The number of people who have wished this school existed when they were figuring out photography as a career choice is astounding. I’m part of that group of people as well. The One School in Goa has quickly turned into THE place to study photography & multimedia in India. The school has recently started a Govt. approved 3 year degree course and they are currently accepting applications for admissions.
I had first heard about the school from Wendell Rodricks when I was staying at his home in Goa. That is where I also met Shantanu Sheorey who heads the school. They were recently in New Delhi as part of The Edutainment Show by Times of India and had setup a booth at The Lalit Hotel. They will be at JW Marriot Hotel in Bombay on the 9th and 10th of May as well. If you are in Bombay and want to be a photographer and have looked for options to study photography in India, look no further.
I met Shantanu at The Lalit Hotel and while I was asking him about the school and the courses and the international photographers who show up, at the back of my mind I was continually wondering how I could go and spend a few months there. How wonderful it would be to learn from senior international and Indian photographers and from the young students who are part of the courses. The One School should totally have a shorter course program for photographers like me who would like a shot in the arm and re-charge their creative energy and just LEARN more. The industry is changing SO rapidly and it is easy to feel lost.
My top questions to Shantanu were about the business of photography. Contracts, pricing, getting business, working with clients, professionalism etc. Looking at the work that the students are producing, there is no doubt that they have the art of photography down really well. The business aspect is a whole different ball game and students need to be equipped to deal with this as well. I did go through the course details and there were dedicated sections for addressing these concerns.
Some of the food photography done by the students was so good that I ended up asking the question I dread being asked, “What camera did you use?” *wince* They had used the Fuji XT1. I’m impressed. Shantanu has been a photographer and film maker for the last thirty years and is well-respected in the industry. I could not detect even a hint of nostalgia about the “film days” and he sounded very gung-ho about new technology and how photography is so much more full-of-life and energy now than it has ever been.
I spent quite some time enthralled with stories of senior international photographers like Bob Allard spending time at the school and I was immensely jealous! There were also anecdotes about how some parents come to speak with Shantanu to willingly enroll their children in the school beacuse the kids love photography so much. And then there are kids who approach him, asking him to speak with their parents so they may be convinced to let them study at this wonderful photography school.
Photography as a career is still not a mainstream choice. With schools like The One School, and the commercial success that its students are enjoying, this mainstream choice looks like it might change in the near future.
While I was there, as with all brands and people I interact with, I asked them about their Twitter / Facebook / Instagram handles. They had both the former but no Instagram handle and they got around to setting one up right there. Not a single person or brand that I have interacted with earlier has done this immediately when I’ve suggested it. Not one. And I tell a LOT of people that they must be online – they owe it to their work. This adaptability, agility and willingness to do new things is probably the key advantage that The One School and its faculty and hence students have.
More power to such institutions. Meanwhile, I am going to figure out how to justify my absence from Delhi and work for a month or two because I am not going to turn down an invitation to spend time at The One School. I’m certain I would get a LOT of stories out of my time there.
All these photographs on these boards you see? All photographed by the students of the school. On top of that, all this was printed at the school as well. They have some of the leading, cutting-edge technology and equipment for photography and printing and filming although this is not what they harp about, which is fantastic! Below, Shantanu Sheorey.
Their Twitter account above and Shantanu’s spectacles below as we had coffee. I asked the waiter for cold coffee but without milk and you should’ve seen the look on their faces! “Madam, cold coffee? But no milk?” I’m sure he was thinking, “That isn’t cold coffee now is it?” Luckily they took the brief well and made me an excellent glass of cold coffee without milk!
Good way to spend a bit of my Sunday afternoon. Learn more about The One School Goa with the links below. If you know a kid in your family or friends who has been wondering what to do with their lives because they love photography but don’t know what to do next, point them in the right direction!