Baby, this is cool

Updated: May 20, 2020, 08:55 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

A Malad-based photographer, who did a virtual maternity shoot, shares what it takes to capture the milestone over a video call

A still from the photo shoot
A still from the photo shoot

Like any other maternity photo shoot, the pictures from Gurugram-based researcher Aditi Jain's session, too, were warm, intimate and happy. Except that it was nothing like a regular shoot, as Jain, then nine months pregnant, was captured by Malad-based photographer Karen Lisa over a video call from Mumbai. From trying to get the lighting right to picking out clothes for the mother-to-be, all from a distance of over 1,300 km, the experience was unique, says 36-year-old Lisa, a wedding and lifestyle photographer.

"While we are under lockdown, several people around us are experiencing milestone moments. Life is not going to stop. This realisation led me to think of how I could document these moments," shares Lisa. So, the photographer reached out to people with the idea of a virtual photo shoot. "I got in touch with Jain through her cousin. She had planned a shoot, but it got shelved."

Karen Lisa
Karen Lisa

Planning the shoot was more challenging as compared to the execution, she admits. For four to five days, the couple sent Lisa countless shots of their house for her to gauge the lighting, mood, angles, etc. This was followed by Lisa sending them notes on where and how to position their mobile camera without shifting things around.

Then she had to help Jain pick out the right outfit and perfect the hair and make-up. "Usually, my subject is stationary, and I move around him or her to capture the right angle. Since I could not do that during this shoot, I had to ask Jain's husband to move around with the phone. That was the biggest challenge," says the photographer. The shoot was done in three parts — some pictures were taken by Lisa with her DSLR during the video call, others were screenshots that she took on her phone, and the rest were self-timed ones that the couple took based on her directions. "Network was a major problem and I had to edit the pictures to correct the lighting, angles and colour. But what matters are the memories. What a story that child will have to tell! They will always remember this," she tells us.

Lisa and Jain had planned a second part of the shoot to capture the latter in an informal set-up, but she gave birth to a boy four days later. "I've got more virtual shoots lined up. I am happy that I've been able to connect lives and stories despite the lockdown."

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