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.
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.“
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.
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.
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.
A talent of his caliber will definitely be missed.