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'Be just a photographer’

Jatin Kampani shoots actors, but won’t call himself a ‘celebrity photographer.’

entertainment Updated: Apr 26, 2011 14:54 IST
Priyanka Jain

Jatin Kampani started young and became a professional photographer by 1996. It was through his advertising work that he stumbled upon shooting actors, as an increasing number began endorsing products. But never will he call himself a ‘celebrity photographer’. “Your goal is to create beautiful pictures. Let the tag be given by people, but you must believe you are just a photographer,” says Jatin, who also shoots fine art for galleries.

‘Naseer can mesmerise anyone’
Shot nine years ago, this is my favourite portrait of Naseeruddin Shah. The intensity in his eyes and voice works like a magic wand for me. He can mesmerise anyone. This picture is an antidote of how you see of him otherwise in the plethora of work that he has done. I loved his performances in his plays Ismat Aapa Ke Naam, A Hole in the Head, The Prophet. No one can act as well as he does on stage.

‘Tabu is my muse’
Hers is one face I really love shooting. I couldn’t sleep all night when this one came up. I had butterflies in my stomach. If I had my way, I would create portraits with her everyday. She is my muse. I’ve never wanted to photograph someone so desperately. When she sensed my nervousness, she eased the atmosphere. She looked so fantastic. The black and white treatment makes it timeless.

‘Ash is anal about perfection’
We shot her on the streets of Paris, styled by Sabyasachi in his own collection. The idea was to paint a portrait of a modern day princess. The energy was superb. She takes care of the minutest details and enjoys being involved in her work. She’s almost anal about perfection and I like that about her because I’m like that as well.

‘There is a comfort level with Deepika’
We have used a lot of fog to make this picture look dreamy. The way she is holding the fabric and the poise of her hand makes it look vintage. I have shot with her the most, not just for her endorsements, but also for features; hence there is a comfort level because of which she agreed to shoot with just a piece of cloth draped around her.

‘Directing the directors was a challenge’
I shot this for an editorial cover. It remains iconic because of the stature of the people standing in the frame. To direct the directors was a challenge. During the shoot, the studio was bustling with energy of many great thinking hats. They were all very supportive and asking for directions as to how they should pose. I’ve used a wrap around sort of lighting in this photograph. It gives it a soft yet glowing effect. We got Narendra Kumar Ahmed to create individual clothes for all them.