Meet Johnny Francis, professional photographer from Bangalore. If you want a glamorous introduction, he is the man who captured the Pantaloons Femina Miss India South (PFMIS) 2010 contestants this season. He has some of the best brands in his portfolio and a rising star of the photography world. Lakshmi Rajan got picture perfect with Johny in an exclusive interview for GingerChai.
1. Do you remember the first picture you clicked?
I believe the first picture always starts from a photographers thought. Before each shot you need to compose the same in your mind and in my case I might have done many such compositions before i got my first camera. After I got the camera it was my sister’s pic that I framed first. She was a great support and helped me to get my first DSLR cam and in fact she is also the first model that I clicked.
2. Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes (or should I say frames)?
When I started working I was a self taught photographer, but after that I did my course in professional photography from NYIP (New York Institute Of Photography). As far as learning is concerned, every day is a learning experience for me. I learn from my fellow photographers, stylist, makeup artists and also from my assistant at times. They all are seniors in this industry and I would not want to miss any opportunity to use their experience on my set. Learning is a never ending process in photography and that is the beauty of this profession.
3. What kind of photography attracts you a lot? Reason?
Many people ask me this question; I click anything from landscape to high fashion. I believe that every creation of God is beautiful and you should have an eye to see them and capture them. I love the play of shadow, light, textures, colours, monochromes. These are the prime points that i would love to see in my subject.
4. When you look back at your earlier days pictures, what comes in your mind now?
It’s a nostalgic feeling when I look at the pictures that I had taken when I initially started photography. It helps me to relive those moments again but at the same time I also make it a point to learn from the mistakes that I did in my old pictures and try my best not to repeat them again.
5. What are you currently shooting with and what do you hope to be shooting within 2 years?
I am shooting with Prasad Bidapa these days and I must say it is a dream come true for me to work with this fashion legend. I can proudly say that fashion guru of India is eventually now my Guru in photography. I must say he is a complete package of creativity. The concept of colours, designs, patterns, styling, make up, lighting, fashion editorials, Runway trends you can find all of these in one person and that is Prasad.
After 2 years apart from the work that I am doing, I would love to photograph some international brands.
6. If you can photograph anyone living or dead who would you photograph?
Music is my passion and that being a strong point I would love to click pictures who belong to the music industry. In India I have already worked with legends like A R Rahman, Sonu Nigam and many more. I always wanted to shoot the King of pop MJ but unfortunately have missed that chance. It is the biggest loss for all the music lovers . I also learnt that he used to decide his own stage lightings and effects before the show. So whenever we see his shows it is a complete production of MJ and he looks superb with those effects on stage. Love you MJ. RIP
7. What are 5 Things you would like to photograph?
– Designer collection & Fashion Editorials
– Outside our country i would love to capture the beautiful landscapes of Ireland, New Zeland and within India it would be the breath taking landscapes of Leh, Ladhak, Rajasthan, Himachal & seascapes of Lakshadweep and Andamans.
– I have to completed a photo documentary on the beautiful islands of Andaman. As I belong to this place its is my prime responsibility to capture the beauty of this breath taking place.
– Last but not the least is the “Wildlife of Africa” that I always wanted to capture in my frames.
8. What are the 5 things you wouldn’t photograph?
Instead of putting it as 5 things rather I would not photograph anything that will carry a wrong message or can mislead our future or present generation. I would also not click anything that doesn’t give a sense of satisfaction for me.
9. Any funny photo-experience?
I was shooting for a Greek designer collection in Russell Market with 3 top models of Bangalore. It was a super cool shoot. But after everything got over there was a guy who was selling vegetables, he came to me and said – sir I know that your photos might be really expensive but if you can click a picture of mine I will pay it back in EMI. I clicked his picture with his shop and sent a hard copy to him. I am glad that he liked the picture but it was a funny exp.
10. Your Favourite Photographers?
Ansel Adams – I guess he is an international Icon for most of the photographers. Though he is no more but his work will live forever.
Apart from that I also like the work of few Indian photographers like Prabuddha Dasgupta, Atul Kasbekar, Ian Pereira, Pravin Talan & Rahul Dutta. They all are experts in their own field
11. How do you rate Bangalore photography scène?
I guess we need to learn a lot from the photographers who have set up a bench mark in international photography and also we need to try and explore some new styles in photography .You never know you might get your signature style and people will soon recognize your pictures without even watermarking them.
12. Proud moments in your career so far?
Doing a photo shoot with The Music Maestro A R Rahman for his first show after Oscars in India.
13. Would you give a brief walk through your work flow? (How you prepare yourselves for a shoot?)
Before I shoot for any commercials I make a sketch of it. I explain the same to my team and also brief them about the process that we would follow to achieve our end results. It is very important to communicate our deliverables with the team including the art director, models, makeup artist, stylist and the clients. Apart from that I also do my personal home work on the lighting and the post production work.
14. Do you think photography is really a glamorous job as people think it to be?
During my school days my teachers always use to say – “the other side of shore is always green” so when you look at photography from outside it is a job with lot of glamour quotient involved in it. You would be working with actor, actress, super models, and celebrities but just because it is a glamorous job you can’t just pick it up. It needs a lot of commitment, hard work, involvement, Planning and never ending flow of thoughts which would help us to achieve the right frames at the end of the day. To sketch a concept for one picture sometimes it takes more than a week, but there is nothing like it when you get your ‘picture perfect’ after all the hard work.
Wishing all my readers a happy and a prosperous new year 2010 with more success and love