Home >> Podcasts >> Videography for a Cause in India Ft. Prahlad Menon
Show Notes

Welcome to Photosynthesis – the podcast where we go deep in discussion with photographers, filmmakers and content creators in India about their art and everything that keeps them going.

In this episode, we go deep in conversation with creative producer Prahlad Menon. From creating heartfelt and impactful videos for social causes to capturing the essence of dazzling events, Prahlad takes us through the entire process with passion and expertise.

Listen to the full Podcast on Spotify

Check out Prahlad’ s stunning work on Instagram – Prahlad

Explore Prahlad’s noble venture

Videos mentioned in the podcast –
Selco Ikea: Story of the girl Renewable energy for a brighter future
Mlinda: Electrifying Jharkhand Evolution of Mlinda’s Renewable Energy Based Rural Electrification Project

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Transcript

Vineet 

Hey, guys. Welcome to photosynthesis individuals blog where we talk to some of the best creators. Some of the best photographers and videographers in India that we’ve met and people who basically are some of the top experts in their own areas and who who’ve been doing this in India for so long. Like the problem we see on the Internet and even when we were learning. The issue was that source of the information we see is for it like foreign equipment. Foreign you know specifics we wanted to bring out the best of what people are doing in India and today we have with us a man that I met when I was very hungover sitting for breakfast at a music festival in. Alsisar, Rajasthan. Prahlad he is the founder of Cause Inc. They make narratives and stories for social media videos, and he’s also been doing a lot, a lot, a lot of event work. So Prahlad hi and welcome to our show. 

Prahlad 

Hi and thank you so much. Rarely do you get such opportunities to be in front of the camera. 

Vineet 

Behind it. I hope you’re not nervous about being in front of it. 

Prahlad 

I’m not sure. 

Vineet 

To find out. 

Prahlad 

Yeah, I can guide people to look beautiful, but when I’m there, I think I’m a little more conscious. 

Vineet 

You look very beautiful. Thank you. Let’s start with social causes. Firstly, what brought you into this space and what kind of social causes do you do? 

Prahlad 

So my childhood I have been part of multiple voluntaries work with a lot of different kinds of NGOs. I do a lot of work with wildlife and so to say that I’ve been catching snakes and rescuing reptiles since I was a kid and did that with my family, so that was an introduction to like the whole wildlife network, wildlife space, various NGOs around the country and. With that I got a little in touch with other type of NGOs and social. Courses for people dealing with education for children, rural development. We worked in the solar space A lot to develop media and content and various cleanup activities. Waste management being major problems. So that’s something that these are all issues that were there right. Front. There were a lot of people who were introducing me to solutions, how to go about it. My mom is completely plastic free at her. House so it. Is that there is knowledge there is information, there is solution, it’s limiting for them to be able to just get to the masses. And one thing I knew I want to do is take photographs. And I went to symbiosis. So there was one sudden network. That opened up and I learned a lot from what people do with the commercials. This and I wanted it to be in such a way that the way you see a Coke and Pepsi add, you should be seeing social cause video which is short. That is just telling you what. To do no left no right, no false emotion. Just focus on how you can change your life. So maybe. Helped in the overall change of the system. I’m not even looking at country. I’m looking at worldwide effect and impact. 

Vineet 

So one very specific question I have already here is yes, you said key what actions they can take versus I see a lot of stuff which is about raising awareness. And with all due respect to everyone, all these campaigns that I see, it started, I think the most common case I can remember is the breast cancer awareness. OK, sure. That’s actually pointing women to check out something specific, you know, check for lumps, you know, take those diagnostic. Right versus. Then we go into this territory where there’s these godmen who are talking about, you know, with all due respect, but talking about awareness about rivers needing cleanliness. And then I get confused. Key. OK, there was a dirty. Now what? Right. Why are you raising awareness that our rivers are dirty? What are you? What are you doing about it? What should we do about it? How did you step over from, you know, from this side to that side from we should raise, raise awareness that this is a problem to how should we solve? This and how do you actually get into? What are the specifics in solving this problem? Because that also seems to involve policy, right? Just not photography. 

Prahlad 

Completely and I think we also realise that not everyone can do everything, so something that I noticed which was a limiting. Problem was people discussing a particular issue. Taken to consider waste management, you were only discussing waste management with people who understood waste management and were practising it. People who didn’t practise it or who went against it were not discussed. It was not a topic of discussion or an attempt to try getting there. Now, not everyone can be converted. I’m not looking at. That I have categorised my people into three to four different kind of mindsets. So you have your noise makers, people who are talking about the issue, raising constant problems about the issue might not address the solution, but you’ve got them just. Telling the world that there is a problem that we’ve got to kind of deal with, you’ve got your doers. These are the guys who are at your NGO’s who are trying to develop solution and do on ground execution and then you’ve got your volunteers who are your participants who have joined. Calls and then you’ve got your funders. People who’s going to make sure that this is gonna run. Now we know that all these now normal common man cannot be it a CEO, be it a normal common man, a middle class human being. Whatever. Everyone is human no one can be all four. Yeah. So the mentality of. Pushing everyone to become everything I wanted to challenge it, breakthrough that I wanted to kind of figure out how all these you figure out the four types for each cause. Now you were not associated to, maybe education, but you might be associated to. Cleaning, cleaning up, reverse cleaning up plant cells, cleaning up various other things. I don’t want to talk to you about something that you. Are not clicked. With or you’re not In Sync with. I would like to drive your energy and your power and resource and your thought process towards something that you associate. So when I say I am just talking about. There’s a whatever a body or a central government department, or even like a private NGO. I just need to kind of understand these four different kind of. And deliver that kind of communication. So when there is all rounded activity constantly happening, you’ve got noise makers, you’ve got funding, you’ve got on ground, activists and you’ve got volunteers supporting, you’ve got larger resource base to kind of execute strategy or a solution and no social costs can no. NGO, I would say as an individual entity can kind of fix the whole nations issue. They need to come needs to come together. The multiple people, multiple NGOs, multiple like minded people. In this space, who get funded from a central body to just do what they do best? Don’t worry about marketing and all of that. If this like the system just runs smooth, I don’t think we will have that. Vogue and Vogue also in terms of what we talk about normal audiences, everyone will do something that they clicked with. There’s something that they associated, they won’t be demotivated, they’ll be motivated to. Whatever bits that they can do and all this, hava bazi and all this talk which is happening, will actually have more impact and it won’t be just ranked in the public and on 90% of an audience hating on why someone has said something or questioned. We I think today we’re fighting with people just questioning other peoples ideologies and smaller pinpoints, yeah. Like we hate that someone who would raise an issue on a social media post if they just question something about what someone has said. About a particular be it an LGBTQ topic or be it even another animal related topic that you’ve done something wrong, you’ll have another 100 hit comments coming 100. It is all right, this is fine. This is there where we draw the line or all of that. So you can’t be too right list. You can’t be. Too leftist, you can’t. You just need to have a centralised mind. Being a good human being. 

Vineet 

There are so many of these social media campaigns that we see on Instagram, especially these days, I won’t name them, but I think everyone seen them. There is so much guilt. Please donate because here is a photo or here is a video of this man who really needs help. And it’s very graphic. It gets very graphic and I I I do donate right not to these causes, but I do donate like a fixed amount of my salary every month, right? Even on my startup salary. But that guilt is something I can do without. It’s not helping me. It’s it’s actually not good for my mental health that I can help in so many. Ways, but if you put this. His guilt on me. How do you deal with that? Like what works? Does guilt work? Does how do you build ends? Who, for A cause without actually guilting people into? 

Prahlad 

It so when your marketing has social cause, I think this is something we did. I stopped the team that I work with. With my that will be building my social cause product. They just need to be good human beings. They don’t need to associate with the social cause as much. When I’m making the product. Now, if the product if during the project they convert or they associate better good for us. We’ve worked but their focus is to deliver technical solutions for this. When I say that I say that because. Marketing and social causes like marketing your FMCG. 

Speaker 

Project product, yeah. 

Prahlad 

Why would you buy that achara bottle? Why would you buy that Coca-Cola? Why would you buy that chips? What is it that has triggered an emotion in you to go and purchase it now? It was a set formula that worked a few years ago. I think 2014 to 2017, peaking of social cause issues in crowdfunding. Crowdfunding websites were on the high. We actually also had a model very closely to working with crowdfunding and we wanted to kind of work with that. But then it went down. And I think it went down on 2/3 aspects. I’m not getting into the financial management and stuff like that. But on the emotion front people. Like how you deal with your influencers. Yeah. Product. Lilo. Yeah. So. And you need to constantly develop your communication. It can’t be the same formula that you’re executing because your audience is also getting aware they’re also understanding. Now, like a marketing campaign, as your audience is growing. You’ve kind of triggered. Them to now get involved with social causes by doing all of this. It worked. You’ve got, I think a lot of the websites and a lot of various other brands. I was going to take names. I’m avoiding, they’ve kind of reached out to people and created a good network of viewership now change the content now that you’ve got the emotion. Now go into facts, step it in. Create more impact. I think when we look at Hollywood, Bollywood action films. You’ve seen all your extra drama, jazz, music, dance, everything happening in Bollywood. There it’s clear cut here. John Wick has got, like, minimal dialogues and he’s just got action scenes where this scene makes sense. His swing and his man flying and bullet going in this direction. It doesn’t break the laws of physics. So I think now once the audience emotion is captivated. You just need to be very factual, very to the point, make more impactful videos, not by making the viewer emotional sentimental, but making the viewer more aware and justice have like full basic follow basic filmmaking techniques that any other director has done to sound his or Kylo text case. Give the right amount of information on screen just so that your audience. Retention is higher right now. No one wants to see half the videos you see on, which are boosted for donating with really gruesome imagery. They just want to know what is happening, how I can help. Yeah, basic stuff. Do it with a nice video with a nice impactful write music, write visuals, write duration. And text in front text it back I. Think it’s a. Simple packaged video. Just make a nice good looking video and the audience will. 

Vineet 

Accept it like this gruesome, like even though the anti smoking ads that we see before. Movies. It’s the same thing, right? Like, I don’t smoke, but I don’t know anyone who smokes who will be like everyone is put off by those ads. But I don’t know. Anyone will actually give up, even though you know the the the cigarette packet. I don’t know a single person who’s given up smoking just because now everything is those, you know, those ruptured lungs or whatever it is that campaign. 

Prahlad 

Or 2007, 2010. It worked at that time. We’ll make. Yeah, I’m saying like, yeah, it was new. You would see that ad before your movie. Mukesh was a hit. Now it’s all broken. Like there’s no, we’re not looking at advertisements for emotion, like it’s just very to the point. And your audience is so smart. 

Vineet 

Now it’s. 

Prahlad 

Shorter time span to captivate them and they just want the essential information. Give me the even if it’s a product you want, what is the USP of the product? How is it going to benefit me and how is? It beating the others. That’s it. Simple apply. 

Vineet 

And so she has made us immune to bory imagery. I think beyond like to a large extent and exactly like we get used to it really fast and swipe, swipe, swipe. Unfortunately, yes on this part. Since social, like, social engagement videos, social cause videos, you’d mention impact. Yes. Effectiveness. How do you measure it? 

Prahlad 

Good question. OK. So we figured that everything needs to go hand in hand when it comes to media and on ground online activities when it. 

Speaker 

OK. 

Prahlad 

Comes to social goals. Just looking at how much you’ve done in viewership and engagement is not going to solve the. So looking at a tenure of how long you have released a piece of content and how we can possibly measure the growth of activity in volunteers in maybe the numbers of amount of? Everyone has numerics about this is the amount of space we’ve cleaned up. This is the amount of waste we’ve collected. This is the amount of villages that we’ve electrified. If all these things are growing while your video is growing, you’re looking at stable impact. Freeze. And when you look at if we have made that effort possible, that is something we can’t quantify now it is, it’s an overall space. The NGO also just got an extra bit of confidence. They started using your collateral to reach out. We made really impactful collateral. The participants who connected. Understood. Are collateral and participated in the right way. All of it is very subjective. There’s no objective that you can really this. Thing put to it. You can only understand on a broader spectrum that OK all of you have done your bit. So when you say impact and how we feel, we’ve grown with it, it’s a very it’s a very emotional growth. It’s not a physical or an objective number and it’s. I think his goodwill and association that we can take away and try it on the fact that we did our bit for the social cause. Yeah. So and also the minute you bring in numbers, you will rule the. For all the three parties. 

Vineet 

Where now, when there’s this thing that, you know, if you try to make a metric out of everything, the metric itself becomes the goal, yeah. Which we see so much on social media like it’s about how many likes you get versus actual. You know, what are you trying to achieve from the campaign? Instagram throws up a number like a magic number of engagement and reach after times. I don’t understand what reach. Even means and I keep getting confused between these 3-4 things and. But yeah, this number seems higher than that number, so it. Be doing well. 

Prahlad 

So there in, in the social space itself, there is. They’re trying to do metrics of how much each individual has done in competition. So if I’m looking at my space in terms of wildlife rescues, there’s a major fight between various NGOs about we we’ve done this, we’ve done this, we’ve done this. The minute all of them collaborate, we actually not catering to we’ve got so many people in the country working with NGOs that if each sector collaborates a little bit, I’m not able to manage it, pass it on to the next guy, it will get done at the end of it. Your goal is to get it done. 

Speaker 

Don’t do it yourself. 

Prahlad 

You know someone who can do it. Your bandwidth is Chatham. So then just get someone else and that is a problem because people will only deal with like minded people. So you might be associated with the same cause. But if your thought process is metrics and my thought process is in fact I might not work. With you in the same space, whereas if I actually work with you in the same space and use your strings and my strengths together. We will do. 2X3X. Yeah. And we look at it as our job and we just get done with this, like working with colleagues at an office, you possibly don’t like, but your organisation is. 

Vineet 

Profiting in a way, what you’re saying is something that I’ve had a lot of discussion about with some friends of mine in the social space, which is ironic in a way that you get into the space because you’re very passionate about causes. But the in some ways the best way to be the most effective. Is to be dispassionate. You sort of distance yourself and look at it like look. I need to figure out how to measure effect. Also, because the people who get into these places are sometimes seeing the worst of the injustices and they burn out, how do you, how do you, how do you manage that? How do you? 

Prahlad 

Handle that. It’s to be a very sensitive person. Now I’m avoiding being sensitive. I think when it comes to work, disconnect major. When it comes to. I’m when I look at my script for a social cause, I would have collected all my data, but when I’m working on that video project, I’m thinking actually I’m thinking some. So when I’m trying to sell it and I have this conversation with a lot of NGO people and I tell them that. I get where you’re coming from. You want to be right? You want to be perfect. Your idealistic approach is right. But if you’re you need to achieve your agenda. If you want masters to connect with you, you want mass awareness to the formula that works. If you want funding, don’t worry about like, I’m not saying going and. Dealing with criminals. But I’m saying dealing with who might find the right funder who might not be the right fit for your social cause but has got the funds to do it. And if he has the funds, then he’s being he’s disconnected and it’s huge. You have to. Satisfy a few paperwork thing with him and he’s got he’s getting his benefit out of it. You’re getting your benefit out of it. You made impact. If you’ve not raised that money by disconnecting from him, you possibly have gone and seen something which is really sad, but you don’t know what. To do about it. 

Vineet 

But what if the only dissonant point I’d like to raise is what if this is leading to active greenwashing like Shell or Exxon Mobil sponsoring? You know, solar energy sort of conclaves and all that stuff. 

Prahlad 

I think it will work better. Think about it. Imagine if you see your Coke ad. So I think Phillips did a very beautiful job with this. Philips came up with one of the most inspiring ads that I said it was a deaf and dumb couple and I think anyone should watch that ad. No one knows what they were selling or it was not about. Selling a product it was selling, it was breast cancer related. It was where has been trying to figure out technology solutions to communicate how his wife should do a breast cancer test and. It hit Hards, it it did its bit. It was one of the most effective strategic campaigns, I think, and it got Phillips brand. If it works for the brand, if I as a consumer feel good about the fact that Phillips has done this now, I don’t think the NGO that was partner that. Was in partnership with this ad before the advertisement. Or even the. Us would have been able to fund that much of an awareness for what they wanted. Just put out. It was a small messaging. 

Vineet 

True, but in this case Phillips is hardly, you know, anti breast cancer awareness otherwise or anti disabled people. It is not well, hardly cares not. But like I brought the example of ExxonMobil. Oh God. I hope we don’t get sued on this. These are people actively responsible for polluting the environment and they are actively greenwashing. Right they are. Showing that putting tiny. Amounts towards sponsoring these things like the settlers in the US, right responsible for the opioid crisis. And you know they’re sponsoring art events to sort of, you know, endear themselves to the left wing, to the, you know, cultural left and the ideological left. 

Prahlad 

So the government has put up a mandate to for them to do something. No, I’m saying the government has created opportunity. If you look at it, I don’t look at it as a. Problem right now if the right person is given the right amount of funds to execute the right product, let the world continue, we will fix. If there needs to be balance. If there is no product that’s making money, everyone goes socialist. Your value of anything is gone. Completely different. Situation. So rather than now stopping these people use it to the. 

Speaker 

You hit. 

Vineet 

Social cost benefit use it well. Makes sense. Absolutely makes sense. 

Prahlad 

And the day we realise an alternative solution to any of their products, it will come up as a new organisation. And then that was. Sell better numbers. Telling them to stop without giving them a. 

Vineet 

Solution. Yes, yes. And I’m going to use one sentences to actually segue because as you mentioned before the recording began that you do event photography to keep the lights on, right. I’m going to get into that space. But firstly on the. The social side itself, how do you keep the lights on through funding through? Is there a business model here or is it all funding linked? 

Prahlad 

So we did so admitting the avid team. Like I said, I’m working. I’m not looking at people who are socialistic driven. I’m looking at people who are who will deliver a good film, will deliver a good graphic and are. Animation. They do their job right and I’m not doing it. They’re doing it as a job. They’re not doing it as a voluntary basis. 

Vineet 

So you’re paying market salaries? 

Prahlad 

Yeah. Yeah. And we started off with social. Actually. That was one of we did only social cause videos for a really long time. And I wouldn’t say that there is no market out there. But at that point in time, it was, there were not so many teams that were doing this kind of content. And we did a lot of work with a lot of large scale for profit enterprises in the social space. Now when I say why I say for profits are not limited to NGOs, they’re foreign funding their projects that are into electrification there. Either it is we worked with SELCO, we worked with Selco and Selco Foundation. There are very good example to say that cycle figured out solar products, the panels and everything Cycle Foundation started off with a model that Selco caters to the commercial audiences and the government projects and Self Foundation then worked into getting into electrifying villages. And their mentality was target people. Her game Ghar Ghar makes Alco product for it wasn’t that the whole gal had to adopt. It was converting 1 by 1 converting each villagers mindset. There are a few organisations which went to find the whole game. They said Chatta funding now everyone got their business models. We worked with them, they’ve got them. They needed to create impact reports. We’ve worked out the right products that an organisation needs. We didn’t just make a 32nd or a 15 second. If I went down over there to Jharkhand to shoot, I would shoot everything possible that I can see. I’m not limiting myself to that one, cause I’m not limiting myself to that one video. I’m not limiting myself to anything I can keep thinking of different products. We made a 15 second, we made a 2 minute, we made a 5 minute. We made an impact report. We made a print report. We did it as a package now and I did it as a package for me, it was cost effective for them. It was cost effective and it worked for them because they also needed to cater to so many different kind of people they wanted to. To the normal mass viewers, they wanted to cater to the funders. They wanted to cater to internal organisation communication so. It is just about how well we managed to create that package for them, which was suitable for them. And I think any organisation and any for profit, not-for-profit, anyone who’s doing their bit will not be thinking like this about product at our end. So we developed those packages for them. We came up with, I got into. Multiple meetings to understand what is it that you need. They came to us with one video requirement. We worked out how we can maximise that one suite for multiple things. Is there any one particular thing that you’re really proud of? 

Vineet 

That we can actually share on our YouTube channel and show. 

Prahlad 

Right. People. Yeah, I know this is one that I really like. I don’t think so. I’m very attached to all the pieces that we make and but we did this. I think anything that we did with Selco was a little was very highly motivating. Not only celko, Selco and Melinda Foundation, they were the solar space we worked in with. We did this coverage in Jharkhand of how they electrified 50 villages in a span of a few years, their target. And we went to shoot them when they had done 8 villages, we covered where they were, we went and went back. When they did 35 and then we went back when they were closing in 50. But then we didn’t really need to go back for the 50th. We just had content ready for it. So we worked with that whole journey. And I think all these clients it was, we worked with them for a few years. So that’s why maybe one particular video that I’m super attached to isn’t there because we created multiple smaller attachments, something that possibly you can share on our YouTube channel is. This is 1 video of called the story of Rajeshwari that is funded by IKEA Foundation and Selco Foundation. Now you it’s not going to be very difficult for someone to search for it, but as a concept I was really happy with the team that put together this whole thing, my partners. And my team of editors. Even script writer that sat on it these. It was a. Very short, sort of very quick span in and out to me. Shoot, but a very motivating and nice narrative from the. Point of view. Of a kid, I think that is one of those videos which we were just like, we just didn’t go. Without any agenda, did something came back and cooked up and edit on the? Editable it was. A little pre planned. We had a little and it didn’t take too much of framework to kind of come up with an idea of execution. Agree. The initial idea took its own time, but once we knew what narrative we wanted to tell, it just fell. Everything just fell into place and it was executed in no time. So it is, and it’s a very nice way of delivering an impact report of what SELCO achieved in that one village. While his girl is. Walking to. School. Wow. That’s she just. Her day of her walking by and seeing different people who are using different products. That are electrified by solar. That’s amazing. In 2 minutes, we’re absolutely going to look for this and. 

Vineet 

Put it in the show notes. 

Prahlad 

Please do and I might just share a few extra links like other social causes for whatever clicks with anyone. So the thing that I really enjoyed about it, and I think the team enjoyed about it, was not just making the final video and seeing the final video, but. What we went through to execute. The product we’ve done shoots where we just. Drove through Assam and Tamil Nadu two different months and village to village village to village, we stayed with villagers at different different locations. My team had the experience of a life when it had to come to finding a nice spot in the morning to wake up and. And but all of that said, when when you were sitting with the villagers and hearing them out and they this organisation is fixing one. Problem you get. Even inside of so many other things that I don’t think we would have ever got from anywhere else, we need even information that another social cause communication would have shared with us. And we always thought of Chote solution. We came up with Arena, we’ve worked with another NGO that they did this so he can shared that information. So there’s so much of A knowledge sharing on all these projects. And I think the team also had never really faced an issue of learning because it was not. Textbook information that was given to them. It’s not a doc that they received on an e-mail that educated them about. They went down, they spoke to the people, then they they conceptualised the shot. Yeah, they understood the problem also, then took the shot, then thought about Arya. Yay, the chief manage and direct communication managed to trigger. It’s hard. Some teammate of mine has a solution that he can help with with his family business or his various other relatives. I think I’ve done another small deed and I. Think that also is. Something which cannot be valued in my organisational impact. 

Vineet 

Jana, I firmly believe that most people want to do good. A lot of them just don’t know how to and how to do it in an effective way where their contributions are valued, correct and we enjoyed it. We for us, I think those suits versus my brand and corporate suits that I do today. 

Prahlad 

The team was much happier. It wasn’t about the money. It wasn’t about. 

Vineet 

Like I I used to be a brand manager for Times of India and we were we launched a thing called Teach India not teach for India which you know very well. But teach India, which was basically trying to find volunteers to just teach in the evenings with NGOs. Now I’ll be honest, logistically it wasn’t all that well thought through, but the number. Of people who were. So and through to start teaching. Help now, logistically there were tonnes of issues because people are like, you know, after work, I’ll come teach. It has to be a specific time at a specific place on the route home. It is tricky. But just the enthusiasm of people who want to help it is that if you can figure out how. 

Prahlad 

To channel that, yeah, I think that that there we we actually have a strategy coming into play and I really hope it works out. We’re trying to figure out how to centralised rural development with the private body. So it’s. It’s just big words right now, but we’ve got we’re trying to fix. Next, finding people who would tell us the problem and you connected with so many NGO’s that you’ve worked with. If we just try becoming that branch and I think an NGO also wants to be in more places, but bandwidth doesn’t allow and funding doesn’t allow now on ground also there’s so many challenges that are there. You need to 1st learn how to deal with the product and then then you need to learn how. To run a. Business. Yeah, running an engine is anything like running a business. It’s an operation that you’re conducting. So as much as people look at it as. Volunteers, you need you need that. 

Vineet 

There’s so much more scrutiny. There is so much more scrutiny these. Days well. 

Prahlad 

Sure. And if that network just helps, there’s I feel we might have a 10 to 20% on the minimum side of a growth. It’s at least better than 0, right? If in terms of growth wise, but if we are able to create. Would impact then why not 70%? Is where we would. Like to be is of growth. I’m talking about what is happening is already happening, just increase increase and change mindset as much as possible. So we’re on that path and we’re hoping we. Find it and as much content to be delivered in all spaces to feed on all platforms. I want to see ads that, like you, see a junta. Yeah, I don’t want you to. See an ad for absolutely. Fixing plastic and I don’t want to make you cry. I want and like inside. 

Vineet 

Yeah. Get me. Get me. Get me into activism. Should be a positive word again. 

Prahlad 

Motivate the people. Don’t be motivate them of choosing the right cause. I think it’s about, I think, our logo. 

Vineet 

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

Prahlad 

Has had this communication for development, but our statement has always been what’s your? Because you should. Come and tell us what is your cause? We will not tell you what to do. You tell us what is your cause. Then we’ll give you the content related to what? Is suitable for. 

Vineet 

You and now let’s actually move over to event photography, which is how we how we met. So it’s a huge thing isn’t it? Event photography. It’s like if I think of. So we met at magnetic fields where Milad was basically responsible for videography. The whole event, putting together the final videos that came out like rather than team. Of course that is an event which is in the middle of which is in a Alsisar in fairly remote Rajasthan. It’s a multi day event it’s for. Days 3 after four days it’s 9 stages. This time there were there were like 100 plus performers. There were so many side events going on. There was so many side activities going on. There were so many venues to coordinate and how do you even begin planning this and how much of this is planning and how much of this is just on the spot? 

Prahlad 

Keep your eyes open your brand side. Your main event side your artist side. The number of. Photographers and videographers that are there with a different mandate, this, this owning of us, to be honest. And we I think shooting events is again passion. You need to like music to want to be there. You can’t not enjoy events and just be a creative photographer like I wanted to be at events. All my college life. Post college. Very social. We wanted to see every artist that I could see and tickets were very expensive. So I’ll let you get Tom Karega and. Or now it obviously it did took me a few years to understand you. When I’m on the job, I can’t be just disconnected from the job. So it was opportunities. You were at the right stage. You got the right mandate. I’m. Talking through my event experience, I have been at lot of events where. I possibly didn’t get to see the artist. I particularly wanted to because I was running from another stage. To another stage. To take the photograph that I was supposed to be there. Now, when you’re on an event, you need to you’ve got such a large team. You’ve got so many people. You’ve got such a large space to cover, you need to constantly keep meeting each other and you need to figure out how high have we done our checklist checklist and have we even made a checklist before we reached here? So when what we were doing at magnetic was we’re working with Aurora and we’re working on a very nice project where we were talking about this journey of these two artists who travelled from Bombay to magnetic, attended the festival and showcased the festival. That was our brand brief that was given to us. There were another 50 guys all through our net, all part of our network, we all. New and each one has a different mandate like 1. Of my batch. Mates, I would say, poor guy, he was working with another brand, Corona, the deep brand. So my luck I got off at sunset and I got to kind of check out the other. Artists, when I didn’t have to roll the camera. This guy was running around and he was there till 4:00 AM. Your stage is closed down at 4:00 AM five AM. The last stage comes up alive at Sunrise three. Never got a break. Poor guys. They were just at it complete. So I think even photography it is also about choosing the right. It’s your luck as to. What mandate you get? And what exact breeds that you have to execute? Because I just had to cover the space, the location and I had one artist that I was following. So I was completely In Sync with her schedule. And everyone else needed to sync up their schedule with the other guys, so as much as event photography looks glamorous, the downside of it is defines how you’re going to completely enjoy that particular event. 

Vineet 

How do you plan for an event like this? How do you select the equipment? Because there’s not just cameras, right? If I think photography or even filmography like short videos, maybe there’s cameras and a couple of lights. This thing, there’s I’m guessing there’s walkie-talkie, there’s multiple drones, there’s cameras and backup cameras. For each guy. You’re in the middle of a desert. You might have lenses going completely off their rocker. If a camera falls right, there’s dust inside the sensor. You need like 15. Of those those. ₹500 blowers that you get on or not ₹200 blowers that. You get Amazon. How do? You start planning how, how, how many pages is your checklist of equipment. 

Prahlad 

Events are the, I think, the place where every photographer and videographer loses things. Yeah, that’s what your dad said. Come back. Have to be a smarter guy shooting an image. You need everything on you on the field. Just imagining you running from a stage back to the control room, you’re going to miss that shot. You’ve waited for the last 15 minutes and your battery runs out. Now, my love, you will cry more than anyone else, and your brand might not even want cry, but you would have been there because you’re when you’re. Thinking of an event, you make a small checklist related to what all you need to cover and meet for your clients requirements. But when it’s those frames that you’re getting back, those are completely on the side. You can only think of positions that you want to be at to get those frames, and it is if I see an artist who is. At his low, I would want to be at the back of the venue and justice capturing the complete. Place I want to be shooting the artists individual face shots and his mid shots and his long shots when on his most peaking trending track. So I want to be up close between the artist and the audience at that particular point of time because my emotions are gonna be peaking on that one. 3 1/2 minute track and it’s the plan is to understand how this functions and make sure that you are at the right. Point at that particular one hour set to capture everything possible. 

Vineet 

Like you, even like listening to their set list beforehand on Spotify, seeing which are the most popular tracks, seeing their concerts on YouTube. 

Prahlad 

Play this so I think only the guy who’s working with the artist on that particular set would be really aware of. That, but when you’re working with the brand or you’re working from the event site. Thinking about a 20 remembering 20 artists. So we have this very. Smart strategy that we play, I think with all of us where. If you’re a photographer. You need a 1635. You need a prime lens in your pocket and you need a 7200. Hanging on the other side straight up, yeah. 

Vineet 

And on three cameras? Or is that like on one camera? 

Prahlad 

One on top of it. Sorry your lens in your pocket. Yeah. So if you are an individual, you need that. If you got a team, how we kind of function is we would split up in the whole audience and walking each other and we would keep passing camera. Now this is a nightmare for an editor, also because he’s like suddenly it happens and I’m not denying that it doesn’t happen. But as a producer, when I look at it, I’ve got a varied variation of that one lens. With two different artists from two different locations who just passed a camera to each other, one side of the friends to another side of the fence. Because we need to go from the crowd to the back. Page I have to go. A whole route? Yeah, and. Between us, we will like not even make you stay on the other side of the fence. Half the time our bouncers had helped us. They picked us up, put us on the other side. Bouncers have passed on the equipment. You become friends with the bouncers. They’re the best guys to be at an event. Who wanna thought? Calling shots, being too fussy and all of that, these guys are on ground. They’re gonna. If they can protect the heart, if they can protect their camera also sometimes. So I’m saying you need to be In Sync with all the resources that are at your disposal so that you can just get the best shot. I’ve been thrown on the other side of a sense of being thrown onto stage by a bouncer. What I got here with the canvas straight up left one camera down one got the shot. Come back the right time. Took the right call, went up ahead. That everyone needs to be so well In Sync on your team, on your workies that you can. You’ve thought of something on the other side of your when you don’t be greedy for it. If you’re looking at your edit as a team to come through, communicate to the right guy at the right time whatever you can. Like we’ve told people. If someone had just given us an inside key, viewer is coming up next and guy standing at the other end with one zoom lens doesn’t have any clue that this coming up now. Tell him just pass on the message, get him to frame that one shot. He might have an extra. 

Speaker 

Right. 

Prahlad 

Camera. He’ll do. Two shots, two and. So you need to it’s like 1. Shot a platoon of. Troops that are spread out, making sure this operation is going through simultaneously and everyone comes in the sink and you need to have your battery and memory card in your pocket. You cannot look at a battery change or a memory card. Go back to your control room to pick up a change of lens. You go once you’re on set, you need to have everything in close proximity. If you feel that something is going through, shout out. Give out a call out, ask someone to get it sent to you. There’s always someone moving back and forth. 

Vineet 

No gardening. 

Prahlad 

And make sure you get the shot that you’ve planned because there is no. Said formula to execute event photography. Everyone comes out with a small twist. In their style, as long as you understand the event and understand the venue. You will get 70% of what you plant and you should be very happy with what you get and not be distracted or irritated or you’re very patient and if you miss something, don’t stress about it. Focus on what you can do immediately after this and try. Getting what you missed, baby. But someone lost thought process over there. Yeni Mila. You will miss the next half an hour. Or so you. Will possibly distract yourself. Demotivate yourself, be confused about what to go about South your ideating on site also. But you also have one base checklist that you need to meet. And for that you need to be prepared. Your pockets should have your batteries. Your memory card should. Extra cards should be there. You have a variety of lenses in close proximity. Both those three lenses, I think every event photographer. Have someone has figured out something beyond cooked for them? I know a lot of people who started carrying 1114 super wide lengths and stuff like that so. 

Vineet 

Everyone knows will look like an elephant’s nose, right on 11/14, no? 

Prahlad 

Yeah, but I think the secret of that is don’t let a person become the prime focus. And even if you’re doing an artist shot in between with the whole kit or set, go for a mid long shot or something and then position right in right in the centre so that he doesn’t distort too. Yeah, being six other Samat galens usage ka. Then you get the head shots because you get a really crazy perspective in 1114. You can get the whole expanse you’ve got like a 20,000 audience over there who stand at the sound booth right in front of the sound engineer for five seconds. Click, click, click, click, click, click, click. And then drop you come back. Result. But if you think of it and you’re use. The right length at the right location. You know what to. Do and I think something a lot of people don’t do is they don’t do thought process. It is just the venue. To a camera Ricky Khali, when you reach a day earlier, test all your locations, see what fits right and. Then you will know what to do. Guys will just go run and run without a thought process. I’m going to. You will get. I’m not saying you won’t get a good view, but you’re sitting and completely cooking up everything on the edit table. You’re not upskilling what learns from your last event to make sure you don’t make the same mistake at the next event. Rather than dealing with. The event as an individual event. 

Vineet 

I’m going to ask you a couple of last questions for sure. Always. Let’s split into so in your head there are multiple things that are going on. One is your setting camera settings and equipment. 

Speaker 

For John. 

Vineet 

ISO. Aperture. You know focal length, actually focal length and move to the other one which is composition and narrative that you’re building, right. And the third one is the atmosphere, the energy that you trying. To capture what? Like when you’re starting out, let’s say, or two years experience an. Event what part of your brain is focus is focused on the most. Right. Are you focusing most on shift? My ISO is wrong. I need to go wider like this needs more aperture or am I getting everything in focus? Should I go to an F11 right versus the narrative? And like when you have 10 years of experience, how much of this the settings part becomes muscle memory and now you’re just all composition and narrative I. 

Prahlad 

Think it took? Me a few years to figure things out. With understanding how stage light. Function, but there are a few shutter speeds that you need to maintain. You know that you can’t go below 1 by 201 by 100 even at night. You need to keep that and I have like 3 apertures in my head like I’ve got one 2.818 and 14 that I should. As I go wider, my aperture increases. Basically, if I’m shooting 11, I’ll go higher aperture to get. The full expands get the crowd, get the artist, get the stage, everything in focus as closer, my magnification goes closer. I want to go with a wider aperture to get as much depth as possible so it is muscle memory. It is after a point. It’s just remembering how to get. Those shots, and you can only try at an event and understand when you’re when you’re done with a particular shot, you can test test out of your new shots, but it takes one event at least to test out a shot to execute it perfectly. At the next one. So I think as an event photographer, you need to keep doing your. Testing while you make sure your checklist is done so that your client is satisfied because a lot of people miss out on that, they just. They get so distracted or involved in the event, then they try doing new. Things, but they wouldn’t have. They wouldn’t realise that they need to so fulfil what they came here to do. So it’s a balance of both. It took me a while to understand stage lights. I just used that as an example and lasers basically. So I was shooting at really slow shutter speeds at. One period of time like even 1 by 101 by 200 is pretty. It’s a medium shutter speed. I wouldn’t say it’s a really fast shutter speed because some laser shows. If you want to capture those. Formations which are constantly changing and you want to keep every piece of detail you want to cross 1 by 601 by 800 to catch the right crystal clear positioning of it. And if I really if. I’m a funky. Philtre artsy guy. I’ve done the exact opposite. Tried doing slow. Shutter with laser and get one of those one layer on top of my artist and a blur on top of my artist and stuff like that. So constant experimentation do. Not forget what you were supposed to do. And the next time you’re back on a similar set, you you will remember the settings you tested out last time. So when you’re on set on an event, you need to, you need to places you need to get. Make sure that you remember those numbers you get those particular things in order. And all your trial and error can happen. It is completely for your learning that you’re doing it for and there is so much that can be done in an event. I’ve myself only I think scratched maybe a 2530% of it. Also, for a producer who’s managing the team, the team needs to be. A A group. Of different kind of event photographers that. 

Vineet 

Is very interesting. Tell me more. 

Prahlad 

So we believe that. Some guys are very attached to musicians like I, to be honest, I’m not very good with crowds and getting visuals of happy public to say of looking either into my camera or even off camera. I’m not I. I’m completely avoided. You can be an artist on stage. I can come up with really creative shots of getting him, silhouettes him and peak and everything like that. So I mean more artist driven and event when you kind of a guy now for my producer, he needs to make sure that there is one or two of Maine and. Two more to filling in the. Other requirements. As a team, so we then split up our job profile very smartly on what we excel in and I’m. Not going to. Tread into that space until unless I want to just try it out, I’m not going to take crowd shots and waste my editors time to see through footage which he’s not going. To use. Whereas the guy who is speaking at it and has got a good vibe with public knows how to talk to women and men on site, tell them to give them a random pose. It’s a different skill altogether. Able to look at someone on set on site and be like hey, can I take a photograph with you with this background and like get my brand placements also done you you give me a nice they’re not models they they’re also conscious so you need. To be up. To your game and stick to your specialisation, even at an event event photography. Has its own breakdowns. Is what I would believe. And when you’re putting together A-Team, you need to have all those kinds. People. So for an artist also he’s hiring photographers and videographers. He’s also variant with a few people so that when he does his year long video, there is a good variety of footage that his editor can play with and he’s not. China, Ethan. He’s. Yeah. He’s not a bad artist. Yeah, it’s not his face. 

Vineet 

It’s not his zone. 

Prahlad 

Yeah. And you can’t expect everything from one guy. Yeah. So this is, I think, a major problem that a lot of very few people have understood, like with a lot of the new event photographers, they will not understood that. This is where they are going wrong and this is what the artist needs to understand also. So it’s like a fake expectation setting and even that demotivate is for it’s not his cup of tea. 

Vineet 

I like I. I like shooting animal. And my company, like we did this wedding type shoot like a setup right to collect stock photography. And I also took my camera and we had professionals obviously. But I took my camera along in 20 minutes. I was so uncomfortable. I was roaming around outside the farmhouse. Please. I’ll shoot you. So. Yeah, I totally get what you mean. But yeah, sorry. 

Prahlad 

And I’m saying I’m just stick to your wife. Meaning you follow your producer. Something which doesn’t happen. And there is a clash of talent when you have so many different people. There’s a clash of talent. Everyone like to learning a touches is owning a touch. And that all needs to completely eliminate. Trust your instincts and trust your. Skills. And then Samwell also trusts your skills. So women photography is, I think twenty 4050% using the camera and remembering those numbers. But it’s 50% understanding your team and understanding your venue and client to be able to deliver all rounded product. 

Vineet 

And that’s actually a fantastic place to end this conversation. Thank you so much, pallad. This has been a great conversation on both social causes and on event photography and. We will leave. Links to videos, of course ink you can figure out how you can contribute to your favourite. Pause and do follow to check out individual dot in stock footage and video production platform. And yeah, I won’t use this. As an ad. This is in fantastic. 

Prahlad 

OK, we’ll give you a little advertising. Why don’t you get us on board to tell about, tell everyone about your organisation, individual site that is going to workout to be the one stop shop for Indian visuals. You don’t need to go to shutter stock, don’t need to go to and whatever they see website when they see stock. Content for your DC corporate needs. Like I would. Say so. I think we will be able to get a lot more people sign up. We’re also going to be contributors for sure, so. 

Vineet 

Thanks for that. I owe you a beer for that and I owe. You a beer for? This discussion you guys thanks for watching and bye bye. 

Prahlad 

Thank you. 

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