johnpaddler PRO 12:37pm, 9 October 2016
S&R: Thanks for being with us, Rammy, with your ‘Talk to the Hand’ instruction. You’re pretty good with feet too. Here one of the shop owners assumed you were with the city council, documenting the road works. Did you let him keep his illusion?


Rammy: Ha! No, I didn’t. I don’t normally talk to anyone on the street and would let people think whatever they want to, but in this instance I had to speak up because the shop owner was having a go at me. He claimed this was the spot he normally sets up his concession stand and thought I was responsible for the mess that prevented him from conducting his business. I tried to tell him I was just a tourist with a camera and simply found the boots in the sand really humorous, but he was having none of it. He left me alone after a little while but was definitely still fuming when he walked away!

S&R: Street photography is clearly important to you. You are a member of two collectives - ArtPhotoFeature and Street Photo Thailand. You run workshops. You are a moderator at HCSP on Flickr. You write weekly pieces on facebook. This year you had your first book published.

Rammy: I just really enjoy being involved in the community. Meeting new people, making friends, talking about life and photography are all the stuff I really look forward to beyond just taking pictures. It gives photography more meaning and definitely makes it feel more complete. Having my work published is a real cherry on top because it’s helped me meet even more people which is really awesome. My writing is also a way for me to connect and it’s a bit more formal now in the form of a blog which I’ve just started. It’s called “Rambles” and I hope to be sharing anything and everything that inspire me. The first blog was just published so do check it out on my website!

S&R: You travel frequently to do street photography in different places. Compared to other places, is Thailand a relatively easy place to do street photography?

Rammy: Honestly I find it much easier to take pictures when I’m traveling. I’m more excited and definitely more curious when I’m away from home. I think it’s a natural response to being in an unfamiliar place. You are a bit more observant and are more willing to try new things. People around you look different to what you’re used to seeing and you notice the little details that you normally wouldn’t back at home. I also really like the Sun and in Bangkok it’s a lot of grey most of the year so that makes it a bit tougher to make the kind of photography I really would like to make.

S&R: Your brother gave you your first camera, which got you through a rough period. How long ago was that? Has street photography changed you in other ways?

Rammy: That was late 2011, so it wasn’t all that long ago actually. Photography has definitely had a huge influence and changed me in many ways especially my perspective on life. It became my stress reliever and also my mainstream communication channel. I started on instagram first and after I found some really cool photographers to follow it gave me a big rush and not long after that photography consumed most of my time. I wanted to learn how to take better pictures. I took a ton of workshops with various photographers in different fields - portraits, documentary, travel, studio, street, everything I thought was interesting. I started meeting other photographers. Exchanged views and ideas. It was amazing the door it quickly opened and it was like I was entering into a different World and I was afforded an opportunity to start over away from everything I had going prior. I’m also quite extreme by nature so I decided if I was going to take pictures I was going to do it seriously and not as just a hobby. And that’s exactly what I did. I took it very seriously and here I am now involved in every place that’ll have me.

S&R: Do you often meet other street photographers by chance; by arrangement?

Rammy: I prefer to shoot alone, so I would only meet other photographers for drinks just like I would my other friends! Haha. I meet up with my friends from Street Photo Thailand as much as I can to catch up and talk about our group work - maybe once every month or so. I also meet with Larry Hallegua and Maciej Dakowitz from time to time. They both live here, but Maciej travels a lot and Larry works weekends so our schedules don’t always align. There's also the occasional photographers who come to Bangkok that I meet every now and then. And when I travel I will make the efforts to arrange with photographers in the cities I’m going to. I’ve met a ton of really cool people everywhere I’ve been.


S&R: Your wife rescued this photo of yours from obscurity and possible deletion. Is she a street photographer too?

Rammy: Yes she did save this one! I was just too close and I couldn’t see what it was offering to the viewer when I first took it. I thought I had composed it badly. Her telling me it actually worked was a wakeup call for me at the time that I really needed to be careful with my editing. And she’s a photographer, yes. Probably a better one than I’ll ever be, but don’t tell her I said that. Shhhh….

S&R: Although you were born in Thailand, your parents both come from India. Have you ever been to visit your roots? Did you take the gear?

Rammy: Both my parents were born in Thailand actually! My grandparents were born in India. I’ve only gone back a couple of times and not enough to really explore the country. Thailand is home for me, even though I do not look Thai and most people on the street think I’m a tourist with a camera!

S&R: How did you choose Peanut Books? Did you get help with the selection and sequencing?

Rammy: I was already working with David Carol on editing Platform 10 when he founded Peanut Press with Ashly Leonard Stohl, so it kind of happened organically. I told David when I completed the project last year that I really wanted to make it into something solid and didn’t want it to just become an online series that’s shared a couple of times and goes into oblivion. Both of them were on board with the idea to turn it into a book so we went right at it. David had been helping me from the get go on selecting the images and deciding how many there should be at the end. He knew the project inside out, and really understood my work. Ashly also took on the project as though it was her own work and gave it a lot of attention. It made the decision much easier and I'm glad it worked out the way it did.

S&R: Finally, what is good street photography for you?

Rammy: Good and bad are really subjective but if I have to describe it I would say good photography has to be memorable. It has to be beyond the obvious, and it has to lend itself to the imagination offering multiple possibilities about what it’s trying to say. The more open ended and suspenseful the better. Good photography doesn’t necessarily have to always be emotional, but that always helps. It is also vital that you’re able to be consistent in the delivery of your message. I love it when a photographer is able to keep producing the same mood and feelings over and over again from one photograph to the next. That’s a special quality and that is also what I strive for, to achieve that level of consistency in my work.
sameerwalzade 2 years ago
Awesome interview John & Rammy. Loved it.
Rammy Narula 2 years ago
Thank you very much John for the interview!

sameerwalzade: Thank you !!
johnpaddler PRO 2 years ago
Thank you Rammy! A pleasure working with you.
watcher330 PRO 2 years ago
Quite a CV - and it shows in the enthusiasm shown in commenting on shots in Rammy's instruction.
A.Dakin 2 years ago
Nice variety of questions, and answers. Good read!
nileshmazumdar1 2 years ago
Have always admired Rammys photography -he is such an excellent "thinking photographer" and a mentor ! now got a chance to know a little bit of his personal self .Thanks John for doing and publishing the interview.
chrismalmberg 2 years ago
Awesome interview, guys. I always love to learn new things about the photographers I look up to.
nimeshagarwal 2 years ago
Any word will be inadequate and small infront of Rammy work and personality. I am big big fan of him. A professional.photographer and a lovely mentor..
Rammy Narula 2 years ago
Thank you for the kind words everyone...
mark_walch1968 PRO Posted 2 years ago. Edited by mark_walch1968 (member) 2 years ago
A very enjoyable interview Rammy, You went into very good details on how you see the world and what we should all be looking for. Thank you for your time and a wonderful instruction. Maybe one day you will be back with a new instruction on feets L.O.L hahah cheers Only having a little joke with you. All the best.
Kristof Vande Velde 2 years ago
Finally read it. Nice words, Rammy! (as always :) )
pedroalves44 2 years ago
Thanks Rammy for the wonderfull instruction and for your comments in everyone submission.Great interview Jonh,its a inspiration to see the work and enthusiasm Of Rammy!
Rammy Narula 2 years ago
Thanks a lot everyone for your kind words. It's been a fun a couple of weeks for sure and hope to be back doing it again soon.
chrisowenrichards 2 years ago
Yes really interesting interview - and it helps explain the formidable commitment to commentary and analysis through the past two weeks! Thank you!
bruce wayne1 PRO 2 years ago
top guy rammy...appreciate your guiding words.
Rammy Narula 2 years ago

bruce wayne1:

Thanks a lot guys - really appreciate it.
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