" Where is your camera these days? Don't see it much..." Behzaad asked me a couple of weeks back. "It's always in my car," I said, "It's just that I am really sick of shooting all of you (the ETF team) and only you - all the time! Maybe I should have cast Katrina Kaif in Arjun,instead of you guys!!!"
"...or maybe Priyanka Chopra," chimed in Shaleen and we all had a hearty laugh.
The truth was that I really was getting frustrated of shooting only these guys - mostly under lighting conditions that were set up by the cameraman on set. I felt that I was contributing very little, if at all, to the creation of the pictures that I post so often. My trigger finger was getting itchy. I had not shot something for almost 15 days. Even a call from Raju Bhai, my trusted friend and camera dealer, telling me that a lens that I had ordered long back was finally in stock, failed to excite me. I almost reluctantly went and picked up the wide angle 17-35mm lens from his place late at night and got it home.
On my way to the set the next day, stuck in a Mumbai traffic jam, I started flipping through my "Inspiration" notebook. It is actually a software called Evernote which I use very often to keep quotes, pictures, photographs and other stuff for future reference - or for times just like these. I came across this quote:
To select well among old things, is almost equal to inventing new ones. - Nicholas Charles Trublet
Then it struck me - what I needed to create/invent was already around me. I had very willing and able actors who would do (practically) anything for me and I was surrounded by lights every single day - the two most important components of photography! All I needed to do was to get them together and create a shot that I could call mine! I had a few images in my head that I wanted to shoot as a part of a project that I had been thinking of for quite some time. I reached the set that day, determined to get my shot before the day got over. In between all my meetings, discussions and briefings that day, I kept my camera around my neck and an eye out for the frame that I wanted to capture. Finally, in the evening as everybody was going about their work - I identified the shot I wanted to take and I quietly asked a couple of lightmen to help me setup the lights for my shot.
As soon as Behzaad got free, I asked him to come with me and took the photograph. After him, it was Shaleen's turn but unfortunately, by that time, the cameraman on set had ordered those lights to be brought in because he needed them. I barely managed to get Shaleen's picture as I asked the lightmen, who were already in the process of taking the lights away to step outside the frame. If I remember correctly, both the pictures took a total of two minutes.
Also, as I thanked them and walked away, I cannot be sure... but from the corner of my eye, I think I saw Behzaad and Shaleen exchange a high-five and in between their muted laughter, I distinctly heard one of them say something about Katrina Kaif...
As usual, you can find the large versions of these pictures on my Google Plus page.