When Mark Bennington, a former drummer and an actor, moved from New York to Mumbai, he was blissfully unaware of the Hindi film industry and the many stars that peopled it.
"Prior to coming here, I had never even seen a Bollywood film. My first trip to India was in 2010 and like every tourist, I traveled North and went to Jaipur. Then, I just happened to come to Bombay. I had just turned 40 and I wanted to do something different."
Mark, who'd done photography for brands and some other corporates, reached out to a friend who told him that if he goes to Bandra (an upscale Mumbai suburb), he will find actors.
"That's really how it started. It was born out of very genuine, innocent curiosity of the acting community," he says.
Mark's photographs of Bollywood celebs attempt to humanize them and have a distinct, candid, everyday vibe, even when he's shot them on a film set. These pictures are part of a recently published book by HarperCollins, called, "Living the Dream: The Life of A Bollywood Actor."
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"I think I just want to capture the harmony of real life. And I want my images to translate that. I think when you include that kind of reality, it just deepens the level of the imagery," he says.
Here are some of Mark's best photgraphs.