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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014
Personal Agenda: Atul Kasbekar, photographer
Hindustan Times
January 04, 2013
First Published: 19:46 IST(4/1/2013)
Last Updated: 19:57 IST(5/1/2013)

Sunsign: Aries-Taurus. I’m born on a cusp. I’m a cusp-ekar!
Birthday: April 22
School/College: Campion School, Jai Hind College, UDCT, Mumbai and Brooks Institute, USA
Currently doing: The 11th edition of the Kingfisher calendar, managing 40 celebs at my agency Bling!, trying to spend time with my family and also having a social life.
Low point of your life: I’ve never looked at the lows
High point of your life: The birth of my twins

Are you camera shy?
Actually I am. I don’t like being on the other side of the lens. What was the first picture you took that you were really pleased with? As a student, I gatecrashed a Shakti concert and got caught. The show was organised by Vinod Advani, who let me stay only if he could use my pictures for an article. I shot Zakir Hussain that day. In hindsight, it was a terrible picture!

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/1/Atul_kasbekar_brunch.jpgIf you weren’t a photographer…
I’d have made a very bad chemical engineer or become a stand-up comic. One person from history you’d have loved to shoot. He’s still alive but I’ve never got to photograph him: Nelson Mandela.

You get one chance to put one man on the calendar. Whom do you pick?
Just to make the woman in my life happy – my wife has the hots for him – George Clooney.

Does it bother you that everyone with a cameraphone calls themselves a photographer now?
It does to some extent. It’s certainly made the market bigger. But people pay you for what artistic value you bring, not for your technology. No typewriter ever wrote a novel by itself.

Shooting celebs or managing celebs? Which one’s tougher?
Shooting them is way easier. They listen. Managing is an ongoing challenge, but it’s so exciting. No two days are alike. A superpower you wish you had. I would say X-ray vision… but I have seen enough. 

The biggest misconception about a man who shoots pretty women in skimpy clothes?
That it is easy. People don’t realise that it’s a job, it’s high pressure. Especially for something as visible as the Kingfisher calendar. And the one rumour that is actually mostly true. That you get an undue amount of attention from aspiring models. It’s inversely proportional to the envy you get from your male banker friends.

The best month
December. Everything happens in slow motion. People are more chilled out. I don’t go out on New Year’s Eve so it’s very relaxing.

Eleven years of shooting women. What’s the biggest lesson learnt?
You have to make the person feel like they are the most important thing in the world for that moment. Focus all your attention on her to bring out her beauty.

If you could go through life wearing only one kind of outfit, what would you wear?
A tracksuit. I can sleep in it, work out in it, work in it. I’d get turned away at formal events, but hey… One lie you often get away with Let me ask my wife... (background mumbles) she says, “Where do I begin?”

What would the last line of your autobiography read?
If a picture says a thousand words and I’ve shot a million pictures, did I say too much?

5 singers to get a girl in the mood
Eros Ramazzotti
: the Italian musician and singer-songwriter with the raspy Italian voice
Buddy Guy: Anything bluesy makes for easy conversation
Adele: If an angel had a voice, it would be hers
Sting and Seal: They are so compelling

(Interviewed by Rachel Lopez)



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