The photographer Karthik Srinivasan is tired of taking “beautiful pictures”. Lately he's been attracted to things that are nervous. That explains the concept for his calendar for 2020. This year, 17 celebrities from the Tamil and Telugu film industries will be presented under the title The Royals. There are Shruti Haasan and Jiiva in January, followed by Aishwarya Rajesh, STR, Raiza Wilson, Atharvaa, Oviya Helena, Ram Pothineni, Gayathrie Shankar, Bharath, Nikki Galrani, Vishnu Vishal, Nidhi Agerwal, Priya Anand, Megha Akash, Arun Vijay and Regina Cassandra.
"I decide the line-up based on her birthday months and the sets based on her personality," explains Karthik. The look they wear is different from the usual fixed clothes associated with kings and celebrities. Instead, think of chic lace outfits, whimsical wigs, ruffled maxis in blue, white, pink, combined with asymmetrical cuts and diadem in various shapes, colors and sizes. The men wear a dark wardrobe with an intense look. "I wanted her skin to look natural. I made her look tanned and somber, and there were no touch-ups. If you look closely, you can actually see a few natural marks on your skin. I don't believe in changing a person's appearance. None of them had a problem … that's the trust they have in me, ”he says.
The rates vary for each of the shoots. For some of them he even converted his studio in Besant Nagar into a set. The props (from 50 to 20) range from flowers, blackberries and the moon to swords and even a husky. Karthik knew exactly what he wanted and had most of them shipped from the United States. He also watched game of Thrones for inspiration, he says.
“What is fun about such a shoot is that you can bring in creativity. It is exactly what you imagine that will come to life, ”says Karthik, who has been taking pictures for almost two decades. The idea, he says, is to portray actors in a different light. He admits that the whole process – from creating the concept to convincing celebrities – can be exhausting. His enthusiasm for this annual project can be seen from the fact that he starts working the next year a year in advance.
Sometimes getting data to coordinate can be challenging. "Since I know most of them and photographed their first portfolios, I have a good relationship with them," he adds. Each actor devotes a whole day to the shoot. This isn't the time-consuming part, Karthik says, adding that pre-production and set-up actually take time. “I usually start work in November and finish in two months,” he says.
The calendar can be viewed on Instagram. His grip is karthiksrinivasan007.