My only advise to students would be to pay more attention to their sources of inspiration. The internet is riddled with bad/mediocre content and I urge them to go beyond that and find something truly inspiring to guide their work and vision.
– Aneev Rao
LLA is a hub for image makers. LLA is my place to see groups of photographers discussing about image making and continuously talking about what makes the image look good and how to improvise a shot like studying the behavior of subject, technical challenges, waiting for light, team work, group activities and knowing so many things. This is a place that tunes a person to appreciate life and art of living through photography. LLA is not only for enrolled students to learn, it’s also for faculties since we also get to learn.
– Satish Kumar Raju
I am taking away so many lessons myself. The young photographers I interacted with showed passion, aesthetics and most importantly sensitivity in their work. Heartening. Photojournalism is in good hands.
— Pankaja Srinivasan
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.
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 underwater 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, Harper’s Bazaar, People, etc. He now lives in Goa with his vegetable patch, antique furniture and cats.
Ankit Gupta grew up in Delhi. A big fan of cricket, he played the sport every chance he got, apart from enjoying his fair share of Table Tennis and Badminton. Like everyone around him at the time, Ankit had one of two paths to take after school, either becoming an engineer or a doctor. Ankit chose the former and completed his under graduation in engineering.
He was placed in Infosys straight from college and shifted base to Mysore. His mother gifted him a DSLR just before he left for Mysore. This was the beginning for Ankit. He worked at Infosys for 4 years with the ambition of completing his MBA abroad. Realizing that being abroad would mean spending less time with his family, Ankit’s plan completely changed and he decided to stay in India and stay close to his family. He quit Infosys and went back to Delhi and quickly turned to photography. The constant encouragement from his friends and family about the quality of his photographs boosted his confidence.
He recollects one morning distinctly, when he was in a valley, surrounded by mountains in Kashmir, where he realised his passion for photography, because all he could think about was capturing that moment, and saving it for eternity.
After little deliberation, with bags packed, he came to LLA and completed his Post Graduation in professional photography, specialising in Travel, Nature, Architecture and Interior photography.
Arnab’s first inspiration to take up photography was his father, a photographer himself. Arnab started taking pictures from the 3rd Standard and became the designated photographer for all the family functions.
Arnab joined the BA science from Ferguson college, Pune, specializing in Mass communication and Physics. This was the turning point where his fascination with photography grew into a passion and one that he decided to pursue whole-heartedly.
Arnab joined Light & Life Academy and completed his Post Graduation Diploma in Professional Photography in 2003. He mainly covers product, automobile and portrait photography. He has been a faculty at LLA since 2008. He also invests a lot of his time in personal projects that help him constantly evolve and grow as a photographer. Some of them include a shoot for South African Tourism, a visual representation of the KumbhMela, Holi celebrations at Mathura and Pushkar festivals.
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 someday. 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.
Shantonobho 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.
While studying Chemistry in Loyola College, Sukil discovered his love for the camera. His passion for the art was deep enough to make him take the risk of quitting the course and joining Visual Communication.
He went on to assist Iqbal Mohamed from there and eventually joined Light & Life Academy to learn the science of the art.
Marrying a photographer, he went on to start Sukil & Khushboo.- doing work in the verticals of Interiors, Portraits, Industrial and Product. He also makes corporate films for various clients. Now settled in Chennai, he has worked with various clients including Indian Terrain, William Penn, Verve Magazine, Madras Regimental Centre, Khwahish Diamonds.