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Here’s what you get when adding an Indian Sweet 16 photoshoot to the regular party coverage.

Indian Sweet 16 photoshoot, just as any Sweet 16 photoshoot, usually comes second to mind when clients are looking for a photographer for their child’s birthday party. They first think of a need to document the celebration itself, leaving out the full artistic aspect. A photographer would take portraits at the event but would it reach the full potential? This was the case with Aastha’s parents, Kinjal and Ruchir. They found me through Samir whose own 40th birthday party I covered earlier in this year. Samir arranged for a special treat of fashionable portraits to all his guests (below, left).

When Ruchir got in touch about covering his daughter’s party, I offered adding a separate photo session. Being a fine art portrait photographer, I cannot let the skill go unclaimed for the young adults. Of course, they get the lion share of Instagram-ready selfies, often of a high quality and spectacular subject matter but a professional photographer can add impact to that through concept development, thoughtful posing of fashion magazine models, and masterful lighting techniques. I can easily do a soft lifestyle photoshoot but for the avant-garde thinkers, picture your daughter in this commercial shoot done for the Castle Couture prom dress salon, for example.

Indian Sweet 16 photoshoot is not something I have done yet, although I had a unique experience doing another client’s Sweet 16 photoshoot underwater and on Times Square (below, center and right). Somehow, Mitzvah clients sought such service for their 12-13-year-olds quite more often in my practice. My guess is that the coming-of-age teens lose the interest in working with adult photographers. I hope this Indian Sweet 16 photoshoot will help illustrate the potential.

During the regular pre-shoot consultations, I learned that Aastha would love to do an NYC theme but without jumping into all the city turmoil. We opted for the Liberty State Park. I applied some of my ideas from the weddings shot there during the Indian Sweet 16 photoshoot. The park offers beautiful views of Manhattan’s skyscrapers. They are particularly remarkable during sunset when the sun rays reflect from the glass jungle. The old train station offers a cool architectural prop along with an old locomotive (officially non-climbable…). It is also home to the Empty Sky, the September 11 Memorial often used by wedding photographers for its unique reflective lighting effect when timed right.

Speaking of wedding photographers, Liberty State Park is also a cool place for engagement sessions and trash-the-dress shoots. It was Monday evening, but we saw several couples being photographed. Officially, a photo permit is required even for non-commercial shoots but we didn’t apply for one and I believe small parties like this slip through, considering the volume of other people and families taking photos there, with or without SLR cameras.

Aastha had three outfits including a traditional Indian one. Perhaps the highlight of our Indian Sweet 16 photoshoot was the red dress which we saved for the night NYC scenery. We concluded the shoot with family portraits of both parents and Aastha’s younger sister. Looking forward to meeting her family next week for the party coverage! A few of these shots might be a hit there as her father works in a printing company.

Click images for full size. Kindly refrain from re-uploading images to social media during the first week of feature. Share instead and give credit to @ZorzStudios!

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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