Photographer of the Week is a five-part series in which we talk to popular Instagram photographers about it all—their story, learnings, insights, what makes them photograph and all that goes into making great images.
An alumnus of Mumbai’s KC College, Mohit Gogia (@mohit_gogia) is a professional photographer based out of India’s financial capital. Primarily interested in shooting dancers, portraits, interiors and architecture, he likes creating patterns, symmetry and playing with natural light. He had photography as a subject in college, where he got to learn a lot about it and figured that he liked it enough to want to take it up professionally.
Here, he discusses the art, the aesthetics and the technicalities of photography. He also reveals why he doesn’t believe in the art called photo-editing and why DSLRs are no longer a mandatory prerequisite to making great photos.
Excerpts from a candid chat:
What does it take to make a good photograph?
You can have 10 photographers to shoot a product but having a great perspective and a good sense of framing can make you win. They are the most important.
Your photographs are very diverse. Is there any one genre that you identify the most with?
On a personal level, I love to shoot dancers. I love to try portraits as well. But commercially, I am shooting a lot of interiors these days.
In today’s age of mobile photography, how relevant are DSLRs?
It totally depends. You don’t necessarily need a DSLR unless you are getting into a professional zone where you’re shooting big commercial projects. Only then you need a high-end DSLR to work on the deliverables.
Earlier your phone cameras didn’t have many features. Now you have them all—portrait mode, depth of field, anti-blur. If you are doing it for social media, you can totally pull it off with your phone camera.
How do you think edit has shaped photography? How important is it?
I don’t like to over-edit anything. Keeping it natural and raw gives photos a different feel. We photographers tend to criticise when someone over-edits in a way that’s obvious and looks fake. It’s a little annoying.
I don’t believe in the art called editing. But yes, basic colour correction, moving things here and there a little is fine. I don’t want a model’s face to look plastic. So having a natural texture and making it look nice are the only motives.
How do you think social media has influenced the way we see photographs?
Social media is a great platform to showcase work and interact—share thoughts, talk. I don’t see any other medium which allows interaction with such ease and convenience. It has influenced a lot of us. During this lockdown, I have discovered so many new people who are doing such great work.
What works best in building an active and organic following on Instagram?
If you post one photo every day, you can get results in the next 45 days. Your Instagram followers will be organic and you’ll get good reach.
Among photographers, whose work do you look up to?
There are a couple of them. Right now I’m educating myself, working on tutorials by Karl Taylor. He based in London. In India, there’s Rema Chaudhary and my mentor Aniruddh Kothari. He has taught me a lot and now we work together on projects. There is also Tarun Khiwal. I love the way he creates drama in his images. His lighting patterns are phenomenal.
Any learnings you’d want to share with photography enthusiasts?
Be clam and practice everyday. We cannot get inspired only by watching tutorials and seeing someone else’s work. You need to work everyday. There will be a lot of trials and errors but practising is the only way out.
Do you think having physically printed copies of photographs is important?
I do think so. I like printed material a lot. Though you can use digital copies anytime, anywhere, printed copies give a different feel, meaning. They are good memories.