Kalyan Varma


I am a wildlife photographer, filmmaker, naturalist and explorer dedicated to documenting wildlife and the environmental issues that define our times. I freelance with many of the world's leading magazines, environmental NGOs and television channels like Nat Geo and BBC.

Over the last decade, I have worked on many landmark blue chip wildlife series for the BBC and National Geographic channel. My work has appeared in many publications worldwide, including National Geographic, Nature, The Guardian, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, Lonely Planet and other magazines.

Along with a team of photographers I founded India Nature Watch, an online community which now has become the largest platform for upcoming wildlife photographers in Asia. I am also the co-founder of Asia's largest nature photography festival Nature InFocus. Sharing my knowledge of photography, wildlife, and people across various platforms including workshops and seminars is an important part of the work I do.

I hope to combine an artist’s eye with a journalist’s curiosity and sense of storytelling in my visual style, resulting in a body of work I hope will inspire the viewer to discover more. Using narrative and visual construction I strive to lure the audience into the subject, prompting them to ask questions rather than accept a ‘standard version’ of changing landscapes.

Random data points

  • I currently live in Bangalore. Was born in Vizag.
  • Stayed in many places in south India. Most of my schooling has been in Kendriya Vidyalaya.
  • Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering: PESIT, 2001 (but can barely fix my own car)
  • Worked in Yahoo for 3 years looking after application security and cryptography.
  • Employee no 5 in Yahoo Bangalore. Won Yahoo! Superstar award in 2003. I quit the company in 2004.
  • Spent a year in BR hills, working as a naturalist with Jungle lodges.
  • Founded community based non-profit ecotourism project in BR hills
  • Sanctuary wildlife photographer of the year 2005, BBC wildlife photographer of the year 2013.
  • INK fellow for 2011 and my talk is here

    Nature Documentaries

    Over the last few years, I have been working on various nature documentaries for many international productions. I freelance with BBC Natural History unit and National Geographic Channel and other independent production companies like Icon Films, Tigress Productions and Off The Fence. I have played various roles in the productions including director of photography, assistant producer, photographer, researcher, sound recordist and fixer for national and international productions in the last few years. Some of the films I have worked on are listed below:

    Other Pages

  • Kalyan Varma portrait