I have been extremely blessed to have not only one but several mentors who have been kind enough to selflessly extend their guidance and support whenever I have had the fortune of interacting with them. One such legend has been none other than the dance maestro, Astad Deboo, with whom I have had the blessings of not only photographing but even collaborating on several projects across the globe.
He is 70 plus today and I saw him perform on stage for the first time when I was only about 5. It was way beyond me to even think of dreaming to work with him, but as luck would have it, not only did I get to work with him once, but got the opportunity several times over. It was during this time that I discovered the secret to his indomitable spirit to consistently create magic through his dance in over 70 odd countries over and over again. And the secret to this lies in his honestly towards his craft, his unmovable determination and focus and most importantly his rock-solid discipline without which no matter how much talent God would have been kind enough to gift you, it is impossible to keep oneself motivated to keep on aiming for higher and higher levels of excellence for over half a century.
Indeed, there isn’t any substitute to honestly and discipline, if one wishes to live his or her dreams forever.
Thank you Astad Sir.
It is simple to be difficult and difficult to be simple. when the canvas is a large set, you are tempted to clutter the frame. in such a scenario, one needs to be focused on the purpose of shoot. And purpose in this case is to showcase the product and not the setting. Even minimal setting can make maximum impact
with metals, metals everywhere, reflections, can put even a seasoned photographer in despair. sometimes, it is these challenges that pump the profession to push the envelope. Patience and observation becomes the key and that’s what distinguishes the ordinary from the extraordinary
Sometimes the best is not good enough and to ones surprise, rejects get accepted. Got a renowned model for a campaign for a renowned Art Director from Paris. Did the shoot. The art director went back to Paris and realized that the model looked too sophisticated for the idea. Then he got an idea. He took a picture from the test shots of one of my assistant and put it up on the billboard in France. How’s that!
For any food shoot, be it gourmet or home- style, it needs to look appetizing. How? just keep an eye on the freshness and the texture of ingredients, keeping lighting subtle and non-contrasty and focus on the parts that matter the most. Bon Appetite.
when it rains cats and dogs on the day of an outdoor shoot, why shed tears when you can make the CEO of Fortune 500 company dance in rain! That’s exactly what I did by asking Mr. Maturin Tchoumi to do early in the morning at Gateway of india. Thanks to the rains, the setting, which is crowded otherwise , was empty without another soul, making the prime location seem exclusive beyond words. Sometimes when we dare, the attitude takes us out of every dificulty.
When a brand as big as jimmy Choo stands in front of you in the form of a person, you are only star struck. But, when he himself tells you that his son feels that he is bigger TV star in Japan than him, you realize that the greatness of stars lie in their humility
How often does one witness the larger than life image of a person of usual size in one frame ! When this happens, all that happens to you in the realization of humility. This is what this image taught me when I was shooting with Tom cruise for Paramount Picture during Mission Impossible IV: The Ghost Protocol.
In india, Cricket is a religion and cricketers are Gods. But, i was one of those fortunate few to see the human in gods while shooting official photographs of ICC cricket World cup 2011. Sachin was a chid jumping with joy, after winning the prize and it was all pride in Dhoni’s eyes. Gods can be Gods, all one needs is the will to win.
when corporate honchos don’t have time, you got to do your homework well. i was told i would get only five minutes for this shoot. i did reccee of Bombay House one day prior, locked the loactions and instructed my team about lighting. On the day of shoot ordered piping hot tea when the gentlemen arrived. they took a sip and burnt their tongue and i took them by surprise by starting a conversation in their mother tongues. They were taken aback by my approach and i guess, impressed too. They the gave me all the time in the word to click thirty-seven different option in there locations. no person is bigger than the job and one must know where to draw the line to transform challenge into happy opportunities.