The unparalleled joy of giving an absolute stranger a tiny bit of happiness through my photographs is why I love wedding photography. I work as unobtrusively as possible and like to invisibly capture the beauty of the day, says the young and vibrant photographer Varun Suresh. I remember how much you all loved his work when it was featured in our Photographer's Delight column. It was a pleasure talking to him again and understanding the story behind his success. Very happy to feature "Shot Stories by Varun Suresh" as the photography of the month :)
It all started in 2004 when I just finished school and moved to Madurai from Chennai. Photography was not mainstream then and I did not possess any camera on my own. This was also the beginning of the camera phone era and Nokia had launched it just then. I had no exposure to photography and when I moved back to Chennai the same year, I was given a point and shoot camera with which I generously shot pictures.
I vividly remember the industrial visit during my college days in 2005 which was the impetus for me to seriously consider photography as my profession. I took black and white portraits of my friends and printed them on proper A4 sheets. Lo behold! The outcome was awesome and my friends who appreciated me encouraged me to take it seriously. News spread in college about the pictures I had taken and I then became the official college photographer!
In 2006, I bought my first DSLR and thus got an opportunity to experiment with everything that I had learnt mostly from the net. Those were the Orkut days and I uploaded quite a few of my pics there and this generated a favourable response. It was at this time that my friend's sister wanted her wedding pics to be taken by me and in 2006 January, I had my first opportunity of shooting the first wedding. It was a no pressure job and here was I, just experimenting whatever I had learnt. It was the time when wedding photography had very little scope and when the photo prints came out, everyone was shell shocked!
In 2008, I joined Cognizant and worked there for one and a half years. During that time, whatever events came by, I used to take pics for little or no money at all. In 2009, I happened to visit an education fair where I met the representative of University of Arts, London. She saw my portfolio and asked if I would like to get admitted for a 1 year course in photography.
October 30th , 2009 was my last day in Cognizant. From then to August 2010, I took paid assignments and shot a few weddings. It was also during this time that Facebook was getting popular and I started my page Shot Stories by Varun Suresh. This was also the time when I was not working so I got little more serious and devoted my time and energy to photography.
After I completed my course in 2011, to my surprise, I found that there were so many wedding photographers around and it took me quite some time to get back into the groove and start establishing myself. I had two options, one was to build a big team and second, be independent and become exclusive in what I do. I chose the second! That�s been my story for 3 years now.
Last year, I had the opportunity of shooting my first destination wedding in Andaman. Slowly things fell in place and I started getting noticed. I am happy that the Andaman photo I shot got published in the front page of Metro Plus. I also got the opportunity to shoot a wedding in Dubai and not to forget, my first International wedding of a Chinese couple in Singapore recently.
I started doing photography as a hobby. Now, my hobby has become my profession. So, for my hobby, I am now considering of taking up cooking. Since I love travel and love food as well, I would love to integrate these two and have the idea of starting a Food Truck in the near future. I must say, I am enjoying every moment of what I am doing.