Snapshot moments

Snapshot moments

Snapshot moments

Sometimes, you never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. And very often, a camera often works as a save button for the mind’s eye. With a number of photography clubs mushrooming in the City, one has made its mark among the shutterbugs and that is the ‘Focus Photography Club’.

Started in 2012 by four friends — Praveen P, Sudipto Nayak, Anand VM and Gaurav Srivastav — the club today holds various workshops and exhibitions to display their members’ works.

Praveen, one of the founders says, “Our aim to start this group was to bring together photographers from around the City and teach them photography. While there is a core group, every member in the team is important. There’s no one teacher, but all of us are here to learn.”

The club, till now, has hosted 84 photo walks, three major exhibitions and two other exhibitions for a project for Vidhana Soudha. About the project, he says, “We had to capture the exact moments from the 40s and 50s and display it as it is today.  Our work was later displayed in Rangoli Metro Art Center.”

Apart from the City walks, they also have ‘Photo bus’, which is a photography
tour they take outside the City. So far, they’ve conducted 10 workshops such as that. This particular tour prolongs for more than a day where they make short trips to places around
Tamil Nadu. Sayan Hazra, one of the members, says, “I’ve been part of this group from the early days and it’s been a great experience. One of my favourites is the photo bus, where we get to travel and learn photography at the same time. We edit, share
information and spend the night discussing about photography; I don’t think any other group does that.”

One of the major factors that sets ‘Focus Photography Club’ apart, is their way of conducting workshops. While most of them have a one-way spread of knowledge, the members are equally included to share their thoughts. As this club includes everyone from college students to working class to home makers to professional photographers, each of them share their inputs and learn.

Tushar Samal, another member says, “This club is amazing as we have over 7000 members now. It includes everyone who loves photography or wants to learn. No one is there to judge you here, if you want to learn, they are more than happy to teach you. It’s a great learning experience as you also get to understand other’s lens perspective.”

The club hosts photo walks twice a month and they cover about every area in the City. Anand VM, one of the founding members says, “When we first started off, it was very difficult to get everyone together. But slowly, we built a community and people who came with us also became confident. We’ve covered almost every ‘galli’ in the City and I personally feel more competent to go out and shoot.”

Many, who have been part of this club, vouch that being a member has helped them grow professional. To this, Ayush Khanna and Gaurav Srivastava, say, “We’ve learnt so much about shadow work, lighting, ratio and development process because of this. It taught us how to set certain frames, different ethics to follow, roles and responsibilities as photographers. It’s also a great platform to meet different walks of people during the workshops.”

Prashanth Sharma also feels the same way as when we first joined, he didn’t
own a camera.

“They made me feel so welcomed even though I didn’t have a camera. I just wanted to learn, so I would tag along with them for every photo walk and ask questions. Everyone was so enthusiastic to help me out and I’m proud to say that I’m a professional photographer now,” he says.

As for Harshit Thaker, he had a slightly different approach. He says, “The community this club has built is one that has grown immensely over the years. And I think one of the main reasons is the price range. While there isn’t a set registration form that one needs to fill to be part of this club, the pay is due only when there’s a photo bus trip. I’ve learnt a lot and taught a lot to the members of the club.”

While three years have passed since the club began, they hope to expand to the national level as well. They’ve also incorporated local, national and international artistes to be part of the exhibition that takes place annually. Sudipto Nayak, one of the co-founders says, “I joined this club a little later compared to everyone else. I saw a potential when I heard about it and I’m thrilled that it has grown so much. It has a different aspect compared to the others as we give priority to both theory and practical techniques for aspiring

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