Rajnish Kaytal Photography

Photography is stamped in my DNA and I’m among the lucky ones who have pursued their passion in their career. I am also lucky to have learnt photography during the 90s when major transitions were happening in technology and techniques, which means I am adroit at handling film rolls of the yore to the dynamic digital sensor era.

My interest in photography was evoked by my exposure to the camera at a very young age. My fascination for this magic creator began with my uncles, world renowned photographers Mr S. Paul and Mr Raghu Rai. They always carried professional cameras and I always wanted to hold it to see the world from the eyepiece of the camera.

Inspiration: Nature and outdoors keep the artist in me alive. Spring, Winters or Monsoon - the weather sets my mood. If anything, I can’t be held indoors - barring forced lockdowns of 2020.

Where and how the passion began:I am told by my Mom how I am born with an infallible sense of aesthetics. Experimenting with oil pastels on the drawing board at school and using the universe as my canvas, I became quite a sought-after artist.

My heart beats for: If I have to tell you what’s closest to my heart, well…of the three decades of shooting both still and moving pictures, I have enjoyed the challenges posed by sporting events to the fullest.

My strengths: It is due to my eye for detail that I am very particular about the setting and preparation for my photography work. And this is the difference that reflects in my work. My hallmark is a crisp picture with focus on minute detail of colours and ofcourse, the composition of the frame.

What sets my heart racing: The adrenaline rush of news photography and the ‘right-now’ moment it demands. There is no second chance to catch a good action frame and this was a routine in my 22 years of photojournalism. Like the international event of the Commonwealth Games in 0000 in New Delhi. Working for Hindustan Times then, my shots of the inauguration went on to be published prominently across all editions.

So, I relive those moments in my freelance news assignments now. I completely fall in the category of people who say that you can take a journalist out of journalism, but you cannot take journalism out of a journalist.

My work covers: Journalism, Lifestyle, Fashion, Commercial, Product photography, e-commerce photography. Have worked independently onproducing a few coffee table books, like the one highlighting the ‘Achievements of Shiromani Akali Dal party during their 10 years of governance in Punjab’. Besides, there have been commercial?Marketing? advertising?Coffee Table books on successful people of the regionfor The Tribune and Danik Bhaskar.

Where have I published: Rich columns of The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, Sports Illustrated, India Today, Getty Images and ShutterStock, Coffee Table books on Punjab politics, Real Estate, Achievers of the region North of Delhi and more.

The teacher in me: Imparting guidance classes to amateur and professional photographers and nurturing new talent at my academy “Shutter Wizard”. Complementing classroom teaching with Photo Walks for a practical reinforcement of classroom learning.

I also tutor students at eminent institutes and universities both on national and international levels. These include, but not limited to the Post Graduate students at NIIFD Mohali, Panjab University, Chandigarh University, Kurukshetra University and Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.

Besides, I do talent identification by adjudging the works of budding photographers on different platforms.

Brand mentoring: Lens manufacturing company Tamron Co. Ltd.

Family

Happily married for 22 years, we are a family of four. I met my wife Tarika at a fashion shoot and sparks flew. The two of us fit just like a glove and the past years have just passed like a breeze. She has a keen eye for beauty and loves to capture the variedcolours of nature and young kids. Tarika has very sharp skills at editing and touching up her work with latest techniques.

Our two sons, Daanish and Maahir are equally passionate about photography (photogoty for Maahir, when he picked up the camera for the first time at 3 yrs). Today, at 8 years, Maahir uses ??? quite effortlessly. At the energetic age of 18, Daanish has two love interests - the camera and the strings of his guitar. Leading the photography team at St John’s High School, his work has been awarded at all the school exhibitions.

Equipment: Presently, I am using Canon’s EOS 5DS 50 megapixel camera for my commercial work and recently added Canon mirror less EOS R. lenses 50mm.f 1.4, 24-105mm, 16-35mm f 2.8, 70-200mm, f2.8, Tamron 90mm f 2.8 and 85mm f 1.2. (Hope these specs are top of the line)

So if I have to say whether photography is a skill or a talent, I would use the oft-used comment: It’sNeither. It’s a Passion!

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