As a young boy, Narendra Pradhan (pic, left) had a way with the sketchpad, spending hours drawing. It was his love for art that led him to photography and eventually cinematography, devoting much of his time to film making. Yet time and again, Narendra always came back to his camera.
Whenever he got a chance, Narendra enjoyed shooting Nepal's varied landscape and people. Portraits became his fort? but photography was an expensive hobby. To keep doing what he loved best, Narendra took snapshots of friends and neighbours, offering to photograph weddings and other ceremonies. He developed black and white film at home, where he later opened a studio to support his family. Anything left over was ploughed back into buying film and funding trips around the country. Initially Narendra's family was concerned. "They could not understand why I would go around taking photos of strangers and scenery for free," he says. All except for little Birendra who, while watching his father work, was cultivating his own passion for the camera.
Birendra (pic, right) says his father has been his sole inspiration. Unlike his self-taught dad, Birendra got a diploma in photography and went on to complete an advanced course in TV and film production at AVAS in Tripureswor. Father and son also share an interest in cinematography and Birendra assisted his father on several shoots.
Like his father, Birendra too enjoys taking pictures that show Nepali life and culture, and especially typical Nepali expressions. His best moments are those when he captures a moment the way he wanted. Now, for the first time, father and son are teaming up for an exhibition and rediscovering the joy of working together. Birendra, 30, and Narendra, 59, hope those who see their pictures get a feel for what lies behind: "Nepalis are poor and have a hard life, but we still enjoy life, carrying on with our culture." (Sraddha Basnyat)
From the lens of the father, from the lens of the son, an exhibition of photographs by Narendra and Birendra Pradhan, opens 18 October at Gallery Nine, Lazimpat. 4428694