Malaika Arora

When you shoot with Malaika Arora the shoot gets done in 5 minutes. 20 years of shooting and I still was blown away with the duration of this shoot. You read it right – 5 minutes.

Of course, there was the photography setup, pre-shoot preps, location security, and clearance (believe me, this is a tough one – to shoot at luxury properties) makeup, and hair just to name a few things that form the circus.

I always tell people in all my talks and interviews that the actual shoot is just 5% to 10% of the deal. All that remains constitutes what happens before and after the shoot. This shoot was exactly all this. 


Just about 2 years into me shooting celebrities the star power sort of faded away. No more being starstruck!  I didn’t really so but yes, I felt a tad hysterical in my head but hey, this is the chaiyya chaiyya girl after all. We have hummed, partied to her songs and enjoyed her on screen.

Celebrity or no celebrity it helps here to have your setup ready. I usually do all my lighting with a stand-in (almost always one of my assistants) Once the broad setup is ready the fine tunings and tweaks happen with the actual model on the spot.

Always a good approach more so if you are dealing with a celebrity. I generally treat anyone facing my camera like a celebrity and in that sense, I always try to be 2 steps ahead of myself. 

Enough said, please enjoy the behind the scene videos here with the final results coming up right after. 


Majorly used window light reflected right back into the shadows on the model. The key light here was a regular octa softbox feathered in. The post-processing was basic skin touch-ups desaturating the colours with slight colour grading (just the way I like it)


In shoot 2 we created an indoor studio in one of the rooms of a luxury property. Monochrome works really well if you have seen my shots with white outfits on a white background which pretty much works for most colours.

Same treatment using pink on pink. The light source was a battery pack with a strobe firing in hard light through a maxi soft. A six feet-hard reflector on the other side took care of the shadows.

The shadows on the background were kept intentionally for some separation and also to make the image look more graphic. After a lot of bust level shots I went much lower to exaggerate the perspective. Works best with lean bodies and accentuates the lines like it did here with the very graphic hands and leg movement. 


BTS – Short for Behind the scenes. I had my first experience shooting BTS footage on my first big break – Jodhaa Akbar. I shot more BTS still than publicity photos for the film. I never quite stopped after that. You all see the final outcome but what goes on behind making those visuals tangible is far more entertaining for most and educational for some. So here goes.


The final shots is where the rubber meets the road. This is the moment of truth for any photographer as he would either translate the vision he has in his mind on to the camera or he wont. I do plan but then I keep a major window open for some magic to happen and take me by surprise. It almost always works. 


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