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Friday, March 28, 2014

Prestimo | Making Memories More Special. One Shutter Press at a Time.

Prestimo is a Wedding Photography company started in Delhi by a young founder duo who possess a keen eye for detailing and a passion for blending photojournalism and storytelling to elevate personal memories to a narrative art form.

Founders: Aditya Nath and Rajat Gupta

An entrepreneur by accident or intent? Where did the idea come from?

Actually it’s hard to pin it down to one single cause. I think it was a combo of both accident, and intent. The idea came out of the need for funds to finance this very expensive hobby. I mean both of us brothers are Baniyas, not just by name but by deeds too. We thought it was high time that this hobby started paying for itself because we’ve invested a lot into it from our end already.

Aditya Nath and Rajat Gupta

Shed some light on your Background? Why did you start your company?

Talking about our backgrounds, we both have the kind of educational backgrounds that would mark us really high up on the Indian marriage market. My brother AdityaNath is a Chartered Accountant while I,Rajat Gupta, am an Engineer, and am currently pursuing higher education from IIT Delhi after having worked as a Bridge Designer for a year and a half.
We started Prestimo because we were very passionate about photography. I mean, agreed, neither of us have any formal education in photography, but then I don’t need to be specifically educated to realize what looks good and what doesn’t. In fact, some of the best and most successful businessmen have had no formal education in their respective fields. Take the example of our dearest Mr. Ambani, or the guy who started the “Rekha! Hema! Jaya aurSushma! Sabkipasand NIRMA!!” Not the advert guy, the actual Nirma dude. Basically the point I’m trying to make is that the lack of formal education in a certain field gives you a certain amount of edge over the ones who have that. You are less tied down since you are not mentally bound by the rules as you are unaware of them, and quite honestly, nobody has ever really done something extraordinary by sticking to the rules. Also, photography is madness, so technically there is no space for rules.

Your first steps. How long did it take to put together Prestimo? Whatdoes your start-up do?

There is one saying that I believe in firmly, the first step is indeed the hardest. In this case, the first step basically meant overcoming the mental hurdle of low self confidence in the beginning. As I said, neither of us brothers had had any formal education and so it took us a good long string of constant praises from family and friends and then a big front page feature of one of our pre-wedding shoots in Delhi Times, to understand that what we enjoyed doing, we were also quite good at. It was one fine October night,that we, after having gone about doing free photo-shoots for friends and families, and their friends and families at Weddings, Pre-Wedding traditions, 50th Anniversary celebrations, at places in and around Delhi for about a year or so, that we finally convinced ourselves to start a Candid photography business. We are candid photographers, who work at subsidized rates and with magnified passion and shoot couples in love, little kids, products and events.

Greatest challenge. What has been the hardest part of the start-upexperience so far?

We capture precious still moments. That’s the simplest thing and yet the most complicated. Most people are not so comfortable in front of cameras. They feel overly conscious of their pouts and hands on the waist poses. Even more so with their significant others in the same frame. And here comes the challenging part of our job, which we also take a lot of pride in being very good at. Making them laugh and feel comfortable around us. We crack lame jokes at each other’s expense and do stupid stuff just to make them feel more comfortable with themselves. It notonly helps them but also makes our job a lot easier because they are now more open to whacky execution ideas than ever before since they start seeing us as friends and not photographers. Usually we’ve seen that photographers are pretty emotionless people who try to do their job with the most minimalistic interaction but we feel better working our way.

Another huge challenge isthe fact that people don’t understand the value of a photographer and the significance of good photographs which only a good photographer can capture. While people are willing to spend lakhs of rupees over décor and venues, they are not willing to spend on a good photographer. They do not realize that among all the things you spend on during a wedding, the photos are the only things which will last forever. But thankfully, this notion does change once they actually see your work. Fortunately, the younger generation also understands this better. So the future seems bright.

What are you up to now, and what are the things you are working on?

Currently we’re working on coming up with new and innovative ideas for our next assignment. Every shoot, we try and come up with something we have not done before or we haven’t seen others doing. Basically what you would call building one’s USP. I mean, what good is a candid photographer, if all they ever do is try to catch that natural smile while you were sharing a joke with someone in a gathering? There must be something that we too bring to the table. We, as photographers, must do something to reduce the stress that the bride and the groom are going through. Honestly, weddings are very stressful for both the bride and the groom and the Indian weddings especially more so considering how long they last with the many ceremonies that they consist of. In midst of all of this, if we ask the couple to step up toour blinding flash lightsetup and do the most clichéd and awkward poses in the history of (wo)mankind (we’re not sexists), then we’re not helping them in any way and we should rather move out of their way.

Where do you see Prestimo 5 years from Now?

We hope to diversify into a lot of other fields by the end of 5 years. We wish to make a big name for ourselves in product photography and corporate shoots. We enjoy shooting people, especially those in love, so we want to keep on doing that and also that is something we specialize in. We also aspire to get into fashion photography but that’s sometime down the line, perhaps towards the end of those 5 years.

Any piece of advice/word of caution you would like to give to readersand soon to be start up founders.

If you are passionate about something, just go get it. Don’t think about Plans A, B, C,or D because if you do that, you are not committed to your own idea. You have a foot outside the door ready to leave even before you’ve completely arrived. To cite a movie, as stated in“Dark Knight Rises”, “You can’t make the jump with that rope around your waist, even if it’s just there for your own safety!”

Secondly, don’t let earning money be the motive of your venture but at the same time, figure out a way to get at least the bare minimum to make it feasible and to survive on it. Essentially, don’t get greedy but get enough to survive.

Stay hungry stay foolish, hungry to meet new people and foolish enough not to stop yourselves from trying something new.

Facebook: Prestimo

- Karishma Singh


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