Mann- Centre for individuals with special needs.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The fabulous four days with Sherlyn

A very exciting 4 day shoot with the very hot and sizzling Sherlyn Chopra. This time I don’t have just my take on the photoshoot but also my dear friend, Sherlyn’s.

For her it was more like a crazy vacation! With 5 pre planned looks per day, she was extremely happy with the thoughtful execution. When asked if she prefers outdoor shoots over indoor, she says, “I personally love to shoot outdoor as I love the natural light. Also, I love being surrounded by the elements of nature which bring out the best in my body language.”

As a fashion photographer among many others in this industry, it is challenging to live up to each artist’s varied expectations. Sherlyn’s shoot left me with a sense of accomplishment. Over and above that to receive compliments is like the icing on the cake.

She said, “I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with Luv. He works at his own pace and does not rush which works quite well for me as I like to be given ample time to understand the moods required for different concepts. Generally, at the time of photoshoots, the make-up, hair and the styling takes a lot of time, leaving the photographer and the artist very little time to explore each look or concept. But, not so with Luv as he likes to indulge in meticulous planning that leads to the smooth execution of his creative thoughts.

She spoke well for even my team, reaffirming their strong training and ability to handle shortcomings and uncertainties both at outdoor and indoor locations. To be a one man army is strength but to be a man with an army, that is good, is a bigger achievement I feel.

 A smooth shoot overall. Believing in quality and not quantity is something that surely went down well with Ms. Chopra’s shoot. Effortless and organic, is what Sherlyn’s thinks it was. Infact we are also planning to do a 5th day shoot soon.

At the end of the day, what works well with them works better than well for me! In other situations, I continue to learn. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A myth broken is a story told..

Past one month I have stopped all my photography work. I have been concentrating only on a project for an NGO known as Mann. I got involved with the foundation because Megha, my sister had taken up the responsibility to shoot a video for them. But she could not fulfill the same since another assignment came up that needed her attention. She simply said ‘bhai please go and do it…’
I entered it on a very professional level to just go and shoot it on behalf of Megha. But that one day that I went and shot with these kids, was very different. This kid that I was working with, Brian, who has now gone on to becoming the face for Mann, I became friends with him. I thought it will be extremely challenging to direct him, but it wasn't so at all. He was very sweet. Although by the end of the day he got tired after a point because we were shooting in the sun. As he was the lead hero, he was required in every frame of the song. But it was not tough. I was under the dilemma that it is a special kid and how will I make him act and how will he understand what I’m looking for from him.
In my head I had pictured him to be very indifferent. But I was wrong. A special child is exactly like any other child. He heard me and did exactly what I wanted. So the respect for a special child totally changed. How these people are and how when the day ended every kid made friends with me, hugged me and thanked me so much. They made me feel special. For them it was a very different and eventful day. They are usually sitting in a classroom but they came outside in the park for the shoot.
We finished the shoot. They said they wish to release it within 15 days. I got the edit done and it was all set to be released. When the entire team, founders, trustees and music director came to see the video in the office, they all had tears welled up in their eyes. That’s when I also realized and was shaken that my video could make people cry. It sprung tears of hope.
I pushed the idea with the support of the director Mr. Kashyap that we should not release this in a small manner.  Let’s make it big.  So yesterday (24th April, 2015) at St. Andrews Auditorium, Bandra, we had a fun filled event for the kids. We had Farah Khan coming and launching the video. Shekhar Ravjiani with his amazing performance, to flute away the audience, Mangesh Desai with his unique comedy magic and Jitendra ji came in too. A lot of media, celebrities, pr, social media activities are still happening online. We had an article in the Times of India for the same 2 days back.
So it’s my directorial debut. I was already 10 years into photography, first year of doing a calendar. Considering the marriage plan coming in, I was looking at something bigger to jump into. I was at a stage of deciding my life plan from here on. So that’s why I put all my work on a hold for almost a month. I've literally sat everyday with these people for 5-6 hours. So I am not a trustee for namesake but I feel like I am a part of Mann as equally as the other trustee’s involved. The difference is that they have put in 4 years where as I have only just one month to it.

What I really learnt from them during this course was the kind of passion they have. These guys put their life towards it.  I went all out and invited as many celebrities as possible for the event. I am very kicked with the whole thing. The purpose behind me trying to promote it is that, people have myths about special kids, which has to be broken. He is not different, he is special. We all as humans are greedy we all do things for a reason. They don’t. They don’t even remember what happened yesterday very often. So they don’t keep grudges with you. So they are special. What is special? Special is that they are better than you and me. That is what I want to communicate to the world by asking people to join the cause.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hitansh Catalogue: The Another First...

Another first....

Yet another Hitansh catalog with the very gorgeous Karishma Kapoor. On the 23rd of this month we shot an exclusive range of saari's for Hitansh Fashions' up and coming catalog, The Royal Collection. I have been wanting to shoot a catalog out of Mumbai specially with Hitansh for a long time now. We finally did exactly that. This time our very esteemed client said, 'Let's do something grand'. 

We conducted a recce, looking for something to match our taste and also that would help compliment the grandeur of his niche traditional range of designer saari's. We knew it had to have a 'wow' factor to it. It had to be something high end. Having Karishma on board again made it so much more important to look for and find some place that could enhance her already existing aura and take it to an untouched level in our books. 

Competition is best when had with oneself. It is what makes you grow by leaps and bounds. 

Eventually our wish got granted a little away from Mumbai, a beautiful resort built like a palace. It seemed like we were in the pink city of India, Jaipur. The extravagance of the venue was enthralling.  We had around 16 garments which we shot at 16 different locations at the venue. With the lovely cooperation of Karishma, we managed to pull the shoot off in 1 day instead of the estimated 2 days. Everytime I shoot with her, it's been great because she has been an amazing support. I had a team of 40 people with me working on it. We started shoot early morning and went on till late at night. 

It was an effort but the result was extremely satisfying. My post production team is working on the edit currently and we are all waiting to see the final catalog. But before that, I have for you, a few behind the scene pictures..... Hope you enjoy them..

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

12 months in a year, 2015

It has been long since I have been wanting to do 2 things. One, write my new blog and the other, make a calender with my photographic skills. So here is a combination of both.This year, 2015, I complete 10 years of being in the photography industry. A good reason to showcase my photographic skills to the masses. I wanted to take my work to the next level. So I thought what better a way than to have a calendar to portray exactly that. 

This calendar is an amalgamation of my work over the past year. It is a string of female celebrities in their traditional avatars. When asked why I chose to go Indian instead of glamsham, I have just one thing to say, to be grounded and rooted to our culture is something I wanted to bring out from my calendar for 2015. Indian women dressed that way, look the most appealing to me. Not that the western blingy diva is not my choice but yes, preferences' still lie deeply in the draped bhartiya naari. 

My calendar has few of my favorite female actors from the industry. They are not just celebrities, but are also good friends today. I have also used designer ethnic garments from Surat based brands and other designer collections too. Each shot clicked has been special to me. Trying to add a zing to every snap has been my motive.

Every month has a new role to play in one's life. With 365 days in a year you have that many memories that you want to make and etch in your hearts for the rest of your life. Hoping that this calendar is a motivation to go out there every day and make it a fruitful one with fun-filled experiences and loads of learning and growth.

Hoping that with each month's release of my calendar page, you unfurl a new aspect in your life too. Wishing you great success, happiness and prosperity in the year that has only just begun and is soon flying, 2015.......

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Special Day....

I have been wanting to pen down my thoughts since a few days but there is so much in this little head that I don't know where to begin. What I am feeling is what I want to share. I'm happy, I'm excited, I have never felt like this before, I have been waiting for this for a while. Infact more than me, mom dad and Megha have been waiting for this day to come. So let me get to the point. This is the first step towards the beginning of a beautiful new journey of togetherness. I can't say I'm nervous as I know what I'm getting into, but first time I have butterflies in my stomach. Ever since I was a teenager Megha and I would talk about this phase of life, and we would build castles in the air that when I grow up this will happen and that will happen. From a kid to a boy and now turning into a man.

Being in the wedding profession I would interview couples and ask them how they met and how their love story began. Hearing their love story turn into a wedding, I would wonder when will it be my turn to share my story.

One drunken night January 22,  2014, Komal Manoj's after party that's where the story took off. After having 2 left feet I danced all night, and in no time I knew she's the girl.
HEMALI TURAKHIA is the girl that I want to marry. I always called her princess I want to spend the rest of my life with u. Yesterday I took the first step towards this responsibility. I have always been insensitive to everyone around me and have taken things and people for granted. But from today I take a pledge to be more responsible towards everyone and every activity around me.

I have made a few promises to her and I know god will help me live up to them. I want to thank my family for the unconditional support they have given in making each and every dream I have, come true. I am now looking forward for every new day with the addition in my family, my life partner.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

And the wait is over, Vivek Oberoi it is!!

The long wait finally came to an end for me when I shot the very humble actor, Vivek Oberoi at Filmcity in Mumbai on October 17, 2014. We shot for my client, Shera banyaan. To work with a star like him is such a blessing and a teaching at the same time. So genuine, approachable and down to earth, Vivek in his free time when not in a shot actually chatted all the people up at the set. By the end of the shoot he had gathered news of most of the staff present on the set, their families and everything else about them. An extremely patient celebrity for who a 12 hour long shoot was surely taxing but who choose not to let that be a hindrance to some quality work. 
Celebrity Photography

Since it was outdoors, beside a lake that we shot, there was no studio. I had put up a tent that I converted into a little studio. Mr. Oberoi was extremely appreciative of that gesture since we were aware that it is one of the hottest days Mumbai would be seeing. One more eminent face of the industry I tick off from the list of famous one's I want to shoot.
Fashion Photographer

Although that is not all...... Just when we were packing up, he also left me and my team excited for another coming up next project that he said he wishes for me to shoot him for. So watch out for some more tales of me with Vivek Oberoi soon.... On this note, signing off looking forward to doing another stint with the Saathiya heartthrob..
Celebrity Photographer

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Karishma Kapoor

There is a special kind of charisma that surrounds Karishma Kapoor. We have all gotten to see that in the bollywood movies. She is that someone who represents dignity and a myriad of style statement. She has been a model of action for many. Karishma just knows when to get all the nuances right and everytime when she is in the limelight she can grab others attention to their delight. How much ever highly we speak about her may seem less.
On the day of the shoot I went in the morning and carried the previous catalog we worked on for Hitansh itself and showed it to her personal hair and makeup team. They loved it. When Karishma came on set I showed her the same and she too liked it a lot. In fact, she even took that catalog from me and now I am left without a copy for myself.
Anyway, so since we had done a good job and received great response for our work, this time the challenge was to do something that supersedes the previously created mark. We started brainstorming 10 days prior to the shoot. The client, Mr. Manoj was after me to come up with something nice and was getting worried cause we were at a 2 day countdown without a clue of the final set for the shoot. Now the problem was that Karishma was the same, Luv Israni was the same, Hitansh was the same. The only thing that could have been played with was the d├ęcor.
So here came Megha, my sister with the idea of using a grandeur filled set of a European white wedding. We had real white flowers and it all looked extremely pretty. Since Megha has her wedding photography and cinematography company, with her help, instead of a set designer we had on board one of the top wedding decor companies to make our set. Lolo usually does only a 7-8 hour shoot but we shot for almost 10 hours this time. It’s a compliment and a source of encouragement when a star loves your work so much that they put behind the biggest factor in their life i.e. time.
Karishma Kapoor
It's amazing to capture sexiness and elegance of a star and I am glad that I got to do both. We experimented with some lengths while the shoot and different angles with Karishma in focus and that was made easy because she understands and gives importance to flexibility. There were a lot of happy moments and times when we exchanged a lot of smiles. I have had the pleasure to work with this pretty lady for two catalog shoots now. Each time it was a very delightful experience of its kind.  Signing off on this happy note; until next time that we shoot together again.
Luv Israni