How my passion became my professionSanthosh Raj
I was born in Kovilpatti, a town in the Tutucorin District of Tamilnadu, the southern Tip of the Indian sub-continent. Being a Banker’s son, I was always groomed to be a charted accountant by my family since my childhood. After finishing my schooling at the E.R. Higher secondary school, Trichy, I was straight away driven towards the peak of the grooming session to Chennai, where I Joined the CA foundation course at Vivekananda College.
We were the first batch for that course, and our class timings were from 6.45 am to 9.45 am, staying at a bachelor’s mansion at T Nagar, next door to the Tamil Film Industry, many in the mansion were aspiring film makers. After college hours, I used to visit different cinema sets, as watching our favourite stars act before the cameras was always a dream come true for a person like me.
And now came the twist in the tale, after watching all this colourful life and creative work, I started to feel that this office job was really going to ruin my life and being a CA was not going to be my cup of tea. But throwing this shell in the family was a challenge, but I somehow convinced them by enrolling myself for a Degree at the Distant Education Program of the University of Madras. And this is where my life changed its track.
After this drastic twist, I joined as an assistant to cinematographer Mr Kichas who happened to be my sister’s husband. When it came to the film industry my first choice was the camera, but after learning some basics I felt that a film is always a director’s medium, and the cinematographer’s part was to shoot his vision, those days there was no much importance given to a cinematographer’s work as we have now. I always wanted to be in a profession where my creativity was the king not a Knight, and then I chose photography as my profession, but to learn it completely and to excel there were no specific institutes, so I approached Mr. Murali Bhaskar and joined his as an assistant and travelled along with him, learning the nuances for four years. And in 1999 came my first break where I started shooting for some small advertisement agencies and model portfolios.
While shooting one of my client showed me a well shot family portrait, and that is where a fire in me was ignited and I understood the need of a professional state-of-the-art photo studio in Chennai. Normally professional photographers who concentrate on modelling and other sophisticated profiles don’t step into a studio, but I thought that was my USP and thus Foto Zone born in 2001. Since then there was no set back till date, I have balanced both my professional and studio career, and today both my companies Foto Zone and Santhosh Photography have made their own mark in South India. I have shot clients from various walks of life from Architectures to Classical Dancers, from Interiors to Models, and from Weddings to Products, what not.
As an International recognition, I won the MIFA (Moscow International Foto Award) award for the year 2015, for my calendar shoot which was based on recycle and reuse.
For many photography might be a hobby, for some a passion and for some a very serious profession. And I am from the third breed, for me photography is everything, I wake up in the morning opening my eyelids, adjusting my retina and live all day adjusting my camera’s retina that’s the aperture. No single day of mine goes without triggering a shot, and for me clicking a trigger on the camera is a pump in my heart. You can see my portfolio at my website www.santhoshphotography.com.