A Fresh Focus - Kishor Krishnamoorthi

Kishor Krishnamoorthi got his start in photography when he was in school, at The Hyderabad Public School in Begumpet. He was the editor for the newsletter and also covered school events. He then carried the same passion to the university level in England, where he started a photography club on campus. “I didn’t discover my talent; others identified it in me and asked me to take their portraits, shoot events, etc.,” shares Kishor, who eventually realised that he could make a career in this field and quickly jumped in.

Who or what has influenced you and your thinking, photography, and career path?
In my early days, my work was heavily influenced by Steve McCurry, a photojournalist for the National Geographic Society. I met him once when I lived in London, and his style of photography, combined with his humble down-to-earth attitude really inspired me. As I grew creatively, my sources of inspiration have been varied over the years. A few names that currently inspire me are Michael Wolf, Greg Girard, Tom Stoddart, and Sebastião Salgado. On the professional level, my father has always been the person I look upto and a constant reminder to go above and beyond the required level of service.

How would you describe your style of photography?
My vision for photography is based on finding art in all of life’s activities. I spend a large number of my waking hours searching for new perspectives on life. I feel that what may seem like a routine ritual to one is a priceless memory to another. I take photographs to capture this inherent aesthetic of life and open up people’s outlooks to appreciate the finer details of the world around them. I show people a novel way to see the old, a fresh way to observe the obsolete, and how to develop a curiosity to continuously look for charm in life.

How do you find fresh perspectives on wedding photography?
Indian weddings are unique in the sense that they are a union of two families, rather than just two individuals. In every wedding shoot, I become part of the families for those few days and I know all the important people on a first-name basis. This allows me to blend into the wedding and capture some precious moments without being noticed. Apart from that, I ensure that for every couple, we make stunning portraits. This involves finding the right light at every venue we go to, and finding new ways to look at a regular background. Combining these, I am able to capture the laughter of a loved one to create unforgettable images for the couple.

How do you choose your shooting locations or subjects?
I love shooting on the street. India, and especially Hyderabad, has a lot of character on the streets, and it’s such joy to be able to bring out the life in them and document them in my images.  

I recently did an editorial fashion series with designer Archana Rao in a particular lane in the old city of Hyderabad, and all the images had a certain charm to them.

What inspires your creativity?
Being able to contribute to the world around me, through my images, and make a positive change is what inspires me to push my limits further, every single time. As artists we have the ability to add colour and joy to someone’s day through our work. And it is our duty to make the most of that ability and continuously find ways to create unique and inspiring work.

What do you consider your best work so far?
In 2014, I spent about two months capturing the Indian Parliamentary elections. I shied away from the scale, size, and glamour of the elections and chose to focus on the life of a single candidate.

I had the opportunity to photograph Jayadev Galla, a candidate for the Guntur Parliamentary constituency. Over time, I witnessed and captured his personal journey and emotions as a candidate, and was able to create a monumental series of images.

If you could tell yourself anything when you first started out, what would it be?
Believe in yourself.

How about some tips on taking good pictures on smartphones?!
Look for light! Light is the single most important element of photography. So having a good sense of how to use light is vital to making good images. With smartphones, you should know the limitations of your phone as well as its capabilities; so don’t try to use it in a situation where it won’t work well. The single most useful feature of your smartphone is its portability. Hence use it to capture the world around you and see the art in your daily life.      --- as told to Sumana