Delhi | Shivali + Shrey

It came as no surprise that just when I was reading about Resistance in Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art (thank you for this great recommendation, Erika!), we were presented with an opportunity to try something new.

The idea was to have four photographer duos shoot the same couple in a limited amount of time, while the same would be broadcast live over Facebook and Instagram, and recorded to be put up on YouTube later. It didn’t help that we were introduced on the Photopedia FB page as the “Fearless Duo”. Or that Divyam named us as one of his photography inspirations on Instagram. #NoPressure


Time Limit:
10 minutes: to create bride and groom portraits, simultaneously
(Abhimanyu shot the groom while I shot the bride)
15 minutes:  to create couple portraits
Total 25 minutes

25 minutes only sounds a lot. It goes by super fast, especially under the sweltering 2PM Sun with 95% humidity and zero wind-factor!

We were to select just one set at The Perfect Location for each shoot. Abhimanyu and I decided that since the purpose is for everyone (us and the final viewers) to learn from this exercise, we should introduce our own constraints in addition to what Photopedia had already assigned.

TPL has some picturesque sets made with a lot of love and care. But we decided that our first “restriction” would be to create portraits that could be created anywhere, irrespective of the location. We couldn’t show the beauty of the set.

The second restriction we put on ourselves was that we weren’t allowed to use what we cannot carry / find difficult to carry to an actual wedding.

Couple Portrait Going Bananas Photography Wedding Photography

And the third and final restriction, just to make it a little more fun for ourselves, was that we would create restrictions/challenges for each other BUT we would not reveal them till we weren’t at the venue so that we don’t have any extra time to conceptualise and prepare!

So, once we reached TPL, Abhimanyu told me that even though we were shooting in the afternoon, I must use off-camera flash in all my photographs and that I couldn’t create any black & whites.
And I challenged him to create multiple-exposures, in-camera such that any individual image within the multiple exposure cannot be separately edited / cropped during post-processing.

Bridal Portrait Going Bananas Photography Wedding Photography

We always try to showcase the personalities of our couples in our photos. In a previous call with Shivali and Shrey, we noticed that while Shivali loves expressing herself, and is quite bubbly, Shrey is a man of few words; an earthy personality. So we decided that we’d create two double exposures for them and bring out this aspect of their personalities.

Couple Portrait Going Bananas Photography Wedding Photography

And, of course, Abhimanyu decided to take my challenge to heart and created this beauty with 7 exposures! (He argues that it’s really 4 ‘kinds’ of exposures, so no big deal.) True, but “technically”, it is 7 exposures.

Couple Portrait Going Bananas Photography Wedding Photography

All in all, it was a fantastic learning experience! Not just by learning from our mistakes, but by watching other photographers create some magic.

Preparation & Improvisation: As always, preparation is key, as is adapting to changing circumstances.

Technical knowledge: You need to master techniques inside out till they become muscle memory.

Belief & Humility: Trust your gut, and don’t be afraid of simply asking for help.

Composure & Confidence: Back your abilities, even if your mind & body are resisting. Trust yourself!

Failure & Experimentation: Be open to new experiences. Don’t be afraid to be judged. You will notice that there are more people willing to help. And those who want to judge, will do that irrespective of what you do or don’t do! Your only real judge is you, yourself.

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Equipment used:

  • 5D Mark IV
  • 5D Mark III
  • 50mm 1.4
  • 100mm macro
  • 35mm 1.4
  • 16-35 2.8
  • Godox 860
  • Godox AD200
  • Godox X-Pro
  • MagGrid
  • Colour Gels
  • MagSnoot

Thanks to all the folks at Photopedia – Dhanika, Prashant, Divyam, Rohit, Vardaan (sorry if we missed someone) for having us over; Madhulika, Nimesh, Rathik and the entire staff at The Perfect Location; Mahima & Harsh, Ashmeet & Mehak and Aseem & Hera; and of course, Shivali & Shrey, for being such great sports and posing effortlessly for every photographer.

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Going Bananas Photography is one of India's leading wedding photography and cinematography studios run by Abhimanyu Sharma and Prasheila Lookhar. They are known for their distinctive style and for the strong friendships they form with their couples.


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