For fashion photographers, to work with the likes of icons such as Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Isabella Blow is no less than a dream. The UK-based photographer of Indian origin, Ram Shergill, lived this dream early in his life, while studying there.
With a body of work that boasts of portraits of Amy Winehouse, Naomi Campbell, Judi Dench, Amitabh Bachchan and more, the leading lensman, comes to India with his debut show, titled, Ram Shergill — Kaleidoscope. Organised by Tasveer in partnership with Vacheron Constantin, the exhibition will showcase several stunning portraits shot in India and abroad.
Here, he talks about his journey, inspirations, whyhe prefers using the Leica format, and more.
How did you get into fashion photography? Who are your inspirations?
For a college photography project on hats, I contacted Treacy. Eventually, I met Blow and Alexander. Simply being with them was a visual education in style and opulence. Years later, I felt the same after meeting Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla.
I am inspired by art, people, nature and films, especially Alfred Hitchcock’s movies. Each frame of his film looks like an amazing photograph. Aesthetically, Psycho (1960) is a masterpiece.
Queen of the jungle. Everlasting sister Rajasthan.
You have multiple celebrity shoots to your credit. Who are your favourites?
Celebrities are great fun, but it (the shoot) also depends on their mood. The Bachchan family is a pleasure to work with, as they have a certain elegance. I also enjoy working with Eddie Redmayne and Naomi Campbell. The Amy Winehouse shoot was iconic as it almost marked her transition from a girl into a diva.
A lot of your photographs are shot using Leica…
I love the format, as it does not have a mirror in the camera. It brings you closer to the subject. Currently, I am using the M9, and it has a real film-like quality to it.
Floating in couture.
What should the audience expect from your exhibition?
The photos are influenced by my childhood memories of growing up in the UK. It was a riot of colours, and it was like looking through a kaleidoscope. As it’s my first show here, I wanted some relevance to the country. Many of these works were shot here.
How different is the fashion photography scene in India and in the west?
It is more cut-throat in the west. There, the competition between publishing houses is more fierce than it is here.