Photographer G. Venket Ram throws fresh light on style and stars in his calendar for 2012 that's being released today

What's the difference between a simple snapshot and a notice-me photograph? Well, it communicates… After experimenting with ‘vintage' style last year, photo pro G. Venket Ram takes leading ladies from tinsel town to interesting homes and captures them in a variety of speaking shots for his 2012 calendar.

Known for his deeply inquisitive eye, the photographer, who has left his imprint on hundreds of commercials and film stills, approaches his frames like a fashion designer, by working on colour stories for each of the twelve pages that make his beautiful wall-worthy calendar. Here's what he has to say about his new experiment that takes his work beyond aperture and exposure…

THE IDEA CLICKS! “Stars and vintage vehicles” was the theme of my calendar for 2011. Having worked with different designers and stylists, their idea of colour stories inspired me. That was the starting point for my new calendar.

DESIGN IN FRAMES All the colours in the shots are painstakingly co-ordinated. Earth tones, jewel hues, autumn shades…. Each frame has a story to tell. While colour plays a stellar role, the cine stars enhance the mood in meaningful ways.

FRAME OF MIND It's one of restrained glamour. The stars, all leading female actors from the film industry in the South, exude subtle sensuality. This work goes beyond calendar clichés. No bikini chic or risqué poses.

THE BIG PICTURE It was a well-coordinated effort between me and a team of top designers, stylists and make-up artistes from here and Mumbai. Since there were too many creative minds at work, we planned everything to the minute detail. When it came to styling and make-up, we tried different things the stars have never experimented with — like never-tried-before hairstyles. And because of my association with the stars for several years, they simply went with the flow without apprehensions.

SET-UP SHOT The setting played a vital role in all the frames. We shot at many homes in Chennai and two interior spaces in Mumbai. I'm fascinated by little niches in homes. It can be a windowsill, a couch in a corner or the space near a non-descript door. We approached each location like a plain canvas and worked from scratch. Since we were looking at niches, not all sported well-painted walls — some needed to be perked up, so we simply draped furnishing materials on them!

LIGHT AND COLOUR Light is the most transformative tool in photography. With the right light you can achieve so many layers. I've experimented with light in a way I've never done before. The idea of quintessential colour stories is reflected in the way each page of the calendar (with a prominent picture of an actor) is accompanied by allied shots of colour swatches that tie up the tale.

(Actor Suriya releases the calendar at a function in Chennai today.)

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