Making the whole world perceive through his eyes. Look how a son of a Pujari went on to become one of the best photographers in India – The Story of Venky Photriya
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Shooting down the lively picturesque surroundings and capturing them in one frame with a camera as his weapon, this shutterbug knows how to hunt for a picture perfect with his lenses to amuse the audience. Hailing from Karimnagar Telangana, Venky’s immense love towards his passion and his wife gave rise to ‘Photriya’ i.e. ‘Photography + Priya’. His work of art clearly proves the fact that ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’.
We are keen to know; how did your journey begin?
I was an assistant to my father who was a Pujari, but I would always concentrate on the photographer who used to click pictures during the rituals, I used to observe him how he was capturing, using the lights to get the best picture, this fascinated me a lot as a kid. Then I started clicking pictures of my relatives and friends, It was 1999 when I decided to pursue a degree in photography from JNTU but my family and friends humiliated me as they never heard of a career in photography, it just seemed as a hobby to them; When I was in my second year, I opened a studio with a friend, I named it as ‘V Studio’, and started getting small scale photography work such as birthday parties, poojas, etc.
What’s your success mantra?
If you have a passion, then you can achieve whatever you’re aiming. I’m married, I have a son, I look after my parents, I have friends and even I attend parties, but passion comes first then everything, it is my first wife. Whenever I’m looking for an intern or an assistant, I look for passion in him rather than education because passion is the most essential tool.
Ilayaraja ar Rahman ,Maniratnam
Food I Love
Home cooked food
Food I Hate
Had I not been a Photographer then…
joined in military
Like Vacations at
Favorite Pass time
For this waiting since 5 yrs (laughs)
Favorite Movies / Series
Rang De Basanti
Favorite Actor / Actress
Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar, Chiranjeevi
What were the hardships / hurdles your encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?
My weakness was that I couldn’t talk or understand English at all and this was the hurdle I had to pass through when I was passing the intermediate and pursuing degree in JNTU.
Do you think Photography and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
There are so many photographers in India and there are many who wants to change their profession to photography, but majority people’s mindset is that owning a DSLR camera, clicking pictures through it and posting it on Instagram makes them a photographer which isn’t the way it is. Practicing photography on a professional level is a very different and a difficult job as you’re getting paid from the client, you have to satisfy him/her in the end result, without knowing him/her in person, you have to decide a good suitable background, color, expression etc. so that he/she could appear bright.
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
I don’t have any influencer in my career as such because I’m self-read person, I don’t follow any photographers, I store some works of good photographers in my library, but I never copy someone’s art.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I Am The 1”?
I never thought of this because if I do then I would stop learning I feel. But, 2 years back I had an opportunity to work as an official photographer in Kerala for a big fat Indian wedding where a whooping number of 50,000 guests had gather to grace the occasion, so it was kind of an achievement for me and felt like Yes, I Am The 1.
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
I studied pursued BFA from JNTU, my father used to send me 500rs for my monthly expense, I had to make my living in that much amount. My college seniors used to work as an intern to some photographers but I did not even have any formal training and if I worked under them then I would be doing things in their way and couldn’t invent my skills of the craft, which is why I decided to open up my own studio with my friend and since then the excitement escalated.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Photography?
It is the most essential part, if you’re trained, you know the creation of a picture. A trained photographer would understand all the basic technical aspect of the craft but a photographer who is just doing this for a hobby will take time in doing the same. Hence, learning the craft thoroughly is the best thing in every field of art.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
At least one must have passed the intermediate level, because after that only you enter the business of photography and then you’re introduced to the marketing and other such aspects of the business.
Technology and scientific training have been changing the way people get trained in Photography. What’s your take?
Everything is changing nowadays in photography, every month there comes some new upgrades in the gadgets and equipment’s. So, if you want to sustain in the market, you have to be updated in terms of technology.
What according to you, can be a scope for improvement in training for Photography in India?
Nowadays the good thing is that people are aware about this profession and there are big institutions coming up with the Photography subject to spread its education.
What do you suggest for better accessibility of Photography in remote parts of India?
In 2019, I’m planning to train in a remote place, I wish to conduct a photography workshop, since the youth living in villages are not much aware of the digitalization, they are not accessible to the gadgets but they are passionate towards the craft, that is why I want to conduct a rural photography workshop for them and if the government supports me in providing equipment’s then it is well and good as I am just going to make them aware about this craft.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum.
Most of the parents deny their children who wants to pursue a career in photography, but things have gone better since this industry is evolving day by day and more photographers from the society are growing. Your life will be happier when you’re following your passion.
One thing which you feel you want to change from the past while you walk down memory lane…
In many public places, even if our purpose is to take nature photography, it is prohibited, if the concerned authorities allow the photographers, of course by imposing some rules then it would really help the budding photographers because in our times this was one of the major setback which I would want to change from the past.