Shift in focus

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
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Chatline Born with a visual anomaly, the first time he saw things clearly was through a lens. One of the city’s best fashion photographers, Sarath Shetty, tells Sangeetha Devi Dundoo about his romance with the camera

He is part of an industry where a dash of glamour is always welcome but Sarath Shetty doesn’t gloss over facts when he talks about the challenges of being a fashion photographer in Hyderabad.

In 2003, as a young photographer with dreams in his eyes, he wanted to move to Mumbai. His friends and clients dissuaded him, citing that he could build his base in an emerging market like Hyderabad than being one among the crowd in Mumbai. Sarath stayed on.

Now, after a decade, Sarath is all set to move to Mumbai. “In the last 10 years, Hyderabad’s growth in the fashion industry has been slow. Mumbai has made rapid strides and the gap between the two cities has widened,” he says matter-of-factly. When he says fashion industry, he is not referring to the growing number of designers or mushrooming of malls in the city. He is referring to the lack of manufacturing units. “For a photographer, the bulk of work comes from shooting catalogues for garment manufacturers. Hyderabad has retailers but not manufacturers, unlike leading sari stores in Chennai. And none of the major fashion brands have their head offices here, which diminishes the work opportunity for a fashion photographer,” Sarath explains.

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