Born and brought up in the small town of Payyannur in Kerala, K U Mohanan is a cinematography graduate from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune(FTII).

After spending his initial years working on several varied and contrasting documentaries like Aadhi haqueeqat aur aadha fasaana, Desperately seeking Helen, Rooms of shadow and light,Manjuben truckdriver, John and Jane to name a few. He faced a turning point in his career when he collaborated with the much renowned and critically celebrated filmmaker Mani Kaul for a fiction-drama, Naukar Ki Kameez.

Around 2001, he gradually shifted to the advertising arena which quickly proliferated into him establishing a name for himself in the world of t v commercials, having shot several distinguished ad films- the more recent ones being the Incredible India campaign and Kerala Tourism campaign; for the latter he even won the bronze medal at the prestigious New York festival(2011).

He ventured into mainstream bollywood cinema with Don(2006), after which he went on to shoot several films like Aaja Nachle(2007), Miss Lovely(2012), Talaash(2012) and Fukrey(2013).