For about half its life, the Indian film industry has been dominated by Bollywood, at least in terms of presence in society, popularity and scale of productions. Bombay took over as the major center of film production in India from Calcutta, and gave birth to the Bollywood – the name itself is a clear homage to the ideal it aspired to. Bollywood has since dictated the imagination of the majority of the middle class of the country, directly and indirectly; and in this aspect, the presence of the still photographer in the set is often underestimated.
Still photography during film productions began with the purpose of maintaining continuity, and for publicity. It is mainly the second use that propelled it into significance, with many photographers achieving candid (at times staged) portraits and capturing valuable moments during film production. Along with film posters, working stills or publicity stills have acquired a historical value, and in parallel, the approach of the photographers have also evolved to give the genre seriousness.
Photography © Jaisingh Nageswaran / 35 mm digital camera