For Pratik Talreja, his journey into the world of photography happened by chance. Six years ago, when his uncle brought a DSLR, Pratik’s only aim was to click better images for his Facebook page. “Until then, I was using a cheap camera phone for images,” says Talreja who also goes by the moniker Sadak Chap.
When his clicks started getting him appreciation on social media, the 31-year-old decided to take up photography as his profession. “I was using Canon600D then and when my online research threw up such great perspectives using the same camera, I was embarrassed. I then started to work on my skills,” he recalls. Talreja went on to spend hours on Youtube tutorials and at the same time, had friends helping him understand the functionalities of DSLR and the basics of composition in photography.
Soon, with an improvement in his skills came confidence and the impetus to click more images. “That’s when I got to know about the concept of raw images. I would roam on the streets clicking whatever fascinated me. But irrespective of the frame, the presence of a human element is important for me,” shares the self-taught lensman, who along with fulfilling his love for photography sells cakes at his family bakery.
As he ventured more onto the streets, bringing stories to life, his popularity on Instagram shot up. “Street photography is something that keeps me going. I love spending time on the streets, talking to people and clicking pictures,” he says.
However, it was his time spent at the Nasik Khumb Mela that made him intrigued about the stories behind the frames. “I clicked portraits of the Naga babas and sadhus. They are so photogenic and crazy characters that it is actually difficult to click bad pictures with them,” shares Talreja. And a reflection of which can be seen in many of his frames captured on the streets of Mumbai.
To make a good picture, he believes one has to keep in mind some basis besides being aware of one’s surroundings. “I look for the basics like composition, light, whether the picture is telling a story or not and the perception involved in the image— basically, things that the eye misses on a daily basis,” he lists.
For the budding photographer, his advice is to never stop clicking. “Doesn’t matter what you click. It is from your clicks that you will learn what you are not supposed to do. Avoid getting bogged down by your mistakes, eventually, you will get better,” he concludes.