View from The Front Seat

The story behind an image captured during a brand shoot for a men's magazine


Actor-texting-friends
Adhir Bhatt, framed by the Renault Triber


Editorial photography has its own perks and challenges. We shoot with known faces who love being in front of the camera but having them spare the time to shoot with us is tough.


A couple of years ago, actor-writer Adhir Bhatt was chosen by the Renault team to represent their new line of automobiles in a branded feature. It was a simple assignment: the man with the machine.


It was a windy day. Adhir Bhatt was on a strict schedule. To add to it, I had to share time with the videography team, who were shooting the brand video with the actor. We started the shoot at his house and then shifted to the beach, where I had decided to shoot the stills.


We began our outdoor shoot in the early evening. Adhir had to leave by sundown, the best time to shoot by the beach. I knew it would be a challenge to get all my shots by then. But I had a reasonably well-chalked plan of how I would shoot the subjects, so I chose to relax in the back seat until I would get my time with them.


I was so comfortable in the back of that spacious car that I parked myself in there while the videographers did their job. Then I thought, I should explore the car; I do love automobiles.


I went and sat in the front seat. The driver’s side door was ajar as Adhir was shooting just outside the car. I opened the door completely with the thought of shooting the cloudy skies through its frame.


As I readied the camera, Adhir’s phone rang. He took a break from the video and paced beside the car. Then, at one moment he stopped right in the middle of my frame and looked through some text messages. I knew in my gut that this was my moment to click.


The photograph didn’t make it to the brand campaign. From their point of view, all it had was the brand logo on the steering wheel. But for Adhir and me, this was the perfect capture.


If you’d like to see some of the pictures that did make it to the Renault Triber feature in GQ India magazine, click here.

 

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