Piya Pawani – Portfolio shoot

An opportunity to shoot for a leading model? How could I miss it?

When Piya planned to come to Pune for the DIVA event, Mrs. West India 2022, we planned a portfolio photoshoot for her. A special thank you to Anjana Mascarenhas and Karl Mascarenhas from DIVA pageants for supporting and encouraging us. Know more on DIVA pageants:


About Piya Pawani

Piya Pawani

Priyah Prakash Pawani, also known as Piya Pawani, was born in Chennai, grew up in Dubai and currently lives in Muscat, Oman. A dual MBA by qualification, she worked as an events coordinator and Financial Analyst in a reputed bank in Dubai for 4 years. Since her move to Oman, it had been hard to establish herself in the same field. She decided to go against all odds and pursue a new career in modeling and has since been in this industry for more than 10 years – shooting for big brands, designers, makeup artists and corporate clients. Be it photoshoots, ramp walks, Emcee, or endorsing a brand, it has been a very special journey for her even though she had no background or experience.

A life- changing experience for her has been Mrs. India – Empress of the Nation 2018 with Diva Pageants, where she emerged as 2nd Runner up. She has been the face of many known brands and has been recognized as a Social media influencer.

Recently, she has been working closely with Diva Pageants as a “photoshoot and portfolio pageant training coach” for Gruhlakshmi Mrs. India, Mrs. West India, Mrs. Maharashtra and Mrs. India – Empress of the Nation.

Her ultimate goal is to empower, inspire and motivate every single married women to explore the pageant world without any inhibitions and work towards their overall personality growth.

Setup for the Photoshoot

The location for the shoot was Hyatt, Pune in Kalyani Nagar. It is a wonderful venue with various backdrops for the photos. A perfect backdrop can add a certain mood to the pictures. We selected from a variety of backdrops, both indoor and outdoor.

As we scouted for backdrops and locations within Hyatt, the ideas for the right poses also started flowing into our minds. The right pose and perfect expression or look is vital to convey a complete picture. Piya being an experienced model, could give the perfect poses and looks for the pictures without much guidance.

The light setup was changed based on the pose and angle. Strobes are used even in outdoor shots to balance the background light. This is because the natural light can vary in an instant. Let’s say on a cloudy day, the sun can suddenly come out and it becomes brighter or then the clouds cover the sun in an instant reducing the brightness. If we rely on natural lights, we have to wait for the appropriate light and could get only a few seconds of it. So, the strobes help to balance this and give additional light effects.

The perfect lights setup is critical for close up pictures to have the right mix of highlights and shadows. In some cases, I have used one light as a spot light, and in other cases used two lights – one key light and one back light. The lights I recommend for use are Elinchrom FRX 400 with an Octa and a Strip modifier. For the spotlight effect, I have used a reflector.

All these pictures were taken on Nikon D750 with Nikon 70-200 lens.

Makeup and hair styling was wonderfully managed by Neetu Singh.

Read more about her:


Assisted by – Kaushal Brahma

A photoshoot requires assistance from multiple people; it is not always a one man task. There are many locations and setups, hence I do need help with moving the lights, setting them up and also in taking pictures with a different camera and with a different set of eyes. It was great to have my young assistant, Kaushal Brahma, a budding photographer and enthusiast, assist me making my shoot easy.

Piya Pawani with Arjun Dixit
Piya Pawani with Kaushal Brahma

Behind the scenes

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