An Interview with Street Photographer Ajay Jamnani from India




RK : First of all, thanks for accepting our invitation. Please say something about you.

"To start, my name is Ajay Jamnani and I love capturing everything that I see"

RK : What are your favorite genres of Photography?

"I love capturing all kinds of things but yes, I am more inclined towards streets and landscapes."

RK : Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become a photographer?

"Well, its everyday inspiration; inspiration you get from people you meet, you follow, from the story you want to tell"



RK : What was the first camera that you received?

"I started out with a phone and later got gifted my first DSLR Canon 1200D"

RK : What major challenges and problems did you face ?

"Challenges? Can't recall any major ones but the only challenge I face is realizing that no amount of gear will help you if you don't know how to use it and you aren't clear about your vision"

RK : What camera & equipment do you use now?

"I use a SonyA7RII with a 50mm and 14mm prime lens"



RK : If you were told that you could only keep one camera and lens combination, what would it be?

"A Sony A7RIII with a 24-70mm f2.8 G-Master lens"

RK : If you were to give advice to a rookie about how to become a photographer, what would you say?

"I consider myself to be a learner more than anything, so the only advice would be to keep trying and learning. Never restrict yourself from trying something new."



RK : Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?

"This is a hard one. I love many of my captures and videos, each has its own vibe but favorite? Well not yet, maybe someday."

RK : What does ‘street photography’ mean to you?

"Walking down the streets to capture stories is not always about getting the perfect shot. For me it's always been a time for myself, a time where I can learn from what I see, a time where I can understand life ."


RK : What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

"If the thought that goes behind taking a picture/video is conveyed through it, then that makes me happy".

RK : What do you think are some clichés in street photography you steer away from yourself?

"Street photography in our country is presumed to be one that portrays the downtrodden and less privileged. I try to capture street for what it actually is and how I perceive it - a kaleidoscope of everything."

RK : You have done a lot of amazing portrait works also, what is your favorite kind of portrait photography, and what is it that interests you so much?

"I wouldn't call my portrait work amazing because I expect more from myself. My favorite kind of portraits are those of the elderly as one can capture varied dimensions of emotions."



RK : In your opinion, what are some of the qualities that make some photographic portraits stand out and apart from ordinary photos of people? Can you offer some examples of great photo portraits that hold power for you?

"Lights, eyes and the story narrated in just one frame - these are the qualities that make a portrait stand out, according to me."

RK : Who are some of your favorite classic photographers, and how did they influence you?

"This will answer the second part of the previous question as well. Any picture that catches my eye, inspires me but I would have to say that my personal favorite is Mr.Steve McCurry."



RK : When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?

"Most of my work is instinctual. When I want to depict a message in my videos, I usually plan a few frames"

RK : What is your approach with the camera when you find yourself photographing strangers on the street?

"I first converse with them and on establishing their comfort, I click."

RK : When you are shooting, do you have an image in your mind? Do you build the final photo before shooting it or are your images also a result of a post-production phase?

"It is a little of both. I usually have a frame in mind and I click the picture taking into consideration what post-processing it needs."



RK : Do you have any tips for photographers to help them grow artistically?

"Like I mentioned previously, photography has always been a continuous learning for me. I believe that one's best frame is what hasn't been captured yet. Knowing this helps me grow"

RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to make a bridge between National and International Art & Culture By featuring some National & International personalities who already have made their own path in their respective fields and we think your story and tips might help the newcomers to build their career. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your Indian followers.

"I appreciate the initiative taken by Retro Kolkata - it serves as a platform for showcasing work throughout the country and giving people a wonderful opportunity to express their thoughts and that includes me. Thank you team."



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