Neeta Shankar – Keep Smiling for better photos

Neeta Shankar Photography

She has been rightly credited with bringing cheer to many a soul with her shooting skills. And she sheepishly acknowledges her photography beginnings to “poor memory” which made her carry a camera where ever she goes! She is the beautiful Neeta Shankar, a young photographer whose passion is framing and freezing moments.

Neeta Shankar Interview Neeta Shankar
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Technique: Portraiture
Achievements:
Official Photographer for “Tour of Nilgiris 2010”.
Her short film U-turn was ranked as one of the top 6 films at International Short Film Festival, Bhubaneshwar.
Official photographer for Celebration Run – Mysore Marathon.

Q. How did you get into photography? Was it a natural progression from your travels?

A. Yes. It was a natural outcome of traveling. I love traveling and been doing it quite extensively since I started working at HP. I used to trek quite frequently too. On all these trips and treks, I carried an old point and shoot camera (belonging to my brother) to capture some memories. My photographs were most often appreciated by my fellow travelers and I developed an interest in the art and science of photography. I started reading more about it online and put the concepts I learnt to practice. The more I learnt, the more I loved it.

Q. What does your gear consist of ?

A.
Body – I still have an entry level DSLR Canon 500D and I am quite happy with it.
Lens – I use the following lenses – Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5, Canon 50mm f1.8, Canon 100mm f2.8 macro, Canon 24-70 f2.8, Canon 70-200 f2.8, Canon 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 (Some of them I own, some I borrow on rent for my shoots).
Filter – I have UV filters for all my lenses and Circular Polarizer for my wide angle lens.
Tripod – I don’t own a tripod yet. I usually rent it out.
Backpack – I have a Lowepro Pro Runner A350 which allows me to comfortably fit in all the gear I use and my laptop. But I cannot really say that I can comfortably carry it around :). I also own a Lowepro Mini Trekker.
Flashes – I use 2 speedlites Canon 580 ex ii with wireless triggers for triggering them.

Neeta Shankar Photography

Q. Which is your favorite lens? Why?

A. 50mm f1.8 lens because it is inexpensive, fast and sharp. Also because it is lightweight and easy to carry. Because of its small size, it doesn’t draw much attention to it. I also like the 70-200mm f2.8 lens which I rent out time to time. But it weighs a lot and carrying it around mounted on the camera is a pain.

Q. When you go for one of your travels, what all will you take with you?

A. I tend to overpack and carry most of my gear along as you never know what kind of photo opportunities will present themselves during travel. I carry my camera with 3 or 4 lenses and their filters, external flash, my laptop and external harddisk, protective rain cover for my camera bag, spare batteries and chargers, lots of spare cards. A small sling camera bag to carry the camera easily.

Q. Among the gadgets that you own, is there anything that you regret buying? If yes, can you mention why?

A. Wireless triggers. I should have probably saved up for a good expensive set. Mostly because the cheap triggers don’t work all the time. Out of every ten fires, one may work. They have a limited range and a weak success rate.

Neeta Shankar Photography

Q. How do you post process your shots?

A. I generally use Photoshop CS5 and sometimes Lightroom. I play with color tones depending on the mood that I want to portray in my image.

Q. I see that the models in your photos are at their natural best (except him, maybe). How do you build the rapport with your subject?

A. I smile at them! 🙂

A smile is the best way to communicate.

Especially kids warm up to me very easily.

Q. When you are on a photo session, what leads you – your instincts or the model?

A. Mostly my instincts but it is very essential for the models to be comfortable with the poses too. Otherwise it may appear unnatural. Sometimes its a team effort where the models have their own ideas. I generally start with their ideas and then go by my instincts.

Neeta Shankar Photography

Q. Does photographer’s block happen to you? If yes, how do you overcome it?

A. Sometimes, Yes. I travel to get my creativity going. Also I discuss photography with my peers. This year I have also taken up 366 project to keep myself motivated every single day of the year. You can find the shots on my facebook page.

Q. How do you educate yourself to take better shots?

A. Read. Read. Read. There’s a wealth of information online and numerous blogs explaining the technical aspects as well as the rules of composition.

The most important thing however is to practice what you have learnt.

Q. Where should a newbie start, according to you, if he/she is interested in pursuing portraiture ?

A. Start off with a 50mm f1.8 lens which is not an expensive buy. Learn about the rules of composition and the use of light. You can look at some beautiful portraiture in 1x.com or flickr for inspiration.

Neeta Shankar Photography

Q. Who or what is a nightmare when you are on an assignment?

A. My biggest nightmare is camera break-down amidst a shoot. Once this nightmare did indeed come true. My camera shutter broke while I was shooting a wedding and luckily I had a second shooter with me that day whose camera I could borrow and another photographer friend of mine brought me his camera in less than half an hour!

Q. What is the one thing that you wish you knew when you started photographing ?

A. Self learning has its benefits. Trial and error is time consuming but since we learn from our mistakes, it is more effective in the long run.
I wish I knew how important it is to keep your images organized. I have thousands of images from my early shoots just lying in a hard disk and not really in an organized structure which has made it hard to find the ones I want.

Our favorite Neeta Shot

Neeta Shankar Photography

Published by

fullfx

He is a photography enthusiast who likes to explore the wild. He call his clicks as 'clickography' - all of them 'clucked' using his d90. He also maintains a technical blog at aneeska.com. He tweets as @aneeskA.

7 thoughts on “Neeta Shankar – Keep Smiling for better photos”

  1. I’ve been following Neeta’s Photography from a period of time… her portraits and landscape photography are Just amazing!!!

  2. I’ve been following Neeta’s photography from a period of time…her portraits and landscape photography are just amazing!!..Keep clicking Neeta 🙂

  3. Proud of u Neeta… :)… Some years down the lane i can tell ppl that I once had a photoshoot with the famous photographer “Neeta Shankar”..:P.. I see that day coming really soon… Good going.. 🙂

  4. Neeta Shankar photography

    My husband and I used Neeta Shankar’s photography services 2 years ago. Some pros and cons of using this service

    Pros:

    Neeta and her husband are really good photographers.

    The photos delivered are of high quality.

    They turn up on time, take photos professionally without much supervision. The bride really does not have to stress on the most important moments.

    They mingle with the wedding party seamlessly.

    Sadly, the level of professionalism ends here and you meet their alter egos once you pay them for the service

    Here are some cons

    Photos don’t get delivered on time. I made the mistake of making the complete payment before delivery so she took several months after to deliver (5 months in my case). Her reasons were that she is busy, out of state, person in charge of making the album is on leave and anything you can think of really. You can’t do much since you have made the payment and you don’t want to risk losing your most important photos. Tip: pay the advance before the wedding and make the rest of the payment once she delivers the photos, album and DVD. You can pay her based on her service. (Another friend who got married 2 weeks before me had his delivered 7 months later since he doesn’t live in india and it was hard to follow up with her)

    The DVD she delivered was loaded more than its capacity so it didn’t work, getting her to post another DVD was a different saga. Add one extra month to the already late service. (Mind you there is no apology)

    My husband and I made it clear that we are very private with our personal lives and would appreciate if they don’t publicly display the photos of the most special day of our lives. However, on her request, I obliged and was ok for her to use one or two photos for marketing purposes. So, 2 years after the wedding, I ended up Googling mine and my husband’s name only to find all our wedding photos(getting dressed even) open for public. To make it worse, they add the name of the wedding venue so anyone Googling venues in Bangalore have access to your photos … The list of people googling you can be from recruiters, stalkers, rapists and what not (also she exhibits your jewellery) which makes you a potential target.

    As if this wasn’t insulting enough, I contacted her company to remove the photos and her husband Varun pointed me to the Terms and Conditions of their company which states that they are the owners of the photos and it’s their right to display or use it however they want.

    What I do not understand is, she is a service provider and she is paid to take photos and deliver. She cannot do anything with my photos against my will (according to her website she can use it even in exhibitions, marketing purposes etc). This is your wedding day, intimate and to be shared with family and friends and not up for promoting her business, unless she is willing you to pay you some of the profits she makes by getting future clients

    Varun also makes it extremely clear that photography is art and it’s his right to display your entire wedding album to get potential future clients which is an offence.

    I have issued a legal case against her company. Her terms and conditions breach the law of consumer service in india and Varun for Blackmailing me and using my photos for personal financial gain.

    Of course none of what happens in the background is on her website. I have kept quiet for 2 years but last week Varun Blackmailing me pushed me to the edge

    Please consider every aspect before you sign up for this service. She owning and distributing photos of a private event she was asked to cover is illegal. Make sure you consult with a lawyer (added costs) to check your rights to own your photos. If any of you are going through the same struggle as me, drop your email and I am happy to share ideas or how to take this forward and perhaps file a class action lawsuit

    There are many candid photographers in Bangalore today who are kind and courteous who also deliver excellent photos.My sister used a different service for her wedding and the photographer obliged and didn’t put up her photos(unlike Neeta Shankar Photography where you have to pay them 30% more to keep the photos private). I hope you make an informed choice and good luck with finding a professional wedding photographer

    #neetashankar #Neetashankarphotography

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