Picture this
Friday, May 04, 2012

Imthias Kadeer, Shinihas aboo, Anson Antony and Hari Menon are four professional photographers who did something few people in their profession do: band together.

According to Imthias Kadeer, who first conceived Y Not Frames, a professional photography group, “Photographers traditionally have issues working together — there’s a lot of ego and competitiveness. While that may not necessarily be a bad thing, we tried to kill our individual pride for the benefit of the photo. All four of us criticise and suggest improvements to each other’s shots. We try to keep an open mind; ‘Why not?’ is our mantra.”

wknd. sat down with the boys from Y Not to try and pick up some tips on how to take breathtaking shots of wildlife, weddings, fashion and travel. To learn more, visit facebook.com/ynotframes.

Imthias – Nature

When I was 15, I started taking shots with my mobile phone. I realised later on that it helped me look at things a lot closer. Now that photography is digital, it’s easier to preserve and frame things, like a memory for life.

I love being outdoors and interacting with animals. Sadly, we’re going to miss a lot of what nature offers today in the future, and through my photography I hope to be able to communicate the importance of the wild, and help people understand the need to protect it.


  • Be sure to select the right kind of lens and shutter speed; once you’ve missed a moment, it’s gone!
  • Your position: if an animal passes you by, it shouldn’t know you’re there.
  • Ensure that you can provide a perspective of what the animal sees, not what you can see.


  • Look for candid, not staged, moments.
  • Don’t disturb the natural flow of the wedding or any ceremony; you should be as invisible as possible to the people there.
  • You should be able to quickly focus on depth of field; the ability to, for example, sharply focus on a wedding ring with the bride in the background.

Shinihas– Weddings & Food

I have always been interested in capturing shots of people at their happiest. Few moments are happier for any person than their wedding day. It’s all about the spontaneous shots, those which candidly represent the lasting happy memories. A wedding only happens once (usually). As for food… I love making people feel hungry when looking at shots of delicious dishes.


Specialising in photography at Art school, I used to enjoy nature shoots at first, but then I’ve always loved great shots of beautiful people as well. In my photos, I always try to do outdoor shoots, because that way I can combine two kinds of natural beauty.


  • Pick the right team; without the right makeup artist and stylist, things won’t be as good.
  • Ensure that you have a good rapport with the model built up from beforehand; if she knows exactly what kind of shots you are looking for, and agrees in advance to do these, things will be much smoother.
  • Don’t force the issue: if the model is even remotely uncomfortable, this will show.

Previously, I was more into sketching (back at college). Later on though, I decided to trade in my pencil for the lens of a camera. The many colours you see at festivals, they always fascinate me. Over the last few years, I have been able to take photos at hundreds of festivals across India. Coming to the Middle East means being exposed to a broader range of cultures, and I hope to be able to discover life in the UAE through my lens.


  • Research: If you’re going to a particular location, be sure you’ve done your homework and have some knowledge of the place.
  • It’s good to study reference photos, particularly to understand the best time of day and ideal lighting for different kinds of shots. However, don’t repeat someone else’s work.
  • To put some life into your photos, try to stage things as little as possible.


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