KOCHI: Arun has the soul of a biker. At 20, Arun Manoharan embarked on a career which was unheard of in this part of the world - as a motographer. For an artist who was eternally sold on bikes and cars, when the element of photography was also mixed in, it made a deadly combination. With insane angles, elegant backdrops, the stunning shots that he captures can floor you with their grandeur.
Some, with their wild angles and aesthetic treatment, might look just out of Frank Miller’s artistic creation. He is light years ahead with the creations, when compared to the motography milieu in the country. Now 28, he is an internationally celebrated automobile photographer, whose clientele includes big shots such as the Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati and so forth.
He says photography was an accident. It was after he started taking pictures to while away the time while recouping from an accident that he got hooked onto photography. And he clubbed both of his passions- automobiles and art. Breaking into the field was very difficult, especially at a time when automobile photography was not even considered a viable career alternative. “It was when my friend bought a superbike that I got the chance at creating the photographs. I did a lot of storyboarding, made a mental note of the frames, chose an ideal location and shot a couple of frames,” Arun recalls. Those were shared in social media. Arun went offline for a few days, worried about any backlash.
But the pictures were celebrated. ‘’I knew I had to move out to explore more into this realm. And I went to Dubai. In the initial months, it was very difficult. I could never get any work. Finally, I did a shoot there, a personal one and that attracted much attention. With just a few days left for my visa to expire, I got a call from TopGear magazine of BBC,” recalls Arun. After completing the work, he was on his way to India. It was at Dubai airport that he received a call from the firm, saying they would like to hire him as chief photographer. That was the start of a whirlwind career. Arun has never been professionally trained, he learnt by trial and error. Being an artist, he would illustrate and create storyboards before the shoots. That helped in always giving a freshness to the images.
Arun says he is just telling stories through his pictures. And he is in his element whilst behind the camera, training his lens on the mean machines.