My work as a photographer

An ardent lover of nature and above all a human being, who believes in “do or die” and “now or never”.

I have been a photojournalist for the past twenty one years, serving in some of the leading newspapers in India, such as The Indian Express, and the Madhyamam Daily. I have contributed photographs to some of the leading national dailies in India, such as The Hindu, The Deccan Herald, and The Times of India. I have contributed images to some of the important magazines such as, Down to Earth, Tehelka, India Today, Perspectives of India, and Marie Claire.

As a press photographer at a very young age of twenty, I have covered the major violence in the Malabar region of Kerala. It has been a passion for me to capture images as simple as an ant and weave a story behind the existence of that image. My pictures speak stories of sacrifice, commitment, love, endurance, emotion and nature.

Occupation Details

  • Worked for the Madhyamam Daily, Calicut, Kerala, between 1993 and 1996.
  • Worked as a freelance photographer for The Hindu, Calicut, Kerala, between 1996 and 1998.
  • Joined the Indian Express, Calicut, on 1st January, 1998. Handled photographic assignments in the six districts of North Kerala (Malabar region). Later, moved to the Bangalore Bureau of the New Indian Express till 2006.
  • Undertook a voluntary project of photographing in the Silent Valley National Park between December 6, 2006 and December 6, 2007.
  • Undertook freelance assignments for some NGOs such as Karnataka Health Promotion Trust’s Aids Awareness campaign. Also, contributing news images in and around Kerala for Times of India, Marie Claire, and Down to Earth.

Important Assignments

Undertook photographic work for the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust’s (KHPT) AIDS awareness campaign, in the remote villages of Karnataka. Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) is a non-governmental organization working for the welfare of sex workers and Devadasis, and for AIDS awareness among the villagers in Karnataka.

 

Professional Achievements and Milestones

  • “THATHWAMASI”, an awareness exhibition featuring a compilation of images taken over a period of three years at the Periyar Tiger reserve and Sabarimala forest highlighting the woes of mother Earth was held in various cities. The first exhibition was organised by India International Centre, New Delhi in June’14 and was inaugurate by Suresh Gopi (renowned malayalam film actor), who is also the key initiator of the project. Following the grand success the exhibition was invited to various other states.
    The exhibition was next staged at Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai between September and October’14 as part of the Wildlife week and Gandhi Jayanthi celebration of BNHS. In October’14 it was held at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat and was inaugurated by renowned wildlife photographer Mr. T N A Perumal. The exhibition has been invited to Kerala, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh and will be conducted in the following months.
  • Appan Menon Memorial special Award for my work on conserving the ecology of the western ghats through a series of photographic documentation and studies.
  • An exhibition “A silent crusade”, was held in the India International Centre, New Delhi from March 1 to March 7, which was inaugurated by Prof MGK Menon. The exhibition was concluded by the visit of the Hon’ble chief minister of Kerala, Sri VS Achuthanandan.
  • An exhibition dedicated to communities such as female sex workers, men having sex with men, transgender, vulnerable children, some orphaned by HIV and some living with it, called “The People Tree” was held in the American Cultural Centre, New Delhi, under the aegis of the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust.
  • An exhibition called “Vanvaas” was held in the Travancore Art Gallery, New Delhi in May 2008, as a culmination of the one year photographic project in Silent Valley. This exhibition was inaugurated by Mari, a forest watcher who accompanied me during my year long stay in Silent Valley. The same exhibition is scheduled to happen in the first week of March 2009, in the India International Centre, New Delhi.
  • One of the greatest achievements in my career was my one year life in the Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad, India, one of the richest tropical rain forests in the world that is home to the endangered Lion Tailed Macaques. The environmental changes, or in other words global warming, and the impact of human activity in Nature’s abode inspired me to confront the furies of nature and look at her and capture her best moments through my lens. This was a voluntary assignment which was possible with the cooperation of the Forest Department, Government of Kerala. This was also a silent campaign against a proposed dam across a river flowing through the valley. This was also aimed at creating awareness among children about nature and conservation.
  • Conducted an exhibition called Malabar Monsoon, showcasing images taken in the monsoon season from North Kerala. The exhibition, which was held in Bangalore and was inaugurated by noted journalist Gauri Lankesh, was a great success. This exhibition was then staged in the major cities of Kerala, such as Thiruvananthapuram (inaugurated by poetess and environmentalist Ms. Sugathakumari), Ernakulam (inaugurated by scriptwriter and actor Mr. Sreenivasan), Palakkad (inaugurated by the Hon’ ble Chief Minister of Kerala, V S Achuthanandan), and Kozhikode (inaugurated by Hon’ ble Minister of Forests, Mr. Binoy Viswom). It is still moving and on display in some of the villages in Kerala.
  • During the communal violence in Marad, I conducted a photography exhibition called “Victims of Violence”, on the images taken during the riots, in order to send the message of communal harmony and peace across the society. This exhibition was then staged in over 100 locations and was successful to a great extent in exposing the bitter face of communalism and hatred.

Awards

  • Vocational Excellence Award, Swabhiman 2012 from Rotary International District, 3201.
  • The Appan Menon Memorial Special Award, in 2009.
  • The Government of India’s Photo Division National Award twice, in 2000 and 2004.
  • The Sanctuary Asia Magazine’s International Wildlife Photography Award.
  • The Government of Kerala’s Manaveeyam Award.
  • The State Bank of Travancore–National Sports Photography Award.
  • The Green Vision 2003 Award.
  • I was also adjudged the Photographer of the year (National Award) in 2001.