Realisation of my Greatest Dream



Realisation of my Greatest Dream

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it - Paulo Coelho”

My first brush with photography was when I was around 14 or 15 years old. That was when my Daddy brought home a second hand Kodak camera. Back then, buying a new camera was kind of expensive. Since no one at home actually had used a camera prior to this, I taught myself with the help of the User manual. The first time I actually took photos was to capture some fun moments at school. The adrenaline rush I felt while capturing those moments was something that I had not felt till then. I vividly remember my excitement after reaching home. I rushed to a studio and gave them the film for processing. Back then, it would take around one or two weeks for us to get the pictures. Oh, I seriously don’t know how I pushed myself through those days. Finally, when I received the images, trust me, though they were not that great, I had sealed my position as the official photographer of my batch. 

The Learning Curve

The photography bug bit me hard. Meanwhile, my parents didn’t take my craze for photography too seriously. I mean, can’t really blame them; photography was not considered as a popular lucrative career option, especially with me coming from a family of Government employees. Thus began my college days, which incidentally was also the time when digital cameras were first introduced in India. My life mission back then was to own one. My self respect prevented me from asking my parents to buy me one. So I took up some part-time jobs (software and computer hardware related) to earn enough to buy a digital camera, again a second hand one. And after all the struggle, by paying Rs 4000/-, I became the proud owner of my very first digital camera - a Kodak digital camera.

Trivandrum Central Railway Station, Sony Ericsson W810i
College Class Room, Sony Ericsson W810i
Kovalam Beach, Trivandrum. Motorola RIZR Z6
Then I started learning, but to begin with, it was extremely difficult as my camera was outdated. To add to the misery, I didn’t have any guidance other than my instincts. To get the shot in my mind, I had to try a thousand times. But then practise and patience helped me a lot. College years were my carefree years and I used the years to do a lot of outdoor shooting as I used to go on a lot of trips with my friends. I also started taking basic portraits. During this time, way back in 2006, my parents offered to buy me a mobile phone. I did a lot of research and settled for a Sony W810i, which at that time, had the best camera and best sound quality for music. Thus began my journey on mobile photography as well.

Baby Steps to My Dream

In another 5 years time, I began working in a Software company, but I didn’t lose my focus on my passion and had saved Rs 25000 to buy my first DSLR - a Canon 1000D. The quality jump was something that I can’t explain in words. Finally, there were options to control my images manually. I felt more in control of the light and shadow and started using these elements in my favour. Meantime, I also learned different types of photography techniques. 

Somewhere along the way, I realized I have a special inclination towards taking candid photos; capturing the fleeting emotions of my subjects. This was when I received my first almost-professional work through an event management company, to cover the destination wedding of a foreigner couple. The firsts are always special. The wedding was held at Poovar and to this day I can still feel the butterflies in my tummy when I went to cover this event. I managed to take some amazing candids and these pictures remain dear to me, even today.

Kovalam Beach, Canon 1000D
Kovalam Beach, Canon 1000D 
Poovar Wedding, Canon 1000D
Poovar Wedding, Canon 1000D
Poovar Wedding, Canon 1000D
Hindu Wedding, Canon 1000D
Wedding, Canon 1000D
Thames River, Oxford, UK. Canon 1000D
Red Rose, Canon 1000D
Rose , Canon 1000D
Bee trying to hide in a flower, Canon 1000D

Going Professional

By 2013, I upgraded my camera to a Semi-Professional one, a Canon 7D. I understood that to take candids, I require a high-speed lens and a high-speed camera, and thus zeroed in on 7D Canon camera along with a 50 mm and 70-200 mm lens. I slowly started taking some freelance projects: a few kids and lifestyle photography assignments. There was a general perception in my contact circles, that I was good with kids. So I gradually started getting more events related to kids, like Baptisms, Birthdays, and Newborn photography (Noolukettu). 

I also started getting requests for prints, including albums, photo frames and wall prints. I started exploring different types and qualities of prints and albums that were available in the market and started providing the final products according to the customer requirements and budget. Just to get a feel of handling bigger events, I started associating myself with event management teams. With these groups, I received exposure to different scenarios that could come up during an event, like different lighting situations, different types of people and so on. This also triggered me to start exploring different types of lighting options.

I started learning more about flashes and tried taking pictures with different intensities of lights. The first set of lights that I bought was Elinchrom FRX 200. Now, with these lights, I could take studio quality photos / portraits. But it was difficult to carry them around, especially while covering events. To solve this, I also bought a couple of Canon SpeedLite 430, which are portable devices and especially useful while taking candids during events.

Fort Cochin , Canon 7D 
Fort Cochin , Canon 7D
Biennale Fort Cochin , Canon 7D
Munnar, Canon 7D
Munnar, Canon 7D
Fort Cochin , Canon 7D
Somewhere near Sholayar Forest , Canon 7D
Somewhere near Sholayar Forest , Canon 7D
Fort Cochin, Canon 7D 
Fort Cochin, Canon 7D
Shot at Trivandrum, Canon 7D 
Shot at Bangalore, Canon 7D 
Shot at Cochin, Canon 7D

Slowly, people started enquiring about the camera I was using. This is when I realized that a lot of people actually think we can get good images, only if we have a Professional camera. Although this is partially true, a professional camera is only a tool that makes the job easier. 

By 2015, I switched to a Canon 5D Mark III. The performance of 5D was of course better, especially in low-light situations. During this time, I also had a golden opportunity to meet highly talented photographers like Amar Ramesh, Neeta Shankar, Anbu Jawahar and the like. Meeting such people was an eye opener. It was through Neetha Sankar’s workshops on editing that I unlearnt my self-taught editing techniques and upgraded my editing skills to a totally new level. I continued to attend such sessions as these events provided me with the opportunity to meet a lot of like-minded people, who shared their experiences and gave a lot of new ideas to explore.

As time passed, I realized that although the performance of my Canon 5D was indisputably excellent, the body was very heavy. I started exploring weightless options. I now use a Sony Alpha 7M3 along with the Canon. 

Family Portrait, Canon 5D MarkIII 
Kids Portrait, Canon 5D MarkIII
Professional Portrait, Canon 5D MarkIII
Kids Portrait, Canon 5D MarkIII
Professional HeadShot, Canon 5D MarkIII
New Born, Sony A7M3
Grand Hyatt, Cochin, Sony A7M3
Grand Hyatt, Cochin, Sony A7M3
Grand Hyatt, Cochin, Sony A7M3
Grand Hyatt, Cochin, Sony A7M3
Zollverein, Essen, Germany, Sony A7M3 
Tetrahedron, Bottrop, Germany, Sony A7M3 
Bottrop, Germany, Sony A7M3 
Dusseldorf Altstadt, Germany, Sony A7M3 
Creative Portrait, Sony A7M3

Dreams Do Come True

By mid-2018, I decided to take the plunge. The final leap to my biggest dream - to own a studio space. My parents were gracious enough to rent out a space in the heart of Trivandrum city. Since the structure was kind of old, I had to do some major renovation work. With the grace of God, I’m taking a step further on my journey with the inauguration of “Rahul Devakumar Creative Media Studio” on August 18, 2019. 

With the support and blessing of my family, friends, and well wishers, I hope to take up new projects and assignments and our team promises a high quality output with respectful interaction with our customers and business partners. Your preferences and demands will be taken care of with utmost diligence.

Requesting all my friends and patrons out there to come and join us on August 18, 2019 at Rahul Devakumar Creative Media Studio at Mulavana Junction, Opposite Sree Narayana Guru Mandiram, Trivandrum.




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Rahul Devakumar
Creative Media Studio

We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.


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