Abir Roy weaves magic at the studios of Jupiter Works in Bangalore

The artist-cum-photographer enthralls the audience with his craft

Why do people inherently gravitate towards photographs, what makes them so appealing? Maybe this quote by the famous fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld sums it up aptly – “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

Maybe this explains why this industry is booming and will continue to do so. Especially so in a country as diverse and large as India, with industry estimates stating that close to 70,000 photography studios currently operate. It is a very busy market, to say the least. The same estimates peg the number of photographers to about 30,000. Essentially, two studios for every photographer, catering to not only the demand from within India but also globally.  But the question that arises is, are there credible, authentic, professionally run, and differentiated places where like-minded creative people, brands, and professionals alike can converge to enjoy the purest form of photography? Yes, there are. Let us listen to what conspired a few weeks back at one such creative melting pot in India’s Silicon Valley – Bangalore.

We are seeing a lot of hustle and bustle, some nervous energy, and a bit of impatience. You have an eager bunch of students, aspiring models – amateur, as well as professional photographers, ready to spend quality time over the next two days learning the art and craft, and fine nuances of photography over the long weekend.  Instantly you know one thing – you have a ‘Winner,’ and there must be some magic at play. While the rest of the world makes plans to relax and daydream at the beaches of Goa, Kerala, or the mountains of Shimla or Sikkim, wherever it might be, there seems to be no such desire among the photography enthusiasts who have, let us say, descended to this place from across far-flung areas of Bangalore, and even neighbouring cities like Chennai. The attendees seem completely engrossed in the expert session held by the ace photographer Abir Roy at the magnificent studios of Jupiter Works, a brainchild of seasoned advertising hand Kiran Reddy.

You do not need to be an Atul Kasbekar to understand the fluid explanation of the intricacies surrounding photography; a layman can understand the simplicity with which Abir takes the audience on a storytelling journey. You can sense the passion and absolute devotion to the craft that he brings to the table, it oozes effortlessly. It is as if he wields a magic wand and his models take on avatars of exotic shapes and figures as he pleases, and it all seems to be like a perfect symphony akin to Zubin Mehta performing to a packed gallery at the New York Philharmonic. You frequently hear terms like Kelvin or how Rembrandt’s lighting helps create the triangle or diamond shape of light underneath the eye. It all seems so fascinating that you almost feel transported to a different place, time, and era.

Boudoir photography is what Abir specializes in among many other genres and he is taking his students on an unparalleled surreal journey – a journey of ‘sensual fashion photography.’  But what makes his style of teaching so unique is that he goes to the very fundamentals of photography. And, he is in no tearing hurry. He speaks about the sensitivities of the Indian audience, the dos and don’ts, how to post acceptable content on social media to pass the stress test of Instagram and FB, and how Boudour is not to be looked at as something vulgar.  He lays stress on the importance of light, weather, time, and place in deciding the optimal time to shoot to get the best output. He abhors boring and loves the crazy.  The smallest detail is not left out. Back from a shoot in Goa and Kerala, he finds the Jupiter Works studio to be a very intelligent utilization of space. Every corner of this studio is a photographer’s delight, with ample natural light for the photographer to play around with. Kiran, himself a photographer has re-imagined this place using his vast experience in the manufacturing space.

The excitement and energy are palpable when you see Abir getting his camera to shoot the models, looking for that perfect elusive shot. It is almost like seeing a ferocious lion in action, waiting to pounce on a herd of gazelles and then finding its perfect gullible prey. Titas is that gazelle for him, and she looks gorgeous under the shades of natural light. You can hear a symphony of clicks with the sound of the camera shutters. The amateur and the professional photographers are at it. The reward is an appreciation by Abir and truckloads of invaluable lifelong experience.

The two-day workshop takes the audience through Boudoir photography, the creative use of strobe lights, and many other facets of photography. More than that it leaves a lasting impression on the audience, who now find newfound respect and appreciation for what it takes for a successful photoshoot. The cog in the wheel needs to come together for it to rotate – i.e., behind-the-scenes makeup artists, the team behind the studio setup, the stunning models, and the hot and piping food brought in by the office boys. At the studios of Jupiter Works, there is never a dull moment. Come delight yourselves and experience the sheer joy of – Lights, camera, and action!