I have taken AGES to put up this interview and I’m not too proud of my procrastination but I can assure you that, it is well justified. Even so, here it is - an interview with a man who is an alarmingly astute Photographer and intriguingly enough, a professional doctor as well. I was blown away by how powerful his images were. Each of them holds a narrative, a poignant story waiting to be told in a series of events captured in their one singular moment of existence. Without further ado – Dr.Vivek M .
What was it really like, chucking your job as a surgical intern to become a freelance photographer?
It was a big decision, especially in
Was there a specific moment that inspired the change in career?
I was 27, married and almost gave up on pursing photography as a profession because of the odds of making a living out of it. But Lavannya, my wife and architect, unconditionally promised to support me when I followed my dreams. I think this was this strength that made me go ahead.
How does it personally affect you when you document the lives of other people?
It does affect you especially when you shoot marginalised communities. As a person you understand the hardships of their everyday life and it in turn reflects on things that you have always taken for granted. I prefer to be a freelance photographer because I don't want to simply 'work' on a documentary and get over it. I choose the subjects that I am interested in, that affect me, that move me and then photography happens naturally. And I truly hope that my photography serves up to some purpose, directly or indirectly.
Have you ever made a personal connection with any of the people that you photograph?
My photography is always preceded by a sincere attempt to connect to the subjects involved. Gaining their trust is the most important thing, I feel. Once a bonding is formed and a trust is established, photography is a mere ritual. During a course of a documentary I always make plenty of friends.
What are the other ways in your opinion for artists to get involved with humanitarian causes ?
Artists could make a huge difference in brings issues to the forefront. All they have to do is to spend a little of their time and creativity to become a voice for the less fortunate.
What do you do for fun?
Well, when I am not doing assignments I go on treks in the
What are your greatest influences & how do they influence what you do?
I have been influenced by different photographers at different points in time. I am a great fan of Raghu Rai and Raghubir Singh's work. Every time I look at their work I feel inspired to pick up the camera and go shooting! Raghubir Singh's book, A way into
Whats a day in the life of Vivek M like?
Each day is different. If I am not travelling or editing pictures, I am researching my next story. But many days in the month are spent lazing around, reading and concocting impractical projects.
Do you have any words of wisdom for others who wish to get into photography?
Photography is many a media rolled into one. It has immense possibilities and potential. If you think you are really passionate about it, don't give it a second thought.
What are your future plans?
I don't think too much into the future. Right now I am preparing for a group exhibition opening in the city and working on another one this November, both supported by the Goethe Institute. But I truly want to get back into following my personal projects which I haven't done in a while.