It's picture perfect

Glamourous clicks
Last Updated : 21 October 2015, 18:35 IST
Last Updated : 21 October 2015, 18:35 IST

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He looks at ordinary images from a different perspective, managing, in the process, to give them an alternative meaning and interpretation. Celebrity photographer Subi Samuel firmly believes that pictures are not created but captured. Ask him if there’s anything called a ‘perfect picture’ and he says, “I don’t agree with the concept of a perfect picture. I look for the moments within the settings. There will always be these unplanned moments that are far more spectacular than posed pictures.” In a chat with ‘Metrolife’, Subi talks about what got him interested in photography and his journey so far.

What is it about pictures that fascinates you? And did you always want to be a photographer?

I love art in all forms. Photography is just a medium for me to express myself and I enjoy it to the core. I shoot a lot more than what’s published. I like taking photographs of people who I am fond of and relate to, and also capturing animals and babies. But it’s only my celebrity shoots that are published and hence I am known for the same.

When was your first big break?
During the shooting of ‘Pardes’; I was booked by the editors of a magazine to shoot Shah Rukh Khan. That, I would say, was my first big break!

How do you always manage to give a different twist to every picture you click?
I work a lot on concepts. My mind works all the time on what could make a good picture, my style is such that I can’t take basic ‘wind blown hair’ kind of images. I need that extra bit to create what I like. A lot of my work is inspired by cartoons, music channels and surreal stuff.

You have worked with almost everybody, from Shah Rukh to Amitabh Bachchan... Who have you enjoyed shooting with the most?
This is not a politically correct answer, but every model who is enthusiastic to work on a shoot is fun. I have immense respect for Shah Rukh Khan as he is someone who trusted me to work with him when I was a newbie. I also admire Amitabh Bachchan and still get cold feet when directing him for a picture. But they are gracious and extremely professional. I have rarely come across people who throw attitude (as far as work is concerned).

Have you ever had a ‘bad picture’ day?
Oh yes! I was scheduled to shoot Shah Rukh Khan and my camera stopped working at 11 pm in Film City. It doesn’t get more stressful than that. But Shah Rukh graciously offered to come back the next morning and shoot again for the campaign.

How do you divide your time between family and professional life?
Well, I try my best. My family is my priority and you are never satisfied with the amount of time you spend with them. As a rule, I am extremely selective about how many parties (or late nights) I attend and prefer spending time with the family. When I’m not working, I’m with them.

Are you finicky about the way your models should look?
Yes, extremely. I have always believed that a good picture is the collective effort of the stylist, make-up artist, hair stylist, model and photographer.

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you have been?
I have always been interested in art. If not a photographer, I would have possibly been an artist.

Published 21 October 2015, 15:55 IST

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