A picture is worth a thousand words. Sure we have all heard of that phrase, but how many of us really live by it? That’s right, not a lot of us do. But hey, it’s understandable. We all have busy lives, who has time to take pictures all the time? One person that who does make time in his buys life for pictures is Tapan Patel. This guy lives and breathes photography! His passion has paid off big time! Tapan is an astounding photographer! His photography skills caused my jaw to drop and being a professional photographer as well, it is easier for me to pick out flaws in pictures. To my eye Tapan’s pictures are absolutely flawless. He manages to capture the most beautiful of scenes, whether they are still life photos or of live subjects, Tapan manages to bring a sense of tranquility to the picture; it’s almost as if the picture came to life.
personally had the chance to sit down with him and have a one-on-one, heart-to-heart chat with him. So what can I say to describe him for you guys? Hmmm….
HARDWORKING: Tapan has only been in the professional photography industry for about a year now and he has already accomplished one of his biggest goals out there. That’s right folks, Mr. Tapan J. Patel was right there beside myself and the lovely Editor-in-Chief, Tirusha, taking fashion photos of the models at the one and only, oh-so-famous Couture Fashion Show! Not only was he there, but he was, and I kid you not when I say this, he was actually lying down on his side taking pictures!
DETERMINED: For someone to go from being an ordinary, everyday Joe-Schmoe to professional photographer, Tapan has really make photography his passion. Everywhere he goes, he carries his camera around with him. Imagine carrying around a 100 lb bag that holds all your specialized camera equipment; everything from extra memory cards to the portable flash is in that bag. I’m not going to lie and make myself seem super macho but I’ve tried lifting it and folks….that is one HEAVY bag!
SELF-MADE: Everything Tapan has done…you know what? I don’t think that there are enough words out there for me to describe him! I’m not going to steal your fun. I had the opportunity to talk to the photography genius and I think it would be best if you guys heard what he has to say from himself!
Click! Click! Enjoy! Enjoy!
What’s your idea of the perfect picture? i.e. lighting, scenery, subject, pose, etc
Natural lighting with candid expressions, a natural expression, it doesn’t have to be staged or have the person looking at the camera, it should be something that just occurs…capturing the moment. I guess I would like to have the subject enjoying something, make it a happy moment.
In terms of quality vs quantity, what holds more meaning and value for you?
Quality over quantity any day. I’d rather take one awesome shot than 500 shots and that’s hard to do in photography because you often take 500 + shots hoping to get 1 or 2 good shots.
What do you carry around for normal photography purposes? Special events?
I carry around the same camera everywhere; I really don’t have a point-and-shoot digital camera. I prefer Canon SLR (single lens reflex) cameras.
What made you want to pursue photography as an actual career?
That’s a good question, I’ve always taken pictures of things outdoors, never really thought it would become a real job for me. But about a year ago my friend asked me to take pictures of her because she’s a model and that’s when I realized that I really enjoy doing taking pictures of live subjects and not just nature. So to practice, I kept taking her pictures so she could update her portfolio and I realized that I wanted to take pictures for a living and to make myself well-known in the fashion industry.
You mentioned this while sitting in the restaurant…it was a dream come true for you to be a photographer in a fashion show, what are some of your other hopes and dreams regarding photography?
I want to be well-known, kind of like a celebrity like Nigel Barker on America’s Next Top Model. I want to be sought after by models and fashion designers. I want models to come after me and ask me to take their pictures, or clothing labels like Armani, Prada, Diesel and Aldo to want me to take pictures of their clothing lines. I also feel that most fashion photography is very studio based; it’s all very flashy, nothing simple or outdoorsy. I would like to make that happen, especially night-time photography.
What are some obstacles that you had to overcome to become a professional photographer? i. e. classes?
I have had no formal training regarding photography. I just taught myself. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration by looking at famous photographer’s works (Ansel Adams and Andy Warhol). I’ve read a lot of photography books and I’ve spent a lot of time practicing. I take, on average, about 200 shots per week just for fun. But I am an expert in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Flash.
You and I are both photographers, the only difference being that I work in a studio. If given the opportunity, would you work in a studio why or why not?
No I wouldn’t do that….it’s not what I want to do. It’s not that I won’t make money or that I won’t be good at it, it’s just that it’s not what I want to do. I don’t want to tell people where to stand and how to position their hands and feet; it makes things seem very fake and forced. I would rather take fashion shots of clothing lines or models in a natural outdoors setting.
Say a fashion company such as Armani offers you a studio and wants you to take pictures of their upcoming clothing line. They leave everything up to you. What are some changes that you would make to the studio or what specific items would you ask that the company supply you?
Well I would get rid of the studio in general. I would want an outside urban setting. I would use average people, not the generic blonde hair, blue eyes, tall, skinny models because let’s face it, no 2 people are the same; everyone is perfect the way they are. So with that being said, I would want to use people of all different races and sizes so that people would have an easier time seeing themselves wear the clothing. I would also shoot clothing that people would wear and not just runway based clothes. My goal is to get the maximum number of people to look at the pictures and also purchase the clothing as well.
Would you say that you are a harsh critic of yourself?
Extremely…more often than not people like my work and I end up thinking the opposite.
In the studio I work for, we like to shoot ‘loose’ so we can zoom in on the subject if needed. How do you position the subject inside the viewfinder of your camera?
I shoot both loose and tight. Then I go back and see what image is better suited for the picture purposes. I just tell the person to do whatever they want and I will just take pictures…I won’t have a specific pose because the picture won’t look natural.
What flaws do you look for in your pictures when you need to narrow down the shots you’ve taken? Anything in specific?
Good question! I look for clarity of the image in general, proper expression of the expression that I want to portray, good lighting, not too many shadows on the face, temperature of the picture, cool vs warm, and the emotion of the model.
If you could spend one day to learn about photography with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose?
Ansel Adams, he doesn’t take fashion photos but he takes pictures of natural settings. I’ve never seen someone take such beautiful or natural pictures. He kept a camera in the backseat of his car so where ever he went, if he saw something worth taking a picture he would actually pull over onto the side of the road and take the picture.
Some people say that photography is a form of art, do you agree with that statement and what is your impression of art?
Photography is art. Art is the purest form of expression to me. It’s also what I like to put into any type of work I do. Art makes things more fun for me and I tend to do better at it since it is the only way for we, as humans, to capture imitate, supplement, or duplicate what nature has given us. I guess to put it into plain and simple words… art is everything to me.
Everyone has their ‘off’ days. Are there any words or catchphrases that you tell yourself to keep yourself in the game when you are having a bad day?
Anything that happens, whether good or bad, happens for a good reason. Sometimes we don’t see the good in things that are happening but trust me; there is always a positive behind everything.
Any advice for aspiring photographers or people who just like to take pictures in general?
Take a lot of pictures because remember, ‘practice makes perfect’. Pick what you like to take pictures of and practice on that.
Any last words for our readers?
Be cool, be yourself, don’t let things get you down. Keep your eyes on the prize and you will make it in the end.
So what do you think? For all you Facebook fans out there, go check out Tapan’s photography group, Tapan J Patel Photography and Design, become a fan, and show him some love! Amazing work. Incredible guy. Amazing talent. Incredible personality. Amazing perseverance. Incredible results. You will not be dissatisfied with the work this man produces, you have Dimple’s guarantee on that!! He aims to please and he goes above and beyond his aim each time! And to put the cherry on top, as if this guy couldn’t get any better, he’s a cutie Ladies, I’d watch out because this upcoming photographer is going to steal your hearts both literally and photographically!