December, 2010 Monthly archive

He had never had sex. He was hot – the tall, dark, handsome variety. Well educated, self-confident, could talk to any women anywhere, could take off any woman’s panties.

When his first opportunity walked into his room, she was drunk and he was disgusted. As it is with Murphy’s Law, all his opportunities were drunk, for most of the period of raging hormones in his life. They all came to him like moths to a flame, young ones, old ones, the hotties, the girls next door. All drunk – either on alcohol or stupidity. It didn’t turn him on.

He spent many years tortured with the thought he might never ever be able to have sex. He reconciled himself to that fact. Wasn’t a big deal, when his plan was to put a gun to his head when he was single and 50. Now that, was a big deal.

Then, he got married. Something he didn’t think was possible.

She was hot, not stupid and definitely not drunk. Only trouble was, she wanted it, he didn’t.
Sex, for him, was only a matter of efficiency now. Get in get out.

Then she left him.
And he put the gun to his head when he was only 30.

Stop being efficient. Just fuck and get fucked. It’s called life.

I’ve become a better “fake smiler” in the last year. A really good one.

It is a lot like the real thing – the cheek/jaw muscles hurt if you do it a lot, no one can make out you’re faking it, people around you become happy and smile back, if you do it enough yourself, you’re happy too.

But I know it’s fake because a lot of people I meet are such complete dolts that it is impossible to not feel pity for their level of intelligence or common sense. And it is damn near impossible to produce a genuine smile when your brain is distressed hearing these people talk. People are stupid.

And because I don’t want to be rude to them – these are human beings after all, my own species and I’m a sucker for giving someone the benefit of doubt – I fake my smile. To me it feels like I’m not being untruthful to myself and am not being mean to “people” either. A safe fence-sitter because my need to belong triumphs all else. And instead of telling myself that I have to endure this inane talk from stupid people and be stoic and take it in my stride, I just deliver the fake smile.

Practice it on your family and closest friends first. If they can’t detect it, no one else ever will.

And don’t forget what your real smile feels like. Forgetting THAT would be a tragedy.

I think I am obsessed with photography – wedding or otherwise.

There are so many things I want to capture and so little time.

Since being obsessed was never on the agenda, each time I pick up my camera, I ask myself if it’s really needed and the first answer is always, “Of course it is!” even though it probably isn’t. Sometimes I force myself not to carry my camera around wherever I go – afterall, I’m a professional photographer, not a hobbyist – I should shoot only when getting paid. (If only it was this simple.)

So there have been times when I went out and was not carrying my camera – and each of those times – I’ve regretted it.

I sit on a razor sharp fence – I don’t want to compromise on my personal life because I’m always photographing – paid or otherwise; and I also do not want to compromise on my photography – I have, after all, only about another 30-40 years of life left to live.

And I’ll be damned if I live any of it without my camera by my side.

So yes, I am obsessed. Sue me.

Someone asked me what professionalism meant to me.

I didn’t have an answer right away because to me, professionalism is more a matter of words like integrity, passion, etc., which aren’t really definitive words for most people. These words are more like ideals that are unattainable in “real” life, as I’ve been told countless times. So I wanted to think of a much simpler way to define what I think constitutes professionalism.

For me, professionalism means not lying or telling the truth. A combination of courage and kindness.

What this means, as an example, from a recent experience, is that if you are not going to hire me, you tell me as much. You get brownie points of sharing your reasons and even more chocolatey gooey brownie points if you can deliver the news in a humane fashion. Courage plus kindness.

Professionalism isn’t about capability – whether, as a photographer or designer I can deliver what a client asks for. But it is about whether I am being utterly truthful with the client – if I can deliver their requirements and what I charge and how much and what they will have to compromise on if they bargain purely on a price point. Or if I am unable to deliver and can refer them to someone else without being a bitch.

Truth + Courage + Kindness = Professionalism.

What’s the big deal with holidays anyway? It’s a rhetorical question.

Man made the calendar and decided to give names to days, months and whatnot. Religion quietly found a niche – even though the majority of the world doesn’t work, certain someones make money – a lot of money. So we have Diwali because someone decided to come back home, Christmas because two people from the opposite sex did what two people from the opposite sex do, New Years because… well because it was best to make a calendar with 365 days and some leap year trash thrown in every four years and because it makes good business sense to throw in an excuse for people to buy more alcohol and food and material things that are probably used once a year.

If you think this holiday season is the perfect excuse to show how much you love your family and friends, great – as long as you find such excuses often regardless of it being a holiday. Actually, even if it is just once a year you show your gratitude / love / suck upto your family and friends, it’s a good thing. At least you’re doing it.

But if you think the holiday season means anything else except an excuse to cosy up to people you love or yourself, you’re retarded.

There is no god, no Santa and while there might be magic and serendipity and destiny and chance, none of those are related to monetary and economic power. So quit trying to buy something to fulfill your emotionally depraved state and go hug someone.

As David on Twitter shared, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Sometimes, though, the unwanted opinions are coming from an asshole.”

As far as I’m concerned, ALL unwanted opinions appear to be coming from someone who is either always an asshole or someone who is being an asshole in that moment. Yes Mom, sometimes, you too.

It appears that everyone, at some point in their lives, and hence at every point in your own life, is trying their best to make you doubt your own self and embed it into your head that you don’t know what you’re doing.

In junior high, I had a “best friend” who told me I wouldn’t be a successful person in life because I had no morals & principals and because I did not have an opinion. I thought about that statement for years – one of the downfalls of that “best friend” was that I never made many close female friends – and eventually, I realized that it appeared to her that I had no opinions or beliefs because I did not think it to be my birthright to share them at every opportunity I could force.

So seriously, people with opinions, shut the fuck up. If you have facts, lets talk.
Or even better, if you can tell me something that the majority of the population believes to be a fact but is in fact an opinion, please invite yourself over for a drink.

…then why do I always find you bitching about how you’re better than me instead of getting down and dirty and actually doing the thing you’re supposed to be better at than I am?

So you have been around longer than I have, worked more hours than I have, have more followers on Twitter than I have. So what? You cannot possibly comprehend what parameters to choose when evaluating the “betterness”. Or that there should be parameters in the first place. Even if you did have some grey cells up there, I’m busy doing what I excel at while you whine about how I suck and you’re top cat.

That, right there, kinda contradicts what you believe about yourself.
I am not threatened by you coming up to me and telling me you’re so much better and that you’re going to make me see. Some of my closest associates are better than I am – and hence we’re close.

I don’t hang with delusionals.
And because you’re going to stay that way for all the time that you exist, this is going to be my extent of responding.
Pfffbbtt. Visualize that sound with my tongue sticking out.

When they say, “Equipment does not matter.”, what they are really saying is that it matters less – less than the composition, the expression, the moment being captured, the light, the thought behind the photograph, etc. You just cannot get the same results shooting on a 55-200mm 5.6G Nikkor as compared to shooting on a 70-200mm 2.8 VR II Nikkor.

It helps to have a fantastic lens, camera and lights. But it’s terrible if you believe that it is impossible to make a good picture without fantastic equipment.

I don’t have an Octabank, yet. So I cut out eight holes in an old pair of jeans and put that over my Elinchrom. Sure it’s not an Octabank but it’s a lot better than using the light bare.

If you lean on the equipment, you will not be pushed to get creative, which will be quite a sorry loss in the long term. Of course, if you have the money and couldn’t care less about the long term, happy shopping! Send me some too.

I can see that wedding photography is going to be a big part of my photography career. I enjoy the hard work, doesn’t mean I don’t bitch about it. Marwari weddings can be painful.

One of the things I’ve observed is the attention I get as a female photographer. I’m usually looking to be left alone to compose my images & shoot in peace. But the queue of people wanting a free portrait keeps getting longer.

They praise my camera, “It’s awesome because of the enlarge.” Obviously referring to the lens hood that does nothing of that sort.

Or, “You must be from Bombay. No one this smart can be from anywhere but Bombay.” This from a sixty-something old fart who hasn’t taken his eyes off my boobs.

Or, “You have to take a special picture of me. Just you and me.” Followed by hysterical smiling, winks and attempts at further innuendo.

And the usual being-mistaken-as-a-foreigner routine. “What country are you from?” in broken English.

The competition from the local and so-called “official” photographers is quite another saga. No respect for the other lens person’s space, trying their best to block my view, going wherever I go, replicating angles I’m shooting, making the couple’s expressions worse by asking them to pose and when nothing else works, taking pictures of me while I work. Their lighting sucks, they direct their flash into faces, they smell & I hate them for their doggedness. They’re on their feet for hours on end.

While I have no intentions of being just a wedding photographer, I can see this is part of my calling.