9.30am: Shoot starts with a bouncing sweet baby, all of 9 months old. Photographer perspires profusely. Even in the heavily air-conditioned studio. Not used to shooting models any less than 1.75 meters tall, he is now confronted by a teenie weenie model for him to coo, aim & shoot at.
9.35am : Should we have the baby sit up, held up, lie down? Decisions, decisions. The tiger print on the onesie needs to show on this sweet little tiger. We stood her up. We leaned her against a table. We made her crawl. And she drooled. And elicited some cute baby noises. Oh dear, she’s slipping. Sidewards. Downwards. Backwards.
10am : Finally lying her (gently) is the best position. Her face and body & the tiger on tee are all there for the camera! Smile, please. Up the lullaby music. Throw colorful ball. ‘Goo goo gaa gaa’ coos from everyone. Look, a lady bug. You don’t like the ladybug? Oh no, no, don’t cry, sweetie. Mom and Dad to the rescue.
10.10am: Out comes her favorite toy. We get a smile on her face. Shoot. shoot, shoot-Purrfect, sweet tiger! What a star.
10.15am: Masala tea break. Smiles & sighs of relief, and cookies all around
10.30 am: Another sporting parent comes in with a 2 year old active toddler.
10.40 am: Out with all the puppets I’d brought. It works- a smile, a chuckle and a giggle even. Then even broader smiles, and peals of laughter, and lots of jumping, running…skipping…jogging. To the side, to the corner, to the back of the white backdrop….oh no no, it’s not a wall. Gasp-that makeshift wall might fall.
10.45am: Photographer perspires profusely again. Mom pulls baby boy back. The boy has a look which says ‘ This is too fun, mama. What is this place?” More loud baby music. Look, a big bird (puppet) is flying to you. The boy’s hands are up and he runs away and with that crocodle hoodie tee on … another perfect shot!
10.50am: In comes an eclectic masala mix of lovely children from 3-8 years of age with their parents, nannies, friends, brothers and sisters. Some shy. Some talkative. Others apprehensive, curious, nervous. The studio is beginning to feel very homey. Photographer is all warmed up & relaxed.
11am: Shoot begins. All are warmed up now (42 degrees outside the studio). Aiming for happy. natural, spontaneous shots. Out with the puppets and toys and loud boisterous music. We want circus, birthday party & amusement park atmosphere combined. The puppets do their magic and we see smiles which turn into infectious giggles and loud laughter. Photographer shoots away. With some, we cajoled. Smile please. No smiles today? It’s ok to look scared, love. There are, after all, in our midst crocodiles & tigers, deers. With others, it’s a fun ruckus. Hey you, stop monkeying around with that monkey puppet!
12noon: Kids now seem to be on some infectious sugar high. Pose. Smile. Show your claws. Gnarrrrl now, I want to hear you ROARRRR rrrr. Roaring FUN shooting that fun lot.
12.30- 1pm: Juice break with cakes and cookies for the kids, and masala teas for all cheerleader adults. Kids leave one by one with their cheperones. Studio seems strangely silent.
1.30pm: Vintage shoot. Female model walks in. Perfect with an Audrey Hepburn pout. Need pouf retro big hairdo. Improvise, improvise. You Tube video on how to make vintage pouf-y hair to the rescue.
1.40pm: Need to seat this 1.7something meter model to do her hair or I cannot reach her. And after this gravity challenging feat- all easy peasy. In just 5 mins voila, pouf! Big pouf-y retro hair done.
1.50pm: Next, catty eye make-up. Google search another You Tube video on how to create catty Audrey Hepburn-ish makeup. I love you, You Tube! Paint, stretch the eyes, load heaps of mascara and voila, Audrey Hepburn stares back at me. Feels like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.
2.05pm: Miss Audrey then whispers to me that she has forgotten to bring her tights to match with our Vintage tees. What? Panic. Masala Chai break time. Thinking time. Improvising time. In walks male model.
2.15pm: Improvise, improvise. Female model now wears the black pants that I have on. And I end up with the male model’s pants. Gasp.
2.30pm: Business as usual. Shoot, shoot. Ok people, think retro. It’s ok to look cheesy to look retro. Remember how they posed in the retro ads. Now strike a pose (but NOT ala Madonna please, ala Audrey Hepburn, ala Hema Malini & ala Sanjeev Kumar). That’s it!
4pm: The male model leaves and takes his pants back from me. The shoot continues with Miss Audrey, and I end up wearing her shorts whilst she shoots in my black pants, and hiding behind a chair whilst co-art directing the shoot with the photographer. Talk about a day of improvisations. After that, all goes as normal as a normal photo-shoot can be.
And not forgetting taking a shot of yours truly rrrrRoarrring as a tiger as well. And then, time for a last well-deserved cuppa masala tea.
7pm: Shoot finishes. We are all tired. But happy and high on masala tea.
Enjoy the new Masala Tee Collections and view the eLOOKBOOKs :
Credits: To all parents who accompanied their children for the shoot, to the photographer for bearing with our ruckus, to the providers of puppets & toys as props – Rabani Garg from the Reading Caterpillar Club for the puppets & Charlotte Johnson from Pyjama Mahal for the hobby horses- Thank you so much.