This appeared on GQIndia.com last week
Lately, every photo shoot I've done, I've been feeling the equivalent of what a street play director might feel in presence of Woody Allen, what a brand new musician kid on the block might feel bumping unexpectedly into A R Rehman or what someone from Jersey Shore might feel in presence of Johnny Depp. Somewhat insecure, a tad intimidated and very infuriated at why that person needed to be there at that point in time.
It's not particularly a series of events that occur after bumping into 'someone who's potentially better at my job than I am' that upset me. In fact for the most part, the events are restricted to harmless casual interactions and a brief exchange of information on the subject. Nothing even remotely threatening. Nothing that would send my confidence speeding down to my heels. The devil is in the conspicuous gadgets that uproot me as I begin to question the merits of my 'weekend photographer' label. There's invariably someone with a newer version of SLR, someone with a fancy lens that I've never held before, someone going non-stop about ISOs and shutter speed and image stabilization. Don't get me wrong. I'm no fraud. I know enough to get by. Under ordinary circumstances, I love to indulge in those discussions but when on job, it ends up being a deal breaker.
If you extrapolate, it’s the classic age old crisis. Whether you chose to indulge in the rat race or stay miles away and just be a spectator, it’s infamous for sparing no one. More pages than a book on the resume, more digits than a telephone number as net worth, more foreign trips than a commercial pilot, more girlfriends than Gerard Butler, bigger mansion than Michael Jackson’s, better wit than Shahrukh Khan, more charisma than Rahul Gandhi; those guys are all around us. Fate arranges for a tête-à-tête with one such person every once in a while. It keeps the ego in check and sometimes gives way to self-effacing humor, my favorite variety.
Remember ‘In Good Company’? Dennis Quaid couldn’t escape his fate as his life was taken over a younger, cooler version of him a.k.a. Topher Grace. But it doesn’t have to be our fate.
After mulling over it for a while, I’ve come up a life saver: game changing rules The next time you run into someone you want to be, here’s what will help you sail through the encounter breezily.
Take a deep breath and act cool. Yoga hasn’t been around forever for nothing. It works.
Share experiences. He might have more skills and better luck but not your perception
Offer to collaborate at some point. There’s no harm in trying. Your luck is constantly
Whatever you do, don’t overdo it. It’ll show through and fizzle out like air from a latex
The ball’s in your court. Here’s a virtual hi-fi. Go kill it.