Our first Photo Shoot and The Bactrian Hoard

Arastan Studio Photoshoot

Arastan Studio Photoshoot

We had our first photo shoot today and it was quite an experience. My neighbour, Sudhir Ramchandran, offered to do it for us. I was excited and terrified. Sudhir is a bit of a legend and also a perfectionist. You don’t waste the opportunity and you certainly do not waste his time! A call to a friend who is a stylist (we were so much easier than her other project which was to recreate rural North Indian milkmen and tomato vendors in a Bangalore studio with no less than 20 cans of milk and 800kgs of tomatoes) who worked with our now invaluable visual merchandiser, Prabhu, to plan the shoot. Thankfully it all went well. The honest truth is travelling to remote places without speaking the language or being able to read the script, eating ‘interesting’ food, negotiating with hand gestures and calculators doesn’t scare me but I do find make up and getting in front of the camera utterly daunting 🙂

For me, this was as expected, a masterclass in how a photoshoot is done. However there was something far more compelling. Very rarely in life have I met leaders who truly inspire. People at the top of their game who have the vision combined with patience and humility to carry others of all experience levels with them. A previous boss and now mentor, Ranjit Khosla, is one such person and in my view Sudhir Ramchandran another. His team are superbly co-ordinated, anticipating every need, quietly confident in their ability and I can see why. He discusses every change with them, explaining why he thinks the change is necessary and taking their opinion. All done with extreme patience and always looking to move everyone to achieve a better output including himself. Absolutely fascinating to watch and learn from. And all done with as much precision and care for us, perhaps his smallest project, as for the Maharaja of Mysore or the Government of Singapore.

On a slightly different note, in my search for inspiration for a new jewellery collection I found this fascinating story of the Bactrian Hoard. A true legacy of the Silk Route that shows the cultural exchange between people of these lands. The photos of the jaw dropping artefacts are worth browsing through!

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