Celebrity Photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha Passes Away In Mumbai, Aged 61

Ranjit Rodricks , 13 Sep 2011
Gautam Rajadhyaksha (September 1950 - 13th September 2011)
Gautam Rajadhyaksha (September 1950 – 13th September 2011)

Karan Johar “When I was hugely overweight… Gautam told me… “Darling… not that it makes a difference but try to give me your left profile… it may help!”

The celebrated celebrity photographer, Gautam Rajadhyaksha, passed away this morning at about 4am, of a heart-attack. He was only Sixty-one! Best known for his soft-focus portraits of Bollywood stars, socialites and people who matter, Gautam was also a cousin to formidable author, Shobhaa De.

A portrait of Smita Patil
A portrait of Smita Patil

According to sources on Wikipedia, “His first encounter with fashion photography happened 1980, when he happen to shoot pictures of actress Shabana Azmi (a college mate), Tina Munim and Jackie Shroff and his passion for portraiture photography was lit. Eventually, in 1987 he left his advertising job at Lintas (which he joined in 1974), and took up commercial photography full-time, and soon started doing product campaigns, media assignments and fashion portfolios.

A portrait of Sridevi from an old issue of Cine Blitz magazine
A portrait of Sridevi from an old issue of Cine Blitz magazine
Gautam Rajadhyaksha on Sridevi
Gautam Rajadhyaksha on Sridevi

He shot a lot of editorial photos for magazines like Celebrity (now defunct), Stardust, The Illustrated Weekly of India and Cine Blitz. Some say he was instrumental in discovering actress Tina Munim, actor Salman Khan and model Sheetal Mallar. In 1997, he brought out a coffee-table book – Faces – which featured a number of Bollywood personalities, right from Durga Khote to Aishwarya Rai.

A portrait of Madhuri Dixit
A portrait of Madhuri Dixit

Interestingly, few know that Gautam was also a writer. He edited a Marathi fortnightly on entertainment called Chanderi and even wrote a regular column for Marathi newspapers. If that was not enough, his proximity to Bollywood stars had him dabble in writing screenplays. In 1992, he wrote the screenplay for Bekhudi, which was Kajol’s launch vehicle and Anjaam in 1994 which starred Madhuri Dixit.

Sridevi by Gautam Rajadhyaksha
Sridevi by Gautam Rajadhyaksha

Gautam Rajadhyaksha has also shot many iconic still for films like Henna, Dil To Pagal Hai, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.

Gautam Rajadhyaksha poses for Upper Crust India Magazine
Gautam Rajadhyaksha poses for Upper Crust India Magazine

A talent of his caliber will definitely be missed.

In stellar company: Asha Bhosle, Priyanka Chopra, Mickey Contractor and Gautam Rajadhyaksha
In stellar company: Asha Bhosle, Priyanka Chopra, Mickey Contractor and Gautam Rajadhyaksha

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Showbiz