From playing young Madhuri Dixit to donning an entrepreneur's hat, how Meghaa Isrrani rescripted her career
Meghaa Isrrani’s career started off with commercials and movies, including playing a young Madhuri Dixit in a YRF film. However, she stepped on to the entrepreneurial path by getting into the wedding photography business. Soon, she plans to make a foray into the e-learning space.Rekha Balakrishnan & Tanvi Dubey
She literally toddled her way to popularity as a young star who featured in about 180 commercials from the age of three. She is also well known for essaying the role of the young Madhuri Dixit in the blockbuster Hindi movie Dil Toh Pagal Hai.
Meghaa Isrrani has come a long way from being in front of the camera to wielding the lens. As a photographer and cinematographer, she runs Isrrani Photography and Signature Films to narrate wedding stories. In just six years, Meghaa has captured more than 400 wedding stories.
But she has fond memories of the past that perhaps laid the foundation for her present entrepreneurial pursuits.
“My parents were passionate about my pursuing acting. I truly believe it’s their effort and persistence in accompanying me to auditions and the hard work they put into my career that led me to work in over 180 advertisements from the age of three,” she tells HerStory.
I remember how I felt when I walked into school and was recognised by everyone; it was truly great. As a child, I was an extrovert, and all this exposure really changed my life, she adds.
Behind the big picture
After completing college, Meghaa continued her acting career with a few television series with Balaji Telefilms.
“This experience taught me about angles, editing, dialogue delivery, and comprehending what a director expects from a fresher like me - someone who had not faced a camera for five years since she was pursuing her education. I believe the camera really teaches one the truth. I always knew I wanted to do something with the camera, though I never expected that I'd be behind it.”
The stint with Balaji Telefilms taught Meghaa a lot about life and that things could change in a moment.
“I used to work for 18 hours without taking a break. I had no life at all. I then came to a point where I was struggling to bag a new show, and in that struggle zone, my brother, a celebrity fashion photographer, came to my rescue. He was looking to open a division catering to wedding photography and I offered to help him out by marketing the business. I had very little knowledge about videography or editing, but as time passed, I learnt and I evolved,” she explains.
Meghaa started her business from her home and then moved to an office at Andheri West, Oshiwara. Over the last six years, the company has even offered its services to Bollywood celebrities.
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Bitten by the shutterbug
A great fan of Yashraj Films, and also having acted in one, the entrepreneur believes every wedding is no less than a Bollywood movie.
“The whole drill of conducting a wedding is so emotional as one family is giving their daughter away while one family is taking home a daughter. I believe I cannot be in a better space, because every day I get to see happy faces, happy families, and a chance to deal with the best moments of someone's life,” Meghaa says.
So how are they different from other wedding photographers on the scene?
"Our USP has been understanding the needs, desires, and aspirations of the bride, groom, and also their families. We offer personalised packages and also videos. It is about adding a personal touch and bringing out emotions. I believe the storytelling narrative in our videos is what clients hire us for.”
The company has executed weddings for many high-profile clients and celebrities, including cricketer Harbhajan Singh, MLA Pratap Sarnaik's son (Purvesh Sarnaik), the Dhoot family, singer Neeti Mohan, actor Bipasha Basu’s sister Vijayeta Basu, Sameer Sata, TV personalities Ravi Dubey and Sargun Mehta, and actor-singer Himesh Reshammiya, among others.
Isrrani Photography has grown from a team of five to over 90, including photographers, cinematographers, editors, marketing, and the backend team.
Innovate to expand
Meghaa says wedding photography is definitely not an easy job, and it’s important to innovate and redefine with each wedding.
“Over the past seven years, weddings have become extremely monotonous. It's tedious to find new music everyday. We have as many as200 videos on YouTube and no tune is repeated in the videos. Finding new music is a major challenge as our music industry is now banking on remixes. We have created our own music content and produce customised tunes for each wedding,” she says.
The effort has certainly paid off. Meghaa won two coveted awards recently, the EMMA Spotlight Award and the WOW Award, both for the Best Wedding Film of the Year.
Innovation is key, believes Meghaa, as she plans to scale the business by launching an e-learning platform to educate enthusiasts on cinematography and photography through online and offline workshops.
“We are also expanding from 30 weddings a year to 150 weddings. We are looking at discovering new destinations and concepts like a cruise wedding,” she says.
Today, Meghaa has effectively managed to pivot, from a stalled career in acting to a booming entrepreneurial one.
The key to her success is that she didn’t stop trying and kept going. She didn't let one career option define her or her life. She didn't give up, but chose to open new doors and take on new challenges.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)