Holding a Yashika analog camera in my hand, not knowing what to do and being intrigued by the numbers on the display, I ask my dad for help. “Center the frame,” he says. The tender fingers of mine are wrapped around the flimsy plastic body of the camera and I feel both nervous and excited. Controlling my shivering hands, I place my left eye on the view–finder and I wait for the machine to focus. I could feel the motor inside the soap sized camera move. I press and release the shutter button.
As a young photo enthusiast, I had a lot of questions. “How does this camera work? How do they develop the film role? How does the mechanism work?”
After a series of how’s and if’s I fell in love. Yes, in love with the art of photography. I would pull out the age old black and white negatives and eye it for no reason.
I did not get much access to the analog camera but I used to shoot a few images whenever I got a chance.The journey started there.
After few years, my sister gifted me a digital camera. My first digital camera was a 3.2 – megapixel polaroid izone 300. It was a cute, small, and nifty camera which could easily slide into a pant pocket. I started shooting each and everything. One cannot expect sharp images in a 3.2-megapixel camera. But, it kept me on. It was enough to relinquish my love back then.
Then came the Sony Cybershot 10.1-megapixel camera. I kept shooting and slowly started learning the basics.
Just like all the other 12th standard pass outs, I was also put into an engineering college to pursue my bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering. I did not have any spark towards engineering or computers. One good thing was, I get to sit in front of a computer for long hours, and I could read whatever I liked. The college which I studied in, did not allow a camera or a mobile phone or a laptop. Just a reminder – the year was 2012. But, I had the luxury to read. I’d spend hours gawping at the lenses and reading about them.
After battling one year within the walls of a crappy hostel. Well, thanks to the insane courage that everyone gets at the age of 19, I decided to break some rules. I bugged my brother to get me a Canon EOS 600D. I had it with me always and started learning. Simulations after simulations, trial after trial, concept after concept. I learnt.
Something in me made me belive that I would be a good photographer.
Just like all the others, I opened a Facebook page and started uploading all the images I shot. Criticisms, trolls, and unnecessary talks would reach my ears. An art needs to make people feel something and mine did. I am happy.
YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AS A PHOTOGRAPHER TO BECOME ONE.
The next saga began.
At a certain point in time. I started to think – “Where exactly am I going with this photography thing?” I did not have an answer. I did not have any expertise or professional experience and I badly wanted to have one. Then, came the wedding of my cousin brother.
“Okay, let’s give a try with wedding photography“.
I shot my first wedding with a Canon EOS 600D . Fortunate for me, a professional candid photographer was hired for the wedding and we had some quality conversation. He taught me how to shoot weddings, what lenses would be ideal, the modes, and post processing tricks. It all happened within a 10-minute conversation. Gaining some confidence, I shot the rest of the wedding. The output was worse.
“So what? Let me try it again in another wedding”.
In a few months, I bought a 50mm f1.8 lens. From then on, wedding photography became a part of my lifestyle. I shot at few of my family friend’s weddings and they loved it. I began to shoot in RAW. My camera was unable to perform under low light conditions and after 6 years of immense learnings, I bought a full frame camera – Canon EOS 6D.
The ceaseless flow of emotions. Joy, tears, love, romance. And the satisfaction in capturing everything candidly. I fell in love with it. What began as a passionate hobby turned into a profession. Indeed, it was a bumpy ride. The more I shot, the more I improved. It’s a continuous learning process.
The smile and excitement in the wedded couple and their family is something priceless.
After working sleeplessly, processing the images and checking them over and over. When they call me and tell “Thank You So Much Mukil. We are very so happy with the photographs.” I smile and I say, “I just did my job. I’m so happy for you both. Happy married life.”
Trust me… That’s a feeling that can’t be put out in words… That’s a feeling you won’t experience even if you’re given a huge paycheck.
And today, here I am – http://www.mukilganesanphotography.in