A Model Life

Celebrated photographer Karthik Srinivasan talks to Richa Tilokani about his charmed journey from being in front of the camera as a model to going behind it.


1. From model to celebrity photographer to celebrated photographer – tell us about the journey.

I came to Chennai to be a cinematographer. I am 6 foot tall so people used to ask me if I was a model. They used to say I look like Milind Sonam. That’s why I started modeling. I am passionate about photography so finally I shifted to photography after a few years.

2. How different is it to be behind the camera than to be in front of it? 

I have been on both the sides. If you are behind the camera, you don’t have to worry about a lot of things like your weight or hair. Now I can eat what I want so that’s the advantage. But both times, you have to give the best result always.

3. How does it feel to be a person teaching photography to young students? Do you also learn new things in the process?

When I wanted to be a photographer, there was no proper school. The scope was limited, now things have changed. So I teach commercial photography, so students can have a career. In the process, I have learnt a lot and I hope my students also benefit.

4. How has your recent role as brand ambassador for Sony cameras been?

Associating with them has been great- they are an international giant in every field. So it’s a big achievement for anyone. For a photographer sitting in Chennai, it’s been a fantastic experience. Recently, I met the Managing Director of Sony Corp and the engineers who create the cameras and shared my inputs. So it’s been a dream come true.

5. How do you conceptualise a shoot with a celebrity or client? How does the whole thought process work?

A photographer is like the captain of the ship- we work with so many people so we have to coordinate every thing. We put a lot of thought in every shoot. For any shoot, we plan for many days- the camera, the scope, planning, model, clothes, hair, set props etc everything has to be perfect. Detailing is very important. Also the higher you come, more people start noticing your work. Now my experience is coming in handy.

6. Your wife is a well-known stylist. Tell us about her contribution towards your success. A little info about your romance as well before it led to the wedding. 

My wife manages my production. She doesn’t style all my shoots. She manages getting the right models, styling etc. There is no time restriction while we work, so it’s a huge advantage to work with her. She’s a model and I am a photographer so we met on the set and things bloomed from there.

7.Tell us about some interesting shoots you have done and interesting incidents on the sets. 

Lots of interesting things happen when we travel for shoots. Sometimes, we travel 100 miles to a location and it rains, but we have to be prepared for everything. Even if it’s difficult, we always try to make the best of the situation. Once we were on a speed boat near Phuket, there was a huge wave and we had to hold onot the camera and balance the light. It was challenging but fun!

8.A message for RITZ on our 10th anniversary.

It’s been more than 8-9 years since I have been working with Ritz and its been a fantastic experience. You guys constantly innovate and that’s the reason for your success. And with Aruna at the helm, you guys will surely go places. Wish you a happy anniversary and many more to come.