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Lokvani Talks To Nabil Kapasi

Ranjani Saigal

Nabil Kapasi is the founder of Timeless Lens Photography. His job role is pretty simple: to make his subjects look good. He is an engineer by training and a photographer by choice. His unique experience of being both in front and behind the camera gives him a competitive edge to create images that he hopes his customers will cherish for a few lifetimes!

Could you tell us a little about your background? What brought you the US and Boston?

I am an engineer by training and was working for a consulting company. Those assignments along with few job changes gave me the opportunity to travel to Ottawa Canada, Utah, Colorado and finally settle in Boston.

You are an engineer by training . What motivated to you take on Photography as a career?

I have always been close to photography in one way or the other since a long time. It first started with me being in front of the camera since high school – yes modeling!

I had a good number of years being in front of the camera but never thought I would be doing photography professionally. It was when my brother came to visit me in Ottawa that I saw his shiny new Canon SLR (it was film at that time!). Once I conveniently “obtained” it (through several emotional tactics that younger brothers use) was when the true love for photography as photographer began.

Timeless Lens was started in 2007, primarily as a creative outlet that was so missing from my job at that time. In 2009 with a lot of support from my family, dear friends and most of all my wife, Mehjabin, combined with the downturn of the economy, I went full time into photography and have never looked back!

What are the elements that contribute to making a good photographer?

I think there are two aspects to making a good photographer:
1.    Technical
2.    Knowing your subject
One has to have the technical know-how about exposure, lighting, posing fundamentals. There is no short cut around that.

The second, and more important one in my opinion, is to know the subject you are photographing. For example: event photographers need to be a people person and be able to put people at ease in front of the camera. Fashion photographers need to understand fashion trends and what sells. Interior and architectural photographers need to understand straight lines perspectives and architectural concepts.

Do you specialize in a particular kind of photography?

I love wedding photography! The rosy answer that people expect is that “it is such a beautiful day when two people become one forever and it’s a privilege to capture that”. That’s not the only reason I love wedding photography. The real answer is that most weddings are loud, chaotic, ever changing and large affairs. Combine that with the various stakeholders from the Bride & Groom, their parents, family, extended family and guests with all of their different expectations…and I love the emotions generated from this mix of organized-chaos!

How does event photography differ from portrait?

Portrait Photography is just one part of Event Photography. At an event anytime I take photos of people, I have to apply contemporary and classic portrait lighting and posing concepts. In addition one has to be a good product, landscape, interior and architectural photographer. Most importantly, at an event, I have to do all of this in any indoor or outdoor location and without the luxury of time!

Contrast this with a portrait session where most variables are planned for and under my control. The primary focus is getting those few images that portray the personalities of each person in such a way that they can proudly decorate their homes with them.

From your portfolio what do you consider as your favorite?

Wow this is a tough one because my definition of favorite does change over time. Recently I have been doing more fashion-forward photography for very average people and working on the transformation from person-next-door to model-next-door. However, thinking about some of my all time favorites I have to say that images that show strong emotion and attitude are always on top of my list. 

Do you take part in Exhibitions? Is there a goal that you are trying to achieve?
Not yet. Maybe because I am my worst critic!

What advice do you have for people taking photography as a career?

Learn the fundamentals. You have to know the rules to be able to break it. Explore different styles to find what connects with you. If you don’t love it, chances are your clients wont either. Use the best equipment you can afford at that time and take the time to know it, cause it is you who does the photography via the equipment and not the equipment that does photography via you. Develop good people skills and you can do wonders even with a point-and-shoot

Thank you for your time.

Thank you

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