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“I love photography because you can capture emotions”

Goutam Datta, Vice President – Technology, ICICI Lombard, talks about his passion for photography and how it has enriched his life. By Pooja Paryani

Goutam Datta loves interacting with people—whether it’s at work trying to build a team that provides tangible value to the business or taking candid photographs of a taxi driver as he talks about his way of life. During his 16 years in the IT business, Goutam has honed his people skills to successfully manage internal as well as external partner relationships for critical technology delivery, and was recognised as an Insurance Icon recently at CIO Power List 2016 for his contributions to the field. His people skills also come handy when he steps behind the lens to indulge in his hobby.

“When you see certain things, a few frames get stuck in your mind and they stay with you,” says Goutam. “So I thought of making it a practice to save them not just in my mind but also in a digital medium. That’s how I my relationship with photography started. This happened about seven years ago, and I realised I really like taking photographs and my love for photography grew. I also started getting appreciation for my work. I love candid photography and portraits because I like to capture emotions and real life rather than poses. It is not necessary to always click photographs on your DSLR, I enjoy taking photos on my phone as well because you cannot carry a DSLR everywhere. Capturing a moment is important without worry about the medium. With photography you get a chance to capture moments and convey messages. Some of my photographs have been selected and liked by NatGeo as well, which was a big surprise for me. I even encourage my kids to click, and my daughter has taken some amazing pictures.”

Most memorable photographs
“From among the hundreds of photographs I’ve taken a few remain etched in my mind. One is of a hawker in Mumbai on a hot summer day. He had so many colourful things overflowing in this stall spread everywhere. I captured the scene from a distance and realised that everyone around him was so busy in their lives that no one noticed the colourful lively scene in front of them, least of all the hawker, who was oblivious to the colourful happiness he was carrying with him. But I captured that moment and saved it. I kept the background dull and the colours got highlighted. The lesson I learnt from this was that people nowadays don’t notice the small things in life and so can’t derive happiness from them. If only we’d notice them then we’d have more reasons to smile and be happy.

“I’ve also taken a really nice photograph of my father, his best picture so far. He was dressed in traditional Bengali attire and looked very young, firm and smart. Everyone really loved it. Another favourite image is of an old broken tree branch that had scaled skin. The colour combinations in the photograph amazed me. Even NatGeo liked it. The picture taught me that when you grow old your skin or outer beauty might fade away, but the inner beauty will always remain the same and that is what should matter.”

Family activity
“I like to share my passion with my children as well; they too enjoy it, and we do it together as an activity. Whenever I go out with my kids I make sure that they click at least 100 pictures. This is how they will get into a habit and understand the nuances of it. They have their small cameras and I have my DSLR and together we go exploring. This is also a way for me to get closer to them.”

Photography destinations
“Though I enjoy candid photography more, I also like photographing monuments. I would love to click the beautiful monuments in India and Europe. So far I’ve tried my hand at capturing monuments in Delhi, Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona. I am planning to go to Europe next year to live my dream. If things go well I hope to be back with some amazing pictures of historic monuments.”

Lessons learnt
“Just click and continue clicking. For candid photography you must have a sharp and steady hand, so as to not get blurred or unwanted results. If your first image doesn’t come out good, click another; same is the case with life. If you fail, there are always options, even if you can’t see them at that time.”

Below are some of Goutam’s images.


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