Home >> Podcasts >> Vibhor Yadav on Building FPV Drones, & Evolving as a Photographer & Filmmaker
Show Notes

We’re back with another fantastic episode of Photosynthesis!

In today’s episode, we sat down with Vibhor Yadav, a versatile photographer and filmmaker. With an impressive portfolio spanning various industries, including interiors, lifestyle, travel, and more, he shared his opinions and experiences in the realm of visual storytelling.

The conversation started with Vibhor tracing his journey in photography, starting from music and interior photography. He discussed how accessibility to photography has evolved over the years.

He talked about his deep interest in the technical and design aspects of photography, specifically his expertise in drone photography. Delving into the technicalities, Vibhor also discussed the meaning and ways to get started with FPV drones, their costs, trends in FPV drone usage, and the legality of drones in India. The conversation then steered to explore the use of FPV drones and drones in brand works across various industries.

Vibhor also discussed the difference between interior photography and lifestyle photography, and the sustainability of architecture photography as a career.

He talked about his transition from photography to videography, discussing changes in workflow, client preferences, and the evolving landscape of online media. Vibhor discussed his documentary approach to capture moments to upkeep the authenticity and storytelling. He even underscored the importance of creating vision decks in the pre-production process to the post-production intricacies such as editing and music selection.

Finally, Vibhor shared insights into the rise of phone photography and the capabilities of the latest smartphone cameras.

A huge thank you to Vibhor Yadav for sharing his insights. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review. Until then, keep capturing those moments that tell a thousand stories.

Listen to the full Podcast on Spotify

Check out Vibhor Yadav’s stunning work on Instagram – Vibhor Yadav

Check out – Vibhor Yadav YouTube Channel

Check out – Vibhor Yadav’s Website

Check out – Vibhor Yadav’s Works onBehance

References mentioned in the podcast –
Anubis
RC Mumbai
Sun Seeker App
Epidemic
Artlist
Moment lens

Looking out for video production services? Try Us – We take care of the entire video production process. We combine tech & process improvements with a national network of creative professionals – to produce videos fast, affordably and professionally.
Instagram : IndieVisual Instagram
LinkedIn : IndieVisual LinkedIn

See more of our videos:
IndieVisual Clips: IndieVisual Youtube
IndieVisual Shorts: IndieVisual Youtube Shorts
Photosynthesis (Podcasts): Photosynthesis (Podcasts)

Stay tuned ! More fun-filled and insightful chats to follow !

Subscribe to the show, stay up to date

Looking to work on Exciting Video Campaigns for Big brands and Startups?

We’ve got the projects, and we’ll handle the admin. So you can focus on being creative – and leave the rest to us.

Transcript

Vibhor Yadav Photographer & Filmmaker 

Vineet  

Hello and welcome to Photosynthesis, individuals podcast where we talk to some of the most creative people in India about the art, the business, the culture, the craft, everything about videography and photography. Today we have with us an old friend of mine, Vibhor Yadav who’s, I don’t even know how to describe what all he does, he’s very prolific. He’s done a lot of interiors work which is how I first met him. He’s done a lot of documentary type storytelling work for brands. 

lot of commercial work. He’s done hotels, he’s done restaurants, he’s done a lot of drone photography and he says he’s built two drones during Covid. Hi Vibhor, welcome, very good to have you on the show. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Hi, Vinit, how’s it going? 

Thank you man, good to be here. 

Vineet  

I want to very quickly jump off into where did you start? Like what kind of photography did you start with and why? 

Vibhor Yadav 

I honestly started, like if I go 12-13 years back, I started with music photography and interiors photography. Music because we had friends in the music industry and they always want photos of their gigs and interiors because I was studying architecture and I had some seniors who had their father’s firm or their parents’ firm. 

and they need some pictures for their portfolio. And I thought it’ll be a good way to build my portfolio as well and kind of make some extra money in college. So yeah, that’s how I started. 

Vineet  

Nice and it’s been so it’s been close to 10 years now. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Professional your opinions. 

Vineet 

And how did you get into photography to begin with? As a like, even as a hobby, what triggered the entry into the hobby? 

Vibhor Yadav  

to begin with. 

Vibhor Yadav  

I remember I had this phone in school that was the Nokia 6303 and it was like a 10,000 or 8,000 phone but it had a really good camera for that time. It was great and it had a nice flash as well and so I really experimented with that. Then another good friend of mine Dhruv got a DSLR so we started experimenting with that with you know funny. 

double exposures and long exposure photos in the night. So that’s how it started as a fun activity for us. But then it kept growing and we just kept experimenting. And this is back when like when not a lot of people had DSLRs unlike these times. I think every third person has a DSLR in their house owned by some person in the family for sure. But yeah, this is like 15, 16, 18 years ago. 

Luthausen. 

7 I think 7 or 8 when we were in 10th or 11th class. 

Vineet  

It’s actually quite amazing, photography and videography has become so much more accessible, not just due to phones. Phones is in fact the obvious answer. Everyone’s got at least a decent level camera now in their pocket at all times. I’m an expert. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah, like a decent level camera or a very good phone or like a Vivo phone that has inbuilt lenses these days and probably a drone as well when people are travelling with their families and they are taking videos just for fun. Weird times but yeah, exciting times as well. 

Vineet  

And you come across as someone who is also very interested in the technology behind photography. 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah, absolutely. Since I told you I come from the architecture background, so I love design. So it’s not just the product or the output that I love. I also get into the small details, the kind of material used, the design, the build quality and you know the output it gets for sure. So yeah, that’s something I really get into those details for sure. 

Vineet  

And I want to start off with what I think is a slightly more technical part of the photography world which is drones. Where in fact most of the people I know into drone photography do love getting into the technicals, the engineering side of things. What is FPV all about? 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

FPV is basically a drone but it can’t hover. So it’s a freestyle drone and it’s a custom-built drone. Obviously DJI has commercialized that aspect as well in some way. But the real FPV drones are custom made with like unique parts and motors and you know a lot of engineer side of things. Like people 

do the full wiring themselves and that’s how they make the FPV drones and they can do the dives they can do free motion like that they can do they can get into tight spaces and do clips so it’s like a freestyle phone  

Vineet  

It just feels like the footage from FE drones is much faster. Much, it like, like the drone is moving much faster than a regular hover type. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah, it can I think easily go beyond 80 kmph to 120 kmph I think. I think recently Red Bull made a really fast FPV drone for their F1 racing as well. So that was I think close to 200 kmph. 

Vineet  

Wow. How are you not scared of like before we get into it, how are you not scared of crashing that thing into some wall or something? 

Vibhor Yadav  

You are always scared. I am not a pro at FPV but I love building that FPV part because during COVID I was, you know, not, I didn’t have a lot to do so kind of grew with that hobby and started building myself. So, but I won’t call myself a pro with FPV but I do hire FPV drone people whenever needed for my projects. 

Vineet  

how do you not crash into things all the time at 80 to 100 kilometers an hour? How do you control it or does it come with sensors? 

Vibhor Yadav  

headphones. Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav 

Actually a good FPV, it has no sensors and a good FPV pilot, even the best FPV pilot will grasp because even the landing process of the FPV is such that you can topple the drone or but it’s made of you know a carbon fiber frame and it’s like build quality is like way beyond any other commercial drone so it’s very unlike DJI drones. 

They’re meant to be, you know, crashed and bumped around. Yeah. 

Vineet  

But these would also be very expensive, much more expensive than a typical DJI Mavic or 

Vibhor Yadav 

Surprisingly, not expensive than the DJI but the whole process of buying the goggles, buying the parts, buying the kit to make that, buying a soldering kit to maintain your connections and a controller and extra batteries, battery chargers, things like that add on but then once you have a kit you can make a drone at a very cheap price compared to buying a new drone from DJI. 

Vineet 

Like what figures are we talking about approximately? 

Vibhor Yadav  

Between 30 ,000 to 1 .5 is the initial investment but yeah first you have to kind of work on the simulator on your PC or laptop and learn the FPV skills there and then you can go out and try the FPV because it’s actually scary right it’s dangerous like they’re open propellers and if you’re not good you can actually hurt someone else so… 

Vineet  

That’s it. Oh wow. 

Vineet  

positive. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

So can you recommend something for someone wanting to begin? Like where should one begin? What’s the first step? 

Vibhor Yadav  

Honestly, I started on YouTube like there are so many good people on YouTube who Teach you from scratch like from the basics of what is that how to how to buy your parts how to buy the first initial Goggles or the controller for a beginner and then slowly if you are good or you are into it, then you can slowly, you know upgrade your Tech or whatever you’re buying 

Vineet 

That’s very cool. This is very competitive then because even given the dubious sort of availability slash legality of drones in India, the DJI stuff, everything ends up coming through the gray market mostly, right? So cost of a regular drone is also tricky. How is legality now? Because it seems like this is gray area where you are like, you can get licensed by the DGCA itself and you can operate drones in India. So that’s fully legal. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, yeah, so close. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

But buying a new one still seems in this dubious territory where DJI has a support network, but not a sales network. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. Yeah. Like even if you buy the drone from someone, you won’t get an invoice. Which is so weird. Like I can get everything, but I won’t get an invoice from any reseller because that’s the gray area you’re talking about. And this way, like we can’t even as business owners, as production houses, we can’t even claim the GST value of it, you know?  

So these FPV parts you can buy online through resellers who are pretty prominent in Mumbai like Anubis and RC Mumbai and one or two more resellers and everything is coming from China eventually so I just don’t see the point of banning or blocking China things because eventually everything is coming from there so I don’t see the point of 

banning things in India. 

Vineet  

And it’s also like, iPhones are legal, right? They’re all made in China. I mean, some build on India, but most of them. Anyhow, that’s a separate discussion for another day. So that is, okay, so that’s how someone begins, first doing the research, because there’s a lot more DIY here than in a typical hovering drone. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Actually if you don’t want to go down that route where you have to make everything you can actually buy pre -built drones from a lot of resellers but at the time when I started this that wasn’t the case but now in the last three years a lot of it has changed so you can buy like custom built drones by someone else which is a very cleaner build because they’re pros and they do that regularly so you know the soldering part of 

the wires will be clean compared to what you would do initially doing a soldering for the first time in your life. So you can go down that route as well, which is pretty cool. 

Vineet 

So it’s like, to take a weird analogy, like assembling your own PC versus getting a pre -assembled kit from one of these computers. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Exactly, yeah. Exactly. Same thing. 

Vineet  

So, but how is it catching on FPV versus regular drones especially since we work on the commercial side. I want to ask. So one is, is drone videography becoming sort of ubiquitous for customers, for brands, for B2B sites, where are they right now? Just assuming here of course. 

What we need to know today, we are doing something, we are doing something, doing something, something, we are we are we we are… 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

In some way, yes. But I would say the drones will never go away because the drones bring a very smooth aspect to the filming side. Whereas the FPV brings a very dynamic shots aspect to the commercial side. So I feel I think in the last two years, there came a time where every production house or every client wanted a FPV shot. 

Vineet 

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

in the middle even if it did not make sense you know like we want an FPV shot because it’s cool so I think those trends come and go and it is slowly not dying but it’s slowly reducing for sure because not for not for every documentary I don’t think you need an FPV shot because it doesn’t make sense right or 

Vineet 

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Yeah, I can imagine it’s a high energy sort of brand. Right, like Mountain Dew, Red Bull are the very very obvious cases. Because they are sports allied. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Exactly. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah or even an automotive adventure bike or car then it makes sense to put in that FPV shot but not for every ad you have to you know or for every music video okay one FPV shot we need for sure so I think in the cinema line also it has come but if you actually plan those shots and you know direct the shot that it’s gonna be a one take shot where we just use this FPV drone which has a cinema lifter 

Vineet  

Thank you. 

Vibhor Yadav 

and a cinema rig like a red camera on the drone and we shoot that well planned in one shot then it makes sense but if it’s just for the motion of it and you have to show that it’s an FPV shot I don’t think that’s gonna stay for a longer time and I feel FPV pilots should also you know start ideating in that sense where they make their tech interesting and their output interesting. 

Vineet  

you 

Vibhor Yadav  

that can be used in a better way. 

Vineet 

How would you look at it? So let’s say now getting over to the usage side of things. One is of course hobby usage. Which of course brings with it a lot of very interesting areas. I remember when in fact the first use case I saw something like this was, I don’t remember, a drone that never actually came out with a limit. It was where you just, there’s this video of a skier just tossing it in the air and just following him as he goes. Like I think it was back then. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

It follows you – Oh that was a scam by the way That – Yeah, that drone never made it into production and I don’t think a lot of people who backed it, they got their money back. They did not get their money back. And I have a friend who did back that project and I think he lost what? About 900 pounds? Dollars or something? Yeah, 400 dollars, something like that. Yeah. Yeah. 

Vineet  

That was a scam, right? Yeah, it never happened. 

Vineet  

Peace. 

Vineet  

full price on a Kickstarter. Wow! But yeah, that is the first FPV -ish use case I remember. So hobby usage is obviously one thing on the commercial side. How would if a client says, okay, I need FPV. How would you go about like, or let’s actually let’s broaden this discussion to drones. How would you look at using drones in a commercial project? What are the different kinds of use cases where drones are actually applicable versus, okay, client has asked you to put it. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. Hmm. 

Vineet  

If the client gives you full freedom, use it or not, you have creative ownership. When would you decide, I need a drone for this or I need an FPV drone for this. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. I’ll give you an example. We recently did a production project for Royal Enfield where I had the drone as well with me and I had this FPV guy that I hired as well. But for that particular project, since the brief involved a lot of dynamic shots, I did not use the drone. I just used the drone shots, FPV drone shots. 

So it totally depends on the brief, the kind of vibe you’re going for and you have to take that call as per the edit, the pacing, the music and you know the usage eventually of what you’re shooting. So a collection of that makes you decide if you want to use a drone, FEV drone or nothing more aerial tech at all. 

Vineet  

Yeah, yeah.  

Vibhor Yadav  

See for me I got the drone in 2016 I think and at that time not a lot of people in India at least that I know of had a drone or you know so the first drone I got was the Mavic 1 Mavic Pro 1 now the Mavic Pro Cine 3 Pro has come out so it’s 

Vineet  

What does it create in the actual room? 

Because of one. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

a long way and I think there are like 20 more models of DJI drones in between. 

Vineet  

they are getting the naming convention from the iPhone. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, so that time I got the drone because I know it might sound funny but as an architect I’ve always made so many plans and you know seen things in a top -down view. So I wanted to see what I can do through a top -down view with the camera. So that’s why I got the drone and I’ve got like pretty interesting landscapes and pretty interesting angles through that. 

So that’s where my drone journey began. Hmm. 

Vineet  

So in fact, so that’s an interesting one. So let’s talk about architecture for a second.  

Vibhor Yadav  

What are the? 

Vineet  

architecture what are the use cases for it. 

Vibhor Yadav  

use cases because of my background i think i have that eye where i can you know read the architecture detail or see the perspectives and not not just in terms of architecture but also the interior aspect of it so i tend to see how the light is you know hitting the textures and how it’s shaping the whole built environment or the space so i think that helped me 

build my portfolio in the architecture space and I’m like otherwise also in my other line of work as well I’m always looking out for you know perspectives, lines, shapes or color contrast, color theory all of that so that study studying architecture really helped me so I have zero regrets of those five years and into architecture because of that. 

Vineet  

But how does it link to where?  

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

For a drone footage. I think there are two aspects to this photo and video. Photo being again you know how the light hits at different times of day. So it’s creating a lot of shadows. It’s creating a lot of shapes and interesting spaces because of that light hitting you know different things through the day. 

So that way I think you can get a lot of interesting angles with shadows and other compositions. So that really helps. Yeah see so for interior soft light is usually better and that’s what you’ve done. So you’re making the light softer. 

Vineet  

Wow, I’ll do a full video about it. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. 

Vineet  

So that’s an interesting one and also. 

Vineet  

photography and videography different use cases right? You started out as a photographer as most people in this field were 10 years ago but now video has a absolutely different world how have you seen your own trajectory change because of that because it’s a in a way it’s completely different scale right photography versus stitching together a video because there’s so much more production so many more moving parts so many more people involved how have client expectations changed? 

How has your work profile changed? 

Vibhor Yadav  

I started with video because video was something that really I was really into it as a follower but I never kind of you know implemented that in my work or experimented with that also I did not have a very good kit when I started out I started out with a very basic DSLR then slowly built my kit to what I have now in the last 10 years unlike you know other people who are starting out with like the best of the best tech 

Vineet  

Good. 

Vibhor Yadav  

as soon as they’re into you know this line of work so my yeah but then it makes it it makes sense for you so and if you can afford it and it makes sense for your business then why not plus you also you i’ve seen 

Vineet  

I have a 2 lakh rupee webcam, my A7 Pro and I do it as a hobby. I do it as a hobby and can I afford 2 lakhs in a hobby is a question I don’t actually want to answer. 

Vibhor Yadav 

You will be surprised like you know my friend’s father he’s a wildlife photographer hobbyist photographer and he has better lenses than me so that’s okay so Huge yeah Yeah like good one will be like 6 -12 

Vineet  

wildlife photography is one of the best I really want to start because each lens or those lenses are put by because of physics they are like huge they are heavy and they run into the light yeah so you saying you started off with you? 

Vibhor Yadav  

I started with photography but slowly got into filmmaking and I would say in the last three years only I’ve really started applying the real video science or the you know the tech aspect to it because before that I was shooting but probably my shutter to 

Vineet  

not the photography. 

Vibhor Yadav  

a frame aspect was wrong or my framing was wrong, my aspect ratio was wrong but now that I can actually call myself as a learning filmmaker because I know the concepts, I know the basics and I can do the framing better. Yeah. 

Vineet  

Yeah, so how has life changed now? One is the technical side. Learning about filmmaking. Is it now, does each shoot become longer? Are you making more? Do you necessarily have to make more on each shoot because it takes more time? We are a team now. Versus, because photography is fairly a solo endeavour. In fact, even when we were doing the interiors work, you would come in with your tripod and camera. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. This was what? At least seven years ago or six years? 

Vineet 

I think you would spend 2 hours, 2 to 1 hour shooting on a bigger project and 4 days later you would send me the photo. Right? That’s what I remember. That’s a solo project. This is 2018 -19 I would think. 

Vibhor Yadav  

18 I think yeah but my workflow has changed a lot from then like now I am very selective with my projects and even if I’m taking up that project I will do a proper brief and ask for the deliverables and I limit the deliverables I ask for the look and feel I ask for references 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

and then I make a mood board then I do a recce if the budget allows that then with the recce I know okay I have to move this stuff I don’t want that on the shoot day I want this instead and I have an app on my iPhone which is the Sunseeker app and through that I can see where the sun will be at what time and where the sun will be at what time and where the sun will be at what time and where the sun will be at what time  

will be hitting which area so this way I can plan my schedule okay from 9 to 11 a .m. I can do this area and so the workflow has completely changed and and probably I spend triple the amount on edits now instead of you know just like color correcting and sending those images to the client so yeah that growth aspect has definitely come into play and 

Yeah, I give every project more time now, so Oh, yeah, so Yeah Who? Aratna, okay, nice, yeah Nice Ah, yeah 

Vineet  

And you have a favorite kind of project. 

really like doing a particular kind of industry or domain. Royal Enfield I’m guessing is fun for everyone who works for them. I met one of the marketing managers at an NGO I volunteered at for photography. Does she remember you? 

So, yeah, yeah. So she’s a. 

So she was saying it was great fun working with you on that shoot. So yeah, any favourites in terms of clients or in terms of like domains from a creative perspective. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Automotive, travel, documentary and interiors and lifestyle. So I think a mix of these five things is what I do and that involves obviously interior work as well because a lot of 

of hotels now want lifestyle work as well with the interior images and the architecture images because they want to show how the spaces are used by people as well and not just through the interior work. So it’s a combination of these things. Showing people their… Exactly. Yes. 

Vineet  

So in fact, interior versus lifestyle from a creative perspective is the biggest difference would be the use showing usage and showing people there. Like showing the empty spa to show opulence versus showing people using the spa. Imagine yourself. 

Vibhor Yadav  

So that scale aspect that human aspect comes into the picture and also I feel those pictures are not too wide compared to the interior shots like interior shots are usually ultra wide those are the standard shots, but then Yeah, 14 to 20 mm, but these these aspects more give a little more depth to the space more color more life I feel 

Vineet  

I am guessing 14 to 18 mm is your standard. 

Vineet  

How does the lifestyle portrait work? That would be just like a 24 to 35, like showing the environment. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, 24 -50mm works sometimes. Yeah, 24 -50mm works. Yeah, but my favorite focal length for that will be 35mm for sure. Because that’s also what our human eyes see. 

Vineet  

you’re still focusing on the… 

it. 

Vibhor Yadav  

that depth so I think it’s more relatable for the audience or the person as well that way  

Vineet  

So one last question on the architecture photography side before we move on. How sustainable is it as a career to someone starting out? Let’s say there is an architecture 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah. 

Vineet  

into last photography and wants to combine these love. Is it sustainable full time or do you have to sort of do a bunch of everything to live a good life? 

Vibhor Yadav  

No, I feel if you’re really good, you can just do architecture or interior photography and but it totally depends on the kind of clients you have. Like I know clients who pay, you know, really bad money and expect the world out of you. And I know very good clients who pay well and also give you the creative freedom of, you know, doing what you want and how you want. So it totally depends on the balance of that. 

And there is no straight answer or a straight way to do this. But I really feel because of my experiences, I’ve kind of moved more into advertising side of work. And I keep a balance of docu -goo travel work because I love doing that the most, even if I’m not making the same amount of money through those projects. But a balance of that really keeps you going. And it is important as well. 

Vineet  

Now which is the perfect segue into our next section which is docu travel commercial work. This is a fairly unique field that I didn’t even know really or I never really thought of it as a unique field within commercial photography or commercial videography which is a documentary style of videography for brands. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

I think documentary brain automatically goes to 90 -0 history level even though they are talking about… 

discovery. 

Vineet  

informing people, nature, history, geography. Where do brands and where does commercial work? 

differentiates it from regular brand work. 

Vibhor Yadav  

I feel brands these days want more authenticity in their imagery as well. So I feel that’s where I come in because I’ve been told that my pictures makes the other person feel like they were there. And that’s a docu approach that I have for my work. Even if it’s a commercial work, I have that docu aspect. So like for example, like… 

Vineet  

Hmm. 

Vibhor Yadav  

I don’t like doing those stiff poses even when I’m doing that lifestyle shoot. I would want them to, you know, moving, keep moving and actually doing that motion. So it’s just the body language is more organic. So from that aspect or even in the documentary aspect where I’m actually capturing everything that’s happening like as it is. So there’s no pretence. There’s no, there’s no staging. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav 

and that authenticity factor is there. So which is what I really like doing and I’m like content and happy of doing that as well. 

Vineet  

which is amazing and the travel doesn’t come. Traveling through very interesting mountains. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, exactly. 

Not just mountains, like from south to the mountains, like I’ve seen some pretty amazing places in India and around the world. And yeah, that I only could have done because of my interest in that field. 

Now docu also makes me think of storytelling as a bigger aspect. 

Vineet  

much of this is actually storytelling and how you define storytelling  

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, I mean like documentary is a very broad term and I feel documentary is not just documenting the visual aspect of that story or that but also telling the essence, the emotion of it, right? And that should come out from your visual elements or imagery without even a description. That’s the real documentary that I feel. 

And you don’t have to write a very big long caption to describe you know what was the situation, what ish or he was doing. If the picture is good like it’ll talk to you yourself right? 

Vineet  

People read and some people read captions I used to write captions like I don’t know if you have my Instagram is basically just cat photos  

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, yeah, people do. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

People do. People do. 

Vibhor Yadav  

But yeah like the attention span is so little like you don’t know what they want anymore like I feel there’s a shift happening in 2024 where people want more authenticity again instead of you know short form content like people want the real stuff now the long format format content now on YouTube and other social media handles well so that again 

Vineet  

Like reels have also gotten into a stage where they are fairly… 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, like that viral thing at least is fading. I’m so glad because I think people are saturated and they’re just like done with that stuff and they want something authentic which is relatable, right? 

Vineet  

95 % of photographers would be so happy that it is reducing. There is a constant urge to breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe and nothing else. It does seem to be going well. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, and I think every four or five years this kind of transition comes and we’re entering into a new world I feel with what I see on YouTube, with the recommendations I see on YouTube and other social media handles. So it’s changing for sure and I’m glad that it’s finally happening. 

Vineet  

Yeah, very happy. So now let’s get into a bit of the, since you’re now making proper videos, well produced stuff. 

you are in charge of the project directly, you obviously then have multiple people doing multiple things, you are doing it all for a big project. So what is the pre -production process like and production and post? How do you actually begin? Client says here is the PO, here is the order. What happens then? 

Vibhor Yadav  

So usually a brief comes from the client and what I’ll do is I’ll go through the brief, understand the project, know the deliverables and then start making my deck. A deck is essentially everything and it is your vision on a document. That is what a deck is. So it will have things like a mood board, 

the visual treatment, the look and feel, the cast if required, the locations, the scouting, the schedule, the time line, the delivery of deliverables as a time line, post the shoot, what will happen, what all will come. So that’s essentially the deck and you keep updating as you come with new things in a brief. 

And obviously a lot of times the brief changes, new things come up. So for a recent project, I think I spent about three weeks into pre -production. And the end product was so, so, so good and the process was so smooth because everything was taken care of. Everything was taken into consideration and everything was pre -planned. So I feel like I want to do more of that. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Wow. 

Vibhor Yadav 

like that kind of detail again if the budget allows right so not every shoot has that kind of budget so once in five months you can do that kind of projects and also do some regular work through that time so 

Vineet  

We get some requests in our own video production team for people who actually want to make a Shah Rukh Khan and Tom Cruise movie and the budget is 10 ,000. So, and I’m only slightly exaggerating. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, yeah, slight, I’m sure, I feel you. The references are from Vimeo and even the lighting budget won’t cover the budget they are giving so that’s the thing, sadly. 

Vineet  

Thank 

Oh yeah, lighting also we have to get into but we will get into that in the production side. So yeah, so what else do you do before you get to the shoot? What else is pre -drawn till all the way till okay shoot day? What else is involved? 

Vibhor Yadav  

Uh -huh. 

Vibhor Yadav  

So again, the look and feel is very important, right? Because if you know that vision, then only you can replicate or start creating around that. Right? So look and feel, I usually use a mix of things. I use frame set, I use Pinterest, I use Vimeo. And so just like small screen grabs from the work. And I follow a lot of good DOPs and directors on Instagram. So I’m always saving. 

Vineet  

Hmm. 

Vibhor Yadav  

you know stuff on Instagram as well so that’s the good thing about Instagram like there are so many talented people out there sharing their beautiful work so if you have the right eye and you’re following the right people you can learn so much and they’re showing their lighting diagrams they’re showing how they work and you can keep learning every day through that so just like pick something from here and there and have a vision ready. 

Vineet 

Hmm. 

Vibhor Yadav  

and try to create something unique so that way it doesn’t look like it’s the same thing. So that’s also very important. 

Vineet 

Yeah, and then let’s now the technical side of the production. So you have a course you have a shortlist ready. You have your team ready. What’s your team like for? 

Vibhor Yadav  

Team for a shoot can vary from just me, honestly, to a four man team, to a 55 person crew. Like it actually varies. 

Vineet  

Thank you. 

Vineet  

That can’t be easy. You see you’ve led a 55 % crew on one of your shoots. Oh God. That can’t be fun. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, multiple times. 

Vineet  

That sounds like a lot. That sounds like a lot. Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

So like people, I’m there, there are two DOPs, there’s an assistant photographer, there is an AD, there are three producers, there are assistants, there are light men, there are models, stylist, stylist assistant, makeup team, then if other things are involved, spot. 

Rentals, rentals teams and you know so this way it just keeps adding as per the shoot as per the you know the kind of budget or the production that you’re handling so it varies but uh 

Vineet  

But have clients seen a bit of a change over the years because earlier clients were doing all this effort and they were getting a TV ad campaign which would last a while, which they would use for like 4 -5 -6 months or maybe they’re using it in the IPL, right? So it’s a big splash. Now it’s online and you know how online media works, right? Everything disappears in 3 days. So how have clients… 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. Yeah. 

Vineet  

thinking how has clients thinking changed with that over the years, that stuff disappears very fast, nothing sticks around. Attention spans are of course now time, but even the algorithm just keeps changing stuff so fast. How has that changed clients thinking and your thinking? 

Vibhor Yadav  

I mean the attention span is definitely under 15 seconds for sure. So everything comes down to okay we need a 16 by 9 aspect ratio but we also need a 9 by 16 ratio aspect ratio. So it’s very difficult to do that because sometimes they want both but then we can’t shoot vertical because they need the 16 by 9 aspect as well but then we can’t frame it in the best way possible because of that 9 by 16 ratio. 

Vineet  

Mm. 

Vibhor Yadav  

So it’s very limiting but then the clients are also accommodating now. Like they know that it’s a need more than it being essential. So the ascents should not go but we need all aspect ratios. So you have to adapt. You have to really adapt and think of everything in a vertical aspect as well from the start because eventually it will be used in the vertical aspect. 

and everything is digital so we are the 

Vibhor Yadav  

it has to be under 30 seconds max to maximum minute so story telling is very difficult so then the shots have to be dynamic to grab that attention to sell it you know so that’s where we come in and we create the storyboard we give the references and do the whole you know the work behind this 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

But have timelines gotten squeezed, have budgets gotten squeezed because now the customer thinks, you know, six months of advertising would earlier be one or two videos now in a segment. Is that an actual thing or am I just imagining that? 

Vibhor Yadav 

I feel budgets are squeezed for some projects but not for all. Like if it’s a good campaign and it’s a digital campaign, like the budgets will be good. But if it’s just for the social media usage and they’re not launching anything and it’s just a regular three month job, it totally depends again. So this way we definitely ask for the usage initially and that’s how we make the budget as well. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

The usage is very important because if you’re using it for a campaign, it will vary compared to a simple shoot that is just a documentation. 

Vineet  

you 

Vineet 

Make sense, make sense. And now what is the post production process like? Now you’re done with the shoot. Now what? How many people involved are there external people? Are you the editor? 

Vibhor Yadav  

I don’t edit video because one thing I’m not that great at editing video I’m great with editing photos because I was a photographer first but then I want to delegate things as well because then this way I can also work on other things other projects and plan for the future projects because if I get into editing then I can only do one project in a month right not like maximum three 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Good. 

Vibhor Yadav  

But this way I have like a team, a set of 3 -4 editors that I usually work with on a regular basis. And depending on the brief, the kind of work and you know the scope of work, I delegate that to those editors and they work on that. And we have a pretty good relationship now. So I know this edit belongs to Abhishek, this edit belongs to Nikhil. So this way I delegate that, okay, this will be a better job done by him. 

and usually I have a shortlist ready but not for every tool but if there is a shortlist then you know the edit is pretty simple and we usually do two rounds of changes for the draft. 

And what I’ve also started doing is I start, I make a playlist with the music because music is very important. So I use artlist and epidemic to make those playlists and the client picks whatever they want or if they want more options, we work on that. So usually I have started doing this again in the pre -production phase so that once we have that content ready, we can straight away get to the edit and not wait for that music to come in. 

Vineet  

Yep. 

Vibhor Yadav  

or get that locked or then the client will say okay we don’t like this music because if we pick from our own side and then the client is not liking it we have to restart the edit which is again losing time and losing work and losing energy so if you pre -plan everything this way it’s nice and simple for everyone not just the client for us as well. 

Vineet 

you are late.  

Vibhor Yadav  

Honestly, some clients, are so difficult to work with them. They expect that, you know, changing the music is just like with the press of a button and they’re like, okay, this is not working and you know, giving feedback is also an art. Not everyone can give feedback. So, but I feel those are the clients. 

Vineet  

Yeah, we keep asking, we will see. Like for us, one big question. Sorry. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Sorry, do – 

Sorry, I was just saying that those are the clients who are not that experienced in the marketing side but people who are good with marketing or advertising or who have that background they will never, you know, that process will be smooth. But people who are not from that or who don’t have that expertise then it will be like a big problem because it’s not their fault. They don’t understand the process only. 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Partly, you know, whatever vision is discussed with the client that has to be communicated into the final product. Second is what are the different elements we can break that down into. So like you’re saying music should be predefined. We’ve lost a lot of time on some projects. What all supers, what kind of supers should be there? Right, font. 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

assets. 

Vineet  

As it’s exactly get everything in place. Initially itself before the project begins, how would you define in a very subjective field? Which is like a very creative field. How do you get into, okay, this is what will make the client happy. Because the client is giving you a brief, which is a fairly functional thing, right? This is what we want to convey from their perspective. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Ponds, if any. 

Yeah. 

Vineet  

What’s your ideation process like? 

Vibhor Yadav  

Oh 

Ideation process is building a vibe, I feel. It’s a vibe, it’s a campaign and you have to think it like that. You have to get in the client’s head to understand what will work for the client and what will work for the brand because eventually they’re the ones paying us money, right? And as much as I want my style to stay true to the imagery, but it should not… 

stop the brand to communicate what they want in terms of the imagery or the video or whatever the final content is going online. So, understanding, if once you understand that then I think the content will come out naturally. I hate the word content but just the photo and video will come out naturally you know. Because and also communicating that to the team and that’s where the deck again comes in because 

Vineet  

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Hmm. 

Vibhor Yadav  

the deck has all the details and if you go slide by slide you can explain to your team member be it the director of photography or the AD or the producer to you know know the okay we’re looking for these kind of locations we’re looking for these kind of models with this kind of look we’re looking for this lighting and we’re looking for this kind of art required for the shoot we’re looking for you know this kind of edit style so 

Once you have that ready, I think it’s very good to communicate that to your team and you can also build your team around that vision. So it’s very important that way. 

Vineet  

Yeah, yeah. And I think that is a good place to end this discussion on long freewheeling discussion covering so many diverse topics. But it’s… It’s been very interesting man. It’s been very… Because you’ve been in the technical side, you’ve been on the creative side, you’ve been on photography and videography. Which is how I started this conversation, you’re like the most… One of the most prolific guests I’ve had on this show so far. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah, I loved the… Yeah. I love talking too. Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav 

Yeah. 

Vineet  

So, uh… 

Vibhor Yadav  

Oh, I’m honored man, honestly. 

Vineet  

And of course you’re also experimenting a lot with phone photography as I keep seeing on your Instagram. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Oh yeah, so I recently got the iPhone 15 Pro and there’s this brand in the United States called Moment. They make amazing stuff. Luckily, they sent me this Moment lens which I can just like snap on my iPhone lens, iPhone phone and the quality you get out of that lens is amazing. I mean the tech in that side, that aspect as well is just like going crazy. 

Vineet  

Hmm. 

Vibhor Yadav  

because phone anamorphic lenses are coming they’re making phone anamorphic lenses like imagine like it’s their app is so good and I will be making a YouTube video about it very soon so 

Vineet  

Nice. 

Vineet  

Yeah because it makes sense because like cameras are big. Like I’ve been thinking of changing my a7 IV to an a7 c2 myself because it’s so much the footprint is just so much smaller. Right, the weight is like a hundred grams who cares but the footprint like I can fit that in my pocket if I have a pancake lens but phones are always there. 

Vibhor Yadav  

It really matters. It really matters. Like when I’m traveling I don’t carry my R5. I would rather carry something that I like my X100F or my X -T5 which is you know smaller and I can even put it in my sling bag and just like travel. Otherwise it adds like extra weight and you you’ll think about you know taking out your camera every time so that’s not what travel photography is. I think it should be simple for you. It should be like free flowing. 

Vineet 

Yeah. 

Vineet  

Yep. 

and unfortunately android most phone cameras still suck s24 ultra i haven’t tried but pixel i haven’t tried the latest pixel i haven’t tried the latest pixel i haven’t tried 6 i’ve tried 

Vibhor Yadav  

Pixel is something that I really like. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Honestly, this is my first iPhone camera before this I’ve had all the pixels like not not all but I’ve just had pixels So it was a big switch for me and I still feel pixel is at par with iPhone But iPhone video is way way above than anything else in the market iPhone video there’s something about their codec. Yeah 

Vineet  

Hmm. 

Vineet  

It really is, I can’t define it. Yeah, it just seems much more natural and real. Like Samsung just somehow, they’ve never gonna sponsor a podcast now. It just somehow feels very flat. I don’t know why. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah because the software treats the image so it will always look very contrasty, oversaturated because the software is doing that for you. But with iPhone you get the control of doing that later by shooting a raw image and doing it editing in Lightroom or even shooting ProRes raw videos on your iPhone 15 Pro that you can grade on DaVinci. 

just like your any other log footage on a cinema camera which is like that’s why I honestly got this phone. 

Vineet  

It’s late evening now, I’ve had to crank my ISO up to 2000 now. So I think that’s time to stop. Thank you so much Vibhor. Thanks for spending all this time with us. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Yeah. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Thank you for having me. I honestly genuinely enjoyed this conversation. 

Vineet  

It’s been fantastic and thank you everyone for tuning in. We will see you next time. You know, followers everywhere, you know the works. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Thank you. 

Vibhor Yadav  

Okay, see you. 

SIGN UP FOR UPDATES

Subscribe to the
show, stay up to
date

Subscribe via your favorite platform today –
you’ll get notified for all new episodes!