Sreeram was born on 26 January 1956 in Madras, (now Chennai, and Tamil Nadu). He was the third child in the family and has two sisters. His aspiration towards films grew much during his childhood days. He was educated at the Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore, and Chennai. As a student he was not interested in studies and only managed to pass the exams. He developed an early interest in photography and years after struggle he joined the Madras Film Institute to do a course in cinematography. PC Sreeram in his teens when he was a student in the film institute had a long association with the budding creators of his generation. Together with his friends Kamal Hassan, C. Rudhraiya, Santhana Bharathi, Radharavi, R. C. Sakthi and few others they were called sanmac group where they used to join together at a hotel in Chennai and share their learnings about cinema and future dreams of making a perfect cinema.
He is married and had a daughter named Swetha who died in 2010 and son Skanda pursuing his studies in Australia. His niece, Preetha Jayaraman, a now established cinematographer in the Tamil Film industry, was inspired to her calling largely by her uncle's work in the field. P.C. Sreeram has been a mentor of some of the top cinematographer's in the Indian film industry, some of whom include Jeeva, K. V. Anand, Tirru, M.S.Prabhu, Ramji, Arjun Jena, Fowzia, and Andrew. Sreeram stepped into direction in 1992, directing his first feature film Meera with actor Vikram in lead role. He is considered to be one of greatest Indian cinematographers. In January 2016, Sreeram was elected as the president of South Indian Film Cinematographers Association.
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