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Retro Kolkata Exclusive : Interview with Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Award winner Amit Khanna

© Amit Khanna
Amit Khanna (born 24 July 1984) is a film director, writer, film producer, actor and fashion photographer from Mumbai, India. His undying passion and commitment have led him to showcase his skills at celebrated platforms like Provogue Mr. India, Miss Diva, Femina Miss India, BCL, Campus Princess, Top Model India, Lakme Fashion Week, Wills India Fashion Week, IIJW. Amit has been associated with international brands like Starbucks for celebrity photo shoots as well as brands like Krishna Pearls, Chromozome and many more. His style transformed fashion photography in India, and gave it a global edge to magazines like L'officiel, Noblesse, Hi! Blitz, Man's World, The Man and Men's Health and TMM Magazine. He happens to be the sole holder of the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence award 2016 in the field of fashion photography.

RK : First of all, thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview as our Guest Photographer. Let’s have a jump into the past. What first attracted you to photography? At what point did you realize that photography is what you wanted to do as a career?

Amit Khanna : Thank you for this interview, it’s a pleasure, I have always been fascinated with different emotions projected by people, and I have always been curious about capturing people in various moods, so I guess human forms have fascinated me, I would love to take my camera out on a walk and capture people and different places, that was just a hobby, it became a profession in 2012, when a super model friend Iris Maity spotted my eye for fashion photography and encouraged me to pursue it and the rest is history.

RK :What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?

Amit Khanna : I guess history intrigues me, mostly rich in Indian culture and Tradition, they could be various eras or transcripts, moghul period, the rajasthani rich culture, or even the kamasutra, I have always been very close to it.

© Amit Khanna

RK : Your projects are a collaborative process. Tell us what is like to always be working with new stylists, models, and designers.

Amit Khanna : A picture is always an output of team work, working with a new team can have its pros and cons but I like to work with people to explore creative minds, sometimes it works sometimes it back fires but learning happens.

© Amit Khanna

RK : You’ve clearly worked with a lot of celebrities, If you had to pick one fashion brand (or designer) and one celebrity that you think best suit your style of clicks, who would that be and why?

Amit Khanna : I am still in the process of developing a style, and I’ve loved working with all the designers and celebrities.

© Amit Khanna

RK : Tell us what you do to elicit the moods from your subjects that are communicated in your photographs?

Amit Khanna : I just let them be, individualistic approach makes the pictures stand out and let the picture have its uniqueness.

© Amit Khanna

RK : To you, what are the qualities that make a perfect shot?

Amit Khanna : I believe imperfection makes a shot perfect, it has a sense of realness and rawness which makes it relatable and attractive.

RK : From conceptualizing to post processes, how much planning goes into a shoot?

Amit Khanna : I am impulsive, depending on the level of people involved the planning needs to be done.

© Amit Khanna

RK : How important are colors to portray the real sense of an image?

Amit Khanna : Colours are extremely important, an image is outcome of colours and even black and white images speak a lot , they actually set the mood.

© Amit Khanna

RK : Apart from photography, you have directed hindi films like "TutiyaDil", ‘Badmashiyaan’ , also you have began your writing career with channel V’s fiction film ‘Roomies (2009)', who or what has helped you to evolve your dynamic personality? Did it come naturally to you or someone motivated you to channelize your diverse passion?

Amit Khanna : No one helped me ,I’ve been driven , more than success , failure has taught me and experience has been my teacher.

RK : You are the winner of the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence award 2016 in the field of Fashion photography. In your opinion, What’s important in order to develop an own photographic voice ?

Amit Khanna : You have to create your own style, inspiration and copying are two different words, you have to be a creator and not always be inspired by the idea of art of someone else, I see a lot of pictures which are copied by my work, it flattering for me but does nothing for the photographer, there is a difference between being creative and owning a camera, every person with a DSLR is not a photographer , vision for photography is important.

© Amit Khanna

RK : Could you please share Happiest Moment in your Photographic Life?

Amit Khanna : In my photography career my happiest moment was winning the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Award in 2016 .

RK : We (Retro Kolkata) are trying to build one single stage for all the artists, because we believe that artists are the most beautiful creation of God and geographical boundary can never break their unity and harmony. Please say something about our initiative and any special message for your followers.

Amit Khanna : That’s a great initiative, and I wish u success and luck, I hope you guys are able to achieve great heights and let every deserving artist get their due and platform. All the best .

© Amit Khanna

© Amit Khanna

© Amit Khanna


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We are thrilled to announce the upcoming 'AURA 2024 - The International Photography & Art Exhibition and Grand Felicitation Ceremony', following the resounding success of last year's event. This prestigious gathering will be held at Kolkata's renowned 'Nazrul Tirtha' Art Gallery (Action Area I, Newtown, Kolkata 700156) from January 13 to January 21, 2024. The event promises an international stage for artists and photographers handpicked globally to display their masterpieces alongside the mesmerizing works of esteemed artists from over 25 participating countries, all under the spotlight of national media.

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Step into the boundless world of art with Retro Kolkata Magazine - The Global Edition. Beyond a magazine, it's a collectible tome celebrating the global tapestry of creativity. Delve into seven chapters unveiling the wonders of artistry across different mediums, uniting readers in a rich conversation that transcends borders. Embrace this cherished keepsake, a luminous narrative of human expression and interconnected art forms.

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