India has been slowly opening up to the concept of boudoir photography. This is still in its infancy though some photographers are really doing an exceptional work despite the challenges surrounding this genre of photography.

Rishab Dahiya is one of India’s most top rated fashion and boudoir photographers. Based in New Delhi and Mumbai, he is known for his style of boudoir photography and has worked with celebrities such as Sonam Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Sana Khan and many more. His (follow him on Instagram) interest lies in retouching, filmmaking and editing.

Boudoir photography in India will take time to be accepted as an art: Rishab Dahiya

Boudoir photography is quite a craze in the west, especially as a pre-wedding concept. What is the state of boudoir photography in India?

Boudoir photography
Photo credits: Rishab Dahiya

In India boudoir as a genre of photography is still more of a part of fashion only. Traditionally according to French culture boudoir has nothing to do with fashion, it is part of their lifestyle, which eventually became a part of fashion statement all over world. In India too its more part of fashion. Things have changed in recent years, still people are not much open to shoots of this nature.

Has India opened up to the concept of boudoir photography?

Like I said, it will take time for common man who are not part of fashion industry to understand the concept of boudoir as art.

Are Indian would-be couples ready to break the conservative notions of pre-wedding and ready to experiment with boudoir photography?

Boudoir photography
Photo credits: Rishab Dahiya

Well there are some who are open to such experiments, but mostly it remains behind the curtains only. The concept is about love and sensuality, talking about which in front of elders is still a taboo.

As a boudoir photographer, how tough it is to work with somebody, particularly a model or film star that allows them to shed their layers without touching upon nudity?

Boudoir photography
Photo credits: Rishab Dahiya

First of all I consider myself a photographer, boudoir is a genre which is my personal favourite. And actually it is not tough at all, the key element is to be friends with your subject. If they put their trust in you, you can create great images. Boudoir is not about poses and attire, its more about overall feel and ambience, the model has to experience that. It is more like painting.

What’s your approach towards boudoir photography? How do you strike an equation and trust with people before the shoot?

I cannot shoot someone I cannot trust. If its boudoir, I cannot shoot something I don’t believe or cannot believe myself. Camera captures everything. Also trust is a two way street. I put trust in people when I find them genuine, and I believe then only they can also trust me.

Boudoir photography
Photo credits: Rishab Dahiya

What’s the actual shoot like? An ideal location in most cases seems to be a hotel room or a large empty house. Share some of your experiences.

Boudoir itself in French means a woman’s private dressing/living/bedroom. So yes the location plays a very important part, but still we do create similar environment in studios too sometimes. But I do love shooting at different hotels, resorts and locations, every place brings character to pics in a different way.

Are there situations where clients do not want to disclose their boudoir photographs on social media or on any other public domain?

It happens all the time, like I said, they mostly remain behind closed curtains.

Boudoir photography
Boudoir photography

Off late, Bollywood actor Esha Gupta has done some really bold boudoir photography shoots — is she one of the rare tribes or are there any other celebrities who have done such exceptional work?

Esha Gupta’s shoot was really beautiful, and I do think its not the first time its happening. A lot of men’s magazine editorials have always been on boudoir theme. Its because of the reason that her shoot was really good, also bold, and now-days people on social media have gone just crazy, they trolled her, and she didn’t care, she is a strong woman.

Are there are international boudoir photographers whose work you admire?

Well I do love Mario Testino’s work. I think he is one of the greatest photographer of our times, and his towel series is one of the finest and original work which falls under the theme of boudoir.

Finally, what excites you in boudoir photography?

To create something new every time. In boudoir I don’t take pictures of poses, I try to capture moments, and like they say a moment never comes back, so every time a different person will react differently in different situations, will have different reaction and show different emotions in every shoot.