A couple of Sundays ago, I was asked by a parent to shoot photos of her daughter. Her sweet girl is in my class so I agreed without hesitation. After a few moments of planning the shoot, I remembered where I was. India. I’d never shot professional portraits in India before. A thousand things started running through my mind:
What will my backgrounds look like?
Do they want inside shots?
Outside street shots?
Are there any quiet streets in Mumbai?
Will they want artificial light? My flash units don’t work with this voltage.
They told me they wanted, “Traditional Indian princess portraits,” what does that mean?
How will we move from one place to another? Rickshaws?
How much equipment should I bring?
And so on….
Sunday came and I arrived at the lobby of a beautiful apartment building on 15th Road here in Bandra. The guard called me in and sent me on my way. When the elevator door opened, I did not see an array of apartment doors as I’d been accustomed to seeing in this city, but rather one door leading to the flat which I could only assume took up the whole of the 12th floor. I was not wrong. The flat took up the whole of the 12th floor. Before me lay gleaming marble floors, 2 large verandas, and a sweeping 360 degree view of Bandra, it was amazing.
There was a surprise waiting for me when I arrived. I was scheduled to shoot just one darling girl, but as it turned out word spread and three of my girls were there wanting a photo shoot. I’d scheduled an hour shoot, as per our agreement, and had a birthday party to attend at 1:00 in Juhu. It was 11:00. They weren’t ready. The hired assistant doing the girls’ hair was just completing the second child when I arrived. No one was dressed, and I was told that the make-up artist didn’t show so we’d have to do their make-up. Make-up? They are 10! What did I get myself into?
I informed my client that I had planned on one child and one hour and that I had to be in Juhu at 12:45 for a birthday brunch. I’ll give you one guess as to how they responded.
You got it…
“Ok, no problem!”
Off they went in a fury of glitter and mascara. Shortly, the three girls were glitzed up and gorgeous. Here’s what we came up with:
As it turns out, shooting portraits in Mumbai isn’t any different than shooting portraits in Greeley, Colorado. Three kids is always better than one kid. Girls will always be princesses to their parents. And your students are always, without compromise, the best clients you could ever ask for.
Thanks Metha, Naomi, and Rianna for a great Sunday. You are smart and beautiful girls and I am lucky to have you in my class!