Guerrilla Shooting Tips
Hello to my photographer’s community. I have been working as a photographer for many years and through time I have learnt a lot, as we all do. Every self-made photographer has to shoot guerrilla once in his/her career, I also did and still do sometimes. A planned location is always better but guerrilla shooting has its own fun. We have recently shot Guerrilla for my recent shoot and the theme of the shoot was very feminine with a neutral look. I knew that I had to shoot this one in nature, around the trees under the sunlight. We have shot this one in Mumbai and the rains here are merciless but we were lucky. The weather was gloomy and pleasant, the sunlight was like a pearl on the skin. I did not use any other equipment apart from my camera and 50 mm f1.8 lens.
Styling: As I am a big fan of femininity, I had to style the model (Megha Aggarwal) with this feminine look. She has a petite body and small face with big hair that immediately made me imagine this look. Hence, I requested the makeup artist (Priyanka Negi) to go for a very neutral makeup to achieve this feeling of a soft, feminine country girl. We have half tied the hair with ribbon to give it a more feminine look.
Location: Here comes the fun part. We all had decided to do this look at the beach first but it was a rainy season in Mumbai and the ocean was flooded. You know what they say, “Whatever happens, happens for good.” When I saw the neckline of this dress and there is not much skin show, plus the sleeves are also closing with buttons. A country girl somewhere in England came into my mind, this dress is not as romantic as it should be for a beach. I wanted to shoot this one in nature and immediately thought of a place where we can find a lot of greens in Mumbai and that’s Pali Hill. I have visited that area so many times because it makes me meditate. There is not much traffic there and the streets over there are peaceful. We were going to shoot this on the streets with the background of trees and beautiful houses there, but we landed something better or maybe best according to the situation. We saw a house there and we took that house as a background in one of our photos.
There was a female talking over the phone and looking at us smiling, she had a huge garden. It seems she has her own house in Mumbai and the garden was very well maintained. I saw a sweetness on that lady’s face and she smiled at me with warm energy. That’s when my instinct told me that this garden could be our location for the shoot. Anyone who stays in Mumbai knows that how hard it is to get a house owner convinced to let us shoot at their property and they almost never get convinced without money, especially if the area is Pali Hill. I don’t know what I was thinking, I just entered the house with a big smile and requested the lady, if we can take few clicks in their garden. She spoke to a man in the house and that man was generous enough to allow us inside their property to use their garden. I was surprised. I actually did not expect “YES” for an answer.
This actually happens every time whenever I shoot Guerrilla. I decide an area to shoot and when we reach that location, we always find a way to get great images in a public place, or most of the time we are permitted to take photos in cafes and restaurants for free if we request. I would highly recommend not to invade anyone’s privacy. My team and I have always landed the best without planning. If you are a photographer who is starting a career and feel lost sometimes as to how things will turn out, believe me, everything will fall into place once you dare to start. Your confidence and positive aura help a lot in convincing people and a smile goes a long way.
Photoshoot Locations in Mumbai: when it comes to photoshoot locations, we just need a small chunk of background that needs to look good. I have shot on busy roads and made it look empty without editing. It depends on the photographer most of the time to use the location wisely. A photographer always sees the beauty that others can’t see. There are few go-to locations I have when I shoot guerrilla.
1. Fort Mumbai
4. Aksa beach/Madh Island
7. Bandra West (Mt Mary and Pali Hill)
Camera kit details: I always shoot with Canon 6D until the client does not have any specific requirements. It’s a great camera to start your full-frame journey with. For this shoot, I have used 50mm f1.8 because we were shooting a portfolio, otherwise, the requirement of a lens changes according to the shoot we are doing. 50mm is a great lens to shoot portraits and personality shots. If you are only taking headshots or mid shots then go for 50mm f1.2 or 85mm f1.2, you would love the quality and especially the bokeh effect.