A seemingly small decision can sometimes propel a great story. Here’s one such, of Toehold Patron, Rahul Rekapalli, using a fortuitous gift to express his gifts!
When Rahul’s father gifted him a Kodak camera, little did he know that he had just set the foundation for a great journey? And Rahul has explored the intricacies of glamour and fashion photography ever since.
Rahul fondly remembers developing film through his college, and soon, photography became more than just a pastime. “Burning up film and saving and buying more to shoot college fests and other subjects of interests formed a cycle I happily got into,” recalls Rahul.
In 2003, he bought a DSLR and also started sharing his work on Flickr and other social media. Most of his photography happened mostly in natural light until 2011. He wanted to experiment with portraiture more than he had before, and that’s when he discovered the Fashion Photography Bootcamp offered by Toehold, led by renowned fashion-and-glamour photographer, Darren Centofanti, in Maldives.
Because Rahul had self-taught most of the technical details of this genre, he was more keen on learning the non-technical aspects of it. What aesthetic details make an image good or bad, how does one interact with the subject (in this case, the models) who will be responsive to one’s idea of creating an image were some of the details he wanted to master.
“Darren imparted all the knowledge he has gained through experience, and it heightened my interest in fashion and glamour photography. I had tried other genres until then – wildlife, landscape and travel – and it was time I explored my new interest,” says Rahul.
He decided to do more Workshops with Toehold to understand light and its nuances and how they contribute to the art of making images in studio settings as well as outdoors. He asserts that being good with people and social also helped him learn the art better and create more diverse images than he did before.
Rahul is currently collaborating with models and stylists to turn his innovative ideas into reality. His day job keeps him occupied through the week; on weekends, he is incessantly trying to do something creative. With an unwavering focus on producing good photos, Rahul is also set to expand his network in this field of photography, although he has not completely given up on other genres.
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When asked about what photography means to him, he explains, “I have always been a person who loves visuals. Some people read or listen to discern things, but I have always been more fascinated by visual representations of human ideas. And personally, my vision and my memory are best connected through specific visual details more than abstraction or intuitive understanding.”
He continues, “I am also passionate about learning any add-on skill as needed, to improve my photography skills. And there’s great fun in such parallel learning processes as well.”
Rahul feels that India is a young market for fashion photography and that there are few workshops that can help those interested in the genre. However, on his journey as a photographer, Rahul is constantly looking for aesthetic beauty that is evoked only by an innovative mind.
“Aesthetics is what I always want to learn more about than anything else. What distinguishes one artist from another is this detail. Even when the subject is the same, the conditions are the same, different photographers replicate the scene before them in their own ways. And I am always hungering for that moment that makes aesthetics a major communicator in my image when I am making one,” asserts Rahul.