1. TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU GOT THE IDEA OF SHOOTING YOUR OWN ANNUAL CALENDAR?
“The idea came up in 1999. I pulled out 12 of the best pictures that I had shot. A friend of mine designed the calendar. I just printed a 1000 copies and gave it up, not realising that it is going to be a process every year! The response that I had got for the first calendar was phenomenal. From 2000 I started shooting for it.”
2. FROM ALL OF THE WORK THAT YOU HAVE DONE TILL NOW, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FAVOURITE?
“It has to be one from one of my calendars because those are pictures that I shoot for myself. They are creative and they always keep me going. For me, my 2018 calendar is one of the best that I have ever done.”
3. IF WE LOOK BACK AT ALL THE ANNUAL CALENDARS, WHICH PICTURE DO YOU THINK WAS THE MOST ICONIC?
“The one that people really remembered was this Hrithik Roshan picture. There is this picture where he is holding the newspaper and falling into the pool. It was like he is concentrating into the newspaper so much and falling into the water without realising it. That is one picture people talk about even 10 years later.”
4. FROM WHERE YOU STARTED, TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW. HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY HAS CHANGED?
“I have seen a lot of change in my photography style. I think I keep evolving and revisiting my work. You are in competition with your own work. Sometimes I even look back at my own concepts and re-do them better. My first ever shoot with Sanjay Dutt (for Aatish), I think I can never out-do that shoot. We still talk about it. Sometimes you look back and evolve, sometimes you can never out-do yourself.
It is very relative. You keep exploring and keep learning. There is no limit! There is always a lot more to achieve.”
5. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU DID DIFFERENTLY?
“In terms of my career, I don’t think so. It went quite well. The starting of my career went even better than I expected. The niche that I created, the signature style was loved by people. A lot of people would reach out to me to shoot. I think God has been kind and things have been beautiful.”
6. DABBOO RATNANI’S 2019 CALENDAR, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
“It is my 20th year! I have already started planning and conceptualising it. There are a lot of thoughts at this point. I think it will be the best till yet. Something larger than I have done before. Something people will remember.”
7. WHEN NOT PHOTOGRAPHING, WHAT CAN WE FIND YOU DOING IN YOUR LEISURE TIME?
“I spend a lot of time with my family and kids. I love watching movies and TV-series, listening to music to different genres and keeping myself informed. I keep looking into what’s in and what’s out. I keep myself updated with latest trends in fashion, colours, technology, equipment etc.”
8. WHO ACCORDING TO YOU IS THE MOST PHOTOGENIC PERSON? AND WHO IS THAT ONE PERSON YOU REALLY WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH?
“I think Aishwarya Rai’s presence on screen is wonderful. I would say she is one of the most photogenic people. The one person I really want to photograph is Madonna. She has been like a muse, ever since I thought of becoming a photographer. I have grown up looking at her and I still enjoy looking at her work/pictures.”
9. TELL US ONE THING YOU CAN’T WAIT TO STRIKE OFF YOUR BUCKET LIST!
“In terms of work, I want to do wildlife photography. I want to shoot tigers, leopards and lions since a long time!”
10. DESCRIBE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE.
“My photography has a lot of movement, ambient light, expressions, outdoor locations and they are not too technical. I think I create a moment.”
11. IF NOT A PHOTOGRAPHER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
“I would be a DJ, if not a photographer.”