Celebrity photographer Avinash Gowariker got his first big break on the sets of his brother filmmaker Ashutosh’s second directorial Baazi (1995) starring Aamir Khan. However, it was Salman Khan who made Avinash a celebrity. “It was Salman who completely boosted my career by shooting with me extensively in my struggling days. I owe my career to him.” A self taught professional, Avinash says he learnt everything by making mistakes. An admirer of Richard Abadot for his simplicity in style, the photographer himself likes to keep his pictures simple.
‘No arrogance in the picture’
This picture is unlike Salman Khan. There is no arrogance or power about it. There is a weird, but intriguing blankness on his face. It’s a simple picture, which is dedicated to his style. It captures his trademark bracelet that he has worn during his entire career, something, which no actor in the history of Hollywood or Indian cinema has ever done.
‘Amitabh has been shot in every frame’
Amitabh has been shot in every frame and manner possible. I have always loved the picture of him running, that he immortalised on the poster of Don (1978). I wanted to capture that famous pose and I feel blessed to have been able to. He loved the picture so much that he posted it on his blog. I remember telling him, “Sir you will never understand what it is to have Amitabh Bachchan performing and running towards you into the camera”.
I shot this image as part of a series of personal pictures for Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri’s home. Their chemistry in the picture is tremendous, despite being married for so many years. I find their relationship intriguing. The pictures have a lot of raw warmth. The way he adores Gauri is phenomenal. He listens to her. Gauri decided the place and clothes for this picture.
‘Deepika is fearless’
Deepika is a phenomenal subject to shoot. This picture was taken from a 20-feet-high ‘tarafa’(scaffolding) at Famous Studio. The stairway to get to it is a rickety small woodwork. There is no safety net beneath. Deepika was brave to climb up, sit on a dusty tarafa and be lit only with hard service lights. And yet she looked so stunning.
Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif look like themselves in this picture, yet they manage to resemble Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman, which is quite fascinating. We managed to replicate the mood of the original Pyaasa (1957) with that serene expression on Katrina’s face and in Aamir’s eyes. We didn’t use any gimmicks, trick photography or make up. It’s a simple image without any costume drama or elaborate set.