Made in Heaven, Shot on Earth - Kishor Krishnamoorthi

Kishor Krishnamoorthi can turn a wedding day into an elaborate photo story that puts the average coffee-table book to shame. Specialising in intimate imagery, Kishor showcases the personalities of the couple by catching the day’s spontaneous moments.

How did you get being an aspiring photographer to doing it full time, for a living?
Photography has been a serious hobby for me since my school days at The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, almost 15 years ago. When I moved to England for University, I carried on with this passion which was a part-time job, during my time there. The university allowed me to experiment with a range of subjects and a range of mediums, and I was the President of the Photography Society there. 2012 was the year it all changed for me when I shot a friend’s wedding. The photos ended up being more popular than the official photographer’s photos and it led to me receiving requests to cover more weddings.

You travel to a variety of places for shoots. What has been your favourite destination to shoot at and why?
Personally, I find it interesting to shoot in the streets because it is always a creative challenge to transform an ordinary-looking space into an extraordinary one through photography magic. While anyone can make an exotic location look good, it takes a lot of talent to bring out the beauty of daily locations.

How far in advance do you have to prepare for a destination wedding?
For every wedding we shoot, we plan the moment we get booked for it. This could sometimes be as far a year in advance or just a week before the events. Our planning process starts with understanding every client’s events and needs because no two people are the same. It is amazing how two Telugu weddings can be different, depending on their individual traditions. We spend time with the clients to know the flow of their events so we can plan our schedules and make time to take portraits of them and their loved ones.

Tell us your thoughts on wedding photography as an art vs as a business?
It is a combination of both but it is a service we offer to clients to capture their special day. As a photographer, I want to create images at every wedding that will evoke emotions, rekindle memories, and become a part of their family heirloom for generations to come. Our photographs are the only way that they can relive the past. But to create this art, it requires a business sense to ensure that we have the freedom and liberty to think creatively at every event.  One cannot exist without the other, in the long run. Anything is possible in the short term with luck, but to sustain oneself over many years and decades, you need to create stunning images and plan business simultaneously.

Is there a particular story that you like to portray through your photography?
India is a country of a billion stories. There is a story lurking in every corner and every building, waiting to be told. But we are often so consumed with the tribulations of daily life that we rarely take the time to observe the world. In my spare time, I shoot, curate, and publish Concorde Zine, a printed magazine that showcases photo stories from our daily lives. We have published nine issues so far, ranging from topics like Chai to Abandoned Cars. We will launch our next issue in a couple of months.

How do you improve yourself?
Never stop learning. Life is a continuous process of learning to upgrade oneself with new knowledge and experiences while discarding redundant thoughts and processes. I regularly keep myself updated with world news (an ardent reader of The Economist and British Journal of Photography) and inspire myself with the work of photographers from around the world.

Is there anyone you wish to photograph?
Covering a day in the life of the Indian Prime Minister would be a dream. When you see the work of Pete Souza who has documented Barack Obama for his eight years in office, I really wish that we could also document our leader too. I have been fortunate to do a similar project, albeit on a smaller scale when I documented Jayadev Galla’s campaign to become an MP, in 2014, over the course of two months.

Favourite film to shoot on?
90% of my work is done on digital cameras. When I shoot a film for select projects, I love the look of Kodak Tri-X film.

What’s your go-to gear setup when out in the field?
Canon has been my go-to brand for 12 years now. I primarily shoot with a Canon 5D Mk IV and a range of prime lenses, from the Canon 35mm f/1.4L II, the Canon 85mm 1.4L IS, etc.

Do you have any specific goals on what you want to do from here on out?
As a country, I think India is very under-documented. The landscape of the nation and people are changing faster than ever and it is vital that we capture images of life today. Urban citizens are taking the modern lifestyle for granted and politicians are deciding without considering the impact on the future generations. I think images can play a very strong role in creating change, both in habit and on policy.

In the wedding context, most of India’s population is below the age of 30 and that means over 300 million weddings happening across the country in the next few decades. I am working on building a team that is equally capable as me, both creatively and professionally, to meet this growing demand.