Gurinder Osan specializes in photojournalism, landscape and social documentary photography. He presently works as Photo Editor for Press Trust of India, heading and mentoring a pan India team of many talented photographers. His previous roles include being the National Photo Editor at Hindustan Times for 5 years. Prior to that he worked as a frontline photographer for the Associated Press, based in Delhi, for 10 years – where his work took him from war zones to cricket stadia, natural calamities to nuanced human-interest stories that he has witnessed and photographed. He has earlier worked for BusinessWorld magazine and Indian Express newspaper as a photographer.
He has done exhaustive work in the Himalayas, documenting its glorious landscape and hardy people. He is a trained mountaineer and has trekked on foot into the remotest corners of its tough terrain. His travel includes riding these ranges on a motorcycle in the 90’s, when very few took up the challenge, a feat he replayed by riding to Ladakh in Sept. 2021.
His freelance assignments included work for UNICEF, NGO’s, advertising agencies and direct clients.
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA (PTI), New Delhi – Photo Editor from June 16, 2017 to present – Heads the photo operation of India’s premier news agency that has a pan India network of many talented and committed photo-journalists. His vast experience has helped him bring transformative, institutional level changes in an ongoing attempt to raise the bar of photojournalism across India. His interventions have made helped make PTI photographers, staffers as well as the numerous freelance contributors, produce higher quality images that finds good spreads in newspapers, magazines and websites across India.
HINDUSTAN TIMES (HT) newspaper, New Delhi – National Photo Editor from Feb. 2012 – May 2017. Headed a multi-location team of 53 talented staff photographers and photo-desk editors, with an extended network of freelance contributors. Honed HT’s photo-team, through formal and informal engagements transforming it into a fully professional, well-equipped and completely up-to-date on technology unit. Lead from the front in changing photographers’ mindsets and aligning the team towards HT’s fully integrated newsroom, that prioritized the “digital first” approach. Pioneered setting up a central photo-desk in Delhi that serves as a hub for efficient workflow for HT’s pan-India operation. Refined and institutionalized the photo workflow procedures that reaped benefits not just editorially but also for the photo-archives and syndication branch of HT.
ASSOCIATED PRESS (AP), New Delhi – Staff Photographer Feb. 2002 – Feb. 2012. Played a pivotal role in AP’s coverage of assignments in the sub-continent and beyond, for all major news coverage including political, sports, general news and features. His images found prominent display in most leading newspapers, websites and magazines worldwide. He played an active and key role in fine-tuning the photo-desk operation to enhance AP’s South-Asian coverage.
INDEPENDENT PHOTOGRAPHER – Nov. 1998 – Jan. 2002. Worked for various clients including UNICEF and NGOs. Handled regular editorial assignments for magazines like Far Eastern Economic Review, Indian Design & Interiors, etc. Worked as a commercial photographer for advertising agencies and direct clients on people, product and conceptual photography. He worked regularly with prominent agencies including FCB-Ulka, Ogilvy & Mather, Leo Burnett, etc. using high-end, large-format cameras like Sinar plate and Hasselblad 120mm camera besides professional lighting equipment to deliver the required results.
BUSINESSWORLD magazine, New Delhi – Senior Staff Photographer Aug. 1994 – Oct. 1998. Specialized in stylized portraiture. Produced high-end photo-essays on business and economy.
INDIAN EXPRESS, New Delhi – Staff Photographer March 1991 – July 1994 Covered daily news and features assignments with specialization in sports, social documentary and investigative reportage.
AS MENTOR AND EDUCATOR
2022 onwards: Teacher on SWAYAM, a Government of India initiated online course that introduces one to photojournalism and the basics of digital photography, spearheaded by By Dr. Radhika Khanna at the Pondicherry University.
SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.
Held a session for the students on World Photography Day 2023
2019 ONWARDS: Visiting faculty member at Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (SACAC), holding week long courses on photojournalism with the photography students there.
www.fo2.in 2021: Online talk for www.fo2.in on how to shoot the Olympics
May 31, 2020: Online talk on photojournalism for @nikonindiaofficial
2018: Guest lecturer for the Photojournalism students at Light and Life Academy in Ooty, India
India Photography Festival 2017 – Was amongst key speakers at ‘Artist Talk’ presenting his editorial and landscape photography and emphasizing the spiritual connect that has helped him have a different perspective to his work.
The work presented here was featured extensively in the April 2018 issue of Better Photography magazine, which is India’s leading periodical in photography.
Was jury member for entries to the same festival in 2018.
Nikon Brand Ambassador 2017 – Chosen amongst 4 photographers from India to be brand ambassador for Nikon’s newly launched D850 camera, for one year.
2015: Delhi Photo Festival portfolio review member
Pixeltreeworkshops 2011-2012 – Set up Pixeltree Workshops to conduct regular weekend photography workshops with semi-professionals and amateurs at Sanskriti Kendra, Delhi.
2012 Conducted one-day photo workshops with teachers from across India for CERT (Centre for Educational Research and Training) in Delhi.
2012 Conducted one-day photo workshop with a mixed group of photo enthusiast in Haldwani, India as part of a photography camp.
2005 Conducted 7-day workshop with a group of 15 serious amateurs on landscape photography in Ladakh, for Better Photography magazine.
2001 Conducted an 8-day workshop with a group of 11 serious amateurs on a trek to Harkidoon valley in the remote and scenic Garhwal Himalayas, camping in the great outdoors
2000 Conducted 5-day workshop with children for pitara.com in Delhi 1996 Conducted 2-day workshop with a large group of senior students of Mira Model School, Delhi
1995 Conducted 2-day photography workshop for the students of Scindia School – Gwalior
1995 – Conducted 2-day photography workshop for the students of IIT Kanpur
Himalayas – Landscape & Social Documentary photography – Has pursued his personal passion for the genre of Landscape photography, travelling extensively in the Himalayas and intimately photo-documenting the poetic grace of these beautiful mountains.
He acquired mountaineering training from US based NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) and has traversed many a high altitude regions in pursuit of his work, if not self-realization.
Additionally, he has travelled for photo projects on his Enfield Bullet 350cc motorcycle across the world’s highest Khardung la pass in Ladakh in ’96 & ’97, much before it became popular on the tourists’ route. He repeated this journey, for a documentary film project in 2021, this time riding a Hero Pulse 200cc.
He has traversed many other parts of the Indian, Nepal and Bhutan Himalayas, camping outdoors for extended periods of time and carrying all the camera and survival gear required, camping outdoors for extended periods.
REBARIS – Social Documentary 1992 – 2002. Extensive photo-documentation of the Rebari nomads from Rajasthan’s Barmer district, who now lead a marginalized existence, with in-depth documentation of their pastoral lives revolving around their large herd of cows.
HABIB TANVIR – Theatre and Life 1992 – 1996. Close association with prominent theatre director Habib Tanvir, photo-documenting his personal life as well as his group -Naya Theatre’s- performances. (1992-96)
INTERACTIVE CD ROM 1993 – 1995 – Commissioned for Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, Indian Railways and on Taj Mahal to shoot for cutting edge interactive CDROM and Virtual Reality (VR) projects, when they were still a nascent technology.
ARTISANS 1988 – Extensively shot artisans in their natural working environment for a book titled “Status Report on India’s Artisans”, published by CAPART, Delhi.
24th July to 31st July 2022: ‘Timelapse‘. A group Photography Art Exhibition in memory of College of Art, Delhi professor, Shri Krishan Ahuja, at Ojas Art Gallery, New Delhi.
WNCA‘s “BIG PICTURE“: Regularly displayed his work in all group shows organized by WNCA since 2013.
4th-30th Jan., 2000 Group exhibition titled “Endless Horizons” by three photographers and friends who had travelled extensively in the Northern Himalayas, at the IGNCA, Delhi (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts).
Dec. 1995 Photographs selected for exhibition titled –Echoes from Panchpatmali, organized by Lalit Kala Akademi in Delhi and Bhubaneshwar
Sept. 1992 Photographs selected for travelling exhibition of photographs from SAARC nations.