Ram Shergill has come a long way since studying visual communications at Wolverhampton University where he worked on a photographic project with milliner Philip Treacy. Earlier in his career, he worked with many notable fashion designers who loved his work, especially Alexander McQueen. It was here where the foundations were laid for Shergill to become an international personality. As he says, “I am a visual sponge; I take everything in and use it in some form when I’m doing a shoot.” As he became a name on the fashion circuit, the huge Bollywood market started banging on his door and flew him to India to shoot the A-list film stars and images for their campaigns. His work has been exhibited in the Whitechapel Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, both in London, as well as Sotheby’s London and Galerie Du Passage in Paris. Here, in his own words, is the story of how he created this portrait portfolio of acclaimed actor Cillian Murphy and the reasons behind his ardent enthusiasm for the Leica M-system.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the project behind the images in this portfolio? They were shot for the magazine Mode, is that correct?
A: Yes, the images were for Mode magazine, and it was a really interesting shoot since I wanted to show how the M9 could be used to its full potential. I also did my research on my subject, the actor Cillian Murphy, as I was flying around the world on various projects. I ended up watching “Inception” again and again on the plane, freeze-framing images of him; there were also a few other amazing films featuring him. I soon realized that he was the beautiful villain and that even though he played evil there was something about him that we all feel empathy with, his looks as well as his amazing deep blue eyes. As they say, “eyes are the window to the soul.”