We are back with one more dad in the series of creative dads. We are happy to introduce Lucky Malhotra, a celebrity, fashion, and lifestyle photographer from Bangalore. He is part of many campaign shoots for fashion brands, hospitality, food, magazines, celebrities and sports personalities. He likes to be versatile and do fashion films as well. Let’s get to know him more through this interview.
What’s your background?
I am a bachelor in Computers with a couple of certifications like the Microsoft Certified Professional and Certified Ethical Hacker and was about to finish Masters in IT which I actually left off due to a lack of interest.
I was good in hardware and networking. But I never understood software, especially C++, and every time I used to miss the syntax in coding and used to be frustrated that when the computer knows that why can’t it place that syntax there rather than pointing us that it’s missing. I was actually never very interested in studies but used to top in school. I know it’s tough to believe but you have to.
As the founder of Lucky Malhotra photography, you are a successful photographer. Tell us more about how the idea came up? What were the key factors for starting it?
Success is a very debatable word. Others may envy my work and for them I am successful but if you ask me this is just a fraction of what I wanted to achieve. But yes I am thankful to those who stuck by me and helped me to be where I am by recommending my work to others.
But one thing which I am happy about is that whatever I am today is on my own and ethically. I have not taken any shortcuts in this field.
I have constantly worked my way up and have done a variety of shoots.
You are a doting father and take good care of your daughters. Please share some tips with other fathers regarding this.
It’s just that I love capturing the little cute things they do and I don’t care what I shoot it on. I use mobile most of the time as it’s a moment and it will never come back again and I don’t want to lose it trying to get the camera out.
Capturing what happens is more like a story and when you make them do the same thing again, they become conscious. I always wanted daughters, maybe that’s why I am like this with them. I know being a guy how stubborn I was to my parents. But when I see my daughters I kind of understand it better how girls are compared to boys, how emotional they are, and as men we tend to say things which seem harsh to women as men are thick-skinned compared to women. So, I am also learning at every stage and kids teach me a lot.
The most important tip I can give is that, appreciate the little things they do but one thing is no matter how good you are no one can replace a mother. Be sensitive to them and while I say this, I am saying this to myself too.
Your work is really inspiring. Among your works, which one is your favourite and why?
I love shoots where I get the freedom and it’s been amazing in all. You should check my campaign #Itsnotfair. I think this is the most inspiring and my favourite work as this campaign is being loved by many.
As of now I have shot around 7 series with women from different backgrounds and since it’s a campaign which speaks against discrimination faced by women who are not fair-complexioned, I work with women who are blessed with dusky skin or dark. Sadly based on your skin color people perceive your origin still.
I am going to start my series #ItsNotFair again and I am looking forward to feature as many women I can in this.
What is your inspiration or where do you get inspiration for all the work you do?
My dad has been my inspiration indirectly. I used to steal his cameras, buy film and shoot. It was so much to shoot on film and it was such a rush when you get the prints and it had so much value. Otherwise my inspiration can be anyone in this world who does good work. Unfortunately In India, there are very few people who appreciate good work openly.
What else does an artist need, a genuine appreciation!
What is your working routine and how much time do you take to plan a shoot and get pictures ready?
Oh…don’t ask …It could be 12-18 hours. Time to plan a shoot is subjective and depends on the shoot completely and the resources. Getting the pictures ready again depends on the kind of work and it all depends on the deadlines at times if its commercial work. If it’s personal work it all depends on your gut feeling and the creative satisfaction.
I don’t like to be pushed and I feel I do my best when the client understands this and gives my space without hovering over my head. But once I have committed to deadlines as in business it’s always about that, but I tell them to be realistic. I am not a vending machine. I need time to think and create and that’s why creative people look crazy as they are in a different zone all the time.
What do you like doing besides photography?
I love biking. Though I am not able to do it much these days. Apart from that I love traveling and I keep going back to Himachal which is my hometown and explore the remote locations. Work takes me to places all around the world. My last trip was Moscow and it was such a hectic schedule.
Share some tips for the upcoming photographers and for other dad entrepreneurs.
To all the budding photographers, I want to tell them that not to get blinded by seeing successful people. They are at that place, after a lot of failures which not many would be aware of those chapters of their life. Nothing comes easy and even if it comes easy, it’s shortlived. True success is like a biryani which takes time so give it time.
Don’t fall for social media show. Even if you fall for it, get up and take control. Keep shooting, keep practicing. Work with the right people who bring out your talent.
What is your vision? Share any future plans you have.
For 2020 the vision looks blurred now. I just got a pair of glasses, trying to get used to it and the future might look sharper in the coming days. 🙂 Jokes apart, I am looking forward to work with a lot of people once things settle down. I want to collab with like-minded people for creative fashion projects.
What is the most difficult part of being a photographer according to you?
The most difficult part for me is to convince myself to take up some projects. Getting what you want to shoot along with being paid well for that is a rare combination. I love where quality is valued more than quantity. These are the kind of shoots which I cherish so much and its fun to do that. However most of the time the commercial shoots are the ones you may get where you are expected to do a certain number and if it’s a quality shoot, its great to work with some amazing people together.
The kind of clients you work with shape your work to be very frank, If it’s a good client, you should thank god for that :). Rest you can understand.
What are the challenges you face in your profession?
The biggest challenge is when people ask you if you can shoot for free and it’s not even creative and it’s for purely commercial reasons. They don’t understand that we also have a family to take care and we have spent so many years crafting our skills and our experience is more valuable than the gears we use.
I love working or collaborating with artists and models from the fashion industry where there is only one motive and that is for the sake of art and not for someone’s commercial gains.
A glimpse of different shoots by Lucky Malhotra with famous celebrities and brands. Make sure to check out all the pictures.
Thanks Lucky for taking out time for this interview. It was an honour to feature you on our website.
Follow Lucky Malhotra and his work here –