Learn from the Masters: Jatin Kampani

Some shoots may need a complex setup, but often, simplicity works best. Photograph/Jatin Kampani

Some shoots may need a complex setup, but often, simplicity works best. Photograph/Jatin Kampani

Jatin Kampani

Jatin Kampani

On the occasion of Better Photography magazine’s thirteenth anniversary in 2010, 13 great masters drew from a lifetime of experience to give you over 150 carefully selected tips on photography and ways of seeing. They debated the idea of ‘the perfect moment’ and share their personal practices. In this edition, Great Master Jatin Kampani shares his tips for making better images.

Understand the Project
The approach, aesthetics and shooting style depend on the kind of photograph you are shooting. For example, a fashion shoot for a designer is extremely different from a fashion shoot for a magazine. Consider the aim of the shoot.

Think of How to Shoot
Once you know the aim, figure out the best possible approach. Is a certain kind of style expected from you? How can you make the picture unique? Then, go on and think about how you will shoot it.

Visualise your Final Image
Before you start any shoot, think of what you want to shoot. Visualise the final image. The shooting process should simply be a matter of working backwards to achieve this goal.

Ask the Experts
When you start shooting, there may be a number of questions that may come to your mind. These may be technical difficulties or doubts about shooting opportunities and possibilities. Do not be afraid to ask the experts. Refer to magazines, take part in online forums and interact with photographers who are more experienced to get valuable tips.

Let Each Image Speak for Itself
Each and every photograph must be able to stand on its own, in terms of quality. There should be no half measures—you should always try to make each photograph your best one.

Do not Repeat Ideas
Avoid repetition. It is simple and tempting to fall into a trap of perfecting one style and repeating it all the time.

Aim to be Different
Before you start shooting, think of how you can do things differently, as compared to anything that has been shot by someone else, or even as compared to your own work.

Marketing is Secondary
A lot of youngsters make the mistake of spending too much effort in marketing their skills, rather than developing the skills in the first place. Do not try too hard to sell yourself. Remember that quality is the best marketing tool—if your photographs are exceptional, people will know about you, sooner or later.

Be an All-Rounder
In the beginning, you should experiment with all kinds of photography. The more you are exposed to different genres and styles, the better your overall learning would be. With time, figure out which genre you actually enjoy most—it may be something you never thought of initially. That is when you should start specialising in one type of photography.

Compete with Yourself
A great practice is to give yourself a target of shooting something that is better than what you shot the previous day.

Planning is Key
Almost every kind of photography needs essential planning, especially fashion photography. Your concept and its execution depend on a variety of external factors such as the selection of the model, styling, lighting, background and so on. Plan your shoot well, and always have a backup plan ready, to avoid any mishaps.

My Interpretation of the Moment
The perfect moment is when you surrender to the qualities of a person when you are photographing them, and manage to capture the personality in its true spirit.

A lawyer by education, ace advertising and fashion photographer Jatin Kampani rose to the limelight with his campaigns for Provogue, Sunsilk and Kiah. His photographs are all about playing with light and using space intelligently.

Tags: Composition, fashion, Great Master, jatin kampani, june 2010, lifestyle, Product, studio