“I Don’t Like Fancy Titles”: A Visual Journey with Photographer Salim Khan
From a failed attempt at MBA to a high-powered career in investment banking – along with the lifestyle that goes with it – Salim Khan found solace in his lens, capturing images with an unobtrusive eye. He dared to embark on a spirited journey, away from the intentions of the cold and shallow world of finance. As he nonchalantly puts it: “I had no intentions of monetising photography. For me, it’s all about the purity of this art and the possibility of creating eternal memories.” Salim Khan’s journey takes him to far-flung corners of the country, capturing the beauty of weddings, the love and the simplicity of the union of two souls.
If we may take the liberty to state the obvious -- his camera has a direct connection to his heart and passion for photography. Specialising in Documentary Photography, Documentary Wedding Films & Intimate Portraits, he manages to freeze rare moments and emotions in time, reaffirming his single, purist intention – to make us feel the moment.
As we unveil the various facets of this photographer, we realise that – he is someone who abandoned clichéd comforts in search of something more. The result? Well, a young photographer trying to break free from the ‘contemporary gimmicks’ (as he specifically calls it) and make people realise what true memories are. Engulfing us in his chatty and friendly demeanor, Salim Khan managed to give us a ride through the lens of his brilliant journey as a photographer.
How Did It All Start?
After graduating in Computer Science and the financial success in the corporate world, he allowed himself the indulgence of pursuing this transformative journey into photography. What amuses us is the complete lack of ‘needing to make money from his work’ ideology. Many artists cannot afford to go this way, even if they do, they don’t taste success as he did. The idea of photography struck him in the scenic lanes of Matheran, where he first used his friend’s DSLR camera. His amateur brush with lenses made him think that he could try photography. Very quickly, his obsession with creating a story and manipulate light became a passion. He started off with impromptu trips to Rajasthan, using his ‘fortunate’ judgment to absorb the essence of places and understand his naked need to capture life’s precious moments. He was more than overwhelmed when he got a call from Lonely Planet to submit five pictures– that was the time he realised he had arrived, in his quiet, endearing ways.
The possibility of creating a smile on someone’s face motivates Salim Khan to capture weddings with a distinctive approach. A swift question hurled his way about the photographers who inspire him in the industry met with a contemplative pause. No, he didn’t need time to think. Carefully making his way through words, he gave us names like Ryan Brenizer and David West. Back home in India, he stays abreast of Richa Kalshelkar’s work and appreciates the niche she has created in the wedding photography industry.
The One Question He Hates
What is the one question he doesn’t like? Well, this took us by surprise. He was glad that we didn’t bombard him with questions about the kind of camera or techniques he uses. What a relief! With our penchant for the ‘unstereotypical’, we decided not to ramble about this point too much.
What’s His Style?
When asked about any particular style he likes or certain angles he shares an affinity for, prompt came the reply – “It’s intuition, it’s instinctive. A wedding is a celebration, and I concentrate on capturing emotions, not expressions. Today, most photographers do not concentrate on the ‘marriage’ and are too busy with commercialising everything.” Mr. Khan has a knack for crafting some of the funniest, craziest, love-filled, intimate moments.
There’s a certain simplicity and innocence in the way Salim Khan interacts with you. As much as we’d like to keep it unfancy, his humility, melt into his surroundings and unmistakable smiles, make him captivating. In a world of shortcuts, impatience and ego, his wedding portraits are a subtle reminder of the power of sealing the beauty of emotions.