Wedding Photography is all about relationships: G K Kannan

We know you loved reading the interview of ace Wedding Photographer Mr Prakash Tilokani at our blog. Featuring next in this series is yet another veteran photographer and cinematographer Mr. G K Kannan from Chennai who has been in this industry for almost three decades now!

The greatest journey of every achiever begins with a single step. The self-admiration, aspiration, the realization of potential is the leading paths to one’s destination. 26 years back, G K Kannan had headed to Chennai with dreams in his eyes. Embarking on his journey as an assistant makeup artist in 1987, he worked nearly in 25 films as a touch-up boy to chart-topping actors of Tamil film industry. Later his fascination towards cinematography took him to the school of PC Sriram, where he worked with versatile personalities like Thiru, Saravanan and few others. His leap in small screens happened with his unceasing work on the 350 TV series in Doordarshan simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu Kannada and Malayalam.

His family commitments pushed him to the other side of his dreams. Kannan was to take up another profession to meet his family demands. Passion never fails you – this mantra geared him up for another inning in the industry as he turned to be the best icon in covering wedding events. Today, he is the most preferred photographer for any special occasion that takes place in who’s who of showbiz and politics. He has clicked the most splendid pictures of weddings that includes Suriya, Karthi, Meena, Selvaraghavan, Sibiraj and many other well known politicians as well. To be precise, he has been clicking the best shots personally for Kamal Haasan in his events and the frame works in the living space of Superstar Rajnikanth is created by him.

Read on to know more about his inspiring journey as a photographer and his views on Wedding Photography: Then & Now”…

Q. How did Photography happen to you and how has your journey been till now?
I am in this field since 1987. I started my career as a Cinema Photographer with an income of Rs. 20 per day. With my meagre income, I was unable to take care of my family responsibilities. I was looking out for better opportunities and then somebody told me that Wedding Photography could get me more money. So I decided to take a shot and since then there has been no looking back. What I thought would be a short term project to have some money actually ended up in being a long term passion. Currently I do both weddings as well as cinema photography covering film events, celebrity shoots, advertisements, behind the screen shoots, audio-releases, film albums and celebrities’ personal functions.

Q. You do different types of photography professionally. Tell us one thing that you think is unique about Wedding Photography.
While I do all sorts of film photography but these come to an end the moment a film ends. Next film is a new day with a new project. But wedding photography is all about relationships; it builds a relationship between me, my customers and their families that generally last a lifetime. Even after 5, 10 or 50 years, people view their wedding albums with a different charm and remember the wedding photographers that captured their moments. Those pictures speak our names forever.

Film photography has given me name, fame & money but wedding photography gives me mental and creative satisfaction. I have done many family functions where people have called me to cover their events over generations.

Q. How has the industry changed with the advent of technology?
With the entry of digital camera and technology solutions, there has been a tremendous change in photography industry. Earlier, higher end cameras were very costly. Now almost everybody has got a good camera. Number of photographers has increased and these tech-enabled solutions take care of almost half of our work. During old days, I used to give two extra rolls to customers for free so that they get more pictures to select for their albums. Not only that, I used to spend hours on my album cover doing manual work so that my album could differentiate from others. Now in this digital age, all such limitations just do not exist! Digital age has completely changed the way we have been doing our businesses till now.

Q. Which is your preferred style of photography?
My photography style depends upon the event. I believe in being natural. For weddings, I prefer candid shots because of the liveliness that gets added to pictures. Candid shots give you the opportunity to be unique and you can present your work in different ways. Good thing is that people these days prefer candid shots unlike earlier days where there was not much scope to go beyond set conventions.

Q. What is your opinion about recognition that platforms like WPOY provide to wedding photographers?
Twenty five years back, wedding videographers and photographers were given huge respect. In fact, they had a pick-up-and-drop in cars. That was the recognition for them! But as time passed by, the level of respect started declining as photographers were made to eat in wedding halls along with their servants. But again, with the revolution in media studies like visual communication and photography courses, the scenario is getting bigger for younger generations with great esteem for the photographers. I sincerely believe that opportunities like WPOY are great for younger generation photographers. They should utilize such platforms and reach newer heights in their profession.

Q. Any message for new generation photographers?
Behavior plays a vital role in wedding photography. Even small things like being on time and your polite interaction with your clients will help you build a long lasting relationship with them. Wedding Photography is not about going to the venue, doing the shoot and done! It’s about being involved. At the end, it’s your customer service and satisfaction that can decide the growth of your career.

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