Hello dear reader,
A few days ago, I stumbled upon an interesting photograph online that caught my attention. That image lead me to a photo project by Suresh Naganathan which he submitted to the Magnum Photography Awards 2016.
I found Suresh on Facebook and asked if we could meet up online to discuss a little bit about this project and street photography in general. He kindly agreed.
Suresh Naganathan is originally from Switzerland and currently lives and works in Mumbai.
“Essentially, I try to bring joy and build connections with people through my photos. Photography is essentially for me a matter of connections, people with their surroundings, photographers with their subject and this is what I am trying to convey through my projects.”
I asked Suresh a few questions about his recent project “Little Park” , his workflow and his point of view on what makes a good photograph.
Suresh has been shooting on the streets for about 2 years. His interest and motivation has picked up after he attended a few photography workshops and started to explore the wonderful world of street photography.
Suresh likes to visit same locations on different times and occasions. He usually does not go out with a certain project in mind and stays aware and open to anything that might happen on the streets. I strongly admire his vision and how he uses elements and light to capture fascinating, funny, unusual little stories. He mentioned that a good photograph has to scream at you, draw your attention straight away, and thats exactly how his images effected me. He shoots what he thinks HE would like to see/feel.
Suresh has a few ongoing projects. During collecting and editing the images, he also communicates with fellow photographers and listens to their advice and suggestions about which images are stronger/weaker. However the final edit belongs to the photographer himself. Browsing his photo gallery, he looks for similarities and creates a sequence. Needless to mention that a lot of hours of hard work and patience is required to be able to come up with a solid sequence of images. For Suresh – one strong image a week is good effort.
The first thing Suresh mentioned was to not be a slave to fear. I would totally agree with him on that point as it’s important to realise and get into the right frame of mind that you are not doing anything wrong when shooting on the streets. You are documenting society, you’re following your passion and communicating with surroundings through your camera. You’re curious and thats what drives you every day to get out and make photos. Plus, a smile goes a long way!
“You also need to slow down” says Suresh. Take a breath and look around you, you’d be amazed at how many things you notice if you really start looking. Follow the light, study it.
And of course, study the masters of photography, learn from photo books, research their projects, read interviews, find youtube videos. It will help you grow as a photographer more than any newest camera out there.
I would like to thank Suresh for his time. I really enjoyed the little chat about our common passion. I would like to wish him all the best in his projects and I hope we get to chat again some time!
Stay positive and curious!