I began as a fine art landscape photographer, working with large format film. I added a digital SLR to my kit so that I could more easily capture images while hiking and climbing, and also started working with models.
When I started working in film, I started adding lighting design to my skills set, as well as incorporating motion into my photography work.
I still do photography, continuing to use and build my vision and skills and working with more models, starting to get into fashion and portrait photography.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Rakesh. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I'm an adventurer at heart. I've been in Patagonia, the Dolomites, Alaska, and even the Himalayas. I've climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams, and trekked the Cascades.
I love traveling and backpacking as much as I love photography.
Rakesh, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
A trip to the Grand Canyon inspired me to learn how to capture the grandeur of the place so that I could share it with others.
Who is your inspiration in life Rakesh? How do you keep inspired?
Traveling and seeing new places inspires me to continue honing my craft, and it helps me to see my own home in new ways. Working with people also helps to feed my imagination and creativity.
We all make mistakes Rakesh, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
During a demanding film shoot with an inexperienced director, I was tied up setting up and troubleshooting some equipment. While I was doing so the director arranged the blocking in a very different way from what we had planned, thinking he was making the shot simpler, but instead turning one shot into four.
Since then when I am the DoP I avoid using gear that will tie me up for extended periods of time, only using that gear when there is someone else on set who can set up that gear, so that I can be there with the director to provide advice, and if the shot does need to change, make sure to coordinate with the crew so that we can keep the set running efficiently.
Rakesh ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
It starts with making sure that I understand what every client needs, both the scope of the project and their timetable. I set milestones for myself and for my team so that we are able to give ourselves time to get the necessary work done by the time the client needs it.
If the team starts to seem overwhelmed, then we recruit help. To avoid that however, we also strive to make sure that we do not over commit ourselves; we're honest with our clients about our availability and workload before taking on a project. If we're expecting that post will take longer than usual because we're in the midst of another project, we'll make sure we inform the client before the project starts, and if the client is ok with the timetable, we go forward.
Please tell us Rakesh, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
I'm presently working through such a time. I shot a feature film over the summer, and while it was in editorial, I filmed two other shorts films and a family documentary then traveled to India for a month to film a documentary in the Himalayas. Now that I'm back, I'm working on logging the footage from the family documentary and the Himalayas documentary. In the mean time, I also have completed several photo shoots, and filmed three more short films, one of which is receiving some awards tomorrow. As the feature film nears picture lock, I will be coming back on board that to start working on the color grade, and in the mean time preparing for an upcoming photo shoot, a short film scheduled for production in December, and another short film scheduled for production in February.
Rakesh, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
In my former career as a software engineer, I convinced my entire team to follow microservice approach to building our web application by explaining how and why it would make our job easier. We used that approach, and the project went to production without a hitch.
Rakesh please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
A few years ago, I submitted one of my photographs to a Visura open call for art. One of my photographs from Patagonia got selected and included in Visura's print exhibition at the Louvre.
Rakesh, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
While filming a short film for a new and inexperience director, I made a lot of suggestions about how to shoot her film. Because I am a regular writer for Red Shark News, Matthews loaned me one of their new Dutti Dollys for review specifically for that project, so I took advantage of it, and designed several moving shots taking advantage of the dolly.
I had an excellent crew on that project, which made it possible for us to be ambitious enough to shoot so many dynamic shots. We had to overcome some lighting challenges imposed by our location using some techniques that I hadn't used before as well.
During the screening, everyone was very pleased with the results. The film looks very good, and the director has asked me to shoot her next film, which is now in preproduction.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Photographer?
Find a community, whether in person or online, of photographers where you can get some honest critiques. Find artists whose work inspires you and study it; learn why it inspires you, and focus on learning from it.
And most of all, study light; learn to wield light like a calligrapher wields a pen.
And remember, no matter how accomplished you are, someone will dislike your work. Try to figure out why they don't like it so that you can learn from it, but don't let it discourage you.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am very interested in collaborating with brands and designers to help them market their products and designs, and I'd love to build a network of creatives to incorporate those photographs into the marketing materials.
We need the models and actors to give life to the fashions and designs.
Photographer: Rakesh Malik