FaceTime Photoshoot By Photographers From India | The Grey Alley

Indian Photographers That Are Adding A Creative Edge To The FaceTime Photoshoot Trend

FaceTime-Photoshoot

There are a few things that have caught our fancy during this lockdown and one among them is something called FaceTime Photoshoot. This format of photography is credited to Yorkshire-based photographer Tim Dunk where he found creative ways to take edgy and quirky pictures of people even in the lockdown.

In a nutshell, FaceTime Photoshoot is where you call people (in this case the subjects) over a FaceTime call (or even a Google Duo call), ask them to pose and capture a moment from the call.

And like any other viral phenomenon, FaceTime Photoshoot has been keeping shutterbugs from India on the edge of creativity.

On that note, here are a few photographers from India that are adding their creative touches to the trend.

Apoorva Prasad

The Idea

For Apoorva, FaceTime Photoshoot began when she came across a picture by one of her favourite portrait photographers Alessio Albi – the first person who did not back away from creativity during testing times in the lockdown and virtually shot through the medium of a video call, she recalls. And since she was idle at home, she wanted to give it a try too.

Frankly speaking, Apoorva was sceptical at the beginning on how the shoot would go but she took some time out to plan the shoot – like thinking about the theme, the overarching idea behind the shoot, deciding on a model for the shoot and so on. That was about two months ago, since then, Apoorva has completed about ten shoots, photographing people from the world over.

Real Vs Virtual

Given that they (the model and her) were both confined to spaces that were different, it was challenging as opposed to being present in the same location while shooting. 

Here, the coordination between her and the model played an important role since the frames, lighting and other factors had to be taken care of by both the parties. Further, Apoorva ensured to stick to her style of shooting rather than sticking to something that had compromise written all over it.

FaceTime Photoshoot Themes, Ideas And Going Beyond

“Firstly, talk to the model you’ve been planning to shoot, let the model know what ideas or concepts you have in mind so that they can understand it well and help you in bringing about the desired output,” adds Apoorva.

And some of the Do’s and Don’ts are:

Do’s:

Plan the shoot in advance. Discuss things like the concept or themes you have planned, the outfit, and props the model could use (if required).

Another important thing here is communication so that you can get the kind of pictures you have in mind. And if not, then try to make the model understand what exactly is needed so that you can get the perfect shot.

Don’ts:

Do not rush while shooting and ask the model to keep changing poses, since there are chances, the pictures might be blurry. So take time and shoot at a slow pace.

Challenges

One major challenge she points out is the issues of connectivity. “If there are network issues the pictures are automatically blurry. Apart from that other challenges are you need to direct the model precisely and set frames accordingly and ask your subject to place themselves in that particular frame so that you get the shot you have in mind,” explains Apoorva.

The Takeaways From The FaceTime Photoshoot

This was an eye-opener for her as she learnt that art can be created anywhere and anytime. There is nothing that can keep an artist from making art apart from the will do create, she says. “I am glad I ventured into this as it helped me connect to so many different people around the world,” she adds.

New Learnings

  • Directing the model well so that you get pictures accordingly and as planned 
  • Communication is the key to any shoot. FaceTime or no FaceTime, communication plays an important role
  • Connecting with models around the world, which is possible through this medium 

Head to Apoorva Prasad’s Instagram page for more FaceTime Photoshoots.

Lucky Malhotra

The Idea

Malhotra had come across many photographers doing this (Facetime Photoshoot) and he was like nah… “I don’t want to do any virtual shoot”. He says that he kept thinking about this for about two weeks. “My mind used to say do it, but my heart used to say no,” he recalls.

Then finally, he somehow convinced himself to take this up as his only intention was that people should be surprised when they see the results as he has seen some good work and mediocre work on this topic.

When we asked him his thoughts about this medium he says it’s just a phase for him. “I always love shooting people in real then virtual, but you never know what’s in store,” he quips.

Real Vs Virtual

“It’s not that easy to shoot virtually especially if you are very particular about the output,” says Malhotra. “It’s more tiring to give 100 instructions and it’s not easy to do quality work unless you show that commitment, and for whoever I shoot they also have to be on the same page. If they are taking it lightly, I have lost the battle.”

Facetime Photoshoot Themes, Ideas And Going Beyond

Malhotra is using a hashtag called #lockeddownmoments so his theme gravitates towards mixed emotions which everyone is facing during this lockdown. “For starters, I ask them things like what are their hobbies and most of the women I work with have a habit of reading,” says Malhotra. Adding, “So I use this concept of mixed emotions in the shoot. It’s quite challenging to visualise the light from the phone and if you notice, most of the people I have shot for this concept are not models and I don’t want them to behave like one. In fact, when I work with models, I tell them the same thing too. I love being versatile and I like working with people from different walks of life.”

Challenges

The biggest challenge is finding like-minded people highlights Malhotra. Further, he adds by saying that having a good Wi-Fi network is the key, also the person who you are shooting with should have lots of patience if they need good results.

“I have shot this particular FaceTime Photoshoot session without a tripod – where their family or a friend was holding the phone. Though they were doing their best, human hands will fail when compared to a sturdy tripod. It’s a tiring thing for people too.”

The Takeaways From The FaceTime Photoshoot

“This is for people who say ‘you have a good camera’,” laughs Malhotra. “I just want this to be a testament to them that a good camera is just a bonus to get better results. Knowledge and execution are much more important than the tool.

New Learnings

  • Choose the right people especially those who keep up their word and those who are fun to work with
  • Do your homework and test the software before you fix the shoot date, for instance, if you are using FaceTime, do a FaceTime call and check if you are able to shoot using the tool
  • This has been a splinter in my eye and I want to put it out there. I expect the people I shoot with to share the work. There is no point of sharing the work when the fizz is gone. 

Malhotra is just trying this out more like a fun experience to remind himself that ‘you also did this during a lockdown’ and he may not overdo these shoots!

Head to Lucky Malhotra’s Instagram page for more FaceTime Photoshoots.

Sowmya Mense

The Idea

Sowmya crossed paths with FaceTime Photoshoot through social media and jokingly says that FaceTime Photoshoot is definitely one of the most innovative things other than Dalgona coffee during this lockdown!

“I was super curious to get my hands on it. I failed on my first attempt and a friend helped me with an easy idea for the next one. That was much simpler to do,” she claims.

Real Vs Virtual

We sense that this is way different than being present at the location while shooting, so does your style change while you are shooting in this format? If yes, how?

“Certainly it does,” says Sowmya with a smile. “Only, while shooting for this series did I understand how challenging it is to get your ideas and thoughts in the minds of other people. We visualize so much but won’t be able to execute it a hundred per cent.”

FaceTime Photoshoot Themes, Ideas And Going Beyond

Can you tell us a little about what your FaceTime Photoshoot might look like if we were working with you – as in the ideas, the themes, do’s and don’ts, and so on?

“Being open with ideas. Going with the flow. Asking your model to help with finding the best lit location (in his/her house or somewhere outside). Also, do your homework. It will save you so much time. Since, it’s a virtual shoot you can’t anticipate the right light, right angle, the right composition, and so on,” she highlights.

Challenges

Like Apoorva, Sowmya also feels that the network can act like a sore thumb during the photoshoot. “Most of the time I faced a lot of network issues and we ended up compromising with some of the shots, which is a bummer,” she adds.

The Takeaways From The FaceTime Photoshoot

The takeaways for her through this experience has been to go with the flow and communicating your ideas well to the model(s).

New Learnings

  • Letting everyone to be creative
  • Sharing ideas and getting the best out of it
  • Not to expect too much

Head to Sowmya Mense’s Instagram page for more FaceTime Photoshoots.

What are your thoughts on this trend? Know of other photographers that need to be featured in this feature? Let us know in the comments below.

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