A catch up Feature with Sahil Lodha

Tell us about your series FUR. What is it about? The images in this set are from the photo series I did in my first semester at Paris College of Art. Our brief was to create content for the brand LONGCHAMP using some of their products. When we were at the flagship store of the brand the Violet Color FUR coat and its design stood out to me and having shot some images on FUR on film before I thought it could be interesting selecting that as my product for the brief. I wanted to shoot this assignment with Ann the model who I knew would carry it off well with her lively and outgoing personality. Patricia from Makeupforever Academy did the makeup and this made some of the images stand out really well... Eventually I made a short film and made some photographs shooting outdoors using natural light in some Parisian locations. 

From the series  FUR

From the series FUR

Who or what inspired this work? I was quite keen on creating content for a Fashion brand as I had not done something along those lines before. Sometimes the person you shoot with makes a whole lot of difference and shooting with Ann April was incredible. I got introduced to her by my professor during a workshops at Paris College of Art. I knew instantly that I had to shoot a story with her at some point. It was also the first time I made and edited a short film. The way it was shot and the way it turned out had a lot to with the models personality; I just let it flow. Also, shooting at iconic Parisian locations was an inspiration.

Is this work finished or have you got any further ideas for it? This work is finished. I learnt a few things about video editing in the process and I now need to apply those better when I work with a brand again in the future.

From the series  FUR

From the series FUR

From the series  FUR

From the series FUR

For your series Fancy a Whim!? you worked in Bombay with a clothing brand. Tell us more. This was a collaboration with the clothing brand and it was exciting to be working on a fashion editorial in Bombay. It was quite challenging as the creative direction; choosing who and how and where to shoot and also selecting the clothes was all done by myself. So part of the styling and creative direction was both handled by myself. Normally I just take the photographs but I loved the fact that with this work, I could be in full creative control of the everything. 

It was shot at Madh Island close to the Madh Fort with a backdrop of dried fish. The place added a lot of texture and I shot everything right before sunset. My aim was also to catch the warm evening light.

I've developed an interest for outdoor fashion stories in the last year or so; it allows me to let the models be themselves and also allows more room for the stylist to give directions and gives so much more flow to the story. I wanted to work with Aarshi Banerjee the actress and model who was recently seen in the film MAYA by Mia Hansen Love. I'm glad it all worked out in the end and I left Bombay the day after and got all my film scanned at my lab in Paris. 

From the series  Fancy a Whim!?

From the series Fancy a Whim!?

How did this opportunity arise? I had a week left in Bombay and some extra film on me and I thought to myself “I have to shoot one story where I manage everything.” For previous work I made in Bombay I had a stylist/moodboard/team alongside me and I mostly only had to photograph. With this one, I wanted to try and see if I was capable enough to do everything on my own. So I worked to make it happen! I contacted the brand myself and sourced the clothes, I selected the people I wanted to shoot with. Purvi at WhimBypoorvi was supportive enough and appreciated what I brought to the table. I had the clothes at my disposal and both the models I shot with were very warm and friendly. I want to make a lot of work for clothing brands going ahead and with the rich texture of the Indian textile and handloom I now have work to show when I approach other clothing brands in India and even further afield.

From the series  Fancy a Whim!?

From the series Fancy a Whim!?

You used a make-up artist, stylist, and models for this location shoot. How did you project manage this? To be honest I've had days when I feel it’s all worthless, I am neither making too much money nor is this work going to be seen or have any significance but once the pictures are washed, developed and scanned it fills me up with new creative energy. I love seeing the end product which is always so satisfying. I have to thank all the makeup artists, models and stylists I had the opportunity to work with the last few months. They brought in a new energy and believed in what I wanted to make visually. It was also refreshing to work in my own country. I realised my work has so much more significance working in my own country as an artist. There is plenty to explore there but I wish to work for bigger brands and with better budgets moving forward.

From the series  Fancy a Whim!?

From the series Fancy a Whim!?

Have you got any tips for gaining experience with shooting with models or on location, or even working with brands? Shoot shoot shoot! Write ideas down. Hustle hustle hustle! When you start out you have to make things happen on your own and then things will fall into place if you bring that sort of passion and energy into your work. One thing will lead to another.

I work a lot with instinct so the only thing I would say is follow your instinct. It’s a very hard profession to be in as you need to be extremely self motivated and have a lot of persistence and patience. I am actually incredibly impatient and want things to fall in place very fast but I'm learning to slow down and not rush into things too much as well.

From the series  Fancy a Whim!?

From the series Fancy a Whim!?