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FO2 Stage | Suresh Naganathan

by Team FO2, 06 Jun 2023

I was born and brought up in Switzerland. After my graduation, I
started working with this company for which I had to travel around
Europe. I got one such opportunity to travel to Asia and when here, I
felt very attached to the surroundings as my roots are Indian. As the
project in India was quite a big one, my company decided that I
should stay here for a little longer than what was initially planned.
Photography came to me as an interest in documenting my travels. I
loved clicking pictures but those pictures were not doing any justice
to my vision. I started researching online, did some courses and in
the process came across this genre of street photography. That
changed the game for me. I used to see pictures that blew my mind and
wondered about how people could take these completely candid pictures
on the streets. It was like a revelation for me. I wanted to do that
kind of photography.

I started attending workshops conducted by a group called Art photo
feature and it helped me a lot. It’s been more than six years now and
I am still focusing on street photography. It has been a very good
experience for me so far.

I remember when I visited Vrindavan. I came across this man on the
street and started clicking his pics. He got so overjoyed that I was
clicking his pictures that he took me to his small village. There I
went door to door taking pictures of others as well and most of them
offered me food. All of them were so nice to me. I spent two hours
there and it was one of the best experiences for me as a
photographer. Also as a person. I interacted with a lot of people,
something that I was never comfortable with, earlier. It made me
quite at ease amongst strangers and I now believe that everything
seems easy to me when I have a camera in my hand.

In January 2020, I quit my job to pursue photography as a full-time
The Pandemic and the subsequent Lockdown has changed the equation for
photographers as most genres require you to step out. It was
initially tough but then I started searching for subjects indoors. I
took pictures of my partner, played with indoor lighting and daily
activities. Such adverse situations generally tend to open up your
mind to a lot of possibilities that you wouldn't have otherwise
explored. I used to cover festivals like Ganesh Utsav, Durga Puja
etc. This year most of them were celebrated in a limited way and they
didn’t allow us to take pictures. However, I managed to click a few
pictures from a distance and I was quite pleased with the results. I
went to Chhath Puja and it was shocking how pandemic has changed
everything. It was a bit scary initially but I went ahead and
documented the festival as I felt that if things improve, we might
never witness festivals this way ever again.
A friend of mine and I started conducting online workshops. They are
not as full-fledged as the physical ones because in online mediums,
you have certain limitations but I am very happy with the response we
are getting.
We’re not charging too high so that it remains affordable to
It was a big step to leave my corporate job and pursue photography
full time but I have trust in my work and my camera. It is a big deal
to pursue an unorthodox career choice in India but my family never
had an issue with it so far. They know that it’s my dream and hence
they have been very supportive.
To all budding photographers, I always say "Give a chance to your
dreams, you might not be successful but at least you will not regret
it at any point in your life that you didn’t give it a try. The only
condition is that you need to work hard, there are no shortcuts if
you wanna do photography you have to think about it all the time.
Street photography has been a very good experience for me so far. It
is not just clicking pictures, you need to have fun with it and
connect yourself with people.
All the very best

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