Lensman Sameer Belvalkar describes his eight-year journey in photography as a fulfilling one. Though the self-taught photographer admits breaking in wasn’t easy. “I got my first big break with Jodhaa Akbar. Then We Are Family followed.”
Sameer quit his job of six-years, as a web and graphic designer, to pursue photography. “I was planning to open a restaurant, since that was taking time, I started taking pictures. It was a split-second decision to give photography a shot.” Over the years, Sameer has worked with top Bollywood actors and the one piece of advice he has is —make sure the client is as happy with the picture as you are. At the same time, he also insists it’s important to “toughen up for the long run or not get into it at all.”
‘She’s down to earth’
I had dreamt of shooting with Kareena Kapoor ever since I picked up the camera. These black and white pictures were taken in Australia when Karan Johar was filming We Are Family. It’s brilliant how she can look absolutely smashing in every picture. No matter how you shoot her or from whichever angle, her pictures have to come out nice. She is humble, down-to-earth and very
‘He was beefed-up’
Tushaar had got a completely different, beefed-up look at this time, and this shoot was for some personal purposes. I met him on the set, which was a broken-down studio of sorts. It had lots of these dilapidated structures, which worked for the tough guy look he was carrying. No one was sure how the pictures would turn out, though the shoot was done in a matter of minutes. But I could tell from Tushaar’s response that he was in love with them.
‘He is fabulous’
This is one really good shot. It was on the cover of a magazine too. Ajay Devgn was just beginning to enter his stratosphere with the whole buzz surrounding Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai. I couldn’t have asked for more than this — to actually shoot the uncrowned king of Bollywood. He is fabulous in front of the camera.
‘He loves the camera’
Arjun is one of those men who know how good they look. He loves facing the camera. What better subject can one ask for? The energy when you shoot with him is contagious and explosive. He always has a lot to say about the angles and frames. We would also take shots around his mood and those worked the best.
‘This was an exhausting shoot’
Prateik and I shot for almost the whole day in the studio and played around with a lot of concepts and props. It was exhausting. In between shots, he was resting in the make-up room. The mood and wooden feel was working so well that I set up the camera on the tripod and lit my lights without him knowing. Just before we were completely ready for the shot, we called out to him. He opened his eyes, and that very second, I got this shot.