He calls me 15 mins before to confirm the place, time and reaches exactly on time. Dressed in a checks shirt, jeans, with a calm demeanor, he observes, locates where I am in the cafe, acknowledges me, moves to get a table for himself as he sees I am with someone and calmly waits. The peace in his movements is only betrayed as his eyes swiftly move and drink in the surroundings and from where I am he looks like an alligator carefully studying its environs in stealth mode. Meet Dr. Prem Sundar or as the world knows him – The Grand Master.
Prem is an independent art photographer, Creator and Principal Partner at The Talking Picture. He is also the Vice President & Founding Member of Photographic Society of Bangalore. He was on an offsite shooting assignment and was in editing mode when we decided to meet. Here is what ensued when he got chatting and Talked to Tiger about his life and The Talking Picture!
Where were you born? Tell me about your childhood.
Born in a small village at that time called Bucchireddipalem in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Did my schooling in Nellore, another town near Hyderabad, then in Goa and did my college and graduation in medicine in Hubli, Karnataka. Stayed for a short duration in Delhi and Shimoga too. I was more of an introvert during my childhood, gradually turned into a popularity hog by teenage. I was always fascinated by science and technology and many of the art forms including photography and painting. I have tried singing but never got the hang of it, not very popular at sports, not too shabby either. Badminton was the one sport I was good at, I still am.
I have been adept at computers since my early teens, used to help dad create many a computer programs for his civil engineering tasks and am well versed including Qbasic, Visual basic, C, C++, Visual C++ and many of the related scripts. I had to once use OLE and ActiveX controls to make a flow of data between Microsoft excel and AutoCAD to automate a process for creation of a few thousand drawings from data collected in the field for banking and cutting work for railway lines back when we were in Goa and was apparently a big hit at dad’s office, he used to say back then.
Cameras always fascinated me and so did photography, picked it up early in my teenage and continued ever since. Have used many systems of photography.
|Leap to freedom
What and where did you study?
MBBS, Karnataka Institute of Medical Science, Hubli, Karnataka.
What were your dreams like when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a lot of things and that was possibly my biggest problem! Let me see if I can list some here, priority wise
#1. Propulsion engineer / Rocket scientist
#3. Film maker
#4. Computer programmer (creation of computer games especially, in fact that’s what made me teach myself computer programming)
But, never a doctor!
Rather than rich, I always wanted to do big things, something which will benefit people and science and technology.
How did your interest in photography start?
Photography is my current pursuit. I am into photography as a hobby since 15 years. It had been a struggle for the past 2 years. (When he says struggle, he means after buying all kinds of cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, gadgets and all…) The progress in the last 7-8 months is good as people in various businesses started recognizing my work more and more. I plan to soon progress to film making along with it as and when I gather enough production equipment.
What is the name of your venture?
The brand is called The Talking Picture. It’s the new brand name as we still working on the website. We should have good content in about a month’s time. A picture is worth a thousand words they say and we want our pictures to talk 🙂
How do you differentiate yourself?
Technical and Artistic superiority is what we strive for. Until now there hasn’t been a time where I had to turn down a client because I was technically short.
What is the best place/book to learn photography?
I never went to learn photography anywhere. All that I know is self taught. I seriously think everything is out there. All you have to have is the will to learn. Check in Google, Youtube and there are many tutorials which explain in detail how each effect, situation and composition can be achieved.
|Heaven and Hell
Who, according to you, is the best photographer? Someone you admire?
I don’t want to sound arrogant but I have liked some works of many people but never found any one person where I liked everything. Same with mine.
|Queen of Roses
How long do you take to prepare for a shoot now? Did it change over time?
Depends on the type of shoot. Sometimes, it just takes few hours, sometimes might days 2-3 days too.
Tell me your best experience since you ventured into photography?
Best experience is when seasoned professionals in the same field come to you for advise on their shoots. Some of them far more experienced then me. Happened a few times.
Can you share the turnover till date?
Frankly, It’s not much right now. I am working towards changing it soon.
What are your plans for the future? Say next five years?
My long term goals include setting up a media and design house and if time and finances allow, a research center(let’s keep the details away for now). Also have a wish of starting my own chain of photographic and film making equipment, a few ideas are laying low.
Tell me about your family/pets.
I belong to a small family. Mom, Dad and a younger brother, his wife and his daughter who is a little more than 1 year old now. We never had a pet which stayed at our home, mainly because of frequent transfers.
A quote/book that influenced you
Keep improving your skill set and your work and good things will happen. Don’t just dream big, work towards them.
Best wishes for The Talking Picture Prem! It is a pleasure to meet you.
You can contact Prem by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or his facebook profile.
All the pictures displayed here are copyrighted and are owned by Prem.
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