TPL: Who do you think has most inspired your style?
PKM: All of the great visual storytellers, as mentioned above e.g. Satyajit Ray, Raghu Rai, Raghubir Singh, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry… all of them have big influences on my style of photography and my thought process, the way I look at the world through my lens.
Instagram has put me back in photography, particularly street photography. After moving to the US, I got busy with my career in IT, settling down, raising our kids, going over the immigration/citizenship process that otherwise put photography in the backstage. I was doing casual photography, mostly of family and friends. However, sometime in early 2018 was when my wife presented me with a Nikon DSLR, which revived my interest in photography. Somebody then pointed me to Instagram which opened up a whole new world around me. I discovered a platform where you can share your work and interact with fellow photographers and audiences globally and realized the enthusiasm and interest in street photography, along with the prospect of interacting with some of your favorite photographers, which would have otherwise not been possible. I started seeing more and more works of Steve McCurry, and my admiration grew for him and his work. I felt so excited when he liked my work or commented on the pictures!
In the same way, I came across the work of Bryan Peterson, the bestselling author of so many photography books, and whom I consider my mentor and a real Guru (i.e. a Teacher). There is a saying in Sanskrit, “Knowledge is such a precious wealth, that no one can take it away from you, and it grows, the more you spread it!”. Bryan’s knowledge in photography, to me, fits in perfectly with that quote. If you follow his Instagram feed, you will see that he is always teaching and always sharing his wealth of knowledge so that others can benefit from it. To me, this comes from his genuine love for the art of photography. In my social media experience, I have seen/followed the work of many renowned photographers around the globe and have found Bryan to be unique in this respect! He has always been kind enough to point out some of the key elements in my photography that have helped me to critically analyze my images. I own several of Brian's books, and among them ‘Understanding Exposure’ and ‘Learning to See Creatively’, are my favorite ones.