Story of India’s 1st Playboy Photographer

Shooting nude women is not what you think, an excerpted version of India's first Playboy photographer.


L. Ramachandran attributes his success as a Playboy photographer to his passion for photography and creativity. Beginning his career as a self-taught photographer, it was an uphill climb from starting an advertising agency in Chennai to becoming India’s first Playboy photographer.

He says, “In this competitive world, you will die when your creativity dies. I am working hard to make every day much better than my yesterdays.”


When the battle begins at home

Neither getting a chance to shoot a Playmate nor acceptance of his new found career choice came easy for Ramachandran; he found it difficult to express his hunger towards his passion to family and friends in the initial stages. But later they were convinced of his choices as the accolades and recognition started getting home. Today, he has a huge support from his wife and family in following his dreams and travelling the world for his work.

Finding a model to pose nude

Getting into fashion photography when he began his career was more difficult due to the patriarchal mindset, and the problem only accentuates down south in Chennai from where he hails from.  Finding a model to pose nude in India is not just difficult but it may get you beaten up! ‘Either women are worshipped as Goddesses or protected behind veils’ says Ramachandran. But he stood by his dreams and followed his heart. It was an uphill task to gain the trust of a model, shoot something ingenious and original.

The first Playboy gig

Constantly on the quest for more, he met Mr. Jarmo Pohjaniemi, Mr. Gary Cole & Mr. Alex Bravincar in US. They reviewed his profile and gave him an opportunity to participate in a seminar conducted by them for Playboy shoots, but with one condition. He was to win a contest for a photoshoot with other international photographers, only then he would able to participate in the seminar happening in Santorini, Greece for Playboy. They were impressed with the ingenious composition of Ramachandran’s shots and lighting sense.

This breakthrough happened, as Ramachandran firmly believes, in the process of lifelong learning. Inspiration can happen anytime, anywhere and from anyone. In particular, he takes his mentor Mr. Jarmo Pohjaniemi as an inspiration.

Being recognised

Ramachandran’s works have been recognised world-wide; it has won awards including ATIM’s top 60 Masters Contemporary Artist Award (2017), Photographer’s Forum Magazine, US (2011) and International Photography Award, Los Angeles (2011).

Being selected one among top 60 masters of contemporary art 2017 in Florence, Italy, is a fond and honourable memory for him.

Being accepted

Having come a long way on the international platform with gallery exhibitions in Singapore, Korea, Croatia, Italy and features in Playboy editions of many countries, Ramachandran feels that even back home in India, the culture of glamour photography is slowly picking up. Popular taste is changing and the society is more acceptable than it was in the years when he got into the niche field.

Ramachandran uses his photography as a language to capture the alluring beauty of human form. He uses light to create environments that border on fantasy and reality, romanticism and eroticism. When he photographs women, he seeks to elevate them to depict the universal feminine energy.

Keep dreaming

Not to be satiated soon, Ramachandran has his eyes set on many goals, including a book and an art academy to support those with real passions and aspirations.

Ramachandran has arrived at a milestone where he epitomises the fact that with enough passion, conviction and determination, one can achieve any goal one sets to heart.