“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera…  they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”- Henri  Cartier-Bresson 

Ask Ridhiin Pancchmatia of ‘The Moneta’, and he’ll tell you the  same. What started purely as a coincidence while he was  taking a course in animation in early 2011 (his first exposure to  the art of light painting), has blossomed into so much more than  just a photography house. His multifaceted brainchild ‘The Moneta’, has quickly expanded into numerous verticals, including a media arm, an interior design arm, and an academy  and mentorship arm. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ridhiin’s journey so far has been nothing short of exhilarating – much like the music festivals he is so widely acclaimed for  covering. He kickstarted his career as a documentary  photographer with the art project and walk-in ‘Jaya He’  museum, at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International  Airport’s Terminal 2. A trailblazer of sorts, The Moneta has been shooting music festivals since before the concept  gathered steam in India, and it all started with the world renowned Sunburn festival. With hardly any experience in this  genre of photography, Ridhiin backed himself up anyway and  approached those in charge of the festival. The rest, as they  say, is history. The Moneta has been shooting Sunburn for over ten years now – Ridhiin has not only headed its photography  team over the years but also mentors photography enthusiasts  at Sunburn academy. What’s more, The Moneta has also been shooting for various artists at the world’s largest music festival – Tomorrowland Belgium, since 2015. It’s safe to say, The  Moneta has pioneered the development of content style for  music in India.

While the bulk of The Moneta’s photography portfolio is marked  by music festivals and music legends where he has shot for  artists like DJ Snake, KSHMR, Sonu Nigam to name a few, it  lends its lens to so much more. The Moneta has shot stills for  as many as 8 Bollywood feature films, including Anushka

Sharma starrer NH10, Siddharth Malhotra and Parineeti  Chopra starrer Hasee Toh Phasee and a multi-star cast with  Anil Kapoor, John Abraham film Pagalpanti. What could be still  a dream of many, he achieved being the chief behind the lens  shooting legend Amitabh Bachchan. Ridhiin also directed and  produced illustrious singer and lyricist Amit Trivedi’s music  video ‘Lagan Laagi Re reprise’. It also has a number of  corporate events under its belt, and as of 2020, a host of  weddings. Adding to the accolades under his belt, Ridhiin is a  TEDx speaker, the Moneta has a social media following of over  35,000 on Instagram, and over the course of his career so far,  he has also forged partnerships with leading brands such as  Samsung, Synology and Canon. In fact, as of 2020, Ridhiin is  Canon’s Official EOS Influencer, where he is also a Canon  Photo Mentor.

While photography has always been a form of creative self expression, it is also so much more. Today, it is a medium of  information, as also one to share emotion. Ridhiin and his  growing team of talented camerapersons, work hard to  translate what they’re feeling while capturing the moment, into  every single photograph they create. Truly, you don’t take a  photograph, you make it.

Today, The Moneta has shot in over 18 countries and covered  over 700 events worldwide, and Ridhiin and team Moneta are  raring to go! True to its name, which is the namesake of the  Roman Goddess of Memory, and the Mother of Muses, so to speak, The Moneta ties in with Ridhiin’s ideology in every way – to push the envelope in a multiplicity of domains. While Ridhiin  would love to retire in the pursuit of his lifelong passion – wildlife  photography, he has miles to go before The Moneta hits the  pause button!

Written by Saachi Kanjani

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