For Karan Khanna, viewing the world through the lens of a camera started as a school hobby and gradually spiraled into a passion that drove him to change from advertising accounts executive to professional photographer early on in his career, in 1982.
After that there was no looking back as assignments poured in from ad agencies and direct clients. Steadily, over the years, his reputation as a commercial photographer grew in the field of corporate, industrial, fashion, food and product photography. Karan took up each assignment with gusto, mainly because his unalloyed love of the medium prevented him from specializing in any one genre. He was hungry to experience it all.
But this commercial recognition was not enough and his soul hankered to shoot pictures that were not bound by client briefs. So, wherever Karan’s assignments took him, whichever city he was assigned to shoot in, he would wander the streets once his assignment was done, capturing with his camera what his artist’s eye saw.
Through this street photography in Benares, Rajasthan, South India and other places his work took him to, Karan has built up a collection of photographs that have been exhibited in various shows and are in private collections in India and abroad. But this does not account for the complete quantum of Karan’s work. His most recent works reflect his familiarity with the technological changes in his field which Karan has used to create a new idiom of expression that is uniquely his.
As an artist’s son, Karan enjoyed growing up in a home where art was a way of life. He was also often privileged to meet luminaries in the art world who were friends of his parents, Renu & Krishen Khanna. Among these was Henri Cartier-Bresson who Karan once accompanied on a shooting spree in Chandini Chowk. It was this legendary, much revered photographer who inspired Karan to make photography not just a profession but a way of life, and from whom he learnt some of the finer points of photography. For this, he will be always grateful.