Photography was not something that Hari Menon planned. It was something that he chanced upon while on a holiday trip during his college days. Now a fairly busy photographer with over 2 lakh followers on facebook, for this travel buff camera is his true companion.
With a camera on his shoulders Hari Menon loves to travel and capture anything and everything that strikes him. In available light with no artificial setting he captures the beauty of the real world. His pictures show everyday faces, familiar milieu and common sights. Each photograph has a story to narrate. In his frames festivals of India get a new life. With each passing year festivals get a fresh dimension through his shutter. Brilliant hues of reds, yellows, greens and blues of theyyams, poorams, kumbha melas, everything finds place in his frames.
A self-taught photographer, Hari conducts photography workshops in Kochi, Bangalore and Dubai. Asked if he thinks he ought to have gone for any classes, Hari says: “Learning things on my own has helped me develop my own style with no influences on my work.”
It is his unique ability to make the ordinary look extraordinary that has helped him establish himself as the most sought-after photographer in town. Instead of wandering in search of the exotic and exquisite settings to pan his camera he captures what meets the eye.
“Basically I am a travel photographer; I go to a place and try to capture the culture, the people and everything. You will get an idea about the place through my pictures,” Hari says.
“I always make it a point to include a human element in my pictures. These human elements give souls to them,” he says.
Among the themes he likes to work with, festivals are his favourite. “I have covered almost all festivals of South India and now am planning to move to the North and the Northeast. Sometimes I follow the same festival every year and that way few of the people or regulars like me become very familiar to me,” he says.
Asked on how he manages to derive something new out of the same festivals year after year he says: “The first year I will reach there on time and start shooting the festival from the very beginning, the next time I might include the story behind the festivals, the locale, the people etc. When I was shooting ‘theyyam’ I was so close to the rituals that I even stayed there with the artist and learned all about it,” Hari says.
With a client-base ranging across India and abroad Hari says his facebook page worked wonders for him. It is through his FB page that he gets most of his orders.
Having worked for a couple of ads for resorts and so on, Hari has also zoomed his camera for Khadi kid’s wear.
“A proper research is the pre-requisite for anyone interested in doing travel photography. And communication is the best tool to get your leads to the next adventure,” Hari says.