A photo shoot: method to madness

Come back flying in the afternoon to shoot 12 men, 10 women, 5 kids, 5 main models, a group of bandwallas, superman, one car and I don’t know what not…TV channels around, newspapers, designer, stylist, client, production, studio staff, spot-a total crowd of 80 people for four pictures, one shoot. Wonder what I was thinking!

It all started six months back. We did an impromptu shoot for a car brand for the Fashion Week in Mumbai. They loved the images and made a calendar out of it. So we planned that I’ll do a more elaborate shoot for this Fashion Week.

Six months have flown like the wind and here we are again. Ideating, meetings, ideating, meetings and more.

Tired now. At last count we’ve had maybe 15 meetings ranging from 1 hour to the longest one going into 12 hours. And finally we’re at the shoot – screaming, laughing, and going crazy. But it has been a ball.

So many people involved in the shoot. Priyanka, my better half in crime, who is a designer and styles most of my shoots, has been through this whole process every step of the way, going through every concept and I owe this shoot to her. Meghna, my friend from the client’s side who has been after me to do this shoot for them; Thomas, heading the brand is one of the most creative people I have met; and Payal and Delara, creative directors from the advertising agency who’ve been with us right through the shoot and the post work which is still in progress.

My studio team comprising Vidhi, Vishal, Vikas, Jayant,Sidhika, Jatinder, without whom we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Manish Malhotra, who’s designing for the Fashion Week, has given us his clothes for the shoot. And, last but definitely not the least, my production controller Rakesh who has done a wonderful job in the stipulated budget.

So many people involved directly at every step… I’m humbled. I hope that the images come out right and everyone likes them. So much is riding on it.

Suddenly it’s all slowing down…I’ve been running for so long… so many days, so many months, so many years. And here I am – so many people who touch my life everyday and every minute. They pull me, push me, carry me, hold me, take me along, guide me to where I am today and to wherever I will be tomorrow. Thank you.

Thoughts for the week

I was watching a movie yesterday, The Princess Diaries. It’s a cute, feel-good movie. There’s a point in the movie where the Princess’s friend tells her, ‘It’s not what you have to go through, it’s what you can do with your power to help the world.’

For a couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot on how to carry the post 26/11 feeling forward and do something substantial. I think I’ve finally realised what I can do to help a little.

I was shooting at Nita Ambani’s residence with her and her pets. Every time I shoot with her, I’m amazed at how even after having so much money; the Ambani’s are one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. They are total humanitarians at heart and help every cause they possibly can.

Guess all of us have the heart to do something good for the society, but either the will or the money is lacking. I’ve realised it’s the smaller things you do that can cause a chain reaction of good things in the world. So, do the good deed and pass it on!

This week has been a little slow – working on a few campaigns, ideating, concepts, models, make up. Apart from that, I was also working on the images for i-Diva’s women’s day special images, writing my views on women, a couple of shoots, coordinating the printing of my calendar, a friends launch party. But overall it was slow.

It is funny how when you are used to working odd hours and long days, a little slowing down can suddenly feel like everything has gone dead!

Times are bad. Recession seems to be finally trickling into everyday life and work. A model friend calls up and is distressed about the lack of work. I tried cheering him up and asked him to sort things out and make a plan of action. Clients too are in trouble. Payments are not coming, in fact have lost a packet on one client caving in and cheques bouncing.

We need to keep the energy up. Be careful and don’t let it get to you.