Indrani (photographer)

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Indrani (full name Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri) is an Indo-Canadian director, photographer, and digital artist[1] known by the single name "Indrani" for her award-winning films and photos, and her work with celebrities, fashion magazines, ad campaigns and charities.[2]

The Lincoln Center website describes her work as:

Indrani, globally esteemed celebrity and fashion photography and director... captured many of today's most provocative pop culture legends... Glamorous, dynamic and teetering on the verge of reality and fantasy...[her] ability to stand at the cross roads of pop culture and critical acclaim has made their work a salient point in the quickly evolving digital, cluttered media markets worldwide.[3]

She is also known for her work with photographer Markus Klinko.[4][5] Barbara Hoffman of The New York Post says "With their highly stylized shots of the famous and the fabulous, photography duo Markus and Indrani have blown up."[6]

Early life, modeling career and education[edit]

Indrani was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. She was raised in a ruined 300-room palace. Her father, Ajay Pal-Chaudhuri hails from an historic Indian family, her British mother worked with Mother Teresa.[1] Indrani began an international modeling career at 14, in order to study photography and film with artists around the world, and became a rising star.[7] At 18 she returned to turn her family home into a charitable school to give girls a better future.[8]

In 2001 Indrani graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Anthropology, magna cum laude (with High Honors).[9] She won Glamour '​s Top 10 College Women Competition.[10][11]

Photography career[edit]

In 1995, Indrani met the Swiss classical harpist Markus Klinko.[5] They became known as a fashion photography duo.[12] "When Markus Klinko and Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri teamed up in 1995, both were already stars--Klinko as a classical harpist and Indrani as a fashion model. Now they are famous for their iconic images of celebrities...and advertising projects for the likes of Shiseido, Puma and Anna Sui." [7]

While still a student at Princeton, David Bowie was the first artist to commission their cover art, for his album Heathen, and model Iman asked them to shoot the covers for her book I am Iman. Then their work was discovered by Isabella Blow, "renowned style icon who discovered some of the fashion world's most important figures,"[13] who gave them their first magazine cover for the Sunday Times.[1] The duo credit Blow, Bowie and Iman for teaching them to push their creative boundaries.[5] They created award-winning covers for Beyoncé's solo debut Dangerously in Love, Mariah Carey's Emancipation of Mimi and Mary J. Blige's The Breakthrough[14] among others.

Indrani's work has been shown in over 20 exhibitions,[15] such as the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC in 2013, "Dancing the Dream" (with Klinko).[16] Exhibitions devoted to Klinko and Indrani include among others the 2009 exhibition at the Pacific Design Center LA, presented by the Lucie Foundation in concert with the Month of Photography Los Angeles and the Farmani Gallery,[17] and the Icons Exhibition presented by The Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art NY and Bravo TV to celebrate "Double Exposure" on June 16, 2010.[18]

In December 2012, the Lincoln Center presented a week-long 30-piece public art exhibition of Icons, to accompany the release of Klinko and Indrani's photography book, Icons: The celebrity exposures of Markus and Indrani, published by Perseus Press.[19] Icons is described as the product of 18 years as "a visionary tour de force" by Katie Amey for Elle;[20] and “High-concept and hyperrealism commingle.”[21]

Directing career[edit]

Since 2011 Indrani has won acclaim as a director, DP and executive producer of films and commercials.[1] The first short film she directed, "The Legend of Lady White Snake: A Tribute to the Spirit of Alexander McQueen" won first prize in the top four categories at the International Fashion Film Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, including "Best Film," "Best Director," "Best Fashion," "Best Special Effect" and the RED Camera Award.[22] Written by Indrani, inspired by an ancient Chinese story, featuring a poem by Neil Gaiman,[23] starring "fashion icon and brewery fortune heiress"[24] Daphne Guinness in costumes by GK Reid and Alexander McQueen.[19]

Indrani directed a short documentary for PSI and the UN's Nothing But Nets featuring ambassador actress Mandy Moore.[25] In 2012 she directed a "trailer-style video", The Girl Epidemic, shot in the slums of India, to raise awareness of the conditions for girls and female infanticide[26] with Project Nanhi Kali and ad agency Strawberry Frog. Described by the Huffington Post's Katherine Brooks as "a powerful YouTube campaign", by Perez Hilton as a "thrilling trailer-style short"[27] and by Scott Goodson for Forbes:

Indrani’s wonderfully interesting story of the plight of girls is absolutely riveting, shocking and touching. . . . Indrani’s direction is brilliant and provocative! She is shocking and clever because of the severe story she is telling.[28]

Her campaign with TBWA-Chiat-Day for Keep a Child Alive against AIDS in India and Africa won two gold lions at Cannes in 2011.[29]

Her film Crescendo curated by Pepsi's Beats of the Beautiful Game, is described by Julianne Shepherd of Jezebel as a "Rad Feminist Short Film...A jubilant, sweet clip...(with) an underlying feminist message"[30]" and by Katherine Brooks of Huffington Post as "Photographer uses football to empower girls in India[31]" in partnership with nonprofits Sambhali Trust, Yuwa, and SEEschool.

In 2013 Indrani directed David Bowie's "Valentine's Day" video, about which Eric Danton of Rolling Stone says Bowie "radiates intensity"[32] and Robin Hilton of NPR says "it is thrilling and intense"[33] and Louise Sanders of The Daily Mail calls "Dazzling."[34] Also in 2013 Indrani directed a music video for Alicia Keys' "New Day" described as "bold and high-energy" by MTV's Jenna Rubenstein,[35] as well as music videos for Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey in 2014.

TV series and media[edit]

Indrani, Klinko, and stylist GK Reid were the subjects of Bravo reality show called Double Exposure"[4] documenting their photo shoots from initial thought to hard copy.[36][37] According to Troy Patterson of Slate, “Themes include the aesthetics of desire, the symbiosis of artist and muse.”[38] The show is described by Zoë Ruderman as “like America's Next Top Model and Project Runway mixed together and on speed.”[39]

Created in the US for the Bravo network, Double Exposure has been syndicated in over a hundred countries.[26][40]

Indrani has been a featured guest on America's Next Top Model, Make Me a Supermodel, and was interviewed for E! News, Access Hollywood, Fashion Television, CNN's Showbiz Tonight and Larry King Live.[41]


In 1994, Indrani founded Shakti Empowerment Education otherwise known as,[1][26] turning her family's palace into a school for poor kids. The school provides free education to 300 impoverished children in her native Kolkata, India, with an emphasis on the rights of girls.[1][42][n 1] "She is in charge of fundraising, advertising, and development."[25] Pesta of The Daily Beast says "Indrani changes the fate of forgotten girls...and is fighting to give girls a better future."[26]


  1. ^ See


  1. ^ a b c d e f Abigail Pesta, "A fashionista’s India dream: Indrani changes the fate of forgotten girls", Daily Beast, 7 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Bios: Indrani: Cast",
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Showbiz tonight: Defending Mel Gibson; Sandra Bullock's new battle; Brangelina's marriage bombshell; Paul the octopus retires", CNN.
  5. ^ a b c Lindsay Sakraida, "Behind the scenes of 'Double Exposure'",, 16 December 2009.
  6. ^ Barbara Hoffman, "Icons exposed", New York Post, 22 October 2012
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Eyestrane, "Diwali goddess Indrani", Asiance, 29 September 2011.
  9. ^ Lindsay Sakraida, "The truth about Markus Klinko + Indrani", American Photo Magazine, 1 November 2009.
  10. ^ Brett Tomlinson, "Tiger of the Week: Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri '01", Princeton University Alumni Blog, 16 June 2010.
  11. ^ Lynya Floyd, Amanda Hinnant and Samantha Youngman, "Glamour's top 10 college women", Glamour, October 2000
  12. ^ Niles White, "Markus Klinko and Indrani: galactic fashion", Digital Photo Pro, 13 June 2007.
  13. ^ Polly Dunbar, "They blamed me for her suicide: Style icon Isabella Blow's husband tells how he was snubbed at her funeral after she poisoned herself with weedkiller - even though she had tried to kill herself seven times", Mail Online, 16 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Markus Klinko and Indrani: Stars and fashion icons", Art Photo Expo.
  15. ^ [1] "From Beyoncé to Bravo: Pal-Chaudhuri ’01 balances Hollywood with 'socially minded' art." Daily Princetonian, Angela Wang February 5, 2014,
  16. ^ "Dancing the dream: Beyoncé born 1981", Smithsonian Institution.
  17. ^ Erin Clark, "Month of photography L.A.: Markus Klinko and Indrani",, 23 April 2009.
  18. ^ [2] Entertainment
  19. ^ a b Natalie Stone, "Hollywood photographers Markus+Indrani release 'Icons' portrait book", Hollywood Reporter, 6 November 2012.
  20. ^ Katie Amey, "Exclusive: celebrity photographers Markus Klinko and Indrani debut their first book Icons", Elle, 7 November 2012.
  21. ^ Kimberley Jones, "Coffee table iconoclasts; oversized books and outsized personalities" Austin Chronicle, 30 November 2012.
  22. ^ Jewel Mignon, "[3]", Fashion News Live, 1 August 2012.
  23. ^ Cator Sparks, "Do it Daphne! Guinness shines in short film based on ancient Chinese legend", Huffington Post, 4 March 2012.
  24. ^ Jacki Lyden, "Daphne Guinness: An icon on fashion’s cutting edge", National Public Radio, 13 November 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  25. ^ a b Katherine Federici Greenwood, "Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri '01: Celebrity photographer", Princeton Alumni Weekly, 27 October 2010.
  26. ^ a b c d Katherine Brooks, "The Girl Epidemic", Huffington Post, 17 May 2012.
  27. ^ Perez Hilton, "The Girl Epidemic will shock you! Watch here!!!",, 29 May 2012.
  28. ^ Scott Goodson, "Should they ban The Girl Epidemic?", Forbes, 2 June 2012.
  29. ^ "Digital death",; accessed by the Wayback Machine on 11 July 2011.
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ Eric R Danton David Bowie radiates intensity in 'Valentine's Day'", Rolling Stone, 16 July 2013.
  33. ^ Robin Hilton [4] "NPR Music," 16 July 2013.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Jenna Hally Rubenstein, "New video: Alicia Keys, ‘New Day’",, 1 May 2013.
  36. ^ "It takes two! We pick our favorite photographic duos", Nowness, 23 June 2010.
  37. ^ Tim Nudd, "Rachel Zoe and Kelly Cutrone make reality TV stylish", TV Watch, 11 January 2010.
  38. ^ Troy Patterson, "Strike a pose", Slate Magazine, 23 June 2010
  39. ^ Zoe Ruderman, "The hot show to watch tonight", Cosmopolitan, 15 June 2010.
  40. ^ "Double Exposure", BeTV. Accessed by the Wayback Machine on 3 June 2013.
  41. ^ Terri Schwartz, "Lindsay Lohan's father, friends protest jail time on 'Larry King Live'",, 20 July 2010.
  42. ^ Beth Cooney Fitzpatrick, "'Double Exposure' stars Markus Klinko and Indrani on Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell, and Photoshop",, 15 June 2010. Accessed by the Wayback Machine on 21 July 2011.

External links[edit]