Lights, camera, glamour

Still world

Lights, camera, glamour

When Manikandan TJ began his career as a designer in 2000, he never realised that photography will become his ultimate calling.
 
He worked as a retoucher, art director and a creative director before he decided to leave his full-time job to become a photographer. “Working as a retoucher, I realised that photography and editing are completely different things. You can’t always get what you want with a picture — a retoucher can help with that but you have to be careful to not make it look too surreal,” he says.

Fashion photography being his main interest, he says that he gained experience by working with some of the best in the industry. He adds, “I didn’t have anyone guiding me to become what I am. I learnt on the job and watched legendary photographers like Karthik Srinivas and Raju AK to pick up the tricks of the trade. I went out for photoshoots every weekend to perfect my craft. It’s been three years since I left my job and every day has been a learning experience since then.”

Ask him how difficult it was to leave a steady job and he says, “My boss in my last company asked me the same question. I said that I want my pictures to be great so that they will be used as stock images some day. He encouraged me to stay back for a year and improve my art

before I stepped out in the real world. I am glad I listened to him.”
Being a fashion photographer, Manikandan does have to use certain software to
improve the photograph. But he says that he doesn’t like to use too much of it, unless asked for.

He shares, “When you do a photoshoot outside, it’s best that you don’t do much of editing. A fashion shoot in general is wasted in the post production but most of the time, it is not necessary. Having said that, there will be clients who will have a certain requirement. I try my best to use natural light or the outdoors with various props to deliver what is asked for and do some post production for the final touch.”

Apart from fashion photography, he also likes wildlife photography. “It relaxes me. There’s a different kind of comfort and peace while clicking animals,” he explains.
Ask him what his motto is and he says, “For me, photography means delivering the vision in your mind for the outside world to see. I want to deliver that with each picture I shoot and learn more on the job.”

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