The call of the streets

The call of the streets

The call of the streets
It was the birth of  his twin boys that inspired Akilan Thyagarajan to pick up his camera, capture their moves and preserve them. Later on, when he went to the US for work, he purchased a better quality point and shoot camera. But it was during his stay in Italy that he realised that he need to purchase a professional camera and learn new tricks. In a chat with Anila Kurian, he shares his journey from an amateur  to a confident photographer.

What made you buy a professional camera?
I was working in Italy at the time and wanted to break that monotony. I wanted to keep myself engaged in other activities. So I purchased a DSLR and walked around Italy to capture scenes and sights that I found interesting. It was just an experimenting period for me. So I clicked pictures of everything from trees and flowers to stray cats and more.

How did your interest in street photography begin?
After I was back in India, I went on a photo walk with my friends. I was at a ‘dhobhi ghat’ and I started taking pictures. But I was more involved in talking to the people there  than clicking their pictures. After a few weeks, I went back there to give a hard copy of the pictures I took and they loved it. That’s when I realised that finding a connection and bringing out emotions in the picture is what I wanted to do.

Who would you say are your biggest critics?
My wife and children. Whenever I come back from a shoot, I show the pictures to my family. If I know that they have found a connection and can physically feel their presence in the picture, I know that I have done my job.

You started photography because of your kids. Have they taken an interest in photography too?
They are 15 years old now. But it is too soon to say anything. They draw though and take pictures with their phone — some of them are really good. Let’s see what the future holds for them.

Which are your dream locations.
I want to travel the whole of India. I’ve been to a few places but due to work commitments, it’s not easy to pack up and go. I hope to visit Kolkata and North East soon.

What does photography mean to you?
No matter what the scenario is, there’s always a way to make it look better in a photograph — you just have to look for it. I believe a photograph can make everyone beautiful and give them the option to look so.