We have long known Avinash to inculcate his photography to map his own, signature visual language of fashion and beauty. Each of his trademark portraits of Bollywood’s big wheels of all generations is replete with the wow-factor and has every now-and-then resulted in the internet to swell up. Gowariker was caught under the spell of photography at a young age of 19. His passion was wholeheartedly backed by his father who not only supported his vision but bought him his first camera to capture everything that his vision could encapsulate. As we all know, with no looking back, Avinash has only progressed and wowed us with his art through genres like portraiture, editorial and fashion.
1) HOW WOULD YOU DISTINGUISH YOURSELF FROM OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE COUNTRY?
“‘I take great pride in my spontaneity. Give me any kind of situation, I will quickly adapt to it. I see any given situation in a different way and I think that is my asset.”
2) HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT WITH CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN PHOTOGRAPHED BY VARIOUS PHOTOGRAPHERS IN VARIOUS DIFFERENT WAYS?
“That is always a very big challenge. I always try to keep it simple. What is happening is, most photographers/ technicians/ stylists/ make-up artists try to do a lot more. So much has been done that they want to do more. I go reverse. I try to keep it very simple. As a result of which, it looks very real. If you see my ‘post pack-up shots’ on Instagram, you will see that I try to bring down the entire larger-than-life image of a celebrity.”
3) YOUR MOST MEMORABLE SHOOT SO FAR?
“I ask myself that question many times and it always difficult to answer. But I would say this one shoot that I did with Aamir Khan on the old Mumbai-Pune highway. This was in the 90’s and I did not have a studio or any great equipment at that time. But that shot got me a lot of appreciation and work.”
4) WHO DID YOU LOVE WORKING WITH THE MOST?
“Salman Khan will be very special to me. He gave me a lot of encouragement and took me under his wings at the beginning of my career. He shot a lot with me and he shoots like a dream! I learnt so much from all of those shoots. He does not give you too much time and he is not easy to shoot with. I trained under him in trying circumstances.”
5) THE MOST PICTURESQUE LOCATION IN THE WORLD?
“Ladakh, for sure. It is a dream. The colours, the colour temperature, the angles of light. Everything is just amazing.”
6) WHO ACCORDING TO YOU IS THE MOST PHOTOGENIC PERSON YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED? / WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO PHOTOGRAPH AND STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN THE CHANCE TO?
“I think photogenic is a very overrated word. I really feel there is nothing like photogenic. Everyone can be photographed well and everyone can be photographed badly. I don’t want to take names but there are so many celebrities that look so bad in so many pictures. And there are so many times when you feel an ordinary person is looking so good. It happens to everyone. So I feel beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”
7) FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHER OF ALL TIME?
“I like Richard Avedon’s work a lot. He is like God to me. If you see, his career was from 1944 to 2002, which is crazy! To be relevant in the 40’s and be relevant in the 2000’s is amazing. His work was extremely real, simple and solid. It was not about concepts or elaborate sets or post production. It was just very classic simple work. He brought out fashion, portraiture and close-ups brilliantly.”
8) WHERE DO YOU SEEK INSPIRATION FROM?
“I am not a person who goes looking out for inspiration. I take inspiration from anything that is successful. When I was in London, I saw this campaign on the Jaeger store which said- “Shot by David Bailey”. Now I think that is inspiration. It is like the photographer is bigger than everything else.”
9) ONE THING YOU LOVE AND ONE THING YOU HATE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
“I don’t hate anything about my job. I totally love my job. If you see my website/ social media, I have written- “Blessed that my passion is my profession”. So I genuinely love everything. I love the fact that I am my own boss, there are no stipulated hours and creativity has no boundary. I think the only one thing I dislike is the inconsistency of work.”