“The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
As banal as it may seem to some, nothing brings people together quite like the art of photography. So, one fine weekend, folks from myriad walks of life converged in a cosy studio amidst the streets of Malviya Nagar, Delhi for a pro-fashion photography workshop lead by Deepak Mahajan.
Spark Media collaborated with the Delhi Institute of Filmmaking for this workshop, where participants received the opportunity to build their first international portfolio comprising a variety of looks. The award-winning filmmaker and photographer, Deepak Mahajan, dons many hats including that of a film director, cinematographer, photographer, producer, and entrepreneur. While he has worked with big wigs such as Yash Raj Films, he decided to produce and direct his own film in 2012. ‘The Lost Salesman of Delhi’ was received well by both national and international audiences and won awards in film festivals like the Delhi International film festival, Khajuraho International film festival, Euro international film festival, and PAV international film festival among others. As far his experience with workshops go, Deepak has successfully conducted over 1,500 workshops for DSLR photography, cinematography, post production and studio lighting across India.
YatinDandekar, a visiting faculty for the workshop, is a renowned fashion photographer with over 30 years of experience.
After the introductions, I proceeded to walk around the studio as everyone seemed busy with preparation for the shoot. It can oft times be overwhelming to see just how much detail goes into the execution of a shoot. All the way from the model, makeup, makeup artist, clothes, fashion designer and stylist to equipment, lighting, and backdrop, camera — every element plays a vital role. The devil is in the details.
While the equipment was being set up, Deepak and Amitabh, a lifestyle photographer and participant, were engaged in an intense discussion — talking about how perspective trumps technicality. Nikhil, another participant, explained: perspective is as singular as an individual’s fingerprint. It is imperative to find your own instead of relying on another’s. The workshop aimed to help you discover precisely that and so much more.
Soon enough, the first session of the shoot was a go. Each of the participant took turns to take photographs as Deepak instructed them from the sidelines. They offered guidance to individual participants about the nuances of a pro-fashion shoot and shared advice about numerous aspects of such a shoot. The participants learned about subtle facets of executing such a shoot including light settings, aperture, how to deal with the model, posing, jewellery settings, makeup settings, clothes, etc.
They also ensured the participants understood that in addition to finding your way around external factors like lighting, styling, and make-up, it is imperative to not control them. Instead, Deepak explained that being in sync with the aforementioned elements is important — being in sync with your subject, location, and equipment. Other than the lessons about the art of fashion photography, the workshop also provided profound insights into the techniques that are deemed useful in the industry.
The one-on-one mentoring by the award-winning facilities combined with the first-hand experience of conducting a shoot in a state-of-the-art fashion studio is an experience none of us are likely to forget any time soon.
Until next time then!
Writing Credit : Kritika Sethi