Tapping in on Bangalore's changing fashion scene, Antony Fernando decided to wield a camera though he was a fashion design student.

Most women and a good number of men wait with eager anticipation for their monthly fix of fashion news and updates in the form of the innumerable glossy magazines that adorn newsstands and wooden racks in bookstores at the beginning of each month.

And while many ogle the models and the clothes, there is a chance that not much attention is paid to the people who capture this beauty onto paper so immaculately. This is how city-based fashion photographer, Antony Fernando discovered there's more to fashion than designing or walking the ramp.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the fashion industry but I didn't know what exactly I wanted to do. So I started with designing and realised there are other fields that are interconnected. In fashion, the search is never ending. So I decided to venture into a side of fashion. It was renowned designer Vidyasagar who helped me in my endeavour,” says Antony, a graduate of the Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore.

Only a year and a half into the business of being a freelance fashion shutterbug, the 24-year-old seems to be honing his skills with each passing day, though he hasn't done a specialised course in fashion photography.

Despite cities such as Mumbai and Delhi having more fashion shows and more forums where someone like Antony could put his skills to use, this youngster chooses to look at the sunnier side of the fashion scene in Bangalore, which is probably why he prefers to stay put here.

According to him, “Bangalore's fashion scenario has drastically improved since I got into the field, which wasn't too long ago. City-based designers are making headlines by participating in fashion weeks abroad. When they return, their brand value obviously goes up. The number of fashion shows that take place in the city and the number of designer stores coming to town prove that we aren't lagging that far behind Mumbai or Delhi. It's only a matter of time but if the scene has to get any better, people within the industry have to join hands to make it happen.”

His own critic

Stating he's blessed to have a family that supports his passion which is now his profession, Antony says: “The major challenge is that I have to face myself and being one's own critic in a profession like this is important. I have to ensure the work I do now is better than the work I've done before. There's also the need to learn more from whichever source possible because I cannot for a moment forget that I will have to face younger and more talented photographers.”

About how lucrative a job like this is, he opines: “In general, it depends on what one chooses and in which order, whether it is money, fame or satisfaction. But as passionate as one can be about fashion photography, one cannot survive with job satisfaction alone.”

Antony loves what he does and can't see himself doing anything else because his work hours and the workload are quite flexible. “I sometimes have a meeting or two to attend during the day which is usually over a cup of coffee. My job requires me to socialize and build contacts and again that's something I enjoy doing. It's nice being my own boss,” he laughs.

This column features those who veer off the beaten track.