Photographer Talks

Tarun Vishwa – Photographer of the month

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Exhibit: You are considered one of the topmost Fashion photographers in India. Can you share your journey with us?Tarun Vishwa: I did not know that I am considered one of the top most photographers in the country, and if I am, obviously it was not a calculated move. Like any other profession, this one also has its own ups and downs. I enjoy my journey and I just keep working at it. In the initial stages, one has the struggle of making a name, but once you cross that hurdle and make a name, the struggle of delivering to expectations and maintaining your name starts and that’s endless.Exhibit: What draws you to photography and how would you like to describe your own photography style?Tarun Vishwa: The fact that one can freeze a moment in life and relive it at his own pace and time is what draws me to photography. I can’t describe my style; I leave it up to the audience to decide.Exhibit: You have an extremely impressive portfolio having shot for high-profile magazines and brands. Tell us about your diverse experiences with the people you’ve shot so far.Tarun VishwaLike I said, I enjoy this journey of mine and the subjects that I shoot are the characters I meet and mingle with in my journey. I have met a lot of interesting and talented characters in my journey; have made an effort to learn from their hard work, listen to their stories and understand their journey. Of course, it is not easy; this means long waiting hours, putting up with their tantrums, and acknowledging their ideas even if it does not suit the shoot. I would still say these are the interesting bits of the journey. Where it gets dull and complicated is when there are clash of egos and difference of opinions in the core team itself and that leaves the photographer with less scope of experimenting and executing his own ‘style’ to the shoot. This is the truth of the matter, and yes, we need to be creative amidst all this.Exhibit: Being one of the pioneering Fashion photographers, tell us about the challenges or ease with which you were able to make a mark in the people’s mind.Tarun VishwaThe challenge is to understand what the client wants and visualize his ideas. That depends on the client; some of them are very articulate and some are not. Once I understand the needs and wants, then I stick to my strengths and keep things simple.Exhibit: Which has been the most interesting shoot you have done so far?Tarun VishwaThe shoots where I am ‘allowed’ to have my creative freedom are the most interesting ones that I have done. To site an example, the shoots I had done for M Magazine are my favorites.Exhibit: How, according to you is technology shaping the field of photography with regards to the process of photography and postproduction?Tarun VishwaTechnology has definitely made the process of image making faster and better in some ways. The new processes and techniques of color correction are derived from the old school dark room techniques. I say old school because hardly any commercial photographer uses film as a medium these days, especially in India where it’s hardly available. So, I think it is important to know the basics of photography, which is the processing and developing of film as a medium before jumping into digital processing techniques. In some sense, these new age digital filters have only ruined photography as some completely depend on these filters to create an image rather that using it merely as a tool to enhance an already strong image.Exhibit: For you, how is photography different for Fashion brands and that which you do for advertisements?Tarun VishwaThe line that separates the two has only grown thinner over the years; I wouldn’t even say a line separated the two. Whether it is for an editorial or an advertising shoot, the fashion brands are only concerned about sales. That’s the new language now, it’s all about catering to the masses, and to do that a mixture of editorial and commercial techniques are needed.Exhibit: Tell us about the process you follow for any photo-shoot.Tarun VishwaI keep the process simple. My team and I sit together and layout the basic things we need for the shoot. The shoot happens on the go, there is no planning as to how to shoot, how to light, etc. Post the shoot, the data is sorted, final selections are made, selects are corrected and delivered.Exhibit: Seeing in hindsight, what would you have done differently in your career?Tarun Vishwa Nothing really, I enjoyed what I did, things fell in place and I still enjoy what I do.Exhibit: A piece of advice you’d like to give photographers wishing to delve into Fashion photography?Tarun Vishwa I think they not ready for any advice. They already know too much, they are very talented. Even before they learn photography, they have their website ready already. Hence, no advice.

Quick Q&A

  • A gadget you swear by other than your laptop and smartphone: Has to be my cameras.
  • One unique gadget that you would love to own: A time machine.
  • Most redundant tech trend: Things are moving fast, there is no time even for tech to be a trend.
  • One classic or contemporary photograph that speaks to you: Works of Herb Ritts inspire me.
  • Most costly buy: A medium format camera.
  • If not photography, then what: Carpentry/Mechanic/ Wanderer.
  • Tarun Vishwa and Tech: Poles apart
  • One morning ritual: Stand in my balcony and gaze at the sky.
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