It’s been 12 years, and Subi Samuel wouldn’t choose any other career. “I’ll always be behind the camera, never in front of it,” asserts the photographer who has shot some of Bollywood’s most famous faces. Being up close and person with his extended family, he revels in their camaraderie and is happy to be accepted by them. “I would have been miserable in a 9-5 job,” he admits, and goes on a stroll down memory lane.
‘Fortunately, both were wearing black’
I had individual shoots with Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan. I’d just wrapped up with Karan when SRK walked in. Instinctively, I grabbed them and got them together in one frame. Fortunately, both were wearing black and you only have to shout out an emotion to get the right expression from them. I love the intensity in the shot!
‘Grease, grime and sweat have their own attraction’
The shoot took 15 minutes and Akshay Kumar took five minutes to get ready. He has one of the best faces in the industry…So youthful… And is as experimental as I am. Getting him to blacken his face was easy. Sweat, grime and grease have their own attraction!
‘Just lying down can be hard work’
We were working with fairytale characters… Pocahontas, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty... We wanted the dated Disney feel. Bipasha Basu extensively researched her hair, make-up and clothes. Just lying down can be hard work too. Almost 99.9 per cent of what you see has been shot, actually. The set was created, the flowers are for real, there’s little post in the picture!
‘The rings add a new dimension’
The dress is Gavin Miguel and the attitude pure Katrina Kaif. The rings added a new dimension to the picture that has a certain mystic feel to it. I don’t like doing traditional stuff, not even when it’s a pretty model like Katrina. I’d rather break the norms anyday!
‘John boldly went into the waterfall’
This was taken at Corbett and despite the strong current, John Abraham boldly went into the waterfall and lay down. It was a risky shot but we came back with a brilliant image that couldn’t have been recreated in any studio. I shot in black-and-white, colour would have taken the focus away!