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Day after day

Some photographers, in the wake of the terror attacks, have chosen not to release their branded calendars this year.Vajir Singh checks out the 2009 calendar scene.

fashion and trends Updated: Jan 08, 2009 17:12 IST

The city always keeps its date with calendars. Super-glossy, featuring top Bollywood names, celebrating the body beautiful or essaying a wild variety of themes, they’re sheer visual candy.

Some photographers, in the wake of the terror attacks, have chosen not to release their branded calendars this year. But other smartistic calendars are already on the desks. Vajir Singh checks out the 2009 calendar scene

Dabboo Ratnani
Price factor

The cost depends on the size. This is my 10th consecutive year of making calendars. So I have spent a little more this time.. the cost has been around Rs 10 lakh for printing and other essentials. The stars shoot for the calendar purely out of friendship.. no charge. Even on make-up and hair, I hardly spend anything.

Who’s the target, buddy?
It goes out to all my clients.. to all my friends in the media and of course, to the film fraternity whom I work with. This helps in generating additional clients.. and my calendar also becomes a collector’s edition. Many send gifts and sweets on various occasion, I send my calendar every New Year.

Got a theme?
Last year, the theme was ‘all male’.. the year before that it was ‘water’. I didn’t want to restrict myself this time.. so I went themeless.

International standards?
To be honest, I haven’t seen many international calendars, so I can’t compare my work with anyone else’s. Still, I don’t think anyone makes a calendar with so much variety, with so many movie stars abroad. They stick to one personality like Madonna, Michael Jackson or Tom Cruise.

To sell or not to sell?
How can I sell my calendar? No one takes money from me, right from the actors and make-up artistes to the attendants. At the most, I spend on spot boy charges and printing.. so how can I think of making money? That wouldn’t be ethical.

How sexy can you get?
This time, I have gone more sexy and glamorous. I’ve kind of changed the Dabboo Ratnani style.. I’ve tried to rediscover myself.

Ram Bherwani
Price factor
A calendar costs around Rs 8 to Rs10 lakh. If you go for top models, the cost spirals.

Who’s the target, buddy?
It keeps you in circulation for the entire year. It helps you get more clients. Photography is an art and through a calendar, you can show what kind of work you’re capable of.. it’s your baby. In a campaign shoot, you have to follow your clients instructions, at times almost mechanically.

Got a theme?
Last year my calendar had the Kama Sutra theme. Before that, I have played with the theme of fire.. and then water. This time around it’s sex. I mean safe sex. By the end of this month, it is believed that there will be one Indian out of every six AIDS patients. My visuals warn against unprotected sex. International standards The paper, printing, design, models and the camera equipment that we use are comparable with the best in the world.

To sell or not to sell?
Some photographers do try to make money out of calendars.. I don’t. At times, multinational companies have offered their sponsorship.. which is fine by me. As long as I have my creative freedom, why should I mind getting money?

How sexy can you get?
I make it a point to ensure that my visuals are attractive but never indecent. A calendar is usually kept on the office desk or at home.. so you have to make sure that you don’t get crude.

Vikram Bawa
Price factor

The price can range between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 crore. Last year, I shot a calendar for a client.. just the cost of the shoot was around Rs 1.5 crore. The money depends on the idea and the concept.

Who’s the target, buddy?
It’s one of the most effective promotional measures.. since the calendar will be on desks throughout the year. For a photographer, it’s an opportunity to
convey his creativity.. which is not always possible in
commercial assignments.

Got a theme?
That depends on one’s frame of mind. A year ago, I had chosen landscapes as my theme. This year the mood is hardly cheerful.. we’re still under shock after the terror attacks.. which is why I won’t be putting together a calendar. I’ve made a couple for specific clients but that’s it.

International standards?
In terms of talent, our photography, design and printing is world standard.. but we still lag behind in resources.

To sell or not to sell?
Where’s the market for calendars in India? Everyone wants them free.

How sexy can you get?
Censorship is a complete no-no for me. I like to show what I can do but if I’m doing it for my clients, then I go by the dos and don’ts dictated by them.

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