People crib about not finding time to pursue their passion of photography. People crib about not getting enough photo opportunities because of the restrictions in place that they live. And there are few people who put all these behind them and come out as inspiring personalities with their stunning, awe inspiring works of art. Here is Sreeranj Sreedhar, living a Dubai, working a full time job and creating minimum one image per day to set the trend for others to follow. Sreeranj loves to capture people up close, on street and in their environment. He is a multi faceted, immensely talented photographer who shoots landscapes and culture equally well. We are proud to announce that he becomes our 1st featured photographer here and is in a way setting a new trend for all Xploring Light to follow. Read this short insightful interview to get a glimpse of this immensely talented photographer.
Who is Sreeranj? Throw some light on yourself.
I am a 46 year old amateur photographer from Kerala, India and by profession, I am an Administration and Human Resource Manager working in Dubai for past 25 years. I am a self-taught photographer and love to do travel and street photography.
What inspired you to get into photography? How and when did you realise that you want to photography.
Like most photographers, I was fascinated by the works of Steve McCurry which inspired me to pursue the art of photography and learn to capture such moments & emotions. I started serious photography in 2011 when I got my first Canon DSLR camera and joined the weekend photography group FSO (Friday Shoot Out) in Dubai. We used to go every Friday to different locations in UAE and capture landscapes and streets. After getting appreciation on my pictures and encouragement from photo fraternity and near ones, I realized I should refine myself in this art. My passion and hard work to excel daily in my works has only increased ever since.
Tell us something about your recent project iPhone Photography. What inspired you to start that and how do you stay consistent in clicking and posting?
This year 2016, I started the 366 street project of taking photos daily and posting on social media using only my iPhone 6 and in Black & White square format. I shoot daily during my walk towards work and back home. In 2015 I was fortunate to attend a street photography workshop by APF conducted by 3 of my favourite street photographers Maciej Dakowicz and the Vohra brothers, Rohit & Vineet Vohra. That workshop had changed and elevated my perception in photography and the way I see things. Ever since, I have been concentrating mostly on street photography which is a shift from what I was doing all these years and I consider it one of the most difficult genre to master. I also wanted to emphasize the fact that it is all about how you see and it is your pictures that are appreciated and not with what you have taken it. This project has also helped me a lot to train myself to see much better those extra ordinary moments in the ordinary life around us and also to be observant and conscious of the happenings when I walk. It is so great to see how things unfold in front of you and even though you anticipate in certain situations but it is all luck as sometimes the least expected shot will be surprisingly the best one when you come home and do editing.
You are more into people photography. Why so and what pulls you towards people photography?
Human emotions and expressions are timeless. Capturing them in the photographs is what attracts me to photographing life and people as I see it. I like to document any event or moment where people are involved such as festivals, cultural events, people at work and life on the streets. In most of my images I try to include a human element to give life and story to the frame. I like to capture my subjects in their natural and candid manner where you can get their emotions and expressions in its true form. I do not like to stage any shots when doing environmental portraits or on the street as I do not find any challenge in creating such image.
How do you stay inspired and motivated to click pictures on daily basis?
I am a strong believer that you can’t take things slowly in your search for excellence. I have to make sure the pictures I present to my viewers are good enough and not just any namesake photos just to fill the daily posts in my project. Hence I work hard to capture those frames and it helps me to be creative in my approach as well.
You live in Dubai. Does living in Dubai pose any challenges while doing people photography? If yes then how do you overcome them?
Yes street photography in Dubai or even in any Arab countries is very difficult and tough due to stringent laws in force. We need to be very careful or rather avoid taking pictures of people especially ladies and local communities. I feel these challenges are helping me to be more creative in my framing and to come up with pictures considering the rules and regulations of the country by showing people presence in them without causing any problems.
Who are your inspirations?
My inspirations are many local and international photographers and of course the masters from Magnum Photos. These days I am more inspired by the photos than the photographers. And of course my inspiration is all from the streets and the people I meet.
Would you like to say something to aspiring photographers to help them improve.
As many have said before, I also would like to mention to invest your time and money in studying the works of masters, attending workshops of good photographers whom you admire rather than buying expensive gear time to time. Once you have refined your perception, you just need an equipment that will meet your expectations and comfort level in capturing those pictures. Also spend more time in editing your best shots i.e. selection process. Most importantly enjoy what you are doing and don’t take pictures to please others and expect more likes.
You can find Sreeranj Sreedhar here:
Website : www.sreeranj.com
Instagram : www.instagram.com/sreeranj
Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/sreeranj
Facebook : www.facebook.com/sreeranj
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Sreeranj Sreedhar. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.