The decision of not joining my fathers business and choosing to take up photography as a career was a significant turning point in my life. To begin with, I assisted a photographer to learn the tricks of the trade. Career wise, the most significant milestone for me was when I did a photo shoot with Sanjay Dutt for the promotion of the movie Aatish : Feel the Fire.
The movie released in 1994 and the photograph became something of a landmark for me. The picture was taken in Mauritius (and wasnt a studio shot) and was used in the films hoardings. It also found its way into the magazine, Stardust. This got me noticed and earned me a lot of work.
Someone who influenced my photography in a big way was actress Pooja Bhatt. I was amazed by the way she did her homework before a shoot and this taught me to become more meticulous.
Another important decision in my life was buying a 2,000 sqft studio in Oshiwara in 1991 with my hard earned money. Having my own studio made things more organised and helped my business grow.
Meeting Manisha through family friends set off another phase in my life. We tied the knot in 2004 and shes become my greatest support system. While I concentrate on the creative aspects of my work, she runs the back-end of the business.
The latest turning point in my life came when my daughter was born about four months ago. Holding your baby and seeing her grow is a great feeling.
As of now Im content with the way my work and life is going. I am now looking forward to the launch of my eleventh calendar. All my calendars — shot with top filmstars — are special for me because I keep on experimenting each time and learn a lot in the process.
(As told to Chitra Papnai)