Fronds – that was what I first saw in Golden Palms resort. Fronds arrayed, fronds scattered, fronds in the gardens, fronds on the lawn, fronds against the sky – all blazing with the golden sun. And I couldn't help but smile to myself – Golden Palms was aptly named. Pia, Phalgun and I reached the resort before Satish and Shilpa and we decided to drink in the place as it basked in the morning sun. Phalgun who had seen and enjoyed the place many times before, walked us around and we realised we needed a photograph of the couple in almost every foot of the resort. The place was wholesomely beautiful.
When Shilpa and Satish arrived, we went to meet them with hazy visions of composition and we were met with the most pleasing sight. We couldn't have had a lovelier couple to frame between the golden palms. Shilpa looked pretty and as Pia put it, 'her eyes were mesmerisingly beautiful'. Satish looked the apt groom for this pretty picture of a woman.
We sat them on chairs against the extensive, blue waters of the swimming pool which Golden Palms claimed to be the world's largest and which Pia did not seem to quite agree with. The three of us started clicking away in a mad frenzy and both Satish and Shilpa seemed overwhelmed with the sudden attention. Unaware of where to look, they created a moment of confusion and laughter, which gave us some wonderful moments to capture. Soon, the mood set in and they fit into their own elements. As Phalgun and Pia went about their business composing photographs, I tried to eel into the team slowly.
The stairs leading to the pool, the pool side chairs, the pool side bar, the bridge across the pool – we shot the couple in every setting we thought was charming.
Phalgun walked away with Satish for some shots of him and a short interview on his love story while Pia and I took Shilpa and explored the resort.
Shilpa's green dress cradled her in the luxurious greenery of the resort. We simply couldn't seem to get enough shots of her. And though I tried to follow on the foot steps of Pia, I couldn't resist my urge to shoot Shilpa against the fronds – after all, we were in Golden Palms and I wouldn't have been able to leave the place without those shots.
The five of us then met for lunch at the Cafe Solaire. Before we settled down to eat, we spotted some queer architecture on the wall by the cafe. Well, we had the most fun shooting by that queer wall!
Phalgun explained that the name of the cafe derived from its thoughtful design – the sun rises in the morning to streak its beams on the Cafe Solaire. I was taken with the place. Walled with enormous arches in creamy yellow and roofed with a ceiling nursing brown streak-like bars, the Cafe Solaire's design seemed to resonate with the name.
As we whiled away the long hour until lunch arrived, we unravelled the stories of the couple. They lived in the same building and had known each other for seven years. Satish was a nerd – bikes, long drives, making strange mechanical and electronic equipment were his hobbies. Shilpa quipped in with her alarming experience on finding Satish and his friends drilling away with helmets on. Apparently, they were making a helicopter! After three years of acquaintance and two years of intimate friendship, they embarked on their journey of love when Shilpa disturbed Satish's blissful ignorance about the relationship by asking him out.
The steaming hot pasta, steak and french fries arrived and we all ate in silence for a while. That's how hungry we were! Satish and Shilpa decided to change into different clothes after lunch and the three of us relaxed in waiting. Having taken wide angle shots all morning, I decided to change my camera's lens for a different perspective. I walked around and shot intriguing patterns and sculptures in the place. I completely fell in love with the day, the place and largely the lens – it gave me more than eye could see (unintentional verbal pun here, now intended)!
Shilpa and Satish arrived dressed to a theme in colour gelling them as one- Satish wearing a maroon shirt and Shilpa in a beige and maroon suit. The day only seemed to get better when we noticed the couple had eased into the attention of cameras and slithered into casual intimacy – along the roads, the long corridors, on the wooden benches, on the Italian styled chairs.
As the sun began to go down, the intriguing, angular play of light and shadows gave a beauteous touch to the photos of the couple.
As Pia took away Satish for a small photo session, Phalgun interviewed Shilpa to hear her side of the love story.
As he captured the interview, I got a chance for candid shots of Shilpa that I pounced on, though I was worried her interview would be interjected with the lovely sound of the continual clicking of the camera.
After some final photos of the two against the spray of the fountain and amidst the fronds that had captivated me from the start, we relaxed into juice and tea at the Cafe Solaire. As we waited, the day dusked into completion for me – the wagtail, a beautiful, vigil bird in black with streaks of white that had been evading me from morning stood sipping water at the pool. I tip-toed to it and got one pleasing shot against the blue green waters before it flew away again. I stood gazing at the waters – now gleaming gold, now in resplendent blue, now in golden underwater patterns – like a greedy child, I shot it all. I felt satiated thinking of the day gone by – it was my first outdoor shoot with the Cusp Concepts team and I had drunk the day to its lees! Extremely fond of romantic and metaphysical poetry, my favourite form of art had taken a new shape now – each photograph was a verse written in light, colour and texture.
– RadhaNila (This is my first post ever!)