After working from 9 AM to 10 PM every weekday, Saturday has become such a coveted day of rest and relaxation. The only time one can sleep as long as one desires - going to sleep late, getting up late completely relaxed, and yet no work to go to… oh how wonderful weekends are. Except of course, if you have other passions.
Some people spend the weekends waking up early to go hiking or cycling. A very dear blog friend of mine Chaitanya Vikas is a photographer, and that's how he spends his weekends – waking up early for a photo-shoot session.
Chaitanya had been visiting my blog since I ever started blogging a decade ago. You can actually see his comments on my old blog posts going back to 2004. Even though we got to know each other well through our respective blogs, the funny thing is, we finally got to meet face to face only just last month! And that was when he told me about his weekend (or holiday) ritual.
He, along with his colleagues Shirley and Umang, had started their "Stop Look Like" facebook page where they showcase their projects. All three of them are working at Veritas Information Management (which recently separated from Symantec) and even though professionally they are techies and tech writers, photography is their hobby.
And so once they managed to find a volunteer as a model, they wake up early on Saturdays (or other holidays) for the photo-shoot session. Since this is a joint initiative, nobody gets paid. But in return, both the models and the photographers get to improve their portfolio for free. In fact Chaitanya and Umang occasionally land a couple of gigs at various functions and events when they're not at work. What better ways to get side income than doing something you're truly passionate about? :)
I told him to call me the next time he conducts such a photo op again. I was curious to know how people could waste such a perfect and blissful Saturday morning sleep to do something else that was not even related to their actual job. :D
Maybe I spoke too soon :P This early morning, what I thought was a giant bee buzzing and chasing me in my nightmare, was actually the sound of my phone vibrating. Chaitanya called me up at 6 freaking AM today to tell me they were on their way for a photo-shoot session.
We spoke briefly, as a part of me was still dreaming. Much as I wanted to go back to sleep, the inquisitive side of me beckoned me to get up, brush and get ready. There were also four miss calls and a message from Chaitanya at 1 in the morning telling me about the last minute confirmation of their photo-shoot session today. But by then I had already
And so I quickly got ready and the guys were there waiting for me below my apartment.
Damn, I've been living in Pune for almost a year now, and I have never seen the road outside my apartment like that at 6 in the morning :D
The venue for today's location was at Pune Nagar Road. Usually they do it at Aga Khan bridge here in KP, but today they wanted to capture the luminescent brightness of the first rays of sunlight traversing between the tree branches as it penetrates the model's radiant pupil, or something like that. There were a lot of things they explained that didn't make sense to me :D :P
The jogger's path at Pune Nagar Road was quite deserted…
Shirley surveying the scene…
Shirley and Akanksha getting ready
The crew setting up the place…
One of the tasks of setting up the scene includes chasing away stray dogs who kept coming next to Akanksha. Who can blame the dogs, they are just as curious as I was :)
As they started shooting, there was the problem of people who kept coming in the way, like this one for instance…
…or this one :)
After all, it is a public place and everybody had the same rights to be there as well. Fortunately for us, all those people taking a morning walk were understanding and didn't mind us either. Nobody complained about us, and most of them, especially the old uncles, sweetly smiled at us.
Umang was giving out all sorts of instructions to Akanksha, telling her where to look, what to look, how to look, why to look etc.
I'm telling you, they are so passionate, and it was wonderful watching them deeply engrossed at work :)
Here is a more close-up view of the model in action
And there is such a HUGE difference between my OPO phone cam and the ones they're using. For example, here is me taking a pic of Shirley taking a pic of us…
And here is how we look from the other end!
Once Umang was finally satisfied with his photo session, it was Chaitanya's turn. I didn't take much photos of him clicking as I was also helping with the reflector screen…
Chaitanya explained to me the importance of the reflector screen, about how the silver screen reflects the gamma rays of sunlight onto the atomic particle of the HDR lens, or something like that, and I just zoned out :P
Seriously, I don't know anything about photography, even though I love taking pics of my food using my phone cam :P Its kinda like how I'm a big fan of music, but many a times, my closest friends and relatives have accused of being tone deaf :D
For example, after the session, I asked Chaitanya for some of the photos they took with their cameras for my blog update. And he was like, "Sure, are you going to post the BTS photos as well?" and I was like, "Definitely". And then I rushed home to google what the hell are BTS photos, assuming it is some file format they're using. I know I can open JPGs normally, and I can open TIFF files with Photoshop. But BTS format? How to open BTS format? I googled and googled but found no solution so I finally messaged him…
"Hey, what do you mean by BTS photos?"
He replied, "Behind The Scene" photos.
So here are some more photos from their cameras. The final product, as in the ones they're gonna use on their FB page is not in this list yet.
Soon it was 7:30 and the sun was up properly…
Chaitanya, Umang, Sunny and I took one last selfie together
They dropped me at my place again, and it was not even 8 AM. Most of my friends would still be sound asleep :) But was it worth it? Most definitely. It was a new experience for me, and a totally fun one too. But I don't think it is something I would want to do every Saturday :) It feels great to know people like Chaitanya and his friends who have so much passion to do this on a holiday, especially considering the fact that all this is done voluntarily!
So please do support my friends in their endeavor and "like" their Facebook page. This is also a great opportunity for those who may want to make a portfolio or looking for photographers to cover their functions here in Pune.