A person with passion can achieve anything regardless of his or her age. Seshadri Sukumar, a 66 years old legendary photographer who was a former banker.
With his love for sports and the burning passion for photography – is now capturing all the precious sports moments with his camera.
He combined his love for sports and passion and today he’s a well-known sports photographer at the age of 66.
Well, this old man defines this phrase “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put in mind”. He achieved the tag of “Ace photographer” at the age of 66.
In this Article
Sports photography and Mr. S Sukumar?
Sports photography is a path for different people. For some it is a passion and for some it is a profession.
Passionate photographers run behind the playgrounds and watch their favorite sports every day cautiously. Capturing every moment with their eyes and camera.
Mr. Sukumar is one of them – a passionate sports lover with a great hobby “photography” that he turned into a profession.
He says he prefers to be a Sports photographer because of its nature, action, the lighting and the emotions of his subjects – the players.
You must have seen these amazing pictures in magazines, newspapers, and on Tv. The prestigious sports tournaments moments captured so perfectly that depict the story.
How do we get to see and feel the iconic sports moments? From your favorite cricketer like Sachin scoring a chhakka, or your favorite footballer Cristiano Ronaldo or Messy, scoring a goal or iconic moment of India winning a championship or losing.
All this glimpse that we get is because of the dedicated sports photographers running in the field, taking the best shots of their life.
Mr. S Sukumar has covered almost all the international or national valuable sports tournaments. The Olympics, Asian games, Indian premier league, tennis tournaments, cricket, football world cup, ICC world cup, T20 world cup and the list will go on.
Furthermore, not just sports photography… he carried his work outside the sports world. He even covered Modi ji election campaigns, and did charitable work -free photography for the government of Tamil Nadu.
About his charity work, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, an association that contains information about all the temples around Tirumala and Tirupati.
This association assigned Sukumar the photography project for their 2018 calendar. He was there in Tirupati for 27 days – captured all the different temples for free.
He has always believed “when money comes your way, you lose the artistic results”. You need to sense ardour while the method is desirable and your execution is skillful.
Also, he has published two photo books, which covers all the great accomplishments of Gymnastics Rio Olympics 2016 and Rio Olympics 2016.
Passion + Expertise + Usefulness = Dharma. Everyone has a psychological nature which determines where they flourish and thrive.
You must recognize your dharma, the things you’re good at, the thrive mode, to serve others.
From a Bank employee to a sports Photographer?
Previously he was a bank employee, he chose to go an extra mile following his dream. It all started as a hobby 40 years back… he was passionate about photography and continued it as a hobby for a very long time.
Seshadri, came from a simple middle-class family, he was born in Thanjavur – but soon his parents moved to Chennai. Just like any other middle-class family, his father valued education and wanted him to get a decent job.
So, accordingly he graduated with a BCom degree and applied for a job in 1976, got the job appointment letter in 1978. However, he came up with the idea of learning some new skills like book-keeping, photography, and typewriting.
In the process of learning a new skill, he developed an extremely passionate attitude for photography. While he was working at the bank, he continued his hobby as an unofficial profession.
In an interview he shared some of his life moments he is grateful for.
During his working days as a bank employee, his colleagues recognized his talent and offered him to be an official photographer for them.
As his journey started towards photography – he continued the two roles for 21 years, and in 1984, he finally set his foot in sports photography as a freelancer.
Before DSLR was introduced in the 80s, the photographer they’ve to use three cameras at a time – one for black & white, one for Transparency and the other for the color.
He said he was grateful to his friends who helped him buy a camera that does the three jobs together in one camera. Everybody around him believed in him and supported his hobby.
Afterwards, just a few years before his retirement he resigned from his job and started chasing his passion. And today with 40 years of experience he’s covering all the sports events and tournaments all over the world.
Sounds so simple, anyone can do it? Well how many of you’re doing what you like today?
You see, in life masses of people understand what to do, but very few actually do what they understand. And understanding is not enough! You must take action.
Mr. Sukumar took action and proved you’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
Precious life events:
Over the last 35 years of his profession as a photographer, he has covered tremendous sports events. His life story is an inspiration for all ages. His purpose in life is to promote sports and photography.
Mr. Sukumar’s life took a dramatic change, when Sachin Tendulkar, former Indian cricketer used his photograph as the cover photo for his book Playing it My Way. An autobiography, launched on 5th November, 2014 in Mumbai.
It was a proud moment of his profession, what’s more important than being acknowledged and remembered for our work.
Now, he wants to encourage people to become Olympian, and he believes the set of stories that a picture can depict has the power to inspire people. Anyone can become an Olympian if they believe and chase it.
Furthermore, to carry his purpose he conducted various photo exhibitions in different places for weeks. And he shared one special moment which he encountered during one of his exhibitions, which motivated him to carry on his work.
In 2015, he conducted an exhibition in Sai Swimming pool stadium, Kolkata. There he noticed an 83-year-old man, every day. The exhibition was there for about a week, and every day that old man came by cycle.
That old guy used to observe each and every picture and note down something on the paper. Later, he found out that an 83-year-old man was an amateur photographer.
If an 83-year-man can do it, chase his dream and passion…you can do too.
Piece of advice for the young aspirants: By Mr. S Sukumar
Well, a photographer should look for emotion if he wants a great result, says Sukumar. “Expected and unexpected” capture every small detail, focus on your subject.
He said “we should make it in such a way that they should be thrilled”. As you know motion photography is a tough work, capturing the right moment needs a lot of focus.
And the secret behind Sukumar’s great photography is nothing but his 200% dedication and focus, meditation and yoga.
Over the years, so many sports have come up…and with that a lot of opportunities for sports photography. One for the sake of money shouldn’t take up the work, they should love the subject. Love the work.
Start young or start old, what’s wrong with being 60, 72 or 80 or 90? If God is good enough to bless you with those years, flaunt them. Live them.
But following the stereotype and doing nothing is wrong.