Veteran Bollywood and fashion photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha, whose glamorous photoshoots helped propel many actors to stardom, passed away on Tuesday following a heart attack. He was 62.
Mr. Rajadhyaksha passed away at his residence here, his family said. The funeral of Mr. Rajadhyaksha, cousin of writer Shobhaa De, will be held this evening.
His first encounter with fashion photography happened in 1980, when he shot pictures of veteran actress Shabana Azmi, Tina Munim and Jackie Shroff.
Mr. Rajadhyaksha left his advertising job in 1987 and took up commercial photography full-time. He soon started doing product campaigns, media assignments and fashion portfolios.
In 1997, he released a coffee table book, ‘FACES’, containing 45 film personalities beginning with Durga Khote and ending with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
In 1992, he wrote his first screenplay for Bekhudi, which launched actor Kajol’s career and his second Anjaam presented Madhuri Dixit in a challenging role.
Mourning Mr. Rajadhyaksha’s death, Ms. De said, “Gautam’s soft-focus photography style was unique and his artistic personality was unmatched. There will be only one Gautam.”
Several Bollywood personalities also took to Twitter to express their grief over his demise.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar said, “He used to like opera and had a sound knowledge of classical ragas. He talked to us on music and also explained photography to me.”
“Gautam Rajadhyaksha the most gentlest of humans, and one of the finest photographers in the industry, a friend, family favorite. RIP. Too shocked to learn of Gautam! Were talking about him just the other day. Many of his pictures adorn our house and our books,” Amitabh Bachchan wrote on Twitter.
“Gautam ! You have left behind a legacy that shall keep you in our hearts forever... pictures that you took shall be with us always!,” Bachchan added.
“Photography and possibly one of the sweetest and most gentle people you would ever meet. Rest in peace Gautam, you will be greatly missed,” Abhishek Bachchan said.
“Shocked to learn Gautam Rajadhakshya passed away. Great photographer, artist old friend and supporter,” filmmaker Shekar Kapur said.
Photographer Dabboo Ratnani said, “Rest in Peace, Gautam Rajadhyaksha. You will be dearly missed.”
“Gautam Rajadhyaksha was one my most favourite people in the fraternity...funny, sensitive and always positive..I love you gautam and I miss you,” Karan Johar wrote.
“Rest in peace Gautam Rajadhyaksha — every photographer aspired to be him and every face wanted to be captured by him — will miss you,” Riteish Deshmukh said.
Other celebrities like Sonu Nigam, Celina Jaitley, Madhur Bhandharkar, Boman Irani, Pritish Nandy, Farhan Akhtar, Tusshar Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukhesh and Maria Goretti also mourned the death of ace photographer.
Maharashtra Governor condoles Rajadhyaksha’s death
Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan has expressed grief over the untimely demise of the writer, cinematographer and ace photographer. The media and film industry has lost one of the finest craftsmen in photography, the Governor said in his condolence message.
“Gautam Rajadhadhyaksha was one of the most respected names in the world of cinematography and still photography in the country. He had taken photography to the level of a fine art. Getting photographed by Gautam was a matter of immense pride and prestige for people, especially those from the film industry.
“He was a well-read person and came across as an extremely humble and courteous person. I had the privilege of meeting him on a couple of occasions and was touched by his simplicity. In his demise, we have lost one of the finest craftsmen in photography and a gem of a person,” he said.