“Observation is the key of success in street photography” – Prashant Godbole

Prashant Godbole is a well known photographer. He began his career in the ad agency Lintas (now Lowe). He joined as an Art Director, where his first task was to do a campaign on Bajaj Scooters. His team’s ‘Hamara Bajaj’  campaign was an instant hit and injected a pride of ownership in scooter buyers. He chose slice-of-life images for the campaign, like a Parsi polishing his scooter, the aarti people perform when buying a new vehicle, and kids taking a ride with their father to school.

This became his visual style. He brought street photography into every ad campaign, be it for Killer Jeans, The Times of India, Shoppers Stop or Airtel. He has worked with great photographers like Swapan Parekh, Raghu Rai, Prabuddha and Tejal, and learned by observing how they work.

His first encounter with professional street photography happened by chance. While working on the ‘Express Yourself’ film for Airtel, Swapan was not available. So he took up the camera and started taking pictures. His campaign later won several awards. From that day onward, the camera has always has always been his companion, where ever he goes.

For him, street photography is like holding up a mirror to society, capturing the life of a moment on film, making room for instinct, telling a story, making you smile. In his words, we quote, “It tends to be ironic and often surprise you”. He says, in today’s global village, photography is the only thing that crosses barriers of language and happily transports viewers to different cultures.

When we asked him why he captures mostly in black and white, his answer was that he shoots digital so mostly in color, but he sees black and white images in his head. He recalls once jokingly telling a friend that his camera is color-blind.

Prashant never shoots with an idea or theme in mind. He stumbles upon the situation and waits for things to happen.

His photographs are simple, minimalistic and very artistic, thanks to his training in advertising. He feels that like an ad that tells that tells a story or communicate a message within seconds, images should be kept simple and to the point. Your visual should seek to be understood even by an illiterate person. Simple becomes powerful. Removing what is not the picture and what is not the message becomes art. He applies his training in his advertising to his street photography as well.

For him gear is not important, because, in his words, we quote, “You cannot become Abhinav Bindra by holding a peashooter in your hand”. But he also emphasize that what you do with your equipment will make all the difference.

Prashant finds inspiration in the works of Swapan Parekh, Raghu Rai and Raghubir Singh.



Below are few of his inspirational images. To see more of his work, visit his website www.prashantgodbole.com or follow him on Facebook. Bookmark him for your daily dose of inspiration.

Note: all the photographs in this article are copyright, © Prashant Godbole.

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