Dabboo Ratnani is a name that perhaps needs no introduction. In the world of celebrity photography, he is the quintessential figure to whom every budding and established photographer from the industry looks up to. In a span of close to 2 decades of professional fashion photography, he has had the chance of having worked with almost all the big stars of Bollywood and hence the most commonly followed icon, next to anyone in the industry.
Dabboo Ratnani was here in Delhi recently for the Oppo F3 Plus launch and the TravelRasoi Team got an opportunity to meet up with him and discuss with him the most important aspects of his life – on his 18th Annual Celebrity Calendar, on his Favourite Food, on his brother – Celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani and last but not the least his message to the upcoming new talents in photography –
Dabboo Ratnani on Oppo F3 Plus
I shot a lot of photographs with the new Oppo F3 Plus. With its superior front facing camera, I don’t think there is a better phone than this. I have been having lot of issues with other phones in the past, like it hangs, slows down, heatens up very fast. But with this phone you do not experience any such problem and can shoot relentlessly. The 120 degree wide angled lens is just amazing. I used this feature to click pictures at various locations – while sailing in a yacht, in a boat; I shot in Dubai with my family, in Delhi at a lot of historical monuments and the pictures came out great. Moreover, the phone itself is good and rich. It’s a 30,000 rupees phone, but feels like a 60,000 Rs phone. The technology that has gone into it is also very high quality.
Top 3 features in Oppo F3 Plus according to Dabboo Ratnani
The first two top features would be the phone’s dual camera – both the 16MP and the 8MP camera. Clicking a group selfie with this phone feels like the picture has been shot by a third person who is not in the frame. It is very easy to use and any normal person can handle it with ease. So obviously, the camera, the use of use and the software that has gone in its making are simply great; I personally like the Operating system and the way they have embedded the Android system into it.
Dabboo Ratnani on his 2017 Calendar
This was my 18th year in a row, and it is very special for me for the effort that we put in the making of this calendar. It is completely a non-commercial project and is something very close to my heart. It is my pet project and something that I look for every year. The entire year I happen to do commercial projects but this is one thing that I do for my passion and art. I really enjoy doing my calendar and am very thankful to the team – the actors, the technical people behind it, the make-up people – everybody does it for free and do not charge me anything. I shoot 24 actors every year and it is worth a lot. The best thing is that I have not thought of commercializing it or adding any brands to it – therein lie its beauty.
I make sure that every shot is different. The 2 main focus in my photographs are the actors and my photography skills. Each picture tells a particular story and has a theme of its own.
Dabboo Ratnani on Food and his brother, Chef Vicky Ratnani
I am a big foodie; in fact we are a family of foodies. I once or twice a week visit Vicky’s restaurant and he ensure to make for me and my family those dishes which are off the menu. So if we order 1 thing, we get three things.
I personally like non-fried food much and slightly tilted towards non-vegetarian. I like grilled food – anything in sea food, lamb chops, biryani, khichda etc. I am not much into spicy, masaledaar food. But yes, whichever place I am for my work, I like to try the local cuisine. I like to experiment with my food, so if I am outside India, i don’t try Indian food. Rather I would try the local food there.
Dabboo Ratnani’s Message to the budding photographers
Photography is an art; it is not just business. You need to evolve and get better with every shoot. You cannot do one great shoot and think that you are a great photographer. The challenge of a photographer is to keep pushing your talent to the next level. You should not be in photography just to be around models or actors. You will have to do it for art and passion. If you do not have these things in you, you cannot sustain for a longer period in photography.
– Anjali Sethi Joshi / Samrita Baruah