Jones. Well to start off with this cool photographer, we’ve known since even before establishing this platform. He was one of the prime motivators in our pursuit to provide a common house for talent stories globally. Our association with Jones Katru goes way back, as we saw him growing from strength to strength and achieve tremendous success. A shining example of what can be achieved via dedicated freelance works, Jones has always been an inspiration to us. A super cool guy, with a great commitment to work, and a talent which runs parallel to his love for the art, Jones has marked his niche in a short time here in the Telugu populace. Having said so, it was only imperative in time to have him feature in this platform. And we got playful, and challenged him with these questions, covering all the aspects of his work.
When did you click your first photo? And what was its subject?
Splash photography (the picture above). I was trying to understand the correct way of using High Shutter speed for capturing fast moving objects.
When you take up assignments, what are three essential things you want to confirm?
The commitment of the makers towards the project, regarding budget and the artistic vision. Then the equipment which I might be using. And of course the mood I’m trying to capture via the shoot.
Who is the funniest celebrity you shot with?
Priyadarshi (Of PelliChoopulu fame) was entertaining to shoot with.
Videos or Photos, which is closer to your heart?
Both. Videos allow me to tell a story in a more detailed manner, but if I’m looking for moments, Photos are the best suited. So it depends on the project.
What is your gear when you are working for a short film?
I don’t have a particular gear. I try to improvise. Although it depends on what kind of screenplay is presented to me. I’ll make sure that the project comes out with beautiful visuals.
Which photographer is your closest friend in the industry?
Chandu, Sekhar Boon and Suresh. They keep me motivated all through in my works and vice versa.
Name three events you worked on, which made your career?
Sneha Reddy’s Baby Shower, N-Expo 2016, and an interview with Ms.Lakshmi Manchu.
If not a photographer, then what?
Cinematographer :P. I’m a visual kind of guy obviously. So Cinematographer would’ve been logical.
Aperture Value or Shutter Speed, just select one of them which is more important?
Both are important. Again it depends on the need. For more action oriented moments, Shutter Speed is important. Aperture Value is for highlighting objects and candid photography.
Candid shots or Low Light photography which is tougher and why?
It’s tough to pick one, but I guess Low light photography. The reason is, you need to take care of the blurred photos in the post processing, which is difficult when we go with low lights.
If a client approaches you with 1 million dollars for a photo shoot, which places in India would you plan for the shoot?
Haha, everywhere. Seriously though, I’m going to drive them around the whole length of India, to all the places I’ve always wanted to go. And obviously, take captivating pictures of these places.
One face that you never get tired of shooting?
There are many. See once I love the face via my lens, I never get tired shooting them in as many new ways a possible. In that context, I never get tired of shooting my girlfriend. She’s my perfect muse. Ironically, she isn’t very interested in Photoshoots. So yeah.
If you could select one celeb from anywhere in the world to shoot, who would you choose?
Emma Roberts. Simple and Forever. Although, I always wanted to shoot Neha Sharma & Catherine Tresa as well for long.
Hyderabad or Vizag, which city has more sceneries for beautiful shoots?
Vizag. Simple reason being, it has more scenic places to explore and expand in my shoots.
Drone or VR, which is a better future for Photography?
Drone is being used quite frequently these days, and it’s a new way of looking at things. So is VR lens and shoots. So I guess, photography wise Drones could be great, and videos wise VR could be the next best thing.
In your experience, what is the most irritating thing about Photoshoots?
The Bad Posers. I hate trying to make them understand the need of the shoot and those who are too rigid in front.
How do you shoot double roles? Like how?
Ha, it’s a secret. Kidding. But it’s not that complex as it looks. First, I’ll make sure that the location framing and the lighting are proper and locked. Then, I’ll use my camera on Tripod to maintain static frame without any jerks or shakes. Then the actor can shuffle the places which can be merged while in post-production/editing.
What are your hobbies apart from Photography and Cinematography?
I love playing chess. And music is a big part of my life.
History of Jones Katru in a single sentence?
Simple, A man from Vizag who just loves capturing Pictures n Moments.
What is the biggest challenge you faced for a photoshoot?
Being able to shoot in extremely crowded places is very tough. I guess that’s been the biggest challenge.
RBG or Black and White, which colours do you think are the most beautiful for portraits?
I like Black n White portraits, as they are more pleasant to look at. They tell a story in a much better way.
What is the best Camera hands down for Photoshoots and how much does it cost?
As I said earlier, any camera would be fine as long as you are good with framing and lighting. Costly cameras also require skill behind them to take great pictures.
To shoot a thriller scene, what are first two things you decide on?
Perhaps, I’ll check out the surroundings, and how I can use those elements in my works to bring out thrill and suspense. And of course the location map. I need to understand how and which angles to use to effect the scene.
What do you do when the photoshoot doesn’t go as you planned?
There’s nothing much anyone can do right? I just try harder to finish it up as quickly as possible. And try not to loose my focus on the way.
More and more photographers are turning to weddings. Any plans of doing that?
As a matter of fact, I’m already into wedding shoots. Freelance gives me proper avenues to explore, weddings being one such opportunity. There’s a lot you can do with so much activity in weddings.
Who are your inspirations and can you share their one shot that you like?
PC Sreeram. There are many scenes that he’s shot, that I refer to for inspiration. His usage of light (and rain) is amazing. Most recently, his work in Mani Ratnam’s OK Kanmani inspired me to the highest level.
Where do you get your passion to shoot every day from? Do you never get dull about it?
Passion lies in the work you do and the love you have for it. So, yeah I never get bored of what I do. I try to invent newer ways of doing a shoot. That keeps me energised. Sometimes, I only get dull when I don’t like the concept.
Who is the latest personality that you had a photoshoot with? Comments?
The latest photo shoot was with the crew of Bahubali2 team during the promotional events within the city. For proprietary reasons, I can’t divulge much, but that was amazing..!
If you woke up as Food Photographer, which cuisine would you shoot the first thing?
I’m not exactly a foodie, but if given a choice, I’d like to shoot a proper Non-Veg Thali in the most delicious way.
Similarly, if you woke up as a Wildlife photographer, which animal would do?
This I’ve always wanted to do. Within wildlife photography, I’d like to shoot a Lion in it’s majestic best.
Every beautiful girl has a friend zoned Photographer – Comment.
Fortunately or otherwise, I can’t say anything on that. I’ve never experienced that so far. Although, I think it will happen eventually *winks*.
Did you happen to lose your equipment between the photo shoot? How did you continue?
Luckily, Until now I’ve never lost any equipment. Everything gets delayed if you do miss even a single piece of your gear. Hence you got to be very careful.
New photographers are all in Mobiles – Comment.
I agree. Take any iPhone7 poster for example. Some of my friends have shot excellent photos with their mobiles recently. So it doesn’t matter which gear they use, either mobiles or smartphones. It’s all about the visual sense at the end of the day.
Which is the best camera in a smartphone according to you.
Hands down, iPhone 7 Plus.
Which movie according to you has the best photography ever and any particular scene?
There’s a feature called ‘Winged Migration’, which is completely and in every frame, a feast for the eyes. I’d recommend every aspiring Photographer and Cinematographer, to watch it at least once.
What’s the first thing you observe every morning and what starts your day?
I pray to start my day. My belief in God is always there in my every moment.
How do you take up assignments – As in mostly where do you get your calls from?
I get assignments mostly from my friends, and my circle of contacts. Also from people who watch my works online via YouTube and Facebook.
Did you face any clients who you had a bad experience working with?
Of course. I did face some bad experiences while doing wedding shoots. Some people have no clue as to what locations are, and how Candid photography works. It’s tough explaining it to them.
To a common man, explain ISO’s, and Aperture values.
A simple way of remembering is ISO gives you artificial light when there is a lack of proper light. Aperture gives you sharper and more focused images, taking in more detail.
How do you process your photographs in Photoshop?
Most preferably, in JPEG Large. If you are trying for lossless content, PNG formats are best.
Is Photoshop useful to bring the best in photos? Do you recommend it?
I would recommend having a working knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom. It makes the photos come alive. However, too much of Photoshop is not recommended.
What’s next for Jones Katru. Where do you see yourself in next five years?
I’ll probably be taking care of my photography/cinematography business in future.
Freelance or Permanent Photography job, which one is better for you?
Freelancing is always my thing. Simple reason being, It allows me to take multiple projects and gives better chances of expanding my work and contacts.
You shoot for Short films too, but is it always cool working under someone else’s vision?
Yeah, I don’t mind working under someone unless, as long as they have a better vision and clarity about the project.
You are also a Writer for short films. Tell us more about that. Your works and projects.
Well, I always try (and I think I’m good at) writing thrillers. Also, I prefer writing stories which are heart touching and are inspired by true events. The following link is of my short film, The Girl, which I wrote. It speaks of a girl child in a poignant manner.
Use of blue/green screen is essential for Graphics – Comment
We use blue/green screens because it’s easy to cut out the subject and add another, in the background in post production. It works like magic.
Lastly, what does the audience see when they see your works. What is your signature style for photography and cinematography?
Many people have said that they like my frame composition, be it in the photography assignments or short films. So I guess that’s the first thing they see while looking at my style of work.