As a founder and mentor at LLA, ‘Iqbal Sir’ as he’s known fondly by his students, has been a beacon for all things photography. His deep knowledge of the art and science of photography and an innate desire to share his knowledge serves as the bedrock of the institution. He believes that everyone is inherently creative and can nurture their inner vision in the right environment.
Iqbal sir is hands-on with regard to the curriculum at LLA, re-inventing it every year to ensure it is in keeping with the latest in the photography world. His primary role is to guide all other faculty who teach at LLA. He also conducts some specialized sessions on photography for the batch every year.
His interactions with the students are not just limited to the sessions conducted by him, he can be frequently seen outside his office, having discussions and conversations with students and faculty, sharing his experiences on photography, life and everything in between.
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. Over the last 14 years, Ajit has worked with a wide range of advertising agencies and clients such as Toyota, Hyundai, Yamaha, TVS motors, MRF, BSA, Bajaj Motorcycles, Hakuhodo, Innocean Worldwide, J Walter Thompson, McCann, Dentsu, Ogilvy.
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. In doing so, he hopes to inspire a greater determination towards the preservation and respect for the marine ecosystem that has to be protected.
Taking a stroll through Parry’s Corner in Chennai 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 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 Rao is currently a portrait and fashion photographer. Aneev's work has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Grazia, Harper’s Bazaar, People.
Ankit 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 become an engineer or a doctor. Ankit chose the former and completed his undergraduate degree in engineering.
During his first job at Infosys, Ankit’s mother gifted him a DSLR and that is how it all started. 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 some 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 Fergusson 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 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.
Garima holds a PG Diploma from St. Xaviers Mumbai and B.A. in Applied Art from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. She is an alumnus of Light & Life Academy and specializes in People and Fashion Photography.
She has 14 years of corporate experience as a visualiser and creative head. In that time she has worked with leading brands for promotion in both designing and photography. Her major clients include Koovs, Zovi, Fashion & You. She has also done numerous freelance projects and worked as a consultant for setting up studios and training junior photographers for the same.
She is currently exploring her love for painting and old photography printing techniques. She also likes to teach art to young kids and expand their natural creativity.
Mihir Hardikar is a Food and Beverage photographer from Mumbai.
After graduating from the Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, he went on to study photography at the Light & Life Academy. Mihir has worked with national and international brands such as Domino’s Pizza, cure.fit, Mother Dairy, Nestle Bangladesh, Haldirams.
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. She is also one of the writers of the hit series ‘Masaba Masaba’ on Netflix.
In terms of photography, her specialisation includes taking pictures of people, both on land and underwater. Other than portraits and fashion she has also photographed book covers that can be seen on titles like ‘The house that BJ built’ and ‘Battle for Bittora’ by Anuja Chauhan. With many feathers in her hat, a constant source of happiness and sunshine is a great way to sum it all up.
Sathish is a 3rd generation photographer from Pondicherry. Omni studio, founded by his grandfather a century ago, focused on creating magical portraits.
Sathish studied Visual Communication in Loyola College, Chennai. He assisted renowned photographers Iqbal K Mohamed and Satyajit and then 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 including Toyota, Hyundai, Royal Enfield and Mahindra to name a few.
Shantonobho completed his B.Com, with Accountancy as his specialisation subject. In the midst of his day job in Bombay, he joined the National Institute of Photography and started to learn the craft. In 2007, Shantonobho joined Carnival, the world's largest cruise liners as a photographer and then later the head of the on board ship printing department. A year later, he completed his Post Graduation in Photography from Light & Life Academy.
He then decided to launch his own commercial photography career specialising in portraiture and industrial photography. Shantonobho went on to win two silver awards at Spikes Asia and ABBY Awards and one nomination at Cannes.
He is currently shuttling between Kolkata and Ooty, continuing to pursue his creative, professional and personal interests in the field of People and Travel Photography.
Sudhanva is first and foremost a nature lover. This aspect was nurtured from his childhood, on his weekend visits to his farm discovering grasslands, orchards and woods. This soon grew to a deep connection with the environment in all its facets.
After briefly testing the waters trying to study engineering, Sudhanva decided to change his life trajectory towards the arts stream. He graduated in Visual Communication, Psychology & Literature from Christ University, Bangalore and then a post-graduation in Professional Photography at LLA. He specialises in Travel & Nature, Portraiture and Architecture Photography.
Sudhanva is keenly interested in Film Making and was part of the team that made documentary film projects screened at Sundance Film Festival (2015) and Berlin Film Festival (2013 & 2014)
His other great passion apart from Nature is teaching. He has done many a stint as faculty at LLA, inspiring students to do their best.
Sukil Tarnas completed his Visual Communication from Loyola College, Chennai. He went on to assist Iqbal Mohamed and eventually joined Light & Life Academy and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Photography.
He went on to start Sukil and Khushboo Photography, with his wife, Kushboo Agarwal. They specialise in Interior and Architecture, Portrait, Industrial and Product photography. They also make corporate films for various clients. Now settled in Chennai, he has worked with various clients like Indian Terrain, William Penn, Verve Magazine, Madras Regimental Centre, Khwaahish Diamonds.
Good teachers are absolutely essential, and the institution has given us great teachers. I can’t thank the institution enough for the knowledge and guidance. – Shruti Vijayan, Batch 8
If there’s anything about photography, Iqbal Sir knows about it. Here’s the man who knows everything about the subject and operates at least two or three or ten levels above that, so in a year, year and a half that you spend with him, if you learn 10-20 percent of it, you’ll get by well in your life. That is the kind of impact he has on you.
– Ajay Ram, Batch 6
Shantanobho is very soft-spoken and calm, explaining every experience in an interesting manner for us to understand. Every bit and pixel of our images is clearly clarified. He took us through aperture and left us to dwell in light. We are very thankful for his teaching.– Adithyavaradhan, Batch 17
Aneev sir’s fashion specialization was a really beautiful experience and probably my most memorable one. The way he conducted the whole session was absolutely amazing. He not only taught us about the technicalities in the fashion world but gave us an insight of the mood and aesthetics too. He has helped me widen my perspectives and possibilities when it comes to creative freedom.– Nandagopal Nair, Batch 18