Through the lens of the photographer, Hasaranga Pathirana

By Nuskiya Nasar

We had a chance to chat with well-known Sri Lankan photographer, Hasaranga Pathirana, about photography. Here’s what he had to say about capturing images. 

Tell us a little about yourself and the background you come from.

I am Hasaranga Pathirana, a fashion photographer, as most people would know. I live in Colombo. I’m the eldest child in my family, and I attended Mahanama College, Colombo 3. I started dabbling in photography when I was 18 years old with a passion for exploring the field. Now, I’m 26 years old. 

What does photography mean to you?

I find it quite hard to convey what photography means to me. Photography is life to me. It’s a great way to connect with people, interact, and observe everything around you. The moments can be either happy or sad. It’s like talking to the living and the non-living with the same tool. It allows me to capture and share memories with others.

From your point of view, what makes a good picture?

From my point of view, a good picture is made by following these steps:

  • Research well before the shoot.
  • Take the desired amount of time for the shot. 
  • Stay focused on the target without being distracted.
  • Always be transparent and do your best with whatever shot you take.
  • Have enough space to brainstorm and choose the best pictures when editing.


How long have you been in the field of photography? Tell us a little about your experience so far.

As I mentioned earlier, I started photography in 2014 when I was 18 years old. It’s been a wonderful journey of eight years. I started photography because I was influenced by my Advanced Level Information and Communications Technology tutor, Kasun Shanaka Bandara. I have worked with a few professional photographers to improve my skills and learn the art of photography. In 2017, I started my own business to do what I love the most. I think I have been able to build a reputable brand in photography within a short period of time.

There’s no limit to photography. Photographers feel free to work according to their opinions, skills, and abilities. The way of taking photographs changes with time, people, and circumstances. There is no manual for photography.

What is your favourite photography project and why?

The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was one of my favourite photography projects because I’m interested in fashion photography. I worked with different models and talented choreographers. Also, it was a glamorous fashion event in the country with a unique theme. I had the freedom to capture the event without any boundaries.

How do you make people feel comfortable in front of the camera?

From my point of view, first, a photographer should be friendly. This will help clients feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. Making people feel comfortable in front of the camera is key to capturing good photos.

Other than a camera and lenses, what else do you pack in your camera bag?

Apart from the camera and lenses, I carry my laptop in the camera bag. I also carry things like my perfume, sunglasses, and a water bottle.

Marc Riboud once said, ‘Taking pictures is savouring life intensely every hundredth of a second.’ What’s your take on this?

I agree with his statement. Photography captures every moment in life and makes it memorable.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring photographers out there?

Put your heart into photography and do everything with passion. You can then be a good photographer. Don’t be discouraged in times like the current crisis, you can succeed in photography if you put your heart into it.