Ace photographer Rajadhyaksha is dead

Ace photographer Rajadhyaksha is dead

Best known for his sublimely textured dazzling covers, Rajadhyaksha suffered a massive heart attack at 4 am at his residence in Girgaum, in south Mumbai.

The lensman’s equally famous cousin, columnist Shobhaa De early in the day tweeted: “My darling Gautam Rajadhyaksha no more. Saddened beyond belief. Farewell confidant-cousin. Thank you for your generous love and soft focus memories.”

Rajadhyaksha’s work ranged from portraits of well known personalities from industrial tycoons to film stars to aspiring actresses. Several of his models later went on to become major stars.

In a photography career spanning around 30 years, he worked with almost all glossies shooting covers for them. Although he started his career with advertising firm Lintas as a copy writer, advertising never became a major part of his career.

His foray into the world of journalism with a nudge from his cousin Shobhaa De for her magazine “Celebrity,” soon paved way for his first passion, photography.

In a short span Rajadhyaksha began enjoying his position in the realm of idealised and fantasy like portrait and beauty photography.

With the help of innovative lighting, he glamourised his subjects and soon this became an identifiable feature of his work, highlighting his models’ faces with sublimity.

The capturing of richness of beauty and depth on black-and-white film and colour film alike made him the most sought-after portrait photographer, not just by personalities from the silver screen but also from the world of business and politics.

From film actress Nutan–whose facial bone structure he once remarked during an interview to a journo as the best he had ever encountered in his life–to Smita Patil to Aishwarya Rai to business magnates like J R D Tata and Dhirubhai Ambani to mention a few, got their bewitching portraits to adorn magazines and private photo galleries.

Born in 1950 in Mumbai, Rajadhyaksha, who became synonymous with Bollywood portrait photography during the 80s and 90s also experimented in film making and writing screen plays.

Several film personalties tweeted their messages on Rajadhyaksha’s demise.
Karan Johar in his message stated: “Gautam Rajadhyaksha was one of my most favourite people in the fraternity... funny, sensitive and always positive.”

Film and fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar tweeted, “My Guru n Mentor, Gautam Rajadhyaksha passed away this morning. My principal influence n a truly wonderful, gentle, kind n talented man.”

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