It is with Dabboo Ratnani’s annual calendars that Vidya Balan has a makeover. From her desi and somewhat conservative avatar, she transforms into a hot, sexy siren. The latest picture in which she is seen holding a newspaper in one hand, a cup of coffee in another and is suggestively nude is one of her boldest yet. We spoke to the celebrity photographer to find out how he convinced and captured the sexy actress in a dare-bare avatar. Over to the ace lensman…
Vidya’s hot makeover
“Whenever I send the concept of my shoot to Vidya, she replies with just three words: Trust you, Dabboo. It’s never been about convincing or hard-selling a concept to her. She’s confident that it will be done tastefully. It was her photo-shoots for my calendar that kind of made her hot and sexy. Prior to that, people perceived her in an Indianised avatar. We’ve used this platform to push the envelope.
This time, it was about Vidya sitting in a cafe with a cup of coffee and holding a newspaper and not worried about what she is wearing or not wearing. The whole idea was to achieve a candid feel. I chose a popular hang-out in Bandra for the shoot. When I told Vidya, her first reaction was shock. She said the place is so buzzing, there will be a lot of people. I told her that I had booked the entire place for a day and she was immediately comfortable. The entire shoot was done in 30-35 minutes flat.
Dabboo continues, “John and I go back a long way. He was a year junior to me in school and when he decided to become a model, he did his photo-shoot with me. I remember he was working in an ad agency then. He told me that he was investing a lot of money in the portfolio and was wondering if he will get enough ads to cover the cost! In turn I told him to pay me after that. That was over a decade ago. And now again when he wanted a fresh portfolio done he called me. We have come full circle. I shot his pictures as well as my calendar photos with him on the same day. John has a ripped body and is in great shape.
I have done a lot of body shots but this one is a first where John has posed in his underwear reclining on a chair. It reminds me of the American supermodels. John didn’t even flex his muscles or exercise before the shoot. Initially, we did photos of him in jeans and shirt and for my
calendear he just removed them and sat. He is so comfortable in his skin. You have to be extremely confident to be clicked in this position.”
About Bipasha, Dabboo says, “She confessed to me that she has never done a photo shoot in bikini. That shows her trust in me. Yes, in all my previous calendars, I have done body shots with Bipasha but this is the first time in a bikini. I wanted to bring a beach feel to the shoot so she is wearing a dress which is open. I used three fans to get that flow effect of her skirt engulfing her body. It was shot from a low angle to show the length of her legs and torso. Shooting in a bikini is quite tricky. You have to understand the lighting and angle very well. If not, the picture will not be aesthetic. Also, the person has to be really confident about wearing it. I have known Bips from the time she became a model and I started as a photographer. We share a great rapport and chemistry. I did her campaign for Jism and now her upcoming film Alone.”