Ten-Second Takeaway

The Indian Art Photo Studio is in its 99th year in Mumbai and will complete 100 years on 7 December, 2017, a milestone validating the evergreen art of photography, strong lineage and Mumbai’s tryst with the arts.

Frozen In Time: 99 Years And On

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Run by the three generations of Chaddhas, this photographic studio is older than independent India itself. The iconic Indian Art Studio located in Kalbadevi and Princess Street turned 99 on 7 December, 2016, and is going strong and keeps reinventing itself. The photo studio exudes the old-world charm of a studio but also at the same time gives off a very boutique-esque vibe, with old portraits covering the walls.

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The three Chaddha brothers, Anil, Sanjay and Rajesh, who run the place, tell us their passion for photography is unwavering, even 30 years on of being a part of the studio. For them, it’s a temple. We’re then told back in the day {the eclectic sixties}, the photo studio used to see serpentine queues outside it, consisting of excited crowds waiting to have themselves captured in frames. Portraits were a huge deal back then, something that hasn’t changed here even in the millennial years, as we scroll across intriguing portraits of people hung on the walls.

What We Love

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This is one of the few studio left in Mumbai {we think rather the only one} that still offers ‘hand tinting work’ which dates back to the era when black and white photographs were hand-painted to add colour to them, making them more lasting and in turn charming. Their-in-house artist and an equally a fond family-member, Shashikant Mayekar {72-years-old now} is the one who carries on this art of hand-tinting.

Not just this, the studio offers all sorts of services to the customers. From commercial and e-commerce photography, to family portraits to wedding photography/videography and even oil and canvas painting and restoration and reproduction of old photos, they are keeping up with the changing trends of the photography world. With the time, my friend.

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The Indian Art Studio is almost like a palace that kept surprising us with its endless doors and a historical basement {where the photo shoot happens}. Collectibles dating back to the early 30s still reside there, and so does a love chair in the basement. We’re told it eases the couple into giving the shot they require. By now, we just want to get our own portraits clicked here.

So, We’re Saying…

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Step back in time to get yourself captured at the oldest photo studio in Mumbai, even if it’s just for a passport-sized photograph. The studio is a homage to the arts in Mumbai so much so the corner outside the studio has been named, ‘Chhayachitrakar Chaddha Chowk‘, for the surname to live on.

Find them on Facebook here.

Photos: Aman Deshmukh/LBB