Photoshoot for Vidushi Sahana Banerjee – Sitar player

I had the wonderful opportunity do a photoshoot for one of the best sitar players – Sahana Banerjee.

About Vidushi Sahana Banerjee

Sahana Banerjee is one of the most accomplished and outstanding female sitar players of India belonging to the Rampur Senia Gharana. She learned to play the sitar under the tutelage of her father. She underwent many years of hard training.

She won the Pandit Nikhil Banerjee Challenge Trophy at the Dover Lane Music conference in the year 1990 in Calcutta and was conferred the “Best Instrumentalist” award.

Apart from being an A grade artist of the All India Radio and Television since 1995, Sahana has given many prestigious stage performances nationally and internationally.

Sahana Banerjee has received a national award, Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva award (2013 -14) awarded by Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi in the field of Sitar.

She won the Pandit Nikhil Banerjee Challenge Trophy at the Dover Lane Music Conference in the year 1990 in Kolkata and was conferred the ‘Best Instrumentalist’ award.

To read more about Sahana Banerjee, visit:

Planning the Photoshoot

I was introduced to Sahanaji by the famous flutist and my flute teacher – Milind Date. Incidentally, he also did a photoshoot with me in my early photography career days and is a patron of my photography.

More about Milind Date –

After multiple planning discussions, we finalized a day for the shoot.  An important aspect of a shoot is the planning. Apart from the dates and timing, planning involves deciding the dress code, make up and looks. A key aspect is to know where and how the pictures are going to be used that will determine the type of pictures to be captured and the lighting effects to be used.     

Planning for makeup is very important as it will vary based the attire and jewellery. It is an essential part of creating the perfect look for the artist.

Makeup artist for this shoot – Gauri Maral.

Shooting angles

When capturing portraits, especially of performing artists, the camera angles are key to getting great pictures. The angle varies based on the type of instrument that is being played by the artist. Some angles can be difficult to shoot without getting into awkward positions on the floor, on the belly and all fours.

The different angles can help focus on the artist or the instrument by bringing it into the foreground. Slight changes in the angles can give a different perspective to a picture. The light angles also have to be changed accordingly.

Here are some of the pictures:

Light effects

Various lighting setups can be used to get a different look. The choice is to use either broad lighting – where the side of the face, facing the camera is lit up, or short lighting – where the side of the face that is away from the camera is lit up. I have also used a back light or separation light for highlighting the hair.

I personally prefer to have short lighting setup for a black and white photo for a dramatic effect. For the B/W picture, I generally use only one light. Take a look…

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