Hyderabad-based photographer P. Vinod Kumar has managed to distinguish himself from his peers through his work. The 32-year-old, who started off as a photojournalist working for various media houses, has given up the comfort of a steady salary to pursue a career as a freelance photographer. His subjects of choice — landscapes and people. “Photography allows me to capture people’s various emotions. My work combines landscapes, portraiture, and street photography,” he says.
Vinod received his first formal lessons in photography at JNAFAU, Hyderabad. Today, the travel enthusiast is able to combine his two passions to tell stories about his surroundings through images. “I love being outdoors. When I picked up a camera nearly a decade ago, I realised what I was meant to do for the rest of my life,” he says.
But It’s not always easy shooting outdoors, where you’re at the mercy of the elements. Talking about one of the most difficult destinations he has shot at, the photographer says, “In Leh-Ladakh, weather conditions can change rapidly while you’re out in the field, and that creates new challenges. So, I had to adapt.” The same place is also one of his favourite destinations. His love for the mountains makes them irresistible. “At that high altitude, the clouds are quite close to the earth. They cast beautiful shadows on the mountains, which give the photographs a great texture. When you are taking photos of mountains, you identify viewpoints that seem attractive and you also shoot on your way there. If the lighting is not suitable, you wait for the right time to get your shot,” he says.
Vinod describes himself as a landscape photographer as well as a portrait photographer, but he almost never arranges for portrait photoshoots. “Whenever I find an interesting face, I ask for permission and I take a picture. I like to choose the right film based on light conditions, load my Canon 5D Mark3 with lenses, and go,” he says.
He says that there isn’t a fixed style or look that he goes after when he’s shooting. “I always try to create different looks. When shooting portraits, I enjoy interacting with people. Capturing in a photograph the personality of a stranger you meet on the street is amazing,” he says. Vinod’s one piece of advice for aspiring photographers — be patient. “Careers in photography don't just happen overnight. You have to get noticed for something you do. Sometimes, it requires you to get out of your comfort zone to go bring something back,” he says....