Behind Every Shot, Every Frame: Create a Legacy

Here is my #SundayStory

When I watched this below video of a hairdresser at work, I couldn’t help but see a reflection of how our core beliefs and practices impact our work.

If there’s one thing I would emphasize, it’s this: do your best and to leave a legacy. Get involved and give it your all. Whether it’s a proposal, an important email, a social media post, or a creative expression like art, photography, or dance, take pride in your craftsmanship. Your output might not be perfect like a Da Vinci and can always be improved, but make it a point to let your work speak for itself.

Let me share a personal example. Many who know me or may have experienced this with me, especially if they are on this platform, can even attest to this—I am a part-time, pro-bono photographer. I volunteer to take pictures at various events, such as children’s birthdays, apartment functions, music performances, and school events.

At these events, I’m typically one of many faceless, nameless photographers, along with the many other parents and professionals. However, after O share the event photographs, people often write back, requesting high-resolution copies or additional candid shots, of the children or family portraits. Even today, I’m grateful and honored that my photographs are blown up, framed and displayed prominently in their living rooms. Despite never being the official photographer, people consistently choose to request me to take pictures even if they have hired pro. This made me wonder, why does this happen? Are they humouring me?

And then after a lot reflection, I ended up identifing a few key reasons:

  1. Will this click be something that the subject will be proud to look and feel good about 5, 10, 15 years from now. I seem to always aim to capture people in a way that flatters them, creating images that ‘they’ will be proud of for years to come. It’s crucial for me that the subjects feel good about how they look in these photographs. So no food in the mouth moments, or those inadvertent embarrassing unflattering positions or clothing. This is so important.
  2. When photographing children, seated singers etc, I make it a point to shoot from their level—whether that means kneeling or lying down. It is not about my knees cracking up, soiling my shirt (usually black, for even if there is a reflective glass at the venue black does not get reflected). This perspective not only captures the moment but also the child’s viewpoint, making the images more authentic and unique.
  3. I realise that my involvement in the event is total, 200%. Whether it’s a musical performance or a birthday party, I am deeply and emotionally connected to the moment. This deep involvement often translates into the photographs, adding a layer of intimacy and authenticity. So much so that when my own children happen to be in the same event, they will just be another of those audiences. No special treatment. (Yes, wifey has a grouse on this – that I should also take more pictures of our own children)
  4. I see each photograph not just as another shot but as a piece of art. Yes, each frame should tell a story. This demanding quirkiness even as an amateur, subconsciously changes my output, whether I’m writing, designing on Canva, or preparing a presentation deck.
  5. Lack of preparation is an unpardonable excuse. Small things like ensuring that my mobile lenses are lean, battery fully charged batteries, itself is a three-stage process. (a)Even before taking that first photo, I visualize the frame and think deeply about how to best capture the moments. I often make huge effort to spend time with key people making relationships and associatingand playing with the child. This helps me build a mental connect and a would connect with people. (b) Duringbtge even, I am completely in the zone. I am in a meditative state forbtye the next few hours. It is me, the event, the stage, the camera and the viewfinder. Like the proverbial Arjuna and the bird eye, nothing else but my lens and the subject. (c) After the event, I spend several hours editing—cropping, adjusting lighting, and shadows and contrast to best highlight the subjects. This post-production is as 3-5x more backbreaking than the shooting itself.

There’s a joy in being involved in the moment, meticulous attention to detail and a deep passion for the art, whether it’s styling hair or capturing a timeless photograph.


By Rajesh Soundararajan

#Author #CEO #Dad #Engineer #Entrepreneur #Farmer #Humanoid #IQ156 #Marketeer #MensaClub #MBA #RoadTripper #Photographer #Tech #Volunteer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *