Perhaps the most difficult part of fashion photography is to balance the fine line between commerce and art. An iconic image, especially if it is a fashion photograph, should have a quality of being frozen in time. Some images get so deeply etched in memory that they become the touchstones of history – whether it is the 1955 photograph of Dovima with Elephants by Richard Avedon or Prabuddha Dasgupta’s 2007 Vogue editorial, The Object of Desire.
Arjun Mark is a man of few words but many recognizable images. From shooting the covers of India’s leading fashion magazines (Vogue, GQ, Elle—you name it) to leading ad campaigns for the country’s most popular brands, he has seen it all and more. He is also the man behind Tata CLiQ’s Now & Wow campaign, where he captured the beauteous Yami Gautam.
His image are instantly recognisable for their almost art-like quality. Although he captures his subjects in their most candid moments, the pictures tend to have an ethereal aesthetic quality – almost like that of a Renaissance tableau. This is where every photographer’s distinct perception comes into play, and Arjun’s eye for art is his forte. “It’s important to know that a camera is just a tool,” he says, “Your vision and perspective to look at things and capture them is what will make your pictures stand out from the rest.”
1) Tell us about your favourite photoshoot.
There are many that I love. The campaign for Farah Khan has always topped as one of my favorites from my gamut of work.
The campaign was a collaboration in crafting a richly expressive body of art. To me it marks a blurring between reality and fantasy, and inhabits a fictive universe. They are the workings of imagination and our deeply shared love of beauty. These images are a culmination of artistic expression in all genres– jewellery, photography and fine art. One of my biggest inspirations while shooting women have been sculptures, its ethereal quality and understanding of form have influenced this body of work.
2) What equipment did you use to take this photograph?
I used a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Camera with a 24-70mm lens.
3)What’s the one piece of equipment you cannot work without?
My 85mm f/1.2 lens.
4) One piece of equipment you want to buy right now?
5) Share one tip for those just starting out in this profession.
There is no substitute for hard work and humility is an invaluable virtue. Irrespective of whether you are ‘successful’, it is important to remain humble and receptive. This is the something that has always been of phenomenal pertinence to me.
To get that perfect fashion photograph, you can browse through the photography equipment below.
Images by Arjun Mark