Though earning his bread and butter by offering his services in financial sector, Amit Kakkar’s first love is photography – an art and craft perfected by him through the tedious process of self-teaching, lots of trial and error and experimentation. He carries his camera wherever he goes and brings with him amazing pics of landscapes, birds and whatever he comes across during his trip.
Our first meeting with Amit Kakkar was in a mutual friend’s home and we found his work enchanting and felt that our readers would also love to be introduced to him and his work. So, an interview was planned and here is the result.
Editor : Hi Amit ! Welcome to thesaharanpur.com and thank you for finding time for this chit-chat. I am sure our readers would love to meet you.
AMIT : It is a matter of great pleasure for me too. Ever since you mentioned about it, I have been looking forward to it. But let me warn you that I am an ordinary person and am not sure if your readers would find me interesting enough to read and know about!
Editor : Hahahaha. Don’t worry. We know our readers’ liking and disliking and I’m sure they would love it. Well, while on Facebook, I came across your page – Korrect Xposure and was really impressed by the images you have created. I decided then to meet and talk with you and introduce you to our readers also. To start with, won’t you please tell us something about you, your family, your profession etc.?
AMIT : I am an ordinary person just like everyone, I am working for a multi-national company in insurance sector. I acquired great love for photography a few years before because of Himalayas which keep calling me every now and then. Whenever I feel free, I pick my camera and enjoy the hills. And naturally, I try to record whatever pleases me there.
Editor : Please tell us about your parents. Did you get this love for Himalayas from your parents?
AMIT : My dad got retired from ITC, Saharanpur. My sweet mom is a home maker and so is my wife. God has given me a daughter who means everything to me. I don’t know how and why I am so much attracted to Himalayas but this is the way it has always been. I try to capture mighty mountains and also look for birds. I wish to share some of my pics for you and my dear readers.
Editor : That’s lovely! I’m sure our readers would love these and would feel inspired to see these charismatic places. Photographing birds requires special skills besides highly capable photographic gear. Good knowledge about birds also is a major requirement. Had you acquired some formal education and skills somewhere before delving into this particularly difficult branch of photography?
AMIT : No formal education in this field but when I felt attracted towards these, I studied more and more about them. After all, when you love someone or something, don’t you want to know your object of love as much and as intimately as you can? Although I shoot almost everything I like, I never get tired of shooting landscapes. Let me tell you that occasions like a marriage ceremony offer lots of wonderful opportunities for a photo-enthusiast to capture great moments and I enjoy that too. So, my interest in photography is not confined to landscapes, birds or hills.
Editor : And what about learning the art and craft of photography?
AMIT : I was coming to that. Same is true in case of photography too. I read books and manuals, surfed internet trying to learn this science and art of taking photographs. I haven’t got any formal education in the field of photography. I never get tired of reading and then experimenting with what I have just learnt. Whatever little I have learnt has been learnt by walking on this path. I’m a patient person and failed experiments don’t put me off. As a matter of fact, patience is the key to good photography. Specially when you are out there to capture natural phenomenon, you can’t order things to your liking. Instead, you have to wait and intently watch for the miraculous moment to arrive and then capitalize on them.
Editor : Great. I do agree that machine gun approach is unlikely to give a wild life or nature photographer any masterpieces.
AMIT : Yeah. Absolutely.
Editor : Well, Amit, how often do you take your camera out? From the large number of wonderful photographs you have taken, one has to believe that you are into photography full time!
AMIT : I have to wait for Sundays and holidays when I head towards wilderness leaving city behind in search of some good catches.
AMIT : Only recently, I have met some great photo artists in the city who are equally, if not more, passionate about photography and whenever convenient, we move out as early as possible on Sunday mornings looking for birds, other animals or landscape. But before it, I have always travelled with my family. I am quite fortunate that my wife and the child wait patiently in the car when, having spotted a potential picture, I suddenly apply brakes and leave the car with my camera. They are always eager to see what images I have captured.
Editor : You’re indeed a blessed person. Not everyone is so fortunate. Do your job-related-tours afford you opportunities to use your camera?
AMIT : Hardly. When I have a job at hand, I can’t do justice to either the job or my photography, if I try to steal time to indulge in photography. However, my camera is always there in my car so that I don’t miss exceptional opportunities.
AMIT : Not much. One camera body, two lenses and a tripod is enough for me. Usually, you can’t carry too much weight while wandering in hills. Leaving your extra gear in car is futile and sometimes risky too.
Editor : Are there some more photography enthusiasts in your friends’ circle in Saharanpur or elsewhere?
AMIT : Yes. I am associated with a few groups in Chandigarh, have few friends there. As I mentioned earlier, I have found people like me in Saharanpur as well. We are even contemplating to give a formal shape to our group so. There would be many more people in the city who would like to pursue their hobby of photography. Such people would be welcomed in the group. Actually, all of us are learning from each other and proving to be catalyst for others too. We share among ourselves whatever experiments we did on the previous day and invite critique from our friends. We are also open to the idea of conducting special classes on various aspects of photography for those who would be interested.
Editor : Today, selfie has become a buzzword. Everyone seems to be busy taking his or her pics with the mobile phone. How do you look at this scenario? Do you also take selfie sometimes? What would you suggest to the people taking selfies?
AMIT : Today’s mobile phones really have got quite capable camera built into them and are contributing a lot to promote photography. But photography should not be limited to taking your own photographs. There is so much around you waiting to be photographed. Nature is beautiful and let’s store this beauty also in our memory cards and laptops. Of course, a little time devoted to learn the basics of photography would go a long way in improving your images.
Editor : Very well said! By the way, do you make your pictures available for sale also?
AMIT : I don’t make any conscious effort to market my work but yes, if anyone is interested, I don’t mind selling my pics. Buying a picture or a painting of an artist is the best form of appreciation one can offer to that artist. Your friends and colleagues may be praising your work just to be kind to you but the acid test to assess the quality of your work is : Are there any takers of your work by paying for the same? When people are willing to pay for your work, only then you can be confident of the worth of your work.
Editor : Very true. Okay Amit. Before we conclude this highly enjoyable conversation, I express gratitude on behalf of thesaharanpur.com and its readers and hope that we shall have many more sessions in future also. Thank you very much for your time and effort. We wish you all the name and fame in this chosen field of yours. By the way, may I share your contact details online?
AMIT : Thank you very much. I really enjoyed engaging in this talk. As regards sharing my contact details, I don’t see any harm in that. In fact, my facebook page and website are for everyone to see. If someone wants to contact me, you may please share my email id too.