Down memory lane with Mumbai’s acclaimed Hamilton Studios | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Mumbai’s Hamilton Studios, famous for its portraiture, turned 50 last month. Established in 1928 by Englishman Victor Sassoon, the studio is located in the heart of Ballard Estate, the city’s heritage district. Its 82-year-old owner and the only resident photographer (at one point there were 10) Ranjit Madhavji, a textile exporter who bought the studio on a whim, says that nothing much has changed in the last 50 years as far as its appearance is concerned. “I have not even got the walls repainted as I wanted to maintain the ambience of an old world studio. We have shot several celebrities within these walls,” he says. “From Madhubala to Zeenat Aman and JRD Tata, to Babasaheb Ambedkar and Wipro chairman Azim Premji, they have all come to get their portfolios clicked. I shoot only portfolio pictures and use at least 10 lights.” There have been times when he has taken one of his 20 unwieldy old cameras, which includes a Kodak 1926 Studio, a 1930 Field Camera, a Speedgraphic, a Graphlex, a Mamiaflex Professional, a Hilba and a Wilsor out of the studio to shoot people like the Dalai Lama. Deepali Nandwani gets him to blow the dust off some of the studio’s most memorable photographs...