Sri Lankan born Bandu Gunaratne joined People’s Bank, a Sri Lankan state bank, it’s International Division in 1971. In 1973 he bought his first SLR camera, a Minolta SR-7. Bandu was appointed as the Bank’s official Photographer in 1975 in addition to his routine bank duties. He had the opportunity to photograph all the bank’s ceremonies, contributed to bank’s publications ‘Economic Review’, ‘Bankuwai Obai’, ‘Samupakaraya’ and also the Bank’s Annual Report. Later, after a service of 27 years Gunaratne lodged his resignation papers to dedicate rest of his life to Photography.
Into the Creative Art Photography
Bandu joined the Photographic Society of Sri Lanka, the oldest photographic society in Sri Lanka in 1982, The National Photographic Art Society of Sri Lanka and The Royal Photographic Society in 1992. The society environment motivated him to start his journey in to Creative Art Photography. In 1985 he wins his first award (1st. prize and the 3rd. prize) in his first appearance in a photo competition.
Gunaratne joined India International Photographic Council in 1993, Photographic Society of Singapore in 2001, Photographic Society of America in 2005, The British Professional Photographers Associates in 2005 , Crossing Bridges Photography Community in 2012 , Global Photographic Union in 2013, Asian Photographic Union in 2020 as he was keen in stepping beyond oceans to explore International Photographic Art. Since 1993 he conquered International Photography arena as a result so many works of Gunaratne were exhibited in a number of foreign countries and was awarded with numerous international accolades.
Bandu was qualified as AFIAP in 2007 and subsequently EFIAP in 2010, distinctions offered by the Federation of International Photographic Art.
Bandu’s pictures and articles have been published in international publications such as ‘RPS Journal’, ‘Portfolio Two’ of Royal Photographic Society, ‘Discover the Royal Photographic Society’, ‘Photo Asia’, ‘Asian Photography’, ‘Smart Photography’ and the Sri Lankan Airlines inflight magazine ‘The Serendib’. Gunaratne was the official photographer for ‘Wedding Bells’ and ‘Mangala Seenu’ magazines in which he was responsible for the cover photograph and the cover story.
He has participated and represented Sri Lanka in Photography related conferences, workshops, seminars, gatherings and trade fairs from time to time held in India, Singapore, Germany, U.K., U.S.A., Indonesia, Philippines, Morocco, Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Australia.
Gunaratne diverted and improved his skills in photography contest judging. He has served in jury panels as a jury member in numerous local organizations, universities, schools, societies, government departments etc, while he has judged 21 International Photography competitions home and abroad. Bandu was recognized and was popular as a neutral jury member.
Bandu is a founder member of the Institute of Sri Lankan Photographers and served the Council from it’s inception in 1994 and as the Hony. Secretary from 2001 to 2004 and thereafter 2020-21.
Was a member of the Advisory committee from the beginning in formulation of N.V.Q. standards for the title ‘Photographer’ at the National Apprentice & Industrial Training Authority of Sri Lanka.
He has served as a member of the State Advisory Board for Photography for four years.
Served as a visiting lecturer at the Image Art Department of the University of Kelaniya.
Has served as a mentor in more than 50 local Photography Workshops and Seminars organized by government departments, non govt organizations, private sector institutions, schools, photo clubs and universities in Sri Lanka.
Presently Gunaratne is serving as a visiting lecturer of Photography (English medium), accomplished for five consecutive years, at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa; as a lecturer at Sri Lanka College of Journalism and the National Photographic Art Society of Sri Lanka.
Gunaratne is the Country Leader for Crossing Bridges – Photography Community of nine Asian countries and is the Country representative and World Photography Center Director for Global Photographic Union.
Fellow of Institute of Sri Lankan Photographers. FISLP
Excellence of Federation of International Photographic Art. EFIAP
Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain. LRPS
Associate & Associate Services of India International Photographic Council. AIIPC & ASIIPC
Licentiate of British Professional Photographers Associates. LBPPA
Gold & Bronze Exhibitor of Asia Photographers Union. GAPU & BEAPF
Honorary Fellow of National Photographic Art Society of Sri Lanka. Hon.FNPAS
Honorary Fellow of National Association of Photographers of Sri Lanka. Hon.FNAPSL
Fellow of Camera Art Institute. FCAI
Apart from Bandu Gunaratne’s dedication to photography education and competition judging, his main interests in photography are Wedding, Portrait, Nature, Creative Art, Architecture, nevertheless Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Coral Painter editing.