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Dabboo Ratnani


A name that is synonymous with excellence & creativity. For over a decade & half, Dabboo Ratnani has continued to master the art of photography. From personality portraits and advertising campaigns to fashion and magazine layouts, Dabboo has developed and showcased a discriminating and unique style of his profession.

Known for his unassuming disposition, sincere dedication and an eye for making his subjects seem surreal, lens-legend Dabboo Ratnani’s resume shrieks names that scrape the upper echelons of Bollywood’s aristocracy. Some of these celebrities have refused to shoot with anyone but the man himself. Mr. Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar, Late Michael Jackson, Boris Becker, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanjay Dutt, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Rahul Dravid, Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sania Mirza are just a few who deem this man as the only one who can capture the good despite the bad and the ugly! Always accommodating and admirably relaxed, never pushy but gently persuasive, Dabboo has a knack of getting his pictures despite the odds…

Dabboo is one of the most famous of modern, portrait n celebrity photographer. His induction into the world of photography came about largely by chance. It started with an object, which soon became his prized possession- The Camera. His hobby turned into a passion. Behind the outstanding success with which we associate him today is a great deal of hard work and struggle from the days when as a young man in Bombay he used to travel across the Central line on the fast and slow locals to reach out for his trainings with Sumeet Chopra

Dabboo’s work comprises of a blend of film, fashion, editorial, advertising, portraits, glamour, product shots, etc. It was all connected in a way, films got him editorial work, which in turn got him model portfolios, which finally led him to the advertising world.

His work has been used for film advertising and publicity campaigns. Dabboo’s visible efforts have been in connection with the motion picture industry.

A partial list of the films he has generated publicity for is:

Ø    Aatish

Ø    Aawara Pagal Deewana

Ø    Asoka

Ø    Blackmail

Ø  Bheja Fry

Ø    Fiza

Ø  Fool & Final

Ø    Hera Pheri

Ø    Ishq Vishq

Ø    Jhankaar Beats

Ø    Jism

Ø    Jo Bole So Nihaal

Ø    Kaho Na Pyaar Hai

Ø    Legend of Bhagat Singh

Ø  MP 3

Ø  Maan Gaye Mughleazam

Ø    Murder

Ø    My Brother Nikhil

Ø    My Wife’s Murder

Ø  Naqaab

Ø    Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Ø  Om Shanti Om

Ø    Paap

Ø    Phir Milange

Ø    Plan

Ø    Rog

Ø    Sarfarosh

Ø    Sur

Ø    Virudh

Ø   Welcome

Ø    Yakeen


Dabboo’s talents have been expanded into the advertising field with campaigns like


Ø  7 UP with Malika Sherawat

Ø  8 PM with Mallika Sherwat

Ø  10 Ka Dum With Salman Khan

Ø  Acer with Hrithik Roshan

Ø  Airtel with Shahrukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Saurav Ganguly

Ø  Alpenliebe with Kajol

Ø  Amitabh B perfume with Mr. Bachchan

Ø  Anmol

Ø  Aveo UVA With Saif Ali Khan

Ø  Bajaj

Ø  BPL Mobile

Ø  Belmonte With Shah Rukh Khan

Ø  Chevrolet With Saif Ali Khan

Ø  Citizen watches with Kareena Kapoor

Ø  Coca Cola with Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan

Ø  Compaq with Shah Rukh Khan

Ø  D’Damas with Mr Bachchan, Kajol, Ajay Devgan, Upen Patel, Perizaad Zorabian, Amrita Rao, Amrita Arora, Celina Jaitly

Ø  Dabur with Mr. Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Emran Hashmi and Riya Sen

Ø  Dish TV with Shah Rukh Khan

Ø   Donear Suitings

Ø  Durian

Ø  Emami with Shahrukh Khan, Mr Amitabh Bachchan & Madhuri Dixit

Ø  Emami Vasocare with Bipasha Basu

Ø  EverReady Batteries with Akshay Kumar

Ø  FEM With Preity Zinta

Ø  Ford Fiesta with Abhishek Bachchan

Ø  For an NGO with Sachin Tendulkar

Ø  Garnier

Ø  General Motors with Rani Mukherjee

Ø  Gilette with Arjun Rampal

Ø  Hero Honda with Hrithik Roshan and Saurav Ganguly

Ø  Himani with Sunny Deol , Saurav Ganguly & Shah Rukh Khan

Ø  Honda Activa

Ø  Hyundai Santro with Shah Rukh Khan & Preity Zinta

Ø  iBall with Hrithik Roshan

Ø  ICICI Bank with Mr. Bachchan

Ø  IDEA mobile with Abhishek Bachchan

Ø  Inter Gold

Ø  Ishna

Ø  ITC with Hrithik Roshan

Ø  Jane Shilton

Ø  Kalyan Silks

Ø  Khaitan with Karishma Kapoor

Ø  Knorr Soup with Kajol

Ø  Kurkure with Juhi Chawla

Ø  L’Oreal

Ø  LG with Abhishek Bachchan & Zayed Khan

Ø  Liberty shoes with Hrithik Roshan

Ø  Libertina Lingerie

Ø  Limca with Riya Sen

Ø  Lux with Rani Mukherjee, Urmila Mataondkar & Raveena Tandon

Ø  Magic Moments with Hrithik Roshan

Ø  Malabar Gold with Sania Mirza

Ø  Margo with Rani Mukherjee

Ø  Masterstroke Whisky with Shah Rukh Khan

Ø  Movado with Twinkle Khanna & Harbhajan Singh

Ø  Microsoft XBOX with Akshay Kumar & Yuvraj

Ø  Nestle Munch with Rani Mukerjee

Ø  Nokia with Shah Rukh Khan & with Priyanka Chopra

Ø  OCM with Saif Ali Khan

Ø  Oral B with Madhuri Dixit

Ø  Panasonic phones with Malaika Arora Khan

Ø  Pepsi With Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor & Priyanka Chopra

Ø  Pepsodent with Shah Rukh Khan

Ø  Pizza Hut with Zayed Khan and Malaika Arora Khan

Ø  Platini

Ø  Provogue with Fardeen Khan & Saif Ali Khan

Ø  Puma with Saurav Ganguly

Ø  PC Chandra Jewellery with Deepika Padukone

Ø  Reliance with Abhishek Bachchan

Ø  Sansui with Saurav Ganguly

Ø  S Kumars with Rahul Dravid

Ø  Sahara with Laureus Celebrities

Ø  Siyaram’s with Boris Becker and Diya Mirza

Ø  Sweet Dreams

Ø  Tamarind with Hrithik Roshan

Ø  Teens Lingerie

Ø  Toshiba With Vidya Balan

Ø  Vasmol With Kajol

Ø  Whirlpool with Ajay Devgan & Kajol

Ø  Yamaha

Ø  Yatra with Boman Irani



He shoots cover pictures and features for magazines like

Ø  Asian Woman

Ø  Better Homes & Gardens

Ø  Better Photography

Ø  Cine Blitz

Ø  Cosmopolitan

Ø  Ehlan Masala


Ø  Femina

Ø  Filmfare

Ø  G Mag

Ø  Good Housekeeping


Ø  Harper’s Bazaar

Ø  Haute’

Ø  Hot

Ø  Jade

Ø  L’ Officiel

Ø  Marie Claire

Ø  Man’s World

Ø  Maxim

Ø  Movie

Ø  OK! India

Ø  Savvy

Ø  Stardust

Ø  Stern

Ø  Verve

Ø  Vogue

Ø  Zee UK etc.


The near iconic stature that he has acquired has not diminished his human traits. His gregarious and easy relationship with his subjects infuses his work and humor. The stars trust him as he combines sensitivity with allure.

Born on December 24, this easy going Capricorn unveils his annual calendar every year on his birthday. Dabboo’s annual calendar is a collector’s item and is eagerly awaited with bated breath by the Bollywood fraternity. He launched his 13th limited-edition 2012 annual calendar with 24 Bollywood actors this year. It is sent out to clients, friends and prospective clientele. Over the years the same is now being shot purely for his creative satisfaction. “My Calendar is a platform to showcase my work. I aesthetically shoot them like they have never been seen before and I style the picture the way I imagine. I experiment with lighting, angles, background and location. The stars often do co-operate with my experimentation and fortunately, I do manage to get my ‘first times’ out of each star. The calendar has a shelf value of a year and its very important for the image to tell a story with in itself. This is one product I can truly call my form of art”, he confesses.

Dabboo’s studio is indeed a case of owner’s pride and neighbor’s envy! His state of the art studio encompasses all the basic comforts one star could wish for during a shoot. The moment you walk in the studio, one is engulfed with huge wall sized soft boards displaying Dabboo’s finest work. The studio has a warm reception area, fine make up rooms, meeting lounge, dining room and Dabboo’s cabin situated at the mezzanine level overlooking the large shooting area. Dabboo’s mean machine Yamaha Dragstar is parked right inside the studio. Being a coffee lover himself, he offers the world’s finest coffee selection to everyone.

Dabboo’s dog ‘Flash’, a boxer, who accompanies Dabboo to work every day, gives an enthusiastic welcome to all. He generates positive energy and adds life to the studio. Favorite of all celebrities, Flash is a celebrity in his own right as he has been shot with the who’s who of Bollywood. 

One can’t help but admire the rocking music playing in the studio. In fact, Dabboo’s second passion after photography is music. He has a collection of over three thousand CDs, He would be a DJ if he could. He feels,” While photographing people it is necessary to create a mood. The subject should feel a part of the entire session as the ambience plays a vital role. You can work wonders if the subject and photographer can enjoy the mood and the setting. The ambience has to be just right, the appropriate kind of music, sound and lighting helps get into the flow”

In 2005, Dabboo marked his foray into digital photography and imaging. He is currently using Leica S2 & Canon 1DS Mark III.

He explains the benefits,” vis-à-vis a conventional film camera, shooting with digital camera has immense advantages as one can get instant feedback. It has eliminated the endless suspense of roll processing and scanning.  It also has given a lot of control to the photographer in terms of composition, selection of the picture, color and tone control, editing it on Photoshop, etc. However, one must know how to enhance the picture with digital technology, then your creativity is appreciated”.

Dabboo also has a fixation with cars, bikes and other boyish gizmos. He belongs to the Apple cult and has all the high-end computers of Apple.

Dabboo believes photography is a blend of art and business.  He expresses’” I am as excited about my job as I was on my first day. The fire is still there. I breathe photography. I am always looking for new things to incorporate in shots. Its in my blood stream now”.

Dabboo is a free spirit who has an artistic license and needs the freedom to pursue his muse.

 -Manisha Ratnani





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