As a young boy, Thiagarajan’s dream was to become an artist but seems destiny had greater plans. It ferried him from Graphic Design and later on to Photography where Thiagarajan says he has found his true calling. Is it a case of destiny maketh the man or man maketh destiny? Or a tango of the two maybe? His interest in arts and inability to achieve formal training in the same led him to become a self-taught graphic designer at one of Chennai’s leading lifestyle magazines. He also worked with leading advertising agencies in the city.
It was during his stint with the magazine that he developed an eye for photography. Being a graphic artist, he was immediately moved by the colours, tones and expressions in the photographs that were being published in the magazine. After stumbling over some photographs over social media, he was rapt. He was in love with the magic of the lens. The year was 2006. He decided to wield the camera as both a hobby and profession. Once again destiny intervened and held him off. He fought back by learning all that he could in the meantime. Today he can talk with ease about the camera, light, angles and his work with equal elan. He says that during his wait, when he set eyes upon anything, he composed images in his mind.
The wait seems to have made his images all the more remarkable. The compositions are beautiful, the colours lively, the scenes so well-crafted. His photography has a purity that is rare, maybe it is because of the human element in them. In fact, no frame of his is complete without a human element in them. Maybe it is because he does not try to alter the truth with the camera. Thiagarajan wants people to see what he sees through his camera. Thus Thiagarajan is the go-to guy for experience. A walk through his images is synonymous with having walked with him in the dusty deserts, among camels and their herdsmen, or finding our way around a red and green wall where a child stands nonchalantly or experiencing the Taj Mahal on a misty morning where a canine chooses to strike a yogic pose. You will almost utter, ‘Oh! What a view’ only to realise later that it was just a photograph.
Thiagarajan shoots in way that stays in the mind. He doesn’t believe in teasing the mind. When his thoughts are not sandwiched between frames of colour comes out his real love – monochrome. He says he finds nothing better than monochrome to express subtle moods. Those frames of his in monochrome are a must see.