Apratim Saha




‘In the Beginning’

I think that generally, we forget to question ourselves “why” we do anything at all. If you ask the question “why”– it helps you often to get to the core of your life’s purpose.

Now the question is, why Workshop ?

You may say that I am not qualified enough for holding workshops or that I’m taking too much money for workshops. Instead of defending myself about how I teach photography in workshops, I rather want to say that I share my knowledge of photography through workshops. My father was a teacher. He always used to say that if you share your knowledge, it will not decrease, rather it will increase, it’ll be polished. So I took his path only. I share my knowledge and by sharing and discussing, I also learn. I learn from everybody, everyday…

I don’t teach at workshops to make money for my living expenses nor in order to buy expensive cameras. I love the feeling that I’m helping people to learn. There is nothing more satisfactory than when I notice thoughts flashing through the brains of people who join my workshop.

OK. Coming back to the main question “Why” ? Why is a workshop required ?

The answer is simple… to improve your vision. A workshop is an educational experience to help you to improve your vision of art.

I would like to share one of my bitter experiences here. Last year there was a photography competition and the organisers wanted me to be the judge. After judging and giving the award to the man who won the first prize, I asked him, “Do you know why I chose your entry as the winner?” He was mum. I was surprised… It was such a strong image and he didn’t even know it…!

There are rules and if you don’t know the rules then what is the point of breaking the rules? So if you cannot identify what is right or what is wrong about your photograph, it is impossible to improve yourself.

I’m here not to teach you rules and techniques of the photography only, but to address the heart of the matter: What lies in your field of vision? How are the elements connected? What does one make an image of? I’ll show you how to ensure that the image is full of meaning and impact. And how you can convey that meaning. How every picture of yours will tell a story. Simply, you will learn to analyse the world as you look at it with your eyes and see it in an entirely new way. That is seeing.

Tell your own story

Are you able to tell your own story in your own way? Have you created your own style? Every art is a unique creation of an artist, photography is also an art and every photographer has his own style. By his own style he is famous in the industry. You have to create your own style, your own signature, your own uniqueness… People should identify your image among lot of images. Let people recognize you by that uniqueness. This is really very important. 

Your camera is alive

Yes your camera is alive. If you love your camera, your camera will also love you. It’s a mother child relationship. You have to know your camera first. You have to know everything about your camera. You have to know the maximum limit of your equipment. Then only it’ll obey your command.    

You must have a great camera!!!

Lots of people ask me which camera I have, or whether one must have an expensive camera. I always tell one thing to them that it’s not the camera who takes a photo, it’s you; you are taking the picture. You have to see, you have to visualize and you have to find a message that you want to express through your picture. That is more important. Remember one thing. You should never be handicapped by your camera. A camera is just a tool and nothing more than that.

Winning Trust

Yeah, this is really very important. Most important part about photographing a person is winning their trust and confidence. Being able to come up or down to one’s level to ensure a strong communication is what it takes to honestly connect with a person. The best love is when two people touch each other’s soul. So you have to touch their soul. Then only you’ll get the perfect expression of that person.

Perfect Timing

People ask me how I can identify the perfect moment to take a photograph. You are never sure of the perfect moment because you’re always looking and anticipating. You are never quite sure when the moment is right because it can either peak or be on the verge of disappearing. So it depends on your intuition and reflexes to guess the perfect moment!

Your best shot

The single most common mistake is including multiple images that are too similar - images that were clearly shot at the same time and only slightly different. That is a very negative indicator of a photographer's ability or willingness to evaluate their own work.

Try to show your best shot; don’t show your average shots. It’s also very important how you select your best shot. By critically analysing and rejecting you’ll be able to select your best shot. Every photographer shoots a lot but shows a single one!

In the end

If you look at the photographers whose work we admire, you’ll see that they have found a particular place, theme, or subject, dug deep into it, and carved out something that’s become special. That takes a lot of time and a lot of work; it’s not for everyone. A great photograph really needs to say something about a person or give some insight into their life or how their life is different than yours and mine. A good picture makes us curious and makes us want to know more.

My father always used to tell one thing that if you want to learn English then you have to talk in English, you have to write in English even you have to dream in English also; then only you can learn English. So in your dream also you have to be a photographer.

If you use a digital camera, do not just click. Plan your shots as though you are shooting with film. Not only you will learn the technical aspects of photography faster, you will also develop skills. Study light whenever you can. Light is your best friend and your worst enemy.

During the course of time, be ready for criticism. Do not be discouraged as you will not be able to satisfy everyone and at the same time, you should respect others’ work too. Develop a style on your own and fill a niche that sets you apart from the rest, which is really important. In the beginning you may feel that nothing is happening but after few years of practicing and living in the dream of photography, you’ll find that you have created your own style.