Creativity

Double the creativity: How life in lockdown inspired this photographer to find his creative counterpart

Post by
Marisa Young
Double the creativity: How life in lockdown inspired this photographer to find his creative counterpart

Indian photographer Pulkit Wadhwa and his partner Astha established PA Creative Studio during lockdown 2020 in New Delhi and their creative partnership has blossomed.

Pulkit and Astha’s strong ability to embrace the brand’s aesthetic in their product photography shines through in every unique image. An always deliberate colour palette and relatable theme play is heightened with carefully chosen props and backdrops. Working from their studio, the creative duo can recreate any scene and easily embrace the brand’s contextual element. From setting up fake bathrooms, bedrooms and desk scenes to beautiful water play and balancing acts, nothing is too hard for this power creative couple. PA Creative Studio has created some of our favourite images for our customers like Venus, Nature Valley and Whisper, and we are lucky to have them on our creative team.

Scroll down to meet Pulkit, one-half of PA Creative Studio and learn about his creative journey so far working alongside his partner in creative crime. The behind and scenes glimpses into their process, which Pulkit is more than happy to share with us and our community, are worth the scroll alone for their inspirational tips and hacks. Enjoy the read and burst of creative inspiration from Pulkit and Astha!

Let’s meet Pulkit

I got my first professional camera in August 2019, I started with street photography but transitioned to product photography during coronavirus lockdown in March 2020. I now have a studio in New Delhi, India with my partner Astha. In my free time, I like to play guitar and learn French.

Pulkit’s Creatively Squared journey

I found out about Creatively Squared through Instagram, actually through a Instagram Hashtag! I liked that Creatively Squared was working with such reputable brands across the world and the work that was being done by other creators, so I wanted to know how I could participate. One thing led to another and I applied for a pilot project through the website.

I love the opportunity to be creative with a product and build strong visuals around it. Though I have experience in food, jewellery, lifestyle and fashion photography, product photography gets me the most excited. Whether it’s just the product or if it requires talent, I try to make every frame best suited for the brand that I work with making it visually appealing.

We love how Pulkit and Astha bring experimentation to their styling, like using glycerin to create water droplets for Venus Shavers. Source: Creatively Squared and PA Creative Studio

When designing visuals, I like to play with different shapes and colours of the same or contrasting family. Having harmony amongst the colours of my palette according to me makes the photograph look very aesthetically pleasing. I like to experiment with lighting a lot too, so while taking the photographs I try 3-4 different lighting set ups to see what looks the best.

Pulkit’s striking colour palette and lighting for Nature Valley. Source: Creatively Squared and PA Creative Studio

The most challenging project so far was actually the pilot project for Venus Shavers. This was the most challenging due to the restrictions imposed during lockdown so I wasn't able to buy the things that I needed for the project. Also a shot from the project involved an avocado and this fruit is not easily available in New Delhi and it is also expensive, the one that I ordered was delivered in 3 days. During the shoot I destroyed the fruit by mistake , apparently there's a specific way to cut an avocado. So I fixed it in photoshop and things worked out well.

Pulkit’s pilot project for Venus Shavers demonstrated their love of water play and balancing act styling techniques. It also features that infamous cut Avocado fixed in Photoshop. Source: Creatively Squared

Tools of the trade

My tools of the trade are a camera (Canon EOS m50), tripod, light stands, c stands, continuous lights, flash, tether cable, laptop, octabox, diffusion etc. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for editing.

I use to set up my shoots in my living room until 3 months ago but now I have my own studio. I still use stuff from all around my house as props in the photographs though 😉

Pulkit’s studio set for a Creatively Squared shoot for Whisper. Source: PA Creative Studio

The finished result for Whisper. Source: Creatively Squared

I like working in my own studio but there are a wide range of props that I love using and reusing. Curtains give a great touch of silhouette in every photograph and provides it with a soft yet high class looking look. Table clocks or alarm clocks make any room or desk set up look very complete and realistic.

Another one of my favourites has to be custom tile / marble backdrops that make the photograph very naturalistic yet aesthetically pleasing. It never fails to make the photograph look amazing.

DIY tip: I design these backdrops in Photoshop and get them printed on a sun board.

And last but not the least using fake grass mats or beach sand makes me feel like I have brought the outdoors into my studio. They are easy to use and give a beautiful look without anyone knowing that its actually shot in the studio.

[#cta]

I always plan my shoots ahead of time, even before the products arrive. I start by making a mood board and sketching a few ideas and then ordering or gathering any props that I may require.

An idea sketch by Pulkit turned to reality for Nature Valley. Source: PA Creative Studio and Creatively Squared.

I love to listen to music before starting work. In fact music is always playing during the shoot. When a creative block is concerned, I like to check out works of other creators like @kse.bolshakova and spend some time on Pinterest to get the creative juices flowing. I also like to go out and do some street photography when I feel limited artistically.

Some examples of Pulkit’s other love, street photography. Source: PA Creative Studio

The PA Creative Studio team

Myself and my partner Astha started doing product photography together. She not only helps me with my lighting and camera set ups but also plays a key role in product styling and placement. We always design all the moodboards and visuals together, and she has been a part of all my product photography execution.

Pulkit and Astha make creative magic for Venus, from a balancing act to a fake bathroom setup. Source: Creatively Squared and PA Creative Studio

Pulkit’s top tips

As important as props and placement can be, lighting according to me plays a very important part in photography. Good lighting can dramatically effect the outcome. My top tip has to be learning different lighting techniques and trying out different methods. Practice becomes the key in lighting. Always take out time to try various lighting set ups before starting the shoot and taking any final photographs.

This year’s focus...

I would love to work on my time management skills and take on more projects this year without comprising on quality.

A time lapse showing Pulkit and Astha’s creative process with some water play, and the amazing result. Source: PA Creative Studio and Creatively Squared

Thank you Pulkit for sharing your journey so far with us and documenting your creative process. To see more of Pulkit and Astha’s work as well as more behind the scenes and creative tips, follow PA Creative Studio.

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