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Interview with Fashion Photographer Pritham Denzil Dsouza

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Pritham Denzil Dsouza is a fashion photographer based in Mangaluru, We caught up with him to find out more about how he started in photography, what about fashion drives him and where he finds inspiration.

When did you first become interested in photography? What sparked it and when did you decide that it was what you were going to do?

I was fortunate to be born in a family that always treasured photos. So I literally grew up in the golden days of film reels and always had access to cameras. It was only after i finished studying agriculture, my interest in photography started. This was in 2002.
Agriculture and farming sparked it for me. i used to click back then on a Nokia 6600 camera phone, then gradually started buying simple point and shoot cameras for better images and video and moved to a bridge camera and finally was gifted with a canon 60D with 18-200 lens. This was in 2009/10.

Were you educated in photography or are you self taught? Did you make many mistakes that you look back on now and find embarrassing?

Nope i do not have any formal training in photography, but back in school i was a physics geek and shutters, apertures, focal length, focal distance all made sense now 🙂

Yes everyone makes mistakes and thats how you learn. Even in the workshops i conduct from time to time i showcase all my older photos, where even basic composition was not proper and i show attendees at the workshop about simple framing and composing mistakes i used to do. so failure and mistakes are very important as it helps you learn and become better.

What camera do you use the majority of the time?

At the moment i use Canon 1DX and 1DX mark II

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Interview with Fashion Photographer Pritham Denzil Dsouza

Judging by your photos, you seem to work mostly with natural light, has this been a conscious decision for your personal style?

Actually most of my fashion and portraits are shot with either 1 or 2 light sources like strobes or speed lights. Everyone thinks it’s easy to shoot in natural light and we can see a lot of people again make simple mistakes. However I feel it is utmost important to shoot with controlled lighting and if you can master that then you virtually can play god! However all my black and white photos are shot in natural light and that’s my strength. Playing with shadows and highlights

Which photo are you currently most proud of?

That’s like asking which my favourite photo is so far, and my answer will be “I will click it tomorrow”. There are several favourite ones since I shoot almost all genres of photography from capturing expressions candidly at weddings, to mood in fashion, to beautiful locations and landscapes to euphoria at concerts. But favourite photos will definitely be wedding shoots I have covered as i love to capture people expressions without staging them.

Interview with Fashion Photographer Pritham Denzil Dsouza

You have around 70.4k fans followers on Instagram, what tips can you give to budding photographers who want to get their work seen like that.

I don’t really believe in follower’s means good photos. There are so many great photographers I am following that hardly have 2000 followers and their work is stunning. Having said that, I have been on instagram since 2013 and have been steadily getting more and more people following me every month now and I can only be grateful.

for budding photographers I can suggest they limit their uploads to 2-3 photos in a day but upload only the best photos they have, so their feed looks really good and catches everyone’s attention.

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Comparing where you are now with where you were when you first started, what could you have done differently to get to where you are sooner.

Well like I said i never had any formal training in photography nor did i have any mentors. I learn it the hard way by trial and error. And that’s gotten me to where I am now, so I wouldn’t want to change that. However, if something had to be different from I would have requested to intern under someone to guide me and help me sharpen my skills.

Interview with Fashion Photographer Pritham Denzil Dsouza

You’ve clearly worked with a wide range of models, what tips can you recommend to people looking to expand their portfolio?

To expand their portfolio i can only suggest beginners to first start building their folio by shooting their friends, covering events etc for free. Once you get good at what you do, then charge a small fee, Because there’s a lot of hard work involved in each shoot. a lot of time and vision is invested and then there’s extra work in post processing. So start with a few free shoots and eventually start charging a small fee for the shoots and then never compromise on quality.

How much time do you spend taking photos, versus retouching photos?

Model shoots I click takes a lot of time in preparing. We usually create a whatsapp group, add the model, make up artist, stylist, lighting assistant, client/sponsor of the shoot and we brainstorm for 2-3 months before any shoot! Everything needs to be discussed, from hair and styling, to outfits, to themes to locations etc. so you see a lot of preparation goes even before the shoot starts.

On the day of the shoot, depending on client requirements, the shoot can last from a couple of hours to half a day or sometimes one or two full days! Retouching is extremely basic for me. and I use only light room to retouch my photos. I do not use photo shop, and if client requirements are specific then the selected photos are sent to a professional retouch er to finish the job. But for me I spend maybe 2-3 hours on basic retouching on my photos.

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To what degree do you retouch your photos, Photoshop? Lightroom? Aperture? Anything that you like to do in your photos in particular, such as add certain curves?

Like I mentioned, I do not use photoshop to retouch my images. it’s mainly lightroom and even the retouching I do is pretty basic, getting the white balance right, contrast, exposure etc. I love to play with tone curves but never tried experimenting because then the sky becomes the limit! also, all my photos I click I use my own presets based on the good old days of early to mid 80’s film camera. Kodak portra and ultra max series look is what I give to almost all the photos I retouch.

Favourite accessory?

Currently my trolley bag 🙂

Who would you like to work with most?

I like to work with Creative people and mainly youngsters who thinks out of the box ideas.

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Favourite photography book?

I honestly do not read much but if there was an inspiring film then it would be “city of god”

Favourite photography website?

500px

You can only have one lens for the rest of your life, what is it?

Now that’s a super tough question. I have a lot of lenses from primes to tele zooms but if there was one lens that I want to carry for the rest of my life then it would be the canon 11-24 f 4 L usm lenses which is always in my travel bag. I love shooting travel photos and none can beat this gem of a lens.

Interview with Fashion Photographer Pritham Denzil Dsouza

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Any final words of wisdom you would like to share?

Practice makes a man perfect. Photography is an art form and the more you go around clicking the more you learn. Make mistakes and learn from them. Never compare your work with others, keep self motivating yourself to do better and always stay humble.

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