* About yourself : Who you want world to know about you?
I bring a certain aesthetic sense to photography as a result of having spent over 25 years in advertising. I shoot primarily food for hotels and more recently for food tech companies that are mushrooming in Gurgaon mostly. I find food photography exciting, to work with a talented chef to make food look appealing. The challenge is to make it look so good that people order by just looking at your image. And are willing to pay a good price for a dish.
You can see some of my work at www.justinrabindra.com <http://www.justinrabindra.com/>.
* Your photography experience: Tell us since when you've been taking pictures. When did you start taking photography seriously? What you have been doing recently?
I have been taking photographs for the last 20 years, starting with travel photography since we have always travelled a lot as a family. I started with film of course, using a Nikon F90X. I quit my advertising job in Feb 2012 and have been doing full time photography since then. I've been lucky to get work almost immediately, most of which is food, but also, interiors, portraits, weddings and some travel.
* What are your key areas of photography? What makes you click? What have been your biggest achievements so far?
As mentioned above my key areas are food, weddings, portraits and interiors. I have also done some travel photography for magazines (which doesn't pay very well) and for a travel agency and an Island republic , which paid quite well. I wouldn't call them my biggest achievements but a couple of my most interesting assignments were when I shot on a Royal Carribean Cruise ship off Singapore and at the island of Nauru in the Pacific recently. They were challenging and exciting assignments.
It has actually. It happened early on as soon as I started taking pictures. I started noticing light and shadows, reflections, patterns, designs- and wondered why some designs appeared better than others, often without any logic whatsoever. Why does the 1/3rd rule work for instance? I noticed how the colour of sunlight changed during the day, and patterns which the light made which I hadn't noticed earlier. I also started appreciating people, especially their faces and hands and what made each unique and the stories that the faces and hands told.
* What are your sources of inspirations? Do you have some favorite photographers? How do you keep yourself motivated? How do you approach people for their pictures?
I own hundreds of books on photography that I browse through often when I need inspiration. I admire several photographers though I'd find it hard to name a favourite - some of them are Ansel Adams, Annie Liebovitz, Sebastio Salgado, Roberto Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Steve McCurry of course, amongst others. I sometimes go back and rework old RAW images and feel the thrill of the time I shot them all over again.
* What piece of advice do you wish to give to aspiring/budding photographers, fans, and readers of the post?
If you want to be taken seriously by the client and expect to be paid like a professional photographer then there are no shortcuts - you need to acquire the right equipment, at least start with a good full frame camera and a pro lens and build from there; learn the craft, experiment, watch YouTube videos in the genre you are interested in, make mistakes and keep learning; market yourself, make a list of prospects who might need your work, call meet and show them your work; deliver more than you promised, be punctual, be professional, shoot Raw, edit well and deliver excellent images. Be pleasant to work with. At the end of the day you'll get more work because a client likes your work and also likes you. Have a decent website that clients can see your work at. Have business cards (decently designed) readily available so that the first impression you make is one of a professional.
* I know that you are an excellent Wedding Photographer. So share more about it.
I advertise on a wedding site called WedingsOnline.com. That generates leads that I close. I also get work from previous weddings I have shot, where I might have given a card to someone you approached me. When they see the way you behave at a wedding people and are impressed by your professional behaviour, they remember you. I would describe myself as a candid photographer, not intruding with the proceedings but capturing images as you go along. I always have a second shooter with me.
* For followers of this blog, can you suggest some tips to chose right Wedding Photographer for one of the very special life event?
1. See their work and decide if you like it.
2. Is the price right?(sometimes it makes sense to pay a bit more than what you had budgeted to get outstanding images.) The pictures are all you have when the wedding it over, the pandal has been dismantled, the cake has been digested, and the flowers have faded. It's too late to regret or rectify things afterwards.
3. Talk to the photographer, is he agreeable to your requests and your requirements or is he fixed in the way that he would work?
4. Will he have a second shooter with him?
5. Can you get some referrals from past clients?
* I know lot of folks don’t like this question, but still I will ask - What camera/lenses do you use and why?
Cameras (All Nikon) - primary body is a D700, back up is a D7000. Recently acquired a D 750 as second body.
Lenses (All Nikon) - primary use 24-70mm. Use it for everything.
50 mm - second lens and main portrait lens.
70 - 200 sometimes third lens, also use for portraits and close-ups.
Macro 105 mm - main lens for food.
12- 24 mm - mains lens for interiors.
85 mm tilt and shift - sometimes use for food.