I was a huge fan of Sivaji Ganesan sir back in the day, and remember fighting large crowds to get a ticket to watch his films first day first show. Also, I cherish watching multiple shows of his films at the erstwhile Shanthi Theatre.
This picture was clicked during the filming of the movie, Jallikattu. We had just arrived at the location after finishing a schedule. As he was browsing through albums of photos we had shot at the previous location, he noticed one particular photo—this one—that I had taken of him with backlight, and wanted to know who had shot it. He appreciated me a lot. I felt like I was getting an Oscar.
After that, we had multiple other photo shoots, but this remains my favourite. It remained his favourite too.
I remember him as an artiste who would give amazing photo shoot opportunities. But it was also a nightmare to work with him because his entourage and makeup men would always put on airs and keep you from doing your work. Such people around him not only made your work difficult, but also tried to scare you. Still, it was fantastic to work with the great man.
(The photographer has taken stills for more than 500 films over the last three decades.)