About Karan Kapoor

Karan Kapoor is the son of late Indian Bollywood International Actor Shashi Kapoor and his India-settled wife British Actress Jennifer Kendal. He started his career as photographer at the age of 17 and worked as apprentice to a cameraman. Karan sais he was influenced by Mary Ellen Mark. At 20 he had already completed 2 projects: „Angle Indians“ and „Goa“ (the disappearing influence of the ex Portuguese colony). After his mother died in 1984, Karan returned from assisting photographer in New York to India, where he acted and modelled for a couple of years in Mumbai. This gave him the financial freedom to pursue his photography. Reflecting his photojournalism background, Karan Kapoor's collectible images are slick, stylish and glamorous. Since 2000, he has worked on high profile campaigns for major brands including Vodafone, Nissan, Guinness, Greenpeace, Boots, Bacardi and many more. For his outstanding photography he has been awarded many prestigious prizes such as Applied Arts Award, Creative Review Annual 2018, American Photography Award, Lurzer Archive Top 200 Best Ad Photography Award, a.s.o.
In 2016, the two projects he accomplished at the age of 20 were exhibited under „Time & Tide“ in India.

Amazing, amazing, amazing!! I have had over 20 folios in my career, but this is simply brilliant! Thank you!


Karan, you are from a family of famous actors and have chosen to became a photographer. How come?

My parents were my biggest influence by their love and passion for what they actually did and for a living in the arts. The conversation at home and the stream of actors, directors, poets, photographers and writers was endless. This is propably the biggest gift a parent can give its child.

Your pictures are of remarkable intensity and emotionally touching. One could think of stills in a film. Is your way of working a result of your experience in movies? How do you plan your takes? Do you leave leeway to coincidence or is every shot well planned and prepared?

When I first started work on my early projects in India, the film was expensive and not easily available. A roll of TRI X was valuable and 36 frames had to be accounted for. Working on the Anglo-Indian project, I sometime would spend 2-5 days with my subjects without picking up my camera. I have always thought picking up a camera and taking a picture was an intrusion. My Anglo-Indian project may be only around 15 conatct sheets (15 rolls of TRI X films).

Karan, many photographers go the way from the still to the movie. You know both worlds but stick to photography. What makes the latter attractive to you and how do you see the future of this art?

I think capturing the ‘decisive moment’ as the great Luc Bresson said, is one of the hardest things to achieve. Now, in the digital world, everyone with a mobile phone is a photographer, but to achieve that ‘decisive momet’ is nearly impossible for most people.

Karan, having achieved the highest level in photography, is there anything left you are aiming for? What are your next projects?

Thank you and I am blessed to have the opportunity to make a living doing what I love.

What advice would you give to a young photographer, who would like to become as successful as you? What is your recipe for achievement?

Since my early work I was not conscious of doing ’personal work’. I felt I was recording a way of life that needed to be preserved as it would disappear. So I would advise any young creative starting out to work on what is closest to your heart and keep going!

Karan, you have commissioned us to make a portfolio book containing some of your great pictures - for which we feel honored. What is your opinion about the reproduction quality and craftmanship?

Amazing, amazing, amazing!! I have had over 20 folios in my career, but this is simply brilliant! Thank you!

Karan, thank you for this interview and all the best to you!


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