We have been doing a lot of shoots and there was nothing creative that was coming up of lately.
This usually happens for a lot of artists, they get stuck in their heads. They usually need help to come up with something new.
You must agree, people love to watch and hear something different always. Let that be a new web series or a new food recipe or let that be some new style in a photo shoot.
When it comes to the photo shoot, all my clients look for that unique style or pose that no one has done till now. Its a human thing I say.
So, in December last year, my wife’s best friend’s sister was getting married. He wanted a pre-wedding shoot done for them.
We wanted to come up with something different that most photographers won’t attempt. I asked my wife to help, as she is brilliant with ideas. She started exploring the options with her friend.
She send me some photos and asked if I can shoot something like that. It was over the head shots, creating an illusions with images. I went through them and told her I cannot for sure do it alone, I will need a lot of help from people in this project.
She checked with her friend and he agreed to do what ever was needed. When its the wedding season, it is a crazy schedule, most of the photographers are on their toes.
During this period I was booked for 3-4 weddings which were nearby dates. So preparing for this shoot was so hectic and I could not plan the shoot for any other date. Both, the bride and groom were living outside India, and they were coming on 2 different dates. What a challenge!
My wife finalized all the shots we wanted to shoot. I said that I will create the story line for the shots that were chosen. This is one of the trending ways people like to shoot. Story telling
They want to tell their story in the most beautiful way. This pre-wedding shoot needed a empty road, with no one disturbing us for at least 3-4 hours.
In Pune, it is difficult or rather i would say it is difficult in India :). The next option I gave was to shoot on a terrace with lots of space. Looking for this was all in vein.
We were going to mess the whole floor with all the sketches we had planned. Finally we decided to do it at the bride’s house. Her brother arranged for a massive stool which was over 5 feet tall, so that I could stand on it and take the pictures as planned.
Well, as we all know, brides have all the weird ideas during their wedding days. They know this is the only time they can ask for all the things they want and they will get it without a fuss.
This bride wanted to do another pre-wedding shoot wearing gowns and suits. She wanted the romantic kinda shoot. We were cool with it until they said we only have one day for both the shoots and there is no other day spared for it. Woahh!!
Wait a minute, is it possible to do both the shoots on the same day? I asked my team, without any hesitation they said lets take it up as a challenge and deliver it.
I am not so aware of PCMC side of the town. So I had no idea where we could do this shoot. The bride’s brother suggested a place near Birla hospital which would be ideal.
I went an inquired 3-4 days before the shoot and they allowed shoot in the garden for a nominal fees of only 100/-. I was thrilled.
My team an I usually have the drill in our head a day before the shoot. We plan the lights that need to be carried, the props we will use and the lenses.
It makes our shoot really easy and our clients don’t have to struggle. So we got our favorite Godox AD 600 for the lights and about 3 lenses.
I planned that we will start the shoot at 9 in the morning at a nearby garden as the other garden would only open after 10.30. The whole day was planned in such a way that it suits our camera as shooting in the afternoon would not make sense.
So we decided to do the gown shoot in the morning and keep the illusion in the evening. The bride reached the first garden on time, that actually made my day. Up until now, we have always had the late comers for most of our shoots.
The groom was not on time, due to some cab delay he was stuck somewhere. I said lets go ahead and shoot only with the bride for now.
It was perfect time to get the shoot done. The way sun fell on her was amazing. I was able to get some splendid portraits of the bride during this time.
About 10-15 shots down, the groom came in and helped me finish the shots that we needed. We decided to leave for the other garden as planned. On the way we quickly had a bite and rushed to the second garden.
There was an elaborate plan for the other garden with balloons, smoke bombs flowers and many more. We were really running out of time. We had to quickly take the shots as planned.
The Godox lights are simply amazing, they give you the edge while shooting. We love it!!. The portraits and the couple shots came out really good.
We quickly packed up and before leaving I saw the toy train for the kids and I asked the couple to do the DDLJ shot. Its mandatory for Indian audience. It was too cute.
We left the place and went home. This was easy for us as my wife’s house is close to the bride’s place and we could go home freshen up, eat our lunch and rush back.
Even the bride and groom had a chance to get ready and prep themselves. By for in the evening we started the show. The brother had arranged the whole jing-bang for the shoot, that was needed.
The first shot was the groom landing with a hot air balloon looking for his bride. All the artists did a fab job.
It took us some time to get the shot. It took me some time to calculate it from the height and get everything in focus. We managed to get the shot.
They quickly started to rub the floor so that they could draw the other story. And we found that it was taking a hell lot of time to get it done. Besides, using water to wipe the floor meant we had to wait longer to get that place dried.
The artists drew the second shot where the bride is busy travelling the world and completing the bucket list of travelling. During this shot I realized that the marks of the previous sketch was visible in the camera. Which meant a lot of post processing.
That’s when I suggested that we will use two sides of the terrace floor so that we could finish is faster and we will also get the time to clean the other part easily.
During such shoots we realize that time flies, 1 hour had gone by and we could manage to finish only 2 shots. We had to rush, everyone out there were pushing themselves to get this done, the spirit was amazing.
In all, there were 11 shots planned and we were really struggling. We decided to cut 2 as they were not so much needed in the story line.
Now, they were working on both the sides of the terrace.
There was a team cleaning one part and the other was sketching on the other side. It was madness.
Besides, we were losing the natural light.
With every shot my ISO was going up and I don’t like that. By 6.15 6.30 we manage to get all the shots.
It was time to pack-up. If you have ever being a part of the production the word ‘pack-up’ means life. I remember when we used to assist our mentor and we are shooting the whole day. By night we are about the give up and desperately want this to be over. Pack up would mean the world to us. So here we were done.
I must agree the bride and the groom were such a sport. They really wanted this to happen and really worked in hand with us. The bunch of cousins were a blessing I would say.
The post processing is a hectic process, an personally I don’t really like to sit in front of the computer for a long time. I managed to finish the editing on time and deliver it to them.
The couple were really happy seeing the images and my wife was thrilled. It felt like we were able to pull it off the way we had thought of it.
From this whole event we understood one thing. Challenges really help you build yourself up. It helps you improve your skills and the resistance that you have to try something new goes to minimal. It helps you grow as a photographer.