LIGHT & LIFE ACADEMY – Where the visual storytellers of tomorrow are being nurtured

Photography and filmmaking have today become significant career choices, primarily due to the immense influence of social media, OTT platforms, and the power of mobile phones. However, in 2001, well before this current surge, Iqbal Mohamed and Anuradha Iqbal foresaw the demand for structured photography education in India and established Light & Life Academy (LLA) in Ooty.

Iqbal Mohamed, the founder of LLA, embarked on his professional photography journey at the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography in the USA. He further refined his skills through collaborations with renowned photographers in Hollywood. Returning to India in 1988, he was probably one of the country’s first formally educated professional photographers. His work quickly gained recognition, attracting assignments from both national and international brands. In 1999, his book, “Portrait & Function Photography,” transcended language barriers by being published in eight Indian languages.

Anuradha Iqbal, co-founder and director of LLA, played a key role in creating award-winning campaigns for well-known national brands throughout her career as an advertising professional based in Mumbai. Her partnership with Iqbal Mohamed in the advertising industry laid the foundation for their dream of establishing a photography academy. Notably, among LLA’s alumni is an Oscar recipient recognized for her work on the documentary film “The Elephant Whisperers.”

Today, Light & Life Academy seamlessly blends contemporary teaching methods with timeless Gurukul values, creating an environment where students can deeply grasp the core concepts of photography as they progress in their educational journey.

A comprehensive, industry relevant course curriculum

From the very beginning, Light & Life Academy has been fueled by an undying passion that is palpable in every aspect, ranging from its charming campus setting to its meticulously designed architecture. The special feature of the LLA campus is a total of 14 fully equipped studios, which include a daylight studio and an extensive 4500 square foot automobile studio, all thoughtfully crafted to ignite creativity and furnish students with a cutting-edge learning environment.

At present, the academy provides a variety of specialized year-long courses. To secure admission, prospective students must undergo a rigorous selection procedure, which includes the submission of portfolios and participation in two rounds of interviews.

Fashion Photography: Students learn the evolution of fashion, create mood boards, and plan fashion campaigns. They get hands-on experience through live shoots with industry professionals, covering lighting techniques, model posing, and makeup artists. The course includes portrait photography, covering studio and on-location shoots, natural and artificial lighting, and the art of posing.

Food & Beverage Photography: Students are introduced to theme creation, production planning, sourcing, food styling, and indoor/outdoor photography. With live demos by indusry veterans they get hands-on experience. The curriculum also delves into splash photography techniques and advanced product photography, emphasizing how light interacts with different surfaces.

Travel, Nature & Fine Art Photography: The students learn to appreciate nature. They learn to shoot landscapes, seascapes, desertscapes, macros as well as wildlife. In travel photography, the accent is on telling a story about the destination through visuals. Students learn research, project planning, and execution. In Fine Art Photography, they learn to create images that fullfill their desire for creative self-expression.

Architecture & Interior Photography: The students learn how to capture compelling images of spaces of different kinds, exterior as well as interior. They explore the use of both natural as well as artificial light and the challenges of balancing different light sources. Students master perspectives and styling through practical demonstrations by professional photographers.

Click here to learn more about the photography courses –

In tune with the future of photography

At LLA, each day is dedicated to igniting a passion for visual storytelling and instilling a deep appreciation for the enchanting world of photography. The institution takes great pride in its ability to adapt to the ever-changing photography landscape, effortlessly incorporating advancements in trends and techniques to provide students with a distinct competitive advantage.

The Photography, Digital Filmmaking, and Visiting faculties represent a stellar lineup of industry experts, no wonder enthusiastic learners from all corners of India converge at this space as the gateway to building a career in visual communiucation. Students are also offered career counselling opportunities with close guidance from faculty and alumni.

With an outstanding track record of having nurtured and empowered over a thousand students, many of whom have gone on to establish their own successful businesses or secure prestigious positions at major brands, advertising agencies, and influential media outlets, LLA remains resolute in its commitment to fostering the success of its students.

Click to discover more about the institute’s offerings and also read about its founders and activities in more detail.                        

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