Presenting India’s first magazine cover shoot done remotely via Zoom
It took weeks of careful planning to execute this cover shoot during the lockdown.
First, photographer Subi Samuel came on board, excited. “Let me try shoot my assistant who is quarantined at his home,” he said, when we proposed the idea.
Milind Soman was a bit more cautious, “How will this happen? Can we use some of our older pictures from our holidays instead?” he asked.
Our cover stars, Ankita konwar and Milind Soman are quarantined at their home in Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai, and photographer Subi Samuel is in Versova, Mumbai suburbs. The city, as we know, has continued its restrictions to control the spread of Coronavirus, so stepping out is not an option.
Subi Samuel got on phone with Milind to see the location on a video chat. Could he hope to have lights? Or would he have to shoot with natural light only? Milind Soman proposed the terrace, and it was quickly discovered that the best light was to be found, not in the morning, but just before sunset. On the side, make-up and styling discussions were had, and references were frozen.
On Monday, May 25, 4.05pm, the magazine HQ’ed in Delhi received a call from Subi Samuel. “Milind had said 4pm, he’s not answering,” said the photographer. One of the industry’s seniormost photogs was nervous. Thankfully, Milind and Ankita were just a few minutes late, and soon, photographs started trickling in.
“I’m a bit of a control freak, so it was disconcerting to not be able to see what Subi was shooting,” Milind told us later. “It reminded me of 30 years ago when we didn’t have digital. During the shoot, Subi had a hard time with the Internet signal fluctuations and shouting ‘Click’ and ‘Move’ so that we knew what to do.”
After the shoot, Subi couldn’t have been more confident. The veteran knew he had cracked yet another cover. “When I was called for this shoot, I knew this would be exciting as well as challenging. No one had done an online shoot like this for an editorial cover before this. There were quite a few factors to fall into place. The resolution of the images would have to be high enough to be printed, the network on the phone had to be consistent. And more than anything, the models had to be totally cooperative and willing to do the extra bit against a failing light. Till you see the final results, there is the fear that the entire shoot may have to be scrapped. Thankfully, the pictures turned out to be fabulous with an amazingly cooperative and goodlooking couple!”
Here’s to #Minkita and India’s first ever magazine cover shot on Zoom!
From HT Brunch, May 31, 2020
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