Gautam Rajadhyaksha: The man who made Bollywood beautiful


By Hindustan Times

New Delhi, Sept. 14 -- Veteran photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha, who was the first to bring glamour to the faces of Bollywood actors, died at the age of 60 on Tuesday morning.

Rajadhyaksha, whose photoshoots led the likes of Madhuri Dixit, Tina Munim and Salman Khan to stardom, succumbed to a heart attack at his Mumbai home. Many Bollywood celebrities feel it's a big loss. Atul Kasbekar, who picked up photography after a chat with Rajadhyaksha, tweeted, "My Guru n Mentor ... my principal influence n a truly wonderful, gentle, kind n talented man." Actor Juhi Chawla posted, "Shot with him many many times ... some of my earliest and best Pictures were taken by him ... all my lux pictures .. Oh dear ...this is sad ....God bless him," Amitabh Bachchan tweeted, "Many of his pictures adorn our house... Gautam Rajadhyaksha the most gentlest of humans ...".

Added Boman Irani, who was a photographer before he turned actor, "You made everything look beautiful. All this and heaven too!" The celebrity portraitist, a cousin of author-columnist Shobha De, was the pioneer of the 'soft focus' technique. He started his career with an advertising firm, and his first encounter with fashion photography took place when he clicked actor Shabana Azmi at the age of 36.

Thereafter, he went on to click over 200 celebrities, including industrialists, over two decades. Rajadhyaksha also has to his credit, a coffee table book, Faces, screenplays of films like Bekhudi (1992) that launched actor Kajol's career and Anjaam (1994) with Madhuri Dixit in the lead.