photography?

I am working as a SAP Technical consultant with Accenture India. My photography journey started during my college days when I used to trek and keep traveling. I used a point and shoot camera to do photography back then. My hobby later turned into a profession lately in 2007 when I purchased a Nikon DSLR. Since then I have never stopped clicking.

How would you describe your photographic style and how it has developed over the years?

I don’t have any particular photographic style. I shoot everything — right from landscapes, insects, macros to portraits, festivals, weddings etc. And for me everyday is a new learning.

What was your first camera, and what equipment do you shoot with these days?

My first camera was Olympus C760 (point and shoot), which I still own. Then I used a Nikon D60. Currently I use Nikon D7000 and a couple of lenses like Nikkor 18-55mm, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR1, Nikkor 70-300mm MF lens, Nikkor Teleconvertor 2.0x, Raynox DCR-150 & 250 (macro adapters) & some lights.

At what point did you realize that you should take up photography assignments?

In 2008, one of my photographs was shortlisted by Late Mr. Gautam Rajyadhaksha for the Sakal Reflections Exhibition and this is how I got inspired to take it up professionally.

Tell us about your first break as a commercial photographer (who was your first client and how did you get your first assignment).

My first commercial assignment was a folio shoot for two of my office colleagues who had been trying to get into modelling. My clients approached me after looking at my work on my Flickr & Facebook galleries.

commercial shoot

Generally how do you get photography assignments?

Normally I get most of my assignments through my Facebook page (URL: https://www.facebook.com/GirishS.Photography).

What has been the biggest challenge with the commercial side of photography?

The biggest challenge what I see in commercial photography is convincing the client. There is so much of competition that the client wants the work be done in low budget.

What kind of marketing do you do for promoting your photography?

I am very weak at marketing. I normally promote my photography through my Facebook page, Flickr pro account & 500px plus account.

What has changed in the time you have been shooting commercial work? For better and worse?

I don’t think anything has changed. Only the expectations of the clients have changed.

What kind of investment and revenue generation is there in the field of commercial photography?

Equipment is the big investment that one has to put in for commercial photography. Second is the softwares and tools that you use for post processing.

You are working almost all genres like people, landscapes, macros, etc. Which is your favorite genre and why?

My personal passion is for portraits.

portait shot

I’m very inspired by your it photography. For somebody wanting to get into this area of photography what are your suggestions?

Getting into portraits is easy and at the same time it is difficult. You need to do your homework very well and understand your subject.

What are you thoughts about getting a formal education in photography? Would you recommend against it?

Photography cannot be learned. It is an art that someone carries within. Formal education will not help in any way.

If you could go on assignment anywhere in the world to shoot whatever you wanted; where and what would it be, and why?

India of course. All around India, to experience various cultures and visit heritage sites. You won’t find so many variations and so many things in any other country else than India.

Before you start a commercial shoot, how do you prepare yourself?

Before any commercial assignment, I sit with my team and the model and understand what is the requirement of the assignment and how we gonna execute it. This way the model is also comfortable during the shoot.

Fashion photography

Where do you look at yourself 5 years from now.

Traveling around with my camera, shooting for calendars, fashion events, models.

Who is your inspiration?

There are various people who have been my inspiration like Andrea Klarin, Richard Warren, Sue Bryce, Tarun Khiwal, Atul Kasbekar, Nicolaas De Bruin, Ashok Salian & Prabhuda Dasgupta.

A website or blog you visit often.

Flickr.com, 500px.com are the sites that I visit everyday.

What other hobbies do you pursue other than photography?

I love to travel, trek & listen music.

What type of camera, lenses and lighting equipment do you use?

Nikon D60 for a standby, Nikon D7000 and couple of lenses like Nikkor 18-55mm, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR1 , Nikkor 70-300mm MF lens, Nikkor Teleconvertor 2.0x, Raynox DCR-150 & 250 (macro adapters) & some lights.

What has been the most exciting photography assignment.

The ones which I decide within seconds and shoot have been the most exciting ones. One of them is a folio shoot done for a model called Roshani Jain; album name Krasivaya (you can find it on my facebook page). I called up Roshani early morning and went on a drive and shot with whatever clothes she was carrying.

Another one is a recent shoot with Isha Phatak, which was again planned at the last minute. (You can check the pictures on my Facebook Page, album name — Just Clicks)

Does the camera and equipment really matters or is it the artistic side of photography that weighs more?

Obviously, the artistic side.

What’s the best part of being a photographer?

The best part of being a fashion photographer is that the women listen to the photographer. (Laughs ..) I just feel like an ordinary guy when I am with my camera.

Can you present one / two favorite images of yours? What do you like about them?

The following two images are my favorite shots. The first one is my favorite for the obvious reason that this image was shortlisted by Mr Gautam Rajyadhaksha and was displayed in the exhibition.

photograph displayed at exhibition

The second one is special to me because when I planned the Rajasthan Trip, I had already visualized this frame in my mind. And after waiting for a long time, the right time did come and I got what I wanted. It was like a dream come true.

photorgaph captured on Rajasthan trip

What your post-processing workflow is like? Which editing tool do you find yourself using the most?

I normally process my images in Lightroom 4. I mostly do light corrections. Other tool is Photoshop and Portraiture & Exposure is what I use sometimes for the extra effects.

What has been the happiest moment in your photography life?

The happiest moments in my photography life are when my photographs are sold and printed as cover pages of books.

What advice do you have for photography enthusiasts who want to go professional and take it as a full time job?

It’s a tough path. One should be willing to do their homework everyday and work hard. Decide what you want to click and learn from your bad photos.

How can our readers connect with you?

They can connect with me through my Facebook page here: GirishS.Photography. Or can drop me a mail at: girish.suryawanshi@gmail.com.

With thanks to Girish Suryawanshi for taking the time for this interview.

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