T S Satyan was born in 1923 in Mysore and was also educated in this glorious capital of a princely state. He was among the first to take to photojournalism and for most part of his professional life remained a freelancer doing special assignments for national and international publications. Satyan's pictures have been published in the now defunct The Illustrated Weekly of India and Life, besides Time, Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, Outlook and India Today among others.
Satyan has also done special assignments for international agencies like UNICEF. To mark the International Year of the Child in 1979, the UNICEF organised an exhibition of Satyan's pictures of children at the UN headquarters in New York.
Satyan has also published picture books on various themes and they include Exploring Karnataka, German Vignettes, Hampi - The Fabled Capital of the Vijayanagar Empire and In Love with Life - A Journey through Life in Photographs. In 2005 Penguin published his memoirs titled Alive and Clicking.
Satyan was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1977 and the Mysore University, his alma mater, conferred a doctoral degree honoris causa on him in 2003.