about me

Akil Madan (akil@akilmadanphotography.com)

My name is Akil Madan, and I have an unnatural obsession with light. I started making short films around the age of 10, where my dad's Sony camcorder provided me with exactly what I needed. I edited all my films manually using a VCR and the combination of the record and pause buttons (taking into consideration the loss of 2 or 3 frames on each pause). In high school, I learnt the wonders of digital filmmaking as a couple of older students showed me the equipment they got to play with. With no digital cameras affordable at the time, I bought a video capture card and took my analogue footage into the world of non linear digital editing using Adobe Premier. I was hooked. I created two pieces of work in high school and won prizes for both. Against my better judgement I proceeded to go on and study a 'safer choice' of Software Engineering - but I continued to make videos whenever I could. 

Fast forward a few years and I discovered the world of Digital SLRs where I could shoot on a 35mm sensor with various interchangeable lenses. Back in the days, my dream camera was always the Canon XL2 so naturally I was blown away by the fact that these new generation SLRs far exceeded that dream. And naturally - I ended up in the Nikon camp! But it wasn't movies that captured me this time, it was the ability to create the perfect picture with these incredible tools. This meant I had to go back to the fundamentals of photography and understand the complex weave of lighting, posing, cinematography and human psychology.

Given my background, I love shooting people (in a photographic sense of course!). I love creating the scene; just like a film director; using various light sources, whether they are natural or artificial, continuous or instant, soft or hard. The appeal to me is being able to understand and utilise the strength of each type. I own (more on the below) and worked with many light sources and modifiers. I enjoy shooting with primes, but understand their limitations in a fast paced wedding scenario.

experience

  • Have worked on several portrait shoots with both experienced and in-experienced models and children
  • Couples portrait engagement shoots
  • Second shooter for two weddings
  • Event based photography for local Adelaide bands
  • Event based photography for birthday parties (21st)

* Note - evidence of my work can be viewed on the main site: www.akilmadanphotography.com

education

Most of my photography education has been through resources available online (both paid and free). Of course the best education has been countless hours of experimenting and learning from my mistakes. Some of the more notable online resources include:

  • Countless hours of B&H seminars; my main focus has been  seminars on lighting, portrait and wedding
  • Fstoppers How To Become A Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer where the focus of the video include
    • How to shoot a wedding in a 'commercial' style (as oppose to the photo journalistic style)
    • Business of wedding photography (client interaction, running website, managing the business)
    • Different stages of wedding photography (including the engagement shoot, bridal shoot, ceremony etc)
    • Lighting for various difficult scenarios (Churches, Dark reception halls, night shoots etc)
    • Efficient workflows in Lightroom
    • etc...
  • SLRLoounge Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop where the focus of the video include
    • Foundation poses for couples
    • Use of natural lighting (along with basic modifiers such as reflectors)
    • Efficient workflows in Lighroom
    • Using moodboards to organise shoots with the couples
  • There are several more hundreds of hours of articles and videos from a lot of popular and exclusive online resources.

my equipment

Cameras

  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D7000

Lenses

  • 50mm f1.8
  • 85mm f1.8
  • 100mm f2.8 Macro
  • 24-70mm f2.8
  • 70-200mm f2.8

Lighting

  • Speedlights x 2
  • CFL (>90 CRI) continuous lights
  • Wireless remote triggers (Yongnuo) (no TTL, Manual)
  • 5 in 1 36" Reflector set
  • Strobist gels for speed lights
  • Various light stands and modifiers
    • Softboxes
    • Beauty Dish

Accessories

  • Tripod
  • Remote trigger
  • Grey card