Capturing the perfect moment

Vilino Rajiv Fernandes speaks about photography and the details that go into shooting the perfect picture

Vilino Rajiv Photography is a professional photography services company based in Margao and has been in this business for the last 25 years. The man behind the company is Vilino Rajiv Fernandes and he specialises in wedding, events and sports photography.

Having completed his schooling from Loyola High School, Margao, he went on to do his Bachelor in Arts from Rosary College, Navelim. Vilino’s father used to do video shoots which got him interested in photography. “I got into photography when I was in the eighth standard and from the year 1992 onwards I took up my father’s business. I started off doing weddings and birthdays; later I got into sports photography and I am tied up with the Traditional Karate Association of Goa (TKAG) and do a lot of shoots for them.”

Vilino loves to shoot events, portfolios and sports. “When it comes to sports, photography is a different ball game. You have to be quick in your thinking and know when the right moment to click a picture. As for portfolios, I always liked to shoot models; and events are my bread and butter, right up from a young age,” he adds.

Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. Vilino explains the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer. “A professional photographer has to concentrate more on getting the right moment captured. He cannot be involved in talking to the people or his subject all the time. He has to keep his eyes open for the perfect moment and in such cases a certain moment comes in a flash and then it is gone. A hobby photographer meanwhile will try to do it just to put up pictures on social media or do stand up shots which are readily available and will not shoot candid shots.”

Vilino says that there are plenty of people who have influenced his work. “There are plenty of photographers who I am influenced by. Namely Raghu Rai, Dabboo Ratnani, Arjun Mark. I was quite inspired by their works and would try to incorporate their techniques into my work, based on the tips they would give me, especially when it came to certain kinds of shots.”

There are various details that make some of the best photographs and every photographer goes about trying to focus these details into his or her work. “I like to see smiling faces. I make sure that my client is comfortable before I begin a shoot. This involves talking to them and making them feel relaxed enough to talk to me. If one is nervous, it shows in the photograph and those don’t make for good pictures. Pictures shot by professionals should have a feel-good aspect to them,” Vilino says.

Photography techniques and equipments change quickly. It is important to stay up-to-date in order to keep up with the times. Vilino has a few pointers. “I change my equipment every two years. After covid began, there were a lot of workshops that took place, which I would attend on a regular basis. I am also involved in a lot of courses for photography and this is how I stay updated with the latest trends.”

Like all other professions, photography has its own share of drawbacks. “I don’t get much time to spend with family especially if a shoot clashes with a family function. That is the only drawback that I see so far. Else I enjoy what I do.”

As a photographer, Vilino has had his fair share of difficult clients. “It takes time to understand certain clients. Sometimes there is a problem of delayed payments. My pet peeve is when some clients ask for one kind of a shoot and then when we are shooting, they want something else. This makes it very difficult for us to focus and give our best. I usually tell people to check the work I do before they can book a shoot or if they have come through a reference, I request them to ask the referral as to what kind of photography I do.”

The most rewarding thing about being a photographer, Vilino says, is recognition and the respect that one gets from different people. “Over the years I have learnt how to gain my respect, be it from my clients or friends.”
His biggest support is his wife, Harriet. “If it wasn’t for her I would have given up my business a long time ago. My children have also been very encouraging. One of my sons, Scott has taken up photography and so has my daughter Sayonee, but for now they are into it as a hobby.”

As far as his future plans are concerned, Vilino says the market has been bad after covid. “I have been very selective about my time and I have stuck to my rates. Post covid, it has been very tough for us as people are expecting very low rates, which I feel is not correct for us. So I prefer to take up clients who are ready to pay for the kind of services that I offer.”

Vilino concludes with a message to aspiring photographers. “Be ready to change as per the demands. In the old days we would stand up and click pictures. Now we have to bend down and click in order to get the right shot. We have to go with the times and change our techniques accordingly”

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