Last year, celebrity photographer Dabboo Ratnani faced a lot of criticism for his calendar shoot with Kiara Advani, who posed behind a leaf. Many accused him of copying the concept from another photographer, Marie Barsch. However, Ratnani has recently opened up on the controversy and clarified that he had no intention of plagiarizing anyone’s work.
In an interview with Bollywood Bubble, Ratnani said that he was inspired by his previous shoots with Tabu and Shraddha Kapoor, where they used leaves as props. He also said that he had never seen Barsch’s photo before and that it was a coincidence that they had similar ideas. He added that he was hurt by the allegations and that he respected Barsch as a fellow artist.
What Ratnani said
Dabboo said, “I think lockdown ke time pe sab ghar pe bethe the. [Everyone was sitting at home due to the lockdown.] Everybody was online at that time. The picture was released in 2020. Tab zada ho controversy ho gayi thi. [It caused quite a big controversy.] But, to be honest, maine us se far sexier photos kare hai [I have clicked far sexier photos than that], which have not got that controversy. Aur baaki bahut sare photographers ne bhi bahut sare alag type ke controversial shoot kiye, par itna zada discussion kabhi nahi hua photoshoot pe. [And many other photographers have also undertaken various controversial shoots, but there has never been such widespread discussion about a photoshoot as much as this one.]”
“And to be honest, Kiara Advani’s picture was very aesthetically shot. It was not like ki in your face zada sexy tha. [It was not in your face kind of sexy] A lot is left to your imagination. I feel jo aap tease karte ho mind ko [The way you tease your mind], that pictures work more because it leaves a lot for your imagination. And I think, Kiara ko nobody had ever imagined doing a sexy picture. Kabir Singh had just released before that and then suddenly an avatar of Kiara in a really sexy picture. The timing jo mil gaya tha, vo time pe, [Because of the timing] that had made it extra controversial,” Dabboo Ratnani added.
Ratnani praises Kiara
Ratnani also revealed how Kiara Advani reacted to the controversy. He said that she was very supportive and confident about the shoot. He praised her for being bold and beautiful and said that she had a lot of trust in him. He said that he was grateful to her for being a part of his calendar.
Ratnani’s calendar is an annual feature that showcases some of the most popular Bollywood stars in glamorous poses. He has been doing it for over two decades and has worked with many big names in the industry. His 2020 edition also featured Akshay Kumar, Ananya Panday, Bhumi Pednekar, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon, Sunny Leone, Tiger Shroff, Varun Dhawan and Vicky Kaushal.