Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? When did you start your photography career? Where can we find your work?
Rajesh : I am Rajesh Gopinath. Working as a freelance Commercial / Advertising Photographer in Mumbai. I am also a mentor to selected students on topics related to photography and retouching.
I am from Kochi, Kerala. Regarding my family, I am married and have a daughter who is 15 years old. As my dad was a Central Govt employee as an Artist Photographer, I am used to and familiar with cameras / lenses and photography from my childhood days.
I started photography a decade ago inspired by my dad. Then it was a hobby which turned to be a passion and later to my profession from 2018.
You can see my work in my website www.rajeshgopinath.com.
What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?
Rajesh : I own 2 camera bodies (Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 70D) & a variety of premium lenses from Canon. Often, as per the demand of the project, I shoot with medium format cameras like Hasselblad & Phase I.
For retouching, I use Adobe Lightroom & Adobe Photoshop. For tethered shoots, I prefer Capture One, Adobe Lightroom or Canon Digital Photo Professional.
What brought you into photography?
Rajesh : After completing my studies in 2000, I started my career in the Indian Corporate world. My experience span sales, marketing, business development & business strategies where photography was never a priority to me for the first 10 years. Later, when I realized that my hobby is no longer a hobby but a passion that helps me be stable and focused or less distracted in my career, I picked up the camera almost a decade ago now.
From a random photographer, in 2010, after doing a Photography Course from Shoot School, Kochi, I started exploring all possible options of photography from wildlife to landscape to street photography to fashion. Eventually, it became evident that commercial & fashion is my forte and my style was fitting that arena. This passion grew along with me to engage and keep me motivated on weekends, holidays etc to rejuvenate me for the monotony of working days.
While continuing the profile of National Head for Channels in a French company in Mumbai, the pathway to entertainment industry was opened on the weekends and finally it was a new year decision made in 2018 to quit the 18 years tenured corporate career & to move fully into professional photography.
Name a few of your personal favorite photo shoots?
Rajesh : It’s hard to answer, still I must say the shoot with Fitnglam magazine for their 2020 calendar was the best. It challenged my skill sets by throwing harsh climatic conditions, unfavorable lighting conditions, physical stress and restless schedules. The shoot gave me immense confidence to perform in any conditions and situations.
Commercial shoots for Fincare Bank, Edenred India has given me the confidence to carry out commercial works single handedly.
Shoots with celebrities like Urvashi Rautela, Richa Chadda, Surveen Chawla comes into my favorite list as it was challenging to get the best output within very limited time. Also, directing them for shoots is also about handling their celebrity values.
If you could photograph anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would that be and why?
Rajesh : Aishwarya Rai Bachhan for being the perfect female face in front of camera & Tom Cruise for his photogenic looks.
Would you say you have a specific photography style?
“Yes, I would say. A style which is closer to advertising (commercial) photography / editorial photography. Because my photographs are more inclined to be clinically clean.”, Rajesh Said to Fitnglam Editorial team.
What do you love most in a model? What is your favorite set?
Rajesh : Facial features, skin, quality poses and understanding about photography & lightings.
Favorite sets are typically outdoor which is rich by looks & vibrant in colors and classic elements to compliment the frame. For a fine art mood, I may prefer a classic Victorian era library or a castle for its elegance
Where does your creative inspiration come from?
Rajesh : From the paintings by great artists which I have seen in my childhood days and from the aesthetic theories of perfection from classical Indian fine arts.
Often the creative freedom is limited when we are on boarded to a project with specific objectives.
What would you say are the Key components for creating a great photo?
Rajesh : Perfect light, compelling composition & frame followed by the aesthetic depth of the visual conceived. Then comes the model, hair, make up, styling, other technicalities of photography & finally the retouching which should be less than 15% to the overall work.
What’s your suggestions for the fashion models trying to get out of a photoshoot?
Rajesh : Insist on a pre-shoot meeting with the team and digest the whole idea / visual to be shot. Especially, mood board, hair & make up style, photographer & his style, location (outdoor or indoor) etc. Ask as many questions to the team before facing the camera. Do proper homework & research on what the shoot demands. Be prompt, professional and ready to accept challenges & be grounded.
What advice will you give to the budding fashion photographers?
Rajesh : Learn the light thoroughly. Know your gear completely and know its possibilities & limitations. Realize it’s not the gear, but the photographer who clicks a good photo.
When shooting, visualize the outcome (final product) even before touching the camera. See the light, understand its impact on the shot, explain to the whole crew about the visual in your head and buy the sync with all. Shoot with optimum usage of available resources to match with the visualized image. If this is done, the image will obviously communicate to the viewer.
What are your future goals?
Rajesh : To be the best in Commercial / Advertising photography. To create an online / offline academy for visual arts, with special focus to photography & it’s impact to the human race.
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All Image Credits : Rajesh Gopinath
Watch some of the best clicks by Rajesh Gopinath !