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I live in Bangalore, India with my wife, an 18 month old Shih-Tzu who thinks he is the alpha, and my 12 month old daughter who is the alpha.
Home is where my heart is.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
15 years ago, I found my dads Olympus OM10 in the closet (gathering dust) and it piqued my interest. Spent a summer roaming the streets and learning the art only to shun it back into the closet while I finished my degree in Engineering.
8 years, a couple of boring jobs, a Nikon D40 and tons of images of random birds and flowers later I shot a friends wedding. That was my initiation into the world of wedding photography. I quit my then job 6 months on and here I am. I’ve been shooting for 4+ years and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
That Olympus OM10 proudly sits on my desk now, as clean as a whistle!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
My style is defined by the relationship I share with my clients and their close friends and family. It is very important for them to have complete confidence in my ability and be themselves while I enjoy the wedding and make pictures. Indian weddings are unforgiving with regards to space and being there, in the thick of things, with my big camera/s, and being relatively invisible to not interfere with the goings on requires a tremendous amount of trust. This is what leads to real moments while being inches away.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN AN IMAGE?
Its ability to evoke an emotion. We are bombarded with so much imagery in our day to day life that an image that elicits a response, be it positive or negative, sticks with me.
WHAT INSPIRES OR MOTIVATES YOU?
Without sounding too much like the perfect resume answer - the need to learn and to be better at what I do motivates me.
From a visual standpoint, I’m heavily inspired by graphic artists, visual designers and cinematographers. I also heavily consume street photography content and I am amazed at what they produce.
WHAT CHALLENGES YOU?
Chaos and clutter is a way of life in India and as a photographer I'm stuck somewhere between decluttering and yet not losing character of the place or my surroundings. Striking that balance is always challenging. Also, pushing myself to work harder and think differently is another big internal challenge.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT OF A WEDDING?
Portraits. Portraits are where I have complete creative freedom and its challenging and rewarding in equal measures.
OF ALL YOUR IMAGES, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ONE?
Every. Single. Picture. I. Make. Of. My. Daughter.
From weddings - I really love this image. Technically I’ve made mistakes (like the chopped hands) but it won a few awards and helped me with being more confident about my own work.
ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT NIKHIL SHASTRI?
I love Bacon. I used to be a sandwich artist at a Subway once. I love Bacon.
TELL US ABOUT DVLOP
It’s like a Subway sandwich (hahaha experience ^). You got your Italian Bread and you want the B.M.T but then you add the veggies of your choice, and then some Mayonnaise, and then loads of SouthWest Sauce to make it your own. DVLOP is the same! It’s the best starting point I’ve found with my editing workflow. The flexibility it offers (with the various mix and match options) makes it easy to create your own look at the click of a button. And now that I’m shooting 2 systems, the consistency it offers across cameras is immense.