Iqbal Mohamed inspires students with his knowledge and vision, while keeping them in splits with his sense of humour. He is indeed the fulcrum around which the faculty finds true meaning in teaching. He is easily accessible to students for a discussion about assignments or photography in general – in his cabin, classroom or even the corridors. The other faculty at Light & Life Academy are aligned with the philosophy of the academy: share knowledge and the willingness to work with students who have varying learning curves. Being practicing photographers (some of them are alumni) they are all equipped to teach in a structured fashion. They help re-invent the syllabus and be relevant in terms of trends, techniques and aesthetics. Since they’re practicing photographers, the faculty may change from month to month and year to year. However, none of the faculty ever gives up till every student learns every single technique/aesthetic aspect thoroughly.

  • It is not often that education rises beyond the boundaries of academics and pushes its students towards the path of self actualization. This is a rare and commendable effort.

    Agnello Dias, Chairman & Co-Founder, Taproot India

  • Like walking through a library of the future . Thank you for opening my eyes.

    Josy Paul, Chairman and National Creative Director, BBDO India.

  • It is one of the greatest efforts I have seen .How passion can give shape to an institution which will hopefully, one day become a national treasure.

    Anil Kapoor, Chairman Emeritus, Draft FCB Ulka

  • As always the Iqbal touch of class shows – in his students . I think Iqbal and Anu are doing a HUGE service to our industry and I wish them all the very best .I enjoy watching them shape raw talent into pure art !

    Meera Sharath Chandra, Founder CEO & CCO of Tigress Tigress

  • I will remember my visit and my concert here as one of my life’s best moments. I played my best music in years here, am very inspired and moved , looking forward to my next visit

    Salil Bhatt, Musician

  • LLA is a centre of excellence for Young Creative Minds ! Looking forward to my next trek to LLA

    Bharath Bala, Filmmaker

  • Ocean Earth & Sky — that is where I wanted to feel my presence, personally and Professionally… through my passion for photography and professionally through my work —-that’s the beauty about this profession, where ever you are, the world above or beneath -photography exists !!! Light& Light Academy has helped me to achieve my passion into my profession – my dream to be an automobile and underwater photographer. Thanks to Iqbal Sir and Anu Mam for being a part of my inspiration and achievements.

    Ajit S N (Alumnus)

  • I was partially responsible for naming the Academy, and today when I visited this place I realised how Light & Life complement each other even in a dream ! May God and nature keep showering their blessings on this child of destiny.

    Ashok Roy, Creative Guru

  • One of my most exciting moments of 2013. I’m always proud being a student of Mr. Iqbal sir. A man with great simplicity, enthusiasm, spirit and the huge love for photography. He is always my inspiration.

    You have given me a year full of memories, knowledge and fun which I don’t think I can get from anywhere else.

    Azharudeen – Alumnus, LLA

  • Like walking through a library of the future . Thank you for opening my eyes.

    Josy Paul, Chairman and National Creative Director, BBDO India.

  • Thanks for making me a photographer !!!

    Bharath Srinivasan

  • A rarity in terms of talent, heart and passion ….you inspire us all Iqbal Sir !!!

    Soundarya Murugaiyan

  • Thanks for the future contribution to the Ad Industry ! Outstanding Iqbal & gang .

    Santosh Padhi, Co-founder, Taproot, India .

  • In a display like this , its very difficult to single out any one talent . What I do find amazing is that LLA is that one institute that has managed to make so many different styles emerge . It takes a lot to impart skill / knowledge without stamping on creativity ! Well done .

    Sudha Panchapakesan, Real Image – Chennai

  • My experience at LLA has been really brilliant. Meeting some of the top level and most sought after photographers in the industry was the icing on the cake, after being able to learn so much from them.

    Shantanobo Das, Mumbai.

  • Being here has not only given me a chance to call myself a ‘Photographer’ and not just a ‘student of photography’, but also to transform myself into what I hope is a better human being.

    Nrithya Randhir, Chennai.

  • After seeing these (LLA Alumni work) ” I feel Life is worth living”

    P.C.Sreeram, Renowned Cinematographer

  • Firstly I have to thank Light & Life Academy for giving us the opportunity to work under a great personality in Indian cinema. Getting feedback from him was very encouraging. We got a better understanding as to what it takes for a multimedia production to occur.

    Rejoy Krishna, Batch 15 On Alphonse Roy’s Class

  • Getting into LLA was a dream come true and we all thought that we had something in us to be a part of this esteemed academy. I am grateful to the amazing faculty and I am blessed to have them as a family away from home. With so much to learn I am glad that I am in safe hands. Looking forward to exploring the magical world of photography through their eyes.

    Monika, Batch 15, On getting into LLA

  • It was really fantastic to see so much of enthusiasm from the children. Their response was very overwhelming and i really loved teaching them.

    Manieesha, Batch 15, On the Social Work Program

  • As a true beginner who just bought a DSLR the first session as beautifully designed to meet the beginner needs. The assignments were challenging but also fun which enabled keeping a positive morale at the start of the program.

    Akshay Sharma, Batch 15, On the first module at LLA

  • Iqbal Sir’s class is the most amazing experience for me. There is so much to learn from him, not just about photography but also living life. His experience in this field is very well showing out when he shares his different stories.

    Sampada A, Batch 15, On Light class conducted by Iqbal

  • Batch 15 has students belonging to various parts of the country with different mindsets and our love for photography is the binding factor. Our first faculty, Ms. Punya helped us understand aesthetics in photography. We not only learnt aesthetics of photography in this session, but also aesthetics of life.

    Swet Priya, Batch 15, On Light & Life Academy

Iqbal Mohamed is the alumnus of Brooks Institute of Photography, California USA. He holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in History & Political Science from Loyola College (Chennai) and an MBA from the University of Madras. He has worked in advertising for brands across the board – FMCG to Automobile – winning many accolades and awards on the way. He has created memorable projects on various topics ranging from commemorating the 1000 year old Thanjavur Temple to a UNESCO World Heritage project called ‘Nilgiris Mountain Railway and ‘Chola Architecture’. His first book - "Portrait & Function Photography" - is the only of its kind, to be published in eight Indian languages besides English. One of the defining forces of Iqbal's life has been his deep and lasting connection with nature. He believes that every picture he has ever taken is a reflection of some aspect of life that he observed in nature – its forms, shapes, sounds, or patterns. It is out in the open that he learnt the true value of natural light and how it can transform an image. Much like nature’s generosity, it was Iqbal’s desire to share the joy of photography with the world that fuelled his most ambitious project – the Light and Life Academy. It’s India’s first and only institute of professional photography, which he set up in lush and picturesque Ooty.


Ajit started his photographic career in the year 2007 when he decided to make his passion his profession. A graduate from Light & Life Academy, he specialises in shooting cars and bikes and has shot for numerous advertising campaigns.

He fell in love with the ocean since he first dived in Maldives when he wanted to discover scuba diving . Since then he has been obsessed with under water photography. Ajit is a Tech 40 Diver certified by PADI. His work as a photographer has taken him to the most remote and exciting dive destinations across the world.

Ajit’s personal challenge is to visually communicate the incredible beauty beneath the world’s ocean and inspire a greater determination towards the preservation and respect for the marine ecosystem that has to be protected.


Aneev is a portrait and fashion photographer.

Taking a stroll through Chennai's Parry's Market on his 16th birthday, Aneev chanced upon an antique camera store. A couple of tantrums later, and with the promise of better exam results, he walked out with an old Olympus OM 10 and a slightly disgruntled father in tow. Three years later he enrolled into The Light & Life Academy. After graduating in 2007 he spent some time working as a photo-editor in Bangalore and then decided to move to Mumbai. 

Aneev's work has featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Grazia, Harpers Bazaar, People, etc. 

He now lives in Goa with his vegetable patch, antique furniture and cats.


Dolly graduated in computer engineering from the Sardar Patel University, Vidhyanagar, Gujarat. After pursuing a successful career in the IT industry, she took up photography as a full time career. She completed her Post Graduate Diploma in photography from the Light & Life Academy, Ooty, specializing in product, interior-architecture and industrial photography. She has a special interest in macro photography, panoramic views and 360 degree virtual tours. Apart from photography, Dolly is also a design consultant for all projects involving products, furnitures, accessories, artefacts and installations.


Garima started her photography journey from her Grad school as an optional subject. She has specialized in People and Fashion photography. She has worked extensively with e-commerce firms during the last 6 years. And started when the e-commerce industry was in a nascent stage and have grown along with it. Her major clients have been Koovs, Zovi, Fashion & You. Other than that she has done numerous freelance project & worked as a consultant for setting up studios and training junior photographer for the same.

Garima is an alumnus of Light & Life Academy Ooty. She holds a PG Diploma from St. Xaviers Mumbai and B.A. in Applied Art from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.

Garima is keenly interested in painting with Acrylic on canvas as a medium. She also likes to teach art to young kids and expand their natural creativity.


Mihir Hardikar was born in Bombay and now lives, works and dreams in Mumbai.

After graduating from the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, he went on to study photography at the Light & Life Academy (www.llacademy.org) in Ooty, where he got multi-faceted grounding in the techniques and aesthetics of photography.

When he is not at work, Mihir loves travelling and trying out new cuisines - both street and sophisticated. He dreams to taste local food across the globe and shoot Chernobyl some day.

Starting with his dad's humble Minolta Range Finder, Mihir today has shot for various clients and categories, landscapes and locales, places and products.


Punya  Arora, is a Punjabi by nature but South-Indian at heart, a professional Photographer, a self proclaimed Biriyani connoisseur and one of the very few female stand up comedians in the country. Her style of comedy reflects on everyday life, encasing some amazingly funny moments and situations and a couple of accents. Her style of photography includes taking pictures of people, both on land and underwater. Other than portraits and fashion, she also photographs spaces, food and weddings. A constant spreader of happiness and sunshine is a great way to sum it all up.


Satish is a 3rd generation photographer from Pondicherry. Omni studio, founded by his grandfather a century ago focused on creating magical portraits. Today, Satish has taken to a new level encompassing a diverse range of photography.

Satish studied ‘Visual Communication’ in Loyola College, Chennai. He assisted renowned photographers Iqbal K Mohamed and Satyajit. He went on to do the P.G Diploma course at Light & Life Academy. He currently specialises in shooting automobiles and has worked with a number of leading international brands.


Shantanabho completed his B.Com, with Accountancy as his specialisation subject. With an opportunity in early 2003 to move base to Mumbai he found his way ahead. In the midst of his day job he joined National Institute of Photography and started to learn the craft.
In 2007, Shantonobho joined Carnival, the worlds largest cruise liners as a photographer and then moved on to be appointed as the head of the on board ship, printing department. A year later, he completed his one year Post Graduation in Photography from Light & Life Academy, with renowned photographer Iqbal Mohamed as his mentor.

There on, he decided to launch his own commercial photography career and went on to win two silver awards at Spikes Asia and ABBY Awards and one nomination at Cannes.

He is currently based in Mumbai, where he pursues his creative, professional and personal interests in the field of People and Travel Photography.

His other area of interest is food. Shanthanobo runs a very popular catering service with a friend out of Mumbai.