Behind the scenes of celebrity photographer Karthik Srinivasan's 2020 calendar
For the past decade, every year-end sees photographer Karthik Srinivasan busy designing and shooting to put together his exclusive annual calendar that has often featured celebrities and actors. With the glamour quotient amped up this year, his calendar, that was launched last week, has our undivided attention with stars like Jiiva, Simbu, Shruti Haasan, Vishnu Vishal, Regina Cassandra and Nikki Galrani, among others gracing the 2020 edition.
Since 2015, the interest in the making of his calendar has escalated dramatically with his intriguing ‘Guess who?’ campaign, 15 days prior to the calendar reveal. That was the year Karthik conceptualised the ‘Moonstruck’ theme where he shot reel life couples who are also real life pairs. “Social media has definitely made it more interactive and fun. On our Instagram posts, we keep track of those who are trying to guess the identity of our models and then reward them with a copy of the calendar and an invite to the launch event,” explains Karthik, even as he admits that the online following is overwhelming and enthusiastic. With 2000 copies in print, Karthik tells us that the calendars are not for sale and will be distributed to an exclusive list of celebrities, movie stars, production houses and clients.
Every year Karthik explores ways to outdo his previous edition. In 2017, he did a street photography exhibition where he shot the pictures without even looking through the lens or focusing, making for truly candid shots. Clicking free hand pictures using only one lens (55mm), Karthik called it a ‘Walk Through Life’ where he travelled across the country to catch different emotions of people caught walking along streets. The following year it was ‘Once Upon a Time’ where he recreated iconic Hollywood characters.
This year, though the edit is called the ‘Royals’, it is the fantasy portraiture that shines through. What were the challenges you faced during the making of this calendar? “This year, we had 25 wedding assignments in November. So yes, the big challenge was distributing our resources and our team to shoot for the calendar and our client assignments,” says Karthik adding how he found his team covering three different weddings and a calendar shoot in one day. The lensman who has been a professional photographer for about 17 years, tells us that this time, he has attempted to incorporate fantasy photography in the calendar shoots, which is a wild global trend. “So yes, I did have to persuade some of the actors to step out of their comfort zone and try a dramatic new look. However the stars trusted me with the concept and allowed my creative expression,” says Karthik who has featured celebrities like Kamal Haasan, Akon and Mahesh Babu in the past.