The first quarter of every year in Chennai witnesses a steady increase in calendar launches and award ceremonies. From roping in top stars to adorn glossy calendar pages to hosting sensational award ceremonies for best fashionista, et al, Chennai truly knows how to pull in a crowd.
Speaking about the calendar launches, ace photographer Karthik Srinivasan says, “There are a lot of people who take the calendar route to build their contacts with stars or use it as a platform to conduct an event that’s attended by influential people. But it’s sad to see that there’s no consistency. They do a calendar one year and sometimes they disappear after that. Quality is the key. More than just lining up stars and doing an event, we need to look at the progression of the craft. Each year we need to send out a collectors’ edition and that’s what my aim has always been.”
Psychologist Dr Mini Rao says, “Every day there is a new award being given away to some model or socialite. Everyone poses, and it’s great for the sponsors. But we need a more meaningful method to this madness. Awarding real talent, initiatives and impactful voices is important. A song and dance alone cannot be classified as an awards ceremony. And there are too many people wanting to appear in newspapers and on social media, so they accept any and every award that comes their way.”
A transgender lawyer, Sathyasri Sharmila, who recently won an award for her pathbreaking story, says, “It’s important to showcase inspirational people on the award stages. It’s unfortunate that cinema or glamour outshines gritty stories that can actually inform, educate and even entertain people. We need to look at real examples and not just those who can be great TRP or viral on social media. The objective has to go beyond satisfying sponsors.”
Nithin Barath, a celebrity photographer who hasn’t yet been bitten by the calendar bug, says, “I have shot the best of stars for editorials and I am amused at how some of these stars are very open to calendar shoots. There’s some lure in being the face of a calendar month. But I don’t see the need to jump on the bandwagon. I want to be able to capture seasons and people to reflect a cause. I don’t feel the need to step into the crowded scene of calendars. And nowadays calendars don’t really find pride of place in any office or home. We need more interesting formats to showcase our work and I feel digital mediums work better.”
But for Niki Galrani, who was featured on a calendar recently, “it was a huge high to know that I represent a certain month of a calendar. So many people look forward to the calendars of top photographers and there is a nostalgic charm to calendars.”...