Simplistic artist Gautam Kamat Bambolkar shares about excelling in Photography
Gautam Kamat Bambolkar
Neeti Kamat Bambolkar
Gurudas Kamat Bambolkar
10th August 1987
Proudly says ‘imd1’ for
Personifying simplicity, Gautam Kamat Bambolkar’s artwork is the only extraordinary trait he showcases to the world. Such simplistic attitude has made him receive lots of accolades as a photographer. Gautam, being born as a Goan has mastered the photography art and developed his expertise by learning all by himself through Internet and mainly YouTube. Influenced by many NatGeo photographers, now he himself is a part of NatGeo YourShot community. Since he is learning, working and growing in this art, he is also being awarded for his excellent images. His recent feat is a Gold at Paris Photography Prize 2019 for the photo series ‘Man Made Caves’.
Team imd1 thanks Gautam to inspire the aspiring photographers of India.
We are really keen to know; how did your journey begin?
The journey began in June 2016 where my photo ‘Peace Protectors’ was first nominated in the prestigious Fine Art Photo Awards in the ‘people’s’ category. Post that, in the same year, my another photo ‘Random Family’ won an award in Germany. That’s when I bought Canon 70D, a couple of basic lenses and started experimenting with my photography.
Know me Beyond Photography
Keep it simple, Keep it honest.
My photos, specially photo series, draw concepts & inspiration from spirituality.
I draw inspirations from:
Food I Love
Being a Goan by heart & by food, nothing can be better than fish curry on rice.
Food I Don't Like
Had I not been a Photographer then…
I would have been doing theatre.
Like Vacations at
Currently being in the US, I am exploring different states of the US. Each state has its own charm in different time of the year.
Favorite Pass time
I love watching movies.
Favorite Movies / Series
Ship of Theseus/Crown/Game of Thrones
Favorite Actor / Actress:
What were the hardships / hurdles you have encountered during your journey? How did you overcome them?
I neither had any formal training in photography nor a godfather whom I can approach, things were very confusing at the beginning. Photography is not only about the picture or composition, it also needs a sound knowledge of many technical and other things, such as, understanding of exposure, aperture levels, ISO, types of lenses, lights etc. to get the perfect picture. The only source to learn was/is YouTube. It’s the best thing available today for anybody to learn and grow one’s skills in any field.
What's your success mantra?
I like to keep things as simple as possible. I like simplicity; I am naturally drawn towards it. All my photos follow these attributes.
Success is incomplete without its share of setbacks. What advice do you give to others about handling the setbacks?
That’s very well said. Setbacks are part of the game. One has to go on. Keep doing what you are doing. Believe in yourself, rise & shine.
Do you think Photography and its learnings can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Certainly! Photography teaches us the most important things - patience and planning. To get a shot right, one needs to plan and prepare. Study the world around where you want to shoot. Know the light, weather, location of shoot, lenses, any permissions needed etc. Then comes the patience. I have seen photographers going to the same spot repeatedly just to get the right image. Does it mean they were not prepared in their earlier attempts? No at all. It just means they are not satisfied with the results and ready to walk down to the same location again and again to get the perfect shot. They have patience and ‘fire’ in them which makes them THE Photographers. Just like in everyday life, we need to be prepared for everything but ought to have patience to achieve what you really want to.
Who has been the main influencers in your journey & how?
I follow NatGeo photographers a lot. I like how they see the world differently. I am a part of NatGeo’ YourShot community and frequently upload my photos on their page. One of my photos got selected in their story recently.
Which was "that" moment when you considered yourself as "I Am The 1"?
Winning awards internationally has really motivated me. I get to compete against World's renowned photographers and in turn a chance to see their work. Recently winning a Gold at Paris has boosted my confidence.
Did you get any formal training in photography? Kindly tell us about it…
No. But I am a Fine Art graduate in Applied Arts. I have been into designing field for more than 10 years now. Understanding of design has helped me shape my photography in a better way.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. right age, mindset or anything else?
Sheer love for the art. If you love it, you will know it. Nothing else matters.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in photography?
As I have not gained any formal training, I am not the right person to comment on it. I am sure it will polish and sharpen your skills. But, for any reason, if you couldn’t get through formal training and still want to pursue your career in photography, then I don’t think there’s anything that stops you. Follow photographers on social media, learn from their videos, go through tutorials. There are endless ways to learn today.
Technology is changing the way people get trained in photography. What's your take?
As I explained earlier, in today’s era of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, the world has opened its doors. There are tons of tutorials and photography gurus who put out tips and tricks in photography. Spend some time watching it and I am sure you would be a better photographer at the end of those videos. There’s so much to learn at your fingertips.
What qualities must one look for in a 'Guru' for training in photography?
At every stage in life, be it a photographer or any other artist, you need an expert to critique or give you a constructive feedback. It’s the most important thing for anybody to grow. You cannot be in your bubble and happy about what your family & friends are saying about you/your work. One needs a solid mentor who can help explain why your image is good or how you could have done better. Without feedback, one’s journey is hollow.
If you were to bring one big change in the way people get trained in photography, what would that be?
I guess, more exhibitions and discussions within students and experts would help. We have to engage ourselves in discussions with younger and older community to get different perspectives to photography and life. We need to talk about how a photograph is made, what went into it, what makes it better, what people think about it, etc. We need more forums where we indulge in such communication to better our photography community and teach our younger generation.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of photography training in remote parts of India?
Today’s India is way different than what it was 10 years back. It won’t be incorrect to say that majority of India’s youth has basic smartphone which has a camera on it. Internet is accessible in cyber café’s if not in their house. That’s all you need to start with photography. There are short films made on mobile phones. So what is stopping an enthusiast to start clicking and learning from it? Definitely not the tool, I must say.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum…
I am glad this question is asked. The question is more relevant to the Indian parents than to the west. A student’s life in the US is very different. We, Indians should learn from them. In today’s world, the professionals in design, photography, sports, entertainment or films earn more than other people in so called ‘respected fields’ such as engineering, MBA, etc. Indian parents crave about.
One thing which you feel you want to change from the past while you walk down the memory lane…
I wish I had started photography a long ago.
How can one identify & encourage talent in the family?
As Aamir Khan in ‘Tare Zameen Par’ has put it in the best way that ‘every child is special’. I guess, young blood needs freedom and support from their parents to find their way and later master it. It’s very important to give them the hope and backing in whatever they want to do. One day it will all come back in a way never imagined.
Any other thoughts you want to share…
I am really grateful and thankful to imd1 for providing me with this opportunity and having me on your blog. I hope my thoughts and comments really inspire imd1’s readers to take up what they love and achieve like no one else. Thank you!