He has been in the glamour industry for more than three decades; he has captured eternal beauty of Bollywood divas, he has presented actors in ways many have least expected. Its not only style and attitude, but also the magic and enigma of the stars is presented in his photos. The shutter bug magician Rakesh Shrestha was in town and he spoke about his work, the glamour industry of Asia and his passion — Photography.
Taking up challenges
Born and brought up in a business family Rakesh Shrestha’s parents wanted him to run the family business. “My brothers chose to take up professions of doctor, engineer and lawyer, but I was always different and wanted to do different things”, says Shrestha. So he took it as a challenge to move away from their shadow and take a profession that included hard work and lots of passion and the answer was photography. But it was not a cake walk for sure, “I went to Mumbai in 70’s and it was not a smooth sail. Its easy to say if ones work is good, bad or ugly but to get there it takes lots of effort, time and dedication and there is tough competition,” says the genius.
After struggling hard to make a name for himself his first big assignment was a cover picture for a glamour magazine with then superstar Neetu Singh. “It was like a wake up call for me and I knew it was a make it or break it opportunity for me. Thankfully, Neetu was very professional and everything went great,” he remembers. Since then there has been no looking back for this photographer who was just 23 then.
Passionate about work
“I never planned to get into glamour business. In the beginning as all photographers I started with the basics, which is very important to know your weaknesses and strengths. I have done landscape, photo journalism, event coverage and many more to get control over camera work and later on moved to fulltime glamour photography,” he insists. He believes that creative field is the most difficult and exciting profession to take up. Every new day comes as a challenge and everyday you get to learn new things and that is what gives him inspiration, proving himself every day gives him a high in life. “Once you are well-known and appreciated things get even more difficult, the more successful you are, expectations get even higher,” he says.
On his muses
Talking about the faces he likes clicking the most he says, “Rekha, she is a dream come true. From her I learnt a lot about how to be professional, sincere, honest and dedicated towards your work,” he shares. He believes that only a pretty face is not important, it’s very important to have inner beauty too and that reflects in the pictures of Rekha, Dimple and Manisha.
And there are some who are very photogenic like Sridevi and Rani Mukherjee. “The perfect combination of beautiful mind and face is Aishwarya, she is perfect. She looked beautiful even without makeup in Guru.” he adds.
His all time favourite photo shoot so far was the one with Manisha Koirala where he captured her raw beauty without a single trace of makeup and a single drop of water trickling down her face.
Beauty is eternal
“Glamour and beauty remains the same in all time and ages, whether it’s Madhubala or Aishwarya beauty is eternal it’s just the mindset, technology, style, fashion and presentation that changes,” he opines. He believes that women have been more in demand in the glamour industry in the past because men demanded to see beautiful women, “It’s a simple demand and supply theory when demand increases so does supply,” he adds. After spending years among the stars has he faced any attitude problems, “Tantrums and attitude problem is not a profession bound problem, it’s an individual problem that can exist anywhere and everywhere. As for Bollywood stars they are so busy with their work that they don’t have time to waste over petty tantrums,” he says.
At last he adds, “It’s very difficult to have a simple life when you’re in the glam world but it’s very important to be humble and stay grounded. I have tried my best to keep my life away from the spotlight and be simple. Anyone who is planning to get into the glamour field should
follow this mantra to succeed and sustain.”