By way of The Lens With The Wonderful Arjun Kartha

We caught up with one of many high wedding ceremony photographers in India, Arjun Kartha, to study extra about his ardour for pictures and his experiences up to now. Right here’s what he needed to say:

From pc engineering to a profession in promoting, to full-time pictures. Can you inform us just a little about your journey up to now and the way it all began?

My journey in the direction of pictures wasn’t one thing that I deliberate. It was one thing that simply occurred!

After I was in class (through the nineties), I used to be extra fascinated with what occurred outdoors the classroom than with artwork. My dad used to dabble with some newbie movie pictures, in order that was just about the one publicity I needed to one thing ‘artsy’.

After I was in my mid-teens, I bear in mind being fascinated by how inserting a TP right into a projector would end in a big picture on a wall, depicting fascinating locations and other people. I by no means actually considered what went into making photographs. To me, the idea of creating movie was past my childhood schools and extra inside the realm of ‘grown up’ actions.

After I grew older, my mom purchased me my first digicam – a 1-megapixel digital point-and-shoot that had no model identify (most likely made in China). Having the ability to shoot a picture and instantly view it on a pc modified my understanding of pictures.

Downloading the primary photos I took (admittedly of a fairly garish trying plant and some obliging neighbourhood canine, who posed sedately for me in return for biscuits) and seeing them come alive on an historic pc had me hooked.

Quick ahead a couple of years and I started experimenting with my dad’s previous cameras (which he surprisingly allowed me to make use of). I additionally began studying each ebook on pictures I may lay my fingers on on the time. As well as, I discovered develop movie the old school method (and nope, again then we couldn’t “google” it!).

After I completed my education, a profession as a photographer simply wasn’t logical, though I used to be fascinated with pictures. To be frank, I by no means actually thought pursuing a profession in pictures was even attainable! Profession counselling and comparable avenues of profession steerage simply didn’t exist at the moment. So, like everybody else, I dreamt of a profession in pc science and went to check the identical in Bangalore. Nonetheless, the one factor I took away from that have was that I DIDN’T wish to be a pc engineer. Interval.

I caught a fortunate break and landed a job in an promoting company, throughout which era my latent ardour for pictures resurfaced – that is after I really met with REAL, skilled photographers and went on varied REAL shoots that opened my eyes to the world of business pictures. I began saving up, and earlier than lengthy was capable of purchase my first digicam – and have become an actual photographer!

How troublesome was it within the preliminary days? Did you, at any level, remorse/rethink taking the highway much less travelled at the moment?

I’ll need to admit that it wasn’t simple at first.

After I first began out as a marriage photographer, it appeared just a little unusual to nearly everybody I met because it wasn’t a standard profession alternative. My mother and father would nonetheless move me off as somebody who labored in a ‘good firm’.

Explaining what I did to somebody new took a good quantity of labor, and attempting to get a mortgage or a brand new checking account opened took for much longer than it usually would have if I had a standard “job”.

Cash didn’t develop on timber, and the record of cameras and lenses I wished to purchase simply by no means appeared to finish (in truth, it nonetheless doesn’t). I don’t assume I ever regretted the choice although – being in a inventive, skilled area makes you obsessed with what you do. It jogs my memory of the previous adage – flip your interest into your career and also you’ll by no means work a day in your life!

How did you put together financially when beginning out?

I’m horrible with cash. With me, cash is like water. I attempt to maintain on to it for expensive life. However, it’s often gone within the blink of an eye fixed.

I attempted to avoid wasting up as a lot as I may. However, being a footloose bachelor, my record of bills was by no means ending. There by no means gave the impression to be any cash left, though the few fine details that I managed to avoid wasting went straight into my checking account.

On reflection, I admit that my reckless method in the direction of cash wasn’t one of the best plan. I ought to have made sound monetary selections that might have supplied me with a gentle allowance through the lean seasons when there weren’t too many assignments floating about.

Who’s higher at managing cash – you or Praerna? Why?

I’d prefer to THINK the reply to this query is me, however then I’d be mendacity to myself!

Indisputably, Praerna is the wiser one! She secretly stashes away little pockets of cash with out telling me about it. And I feel this works pretty effectively for us. I spend the cash the place it must be spent and Praerna stashes it away for a wet day!

How was it getting your first project? May you inform us just a little about it?


After I was beginning out, I had a few wedding ceremony shoots underneath my belt that I did as a ‘pal’ to the bride and groom. This had helped me make a small portfolio, however I definitely couldn’t inform my first consumer (God bless her!) that her wedding ceremony shoot was my first “paid” project. I shot the marriage in a state of utmost panic. I took photographs of all the things that moved – and hey presto! It turned out nice.

I nonetheless panic each time I am going to shoot a marriage. I nonetheless have butterflies in my abdomen on the morning of a shoot. However, I feel this actually helps me put in all the things I’ve bought into what I do (and sure, I nonetheless typically shoot all the things that strikes!).

What kind of prepping goes right into a shoot? Inform us extra about the way you make it occur – assembly new individuals, constructing a rapport with them and making them really feel comfy, and so forth.?

Plenty of what I do entails having nice individuals expertise. I typically like to consider it just like the bedside method of a very good physician who is ready to break horrible information about ghastly ailments whereas nonetheless making the affected person really feel like they’ve gained the lottery.

In fact, I’m not a bearer of unhealthy information (which makes it MUCH simpler). However, as an expert photographer, it’s my job to make my topics really feel pleased and vivid in entrance of a digicam. Over time, it has change into part of my persona and plenty of it entails reminding myself how a lot I hate being in entrance of the digicam myself, and making the individual I’m photographing overlook that they’ve a digicam pointed at them.

Extra Studying: Wonderful Issues We Heard {Couples} Say This Marriage ceremony Season

Kodak Marriage ceremony Photographer of the Yr – 2011! Wow! How was the face-off expertise?

Completely good!

Earlier than the face-off, I by no means actually “met” too many different wedding ceremony photographers, not to mention labored intently with them. Capturing with 5 different super-talented photographers helped me study so much about methods and kinds whereas serving to reaffirm that I wasn’t fairly as unhealthy as I made out in my head both.

This expertise was integral to why I’ve at all times advocated collaboration inside the pictures group, and made me begin the Marriage ceremony Photographers Affiliation of India (do verify the web site!) this yr to assist convey the group nearer and assist set the bar for pictures in India.

Meals pictures or wedding ceremony pictures – which do you assume is the more durable one by way of conceptualising and getting the proper shot? And which do you want extra?

Meals pictures and wedding ceremony pictures are two fully totally different genres – and are worlds other than one another.

I’d need to say that each are “robust” – however meals pictures entails plenty of conceptualisation due to the character of the style. Meals entails creating one thing from scratch that’s primarily based on a sure temporary by the consumer.

Weddings are rather more photojournalistic – the place a photographer appears to be like for tales inside the present framework of a marriage. I often have very restricted management over a marriage – and create tales primarily based on how I see and expertise the marriage I’m in.

I’d say that this makes weddings more durable typically, however by way of conceptualisation – meals takes the cake! (Pun supposed).

Massive fats Indian wedding ceremony or All-you-can-eat buffet? Which might you fairly be current at as a visitor?

Effectively, I definitely love attending weddings as a visitor (which sadly occurs very hardly ever) – however I often eat little or no at weddings I’m working at. Whenever you’ve attended a line of weddings back-to-back, there’s solely a lot butter hen and butter naan you’ll be able to presumably eat. So, it’s a lot better to stay to the fundamentals and have one thing that’s mild and simple to digest (trace: the salad bar!).

Anybody who works at weddings often swears by the daal! Although I’ll admit, I get extra enthusiastic concerning the dessert counter.

Extra Studying: 8 Methods Foodies can Save Cash whereas Consuming Out

A bit birdie informed us a couple of copyright infringement difficulty with a sure hospitality start-up. May you enlighten us? How typically have you ever had your work stolen/plagiarised?

Wow, you’ve actually performed your analysis!

Sadly, we’ve got to cope with copyright infringements on a really common foundation. Most of it’s unintentional (learn, a lack of awareness of copyright legal guidelines and the way mental property works), however now and again somebody comes alongside who actually makes us marvel what’s happening.

There was this one time when somebody copied our total web site – sure, the ENTIRE web site – and simply modified the brand. This meant that in a single fell swoop, this enterprising photographer from Chandigarh, who will go unnamed right here, was capable of obtain our total portfolio and move it off as his personal!

Most of this is because of two elements – one, as I discussed earlier, is a lack of awareness of photographs as somebody’s property (sure, Google photos aren’t free!). The second issue is straightforward accessibility. When yow will discover actually any picture you need with a couple of clicks of your mouse, and the possibilities of being caught so distant, you wouldn’t thoughts lifting them with out permission or giving due credit score. Even giant organisations do it nowadays.

What typically worries us is realizing that the instances we’ve caught are simply the tip of the iceberg; there are most likely TONS of cases on the market the place our photos have been used and we simply don’t find out about it. We’ve actually stopped letting it trouble us although – pirates will probably be pirates, and what goes round – comes round!

We additionally heard there’s a narrative about your quashed musical aspirations as a toddler. Do inform us extra about that.

Oh no, that is one story that was supposed to remain buried!

All proper, right here’s the way it goes. Within the days earlier than I found I knew a factor or two about making photos, Mom Kartha used to fret that her treasured offspring was an completely talentless lout and wanted to be taught a factor or two.

Throughout this time (after I was most likely ten), all I wished for my birthday – like most boys my age – was a Nintendo online game console. Nonetheless, in her knowledge, my fantastic mom determined to get me what she thought was a helpful current; a Casio synthesizer. On opening the field, and realising that this odd instrument couldn’t presumably be a online game, I used to be righteously distressed.

Nonetheless, on being egged on to attempt it out, I realised what I should have recognized all alongside – I didn’t possess a single musical bone in my physique. Nonetheless unwilling to confess defeat, my mom signed me up for “music classes” throughout S.U.P.W courses in class.

Throughout my top quality, the music grasp took one have a look at me and assigned me to what he should have felt was the instrument I may do the least injury with – the tabla. To not be outdone by different, louder noise-makers, I religiously banged away at it with glee till I used to be unceremoniously kicked out and informed by no means to return. And that, women and gents, is how I by no means picked up a music instrument ever once more!

Bonus Learn: An Interview With Vikram Bhat – Heavy Steel, Eating places, Sandy Seashores And Retiring At 40

What does the longer term maintain for and the Karthas?

I want I had a crystal ball. If I have been to consider what I’d LIKE the longer term to carry, all I can say is that I hope it’s stuffed with happiness, enjoyable individuals, and inspiration.

Folks typically cite cash (or lack of) because the root explanation for failed desires. Do you’ve got any monetary suggestions to assist pictures newbies chase their ardour as an alternative of giving up on them?

Listed below are some suggestions for younger photographers beginning out:

  • Training in pictures isn’t very costly. Whenever you examine the price of a level (or diploma) in pictures with the price of an MBA, you’ll see that it’s really not that unhealthy. Spend cash on a very good basis that may enable you to for years.
  • Put money into high quality. Take a mortgage if wanted. Whereas shopping for cameras and lenses could seem costly in isolation, examine it with different related skilled prices – like how a lot it prices to change into a pilot. Shopping for flight time prices a bomb and younger pilots have to spend tens of lakhs on getting themselves the expertise wanted for a license.
  • Get monetary savings. Whereas it could appear troublesome at first, at all times attempt to put aside 10% of what you earn as your wet day fund. Images is a seasonal enterprise, and you could undergo a dry spell if you don’t have any shoppers for weeks or months on finish. That is the place your financial savings will enable you to experience out the troublesome interval with out worrying an excessive amount of on exist.
  • Have a monetary plan and run your pictures profession like a enterprise. Ensure you pay your taxes and have a wholesome steadiness sheet. Being financially wholesome is VERY IMPORTANT as an impartial skilled. You’ll want it for thus many issues, like making use of for a mortgage, or a visa, or a Credit score Card.

Lastly, what do you assume your epitaph and/or title of your memoirs can be? 🙂

Woof. Click on. Burp. ~ A brief story, one image at a time.

Thanks very a lot for the interview, Arjun! needs you success in all the things you do.

Readers, if you wish to try extra of Arjun’s superior work (or possibly even get him to shoot your large day), you could wish to discover his web site ( or his FB web page (Arjun Kartha Images).

Or should you’re on the lookout for some nice monetary merchandise that can assist you obtain your desires, you could wish to try our superior provides!

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