Prateek Khatri - Visuals Speak A Thousand Words To Me (Cinematographer & Photographer)

Prateek Khatri

Photography, filmmaking and my love towards the cameras were inside my heart as if it was by birth.

1. Tell us about your background and Journey.

I remember clearly when I was a kid, I used to go mad about cinema and always imagined. 

Myself making a movie and imagining what the poster will be like and how the movie will start. I’m from a middle-class business family and cinematography was a whole new world!

I remember in all the family functions my uncle used to bring his Handycam and I used to go mad seeing that camera. I used to take the camera and make rough films and my uncle used to tell me “Son, what will I do to these shaky footages?” ahh! Those were the days. 

Later in life when the competition was too high during my school times where I had to do something in order to get good marks and make my parents proud! I forgot that I had some passion related to film making and photography. The engineering competition exams were on my head and right before the exams, I decided to step back and pursue my career in media! 

Ohh It was really difficult to make my parents understand this but they always supported me in all the situations and there I decided to pursue my bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication where film studies and photography were the parts of it. 

I got my first camera in my first year of college and it was a Nikon D5100 and look at the nature that was gifted by my Handycam uncle only.

2. How and when did you realize your passion for creating films and photography?

As I said earlier, I realised this when I was failing my board exams and had to choose a particular career. I remember I was thinking all night that what is that one thing that I love to do? Photography and filmmaking, love towards the cameras were inside my heart as if from birth. 

Being from a middle-class family and being from a small city, I had very little knowledge that there are even studies for films and when I got to know I was like “This is my thing!”

3. What are the important skills one should have to be a successful cinematographer?

There is a huge list but Understanding the emotions and having a vision tops everything! Of course, you need technical knowledge/hand stability but I personally feel you need to understand what the subject is feeling and according to that you need to compose your frame.

4. Which film(s) do you appreciate the most for their cinematography?

According to me! We spend more time with a series than films. Mr Robot wins my heart in terms of cinematography and direction. Sir Sam Esmail helped me with all the inspiration for a better vision. Of course, there are many more but Mr Robot tops my list.

5. What are some tips you would like to share with amateur photographers?

  • Patience
  • Learning from Mistakes
  • Never compare yourself with others
  • Playing with colours
  • Think of a storyline from a photograph
  • Start saying 'No' to the clients that never pays

7. What are various opportunities available for aspiring photographers?

Ohh these days you get so many opportunities and the number one opportunity for all the photographers is Instagram. You just need to keep posting your photographs and make contacts. I'm sure you will get to learn things with all those paid collaboration and Photowalk meetings.

8. Which is your favourite book and why? 

To be honest I'm not really an avid reader as much as I am a watcher. Visuals speak a thousand words to me and I learn a lot from just sitting there and watching everything unfold. It also helps me keep going for that next photo every day.

- Prateek Khatri (Cinematographer& Photographer)

Prateek Khatri


Interviewed By Pratibha Sahani

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