I am a self-taught photographer specialising in renaissance and story telling photographs
I photograph people who like to see themselves in a story, be it inspired by a movie, history, spirituality or any such experience. I have been a theatre actor and an illustrator which helps me develop creative story concepts that my clients love. Most of the photographs I created are by using ordinary locations, ordinary outfits and minimum equipment
A good stylist, a good makeup artist, and an experimentative client is key to the kind of photographs I develop
I am good at connecting with people (i have led teams at senior levels in the corporate world) and can draw them into stories very easily. Discussing their favourite characters, things that excite them in life and knowing their self-perception is part of the process I use to create the pictures
I conduct workshops to teach budding photographers to improve their skill and develop their artistic vision. Photographers looking to develop a unique style find my workshops a pivotal step
My work has been published in various online and print magazines like Dark Beauty, Creative Portrait, Dreaming-less and Shooters.
I offer my renaissance / storytelling style of work to the following clientele
- Pre-wedding stills
- Family portraits/story shots
- Creative art
Our readers would love to get to know you more Sanjeev. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I can find or create a story anywhere with anyone.
I work with a lot of people who don't think they are special (everyone is), or I am at locations which are pretty ordinary (none is ordinary) or we don't have the right props or amazing outfits ..... and then I suddenly find a great story amidst all of this and people's perception changes .. about themselves, about the place they are in, about the things they have
Sanjeev, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion is to help people find more reasons to smile in their lives. I see myself travelling to different parts of the world, find inspiring stories with people there and create art work that makes them feel on top of their world.
My need for instant gratification drew me to photography ten years ago. I used to do theatre and make short films. But it took me 4-6 months to see the result of my art work when I was doing Broadway and films. Photography provided that satisfaction more quickly.
Who is your inspiration in life Sanjeev? How do you keep inspired?
Artists from renaissance period (Caravaggio, Titian, Vermeer, Botticelli) and different styles of paintings (I love Pino Daeni's work as much as I enjoy the works of Rococo artists)
I keep reading stories from history, mythology to keep me inspired. I see those historical characters in people's faces and plan for my shoots that way.
We all make mistakes Sanjeev; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I make mistakes every day, and I learn everyday.
I switch off when I am in the company of temperamental people. I like harmony on my shoots. In a few shoots, I have had either a makeup artist or the models being very vocal about what they like (click me from my left side, trim my waist in photoshop, or I don't like my nose etc). I used to switch off and submit to what they say. Only to find out that the results I got were below my expectations. I have now started to stand my ground more firmly during the shoot.
Sanjeev , 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?
The way I work, I do not take more than two clients at a time. Producing low quality work is not an option for me, as the clients I get want the kind of artistic work I do. So, i plan the shoots in a pipeline manner (giving appointments in a way that allows me to deliver the final work within two weeks of shooting)
Please tell us Sanjeev, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
There are two key elements to my strategy
1. Only accept work that allows me the creative freedom (so I don't do events, weddings, everyday portraits works)
2. Clients cant visualise the result, but I can (so, I have to advise people on what will work in the final picture and what not)
There is one instance in my upcoming shoot where one of my clients wants a set of 4 pics that portrays a movie character. She only has one day to shoot. But the four pics involve four different dresses, and different makeup and requires different location spots. I had to tell her that it will be very tiring for her to go through an hour+ for makeup and to get ready for each shot and by the 3rd and the 4th shot she will be tired and sweating, and the results will not be great. We have now agreed to shoot the images over two different days which allows us to shoot at two good locations and get better results than what we could have gotten shooting it all in one day.
Sanjeev, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
This is part of my photography every day.. persuading people to see things my way.
One of the ladies I worked with in the past wanted her pictures taken in my style, but she did not like her full body captured. She wanted plain simple headshots. I saw the potential in her, and I felt she could make great story telling pics. So, I downloaded a couple of paintings from the web and sent her those and told her that she looks like those models in the paintings. She connected with it immediately, and we did a shoot based on Rococo and Byzantine style of work.
Sanjeev, 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 with everyone. What is it and why?
There are many, you are right. I felt very proud when my pictures helped a couple of my friends come out of their tough times. Since those stories are very personal to them, I will pick the one that is non-personal.
We were planning a shoot in Florence with my friend. We were looking forward to shooting pictures in front of the lovely monuments there, and we were planning to send the pictures for editorials.
Then we realised that EU had passed some rule which prohibited us to publish the pictures with monuments in the background. That was a bummer. It was disheartening to go all the way and not get pictures with those gorgeous monuments.
Then we decided to change our approach. We decided to capture the life of an ordinary girl living in a heritage city .... so we shot in the by-lanes, restaurants, markets and town square. We met with amazing people in the city and made great connections. One of the beggars even featured in one of my shots. It was such a deep connection for us that we forgot the pain of not being able to shoot with the monuments.
But the proud moment happened when our picture set was published in 3 magazines (along with my interviews), and one of the images was accepted by Vogue for their online gallery. That made us all feel very proud ... not as much as helping my friends come out of their troubled times ... but I did feel good
Sanjeev, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I will give two examples ......
One .. i hate carrying big lights and equipment to the locations. In one of my shoots back in 2014 i realised i could use the buildings , trees, even my assistants to bounce the light off them to produce soft lighting for my subjects. That was liberating. I threw off most of my soft boxes and big lights. The challenge though is to find suitable items to bounce light off them, but he results i get are amazing (all my pics online are small speed lights)
The second is about outfits .... I love flowy gowns and traditional/ ethnic dresses for my subjects. But not many people have them and renting them is quite expensive. That's when we discovered drapes. We started using ordinary cloth materials, curtains and stools for drapes. Produced amazing results. The challenge is that a lot of creativity gets invested in figuring out the right way to drape so that it looks authentic.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Develop your unique style first
There are tonnes of photographers out there who can get that classic sunset shot, or flowy veil shot or that silhouette shot. Clients notice us only when we bring our unique perspective to our art.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would love to collaborate with talents and creatives to do more editorial or creative advertisement work (like showing a product in a household environment being used by people and drive a story there)
Photographer: Sanjeev (San Osho)