Actresses posing topless are a regular feature of Dabboo Ratnani’s annual calendar. The celebrity photographer not only creates aesthetically pleasing topless photos but also makes his models look effortless and simplistic when posing bare body. Through the years, Kriti Sanon, Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, Sunny Leone, Kiara Advani, Parineeti Chopra among others have posed topless for Dabboo’s calendar.
When asked what is the vision behind these images, Dabboo says, “It has to be sexy while leaving some room for your mind to imagine. If you shoot something that is also covering and is sexy at the same time, it lets your mind do the thinking. It excites you more to see the picture. You have to create images where you see little and leave the rest to imagination. I make sure they do not look vulgar. The shots have to be aesthetically beautiful and nothing so controversial that you can’t even look at it."
Talking about how he gets actors to pose nude, Dabboo says, “It all depends on the comfort of the actor and their confidence. There are various ways to do it but it all depends on how much you trust the photographer. We work closely with the stylists, make up and the hair person and make them very comfortable."
This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Dabboo, his team and the celebrities have taken the digital route to unveil the images for the 2021 calendar. He shares that due to Covid protocols and a smaller team to execute the project, things were difficult.
“There has been a delay this year. All norms were followed like Covid tests were conducted, the whole team had to be in masks and everything had to be sanitised. Even logistics wise, all the locations were not available. We did not shoot it during the lockdown. We even kept the team to a minimum. Usually there is a larger team that comes to the shoot. This time, it was me, two assistants, one light boy and just the staff of the actors. We kept the crew light."
Every year, Dabboo introduces at least two new faces in his calendar, while also working with the people he has shot before and collaborates with on a regular basis. In the 2021 calendar, Tara Sutaria and Vijay Deverakonda are the debutantes. Dabboo shares, “The newcomers add some perspective to the project. They think differently, they pose differently. It is good to add freshness to the calendar."
“With Vijay, he has done a lot in the Telugu film industry but is doing his first Hindi film. He has a huge fan following in the South. He has a rugged and rowdy kind of an appearance and character. But he is very down to earth and a soft guy. He is very approachable, lovable and shy. I was surprised to see that side of him. With Tara, I had done her first magazine cover. For me, they are like my friends. They prefer I am real with them. Today, if I don’t give them my honest feedback then it’s not right," he adds.