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Giveaway | Win a Free Couple Shoot!

Celebrating 10 years of Twogether Studios

This September, Twogether Studios completes ten years of creating stories and making memories. As we look back, we are truly humbled by the love our clients and audiences have given us. Over the last decade, we’ve been a part of hundreds of beautiful love stories and are honoured to have been chosen to be a part of their wedding day. This continuous love and support have given us the strength to create truly spectacular stories for our couples and their families. Our belief in the power of love continues to grow stronger with each journey we take with our couples. It gives us immense joy to witness the union of two people and families.

In an attempt to give some of the love back, we are hosting a giveaway! We are super excited to announce a complimentary couple photo-shoot for one lucky couple with us! To win a free session, you have to just enter the contest and tell us about your journey with your partner.

How to enter

  1. Follow us on Instagram (@twogetherstudios.in) and like our giveaway post on Instagram.
  2. Post a photo of you and your partner on your Instagram feed with your love story in the caption. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #TenYearsTwogether in the caption and tag us @twogetherstudios.in in your photo and description.
  3. Once you’ve completed the above, comment on our Instagram post and let us know. That’s it!
  4. Remember, try and tell us why you deserve this shoot in your post! We love stories, and we can’t wait to hear yours. The couple who we deem to have the most interesting story/backstory/reason for winning will be chosen by us.

**It’s an Instagram-only contest and all submissions will be entertained on Instagram only. You need to complete all of the above three steps to be eligible for the giveaway.**

What you get

  1. Styling consultation before the shoot.
  2. One photo-session for 3-4 hours led by Arjun at a location of your choice anywhere in India.
  3. A personal album from our signature collection with 15-20 pages (including shipping anywhere in India).
  4. 10-15 prints from the session on archival quality paper.
  5. High-resolution soft copies of all the edited photos.

Terms and conditions

  1. There are NO hidden clauses here, and no cash payments to be made to us by the winners (except for travel and stay to outstation non-NCR locations as mentioned below).
  2. The contest is open to all couples regardless of age, religion, caste or sexual orientation. You should, however, be at least 18 years or older to be eligible for the contest.
  3. Couples who have already booked us cannot take part in this giveaway.
  4. Make sure that your profile is open for us to see your post. In case you have a private profile, comment in the contest post and let us know and we’ll send you a DM.
  5. The giveaway is only for a photo-shoot. There will be no video from the session.
  6. The giveaway is not limited to any area or location and can be availed anywhere in India. However, any travel costs to and fro outside of NCR, and accommodation for one night for two people will be borne by you.
  7. Location charges: We will brainstorm with the winner during a consultation while finalising the shoot. Any venue charges at the venue of your choice are to be borne by you (and paid DIRECTLY to the venue).
  8. The winning couple shall agree to be featured with their names on our website/social media or any other publication that we submit to in the future.
  9. The winners can redeem their free session only in the month of October at a mutually convenient date.
  10. Once finalised, any rescheduling, cancellations, or changing of the session dates will not be allowed.
  11. This giveaway cannot be exchanged for any other type of shoot or combined with a wedding package and does not have any cash value. The shoot is also not transferable.
  12. You can enter the contest only once.
  13. In case you fail to show up on time, you forfeit the photo-shoot.
  14. All winner decisions will be final and will be intimated via Instagram. In case the winning couple does not redeem their prize for any reason whatsoever, we will intimate the next couple of our choice.

If you know anyone who wants to create some beautiful memories with their loved one, do tag them in our Instagram post here. We love stories and can’t wait to read yours! Hurry up and participate!

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5 Shots We Love to Capture on a Bridal Shoot

Must-have shots for a bride on her wedding day

We love weddings! And we love shooting weddings! Through our years of experience, we know the ins and outs of a wedding day. And we know just how special it is for a bride. It’s the day you’ve been dreaming about for months, the day when all your preparations come together in a beautiful ceremony. It’s your day! But in the hustle bustle, excitement and nervousness of your day, it can be hard to remember or even take out time for photos. Which is where we, the wedding photographers, come in! We love getting creative and spending time taking bridal portraits. And while we love every aspect – the mehendi, the jewellery, the shoes – there are certain things we never forget to capture on a wedding day. Here’s a list of shots we love to capture on a bridal shoot.

#1 Lehenga shot

We know you’ve spent so many hours and days pouring over bridal magazines, visiting boutiques, following bridal trends and getting that blouse fit juuust right. All for that perfect lehenga for your wedding day. So why not let your photographer take that shot of your lehenga swaying in the wind? We love going on a hunt for that quirky place to hang our bride’s gorgeous lehengas and make it the star of the image.

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#2 Getting Ready

We love capturing the process of a girl becoming a bride. It is one of the parts of your wedding story. This is also a perfect time for us to capture fleeting emotions our bride’s go through before their wedding. Her excitement, nervousness, that beautiful bridal glow on her face. It’s also a great time to capture those intimate moments with her family while she’s getting ready. When the bride’s sister helps her put on her jewellery, or when the bride’s Mom settles that dupatta on her head. The look on the father’s face when he sees his daughter for the first time as a bride is priceless!

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#3 Bridal Portrait

All your wedding preparations for months have been leading up to this moment – when you’re finally dressed as a bride. And we love capturing our brides in all their glory! This is where we take our own sweet time to give you a portrait that transcends time and trends. We really work towards creating an image that highlights the best of you on your special day.

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#4 Bridal Entry

Now that you’re all ready, all eyes are waiting for you. And so is our camera’s lens! It’s quite heartwarming to capture the bride’s entrance with her entourage of loved ones. Every bridal entry is different. Some walk in with a phoolo ki chaadar overhead, some make an entry while their family holds sparklers, or some brides go big and enter in a grand palki. When all eyes are on her, every bride reacts differently as well. Some blush and get shy, and some dance and walk confidently through their entries. Whatever your style is, make your bridal entry and be assured that we’ll be there to make it a memory for you!

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#5 Vidaai

Vidaai ceremonies are truly heartwarming and extremely emotional moments in an Indian wedding. It’s a bittersweet moment as the bride says goodbye to her family. We love how all the emotions just burst forth during a vidaai. It’s extremely important for us to capture this moment of great sentiment as the bride leaves her family and loved ones.

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Of course, these are not the only images we create for a bride on her wedding day. We go far and beyond to give our brides what they want and deserve. Every bride is unique in her own way and her bridal shots are created to suit her style. We suggest that whatever you do, make sure you take some time out for portraits. This day will not come back again and we know from experience that you will cherish the memories from this day for life.

Any questions? Drop them in the comments and we’ll answer! If you’d like to talk about the possibility of us shooting your wedding, please contact us here. We’d love to be a part of your day!

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A Mahabalipuram Destination Wedding Story | Sandeep+Shivangi

The mischievous duo marry in a Mahabalipuram destination wedding

Who would have thought that a chance meeting between two strangers at a mutual friend’s wedding would end up in another wedding? Certainly not Sandeep and Shivangi, but that’s how their story begins! The ever so shy Sandeep didn’t know how to ask for her number but Shivangi beat him to the chase when she texted him a few days later. After that, they constantly texted each other into the late hours of the night and looked for excuses to meet-up. During one of those long text conversations, they professed their love for each other. From there on, there was no looking back. They had decided that no matter what hurdles came their way, they will be together for life.

The only hurdle to cross now was telling their parents. And this time, somebody else beat both of them to the chase. It was one of those classic Bollywood moments where your secret is out and everybody knows! Sandeep’s father couldn’t believe that his son was dating but agreed to meet Shivangi first. His parents liked her in the first meeting and it was decided! They were getting married!

We shot their pre-wedding in the beautiful Park Hyatt in Goa. They share a unique chemistry that was fun to shoot. Sandeep and Shivangi are one of those couples who tease and roast each other all the time.

Their three-day wedding celebrations included a Holi party, a fun Arabic-themed engagement and a beautiful mehendi function. We love shooting weddings because of the energy, colours, and action in every function. And Sandeep and Shivangi’s super fun and super crazy Holi Party was no less! We had as much fun shooting it as their families had splashing colors on each other!

The couple got married in a beautiful day wedding at the Radisson Blu in Mahabalipuram amongst their family and friends. Shivangi made her grand entry in a palki while Sandeep looked starstruck to see her as a bride.

Watch the lovely duo marry in a beautiful day ceremony at the Radisson Blu in Mahabalipuram.

Something Beautiful ~ Shivangi + Sandeep from Twogether Studios on Vimeo.

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This is a Mahabalipuram Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiGoaJaipurUdaipurKovalam, MussoorieMumbaiPuneKochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photography spots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur, Thailand, Hua Hin etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Tips for Choosing a Photographer for Your Destination Wedding

Hire a photographer for your destination wedding with our help

We believe that choosing a photographer for your destination wedding is one of the most important decisions you will make with regard to your wedding checklist. The fun and the physical experiences you will have will only last for the duration of the wedding. But as time fades, memories of your wedding will be kept alive only through photographs. Pictures make memories tangible. They give memories colour, and context. How many times have you all leafed through your parent’s wedding album gushing over each detail and asking your Mom to tell you their story just one more time? If you’re anything like us, our guess is more than a hundred times. And we bet that it never gets boring. The story gets better with each re-telling.

If you’re one of those couples that prioritise wedding photography, this post is for you. It can get overwhelming to make so many decisions and choose from so many options while planning a destination wedding. And we’re here to make it just a little bit easier for you to make a decision. Read our tips on choosing a photographer for your destination wedding who will give you eternal and timeless wedding pictures.

#1 Don’t only look for local photographers

A lot of wedding planning websites and portals will tell you that you should hire the venue photographer or someone local to the destination of your wedding. But we strongly suggest that you take your wedding photographer along with you to the destination. There are a couple of reasons for this and not just because we have a vested interest. All leading wedding photographers in India travel all over the world on assignments. We have enough experience and calibre to be able to create stunning images in stunning locations. We understand the rituals and customs of weddings in our country and know which moments are important to a couple and their families. In case of local or venue photographers, there’s a chance that they might be unqualified for shooting, inexperienced in your customs or ill-versed with your language.

Another reason is that if you hire someone closer to home, you will have the chance to meet them in person and discuss your expectations clearly. Your photographer needs to know which moments are important for you. Personally, we make it a point to spend some time getting to know our couples in the months before the wedding. It sets a base for us about what the couple is like and what they are looking for.

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#2 Take your time

Don’t rush and hire a photographer just to tick off one thing off your wedding to-dos. If photos from your wedding are important to you and your partner, then take your time finding the right one. Go over portfolios, wedding trailers and any work that is available online. In fact, have face-to-face meetings or Skype calls with your shortlisted photographers and see if you like them and vibe with them. You are going to be spending 90% of your time with your photographer and being comfortable with them is very important. It’s an important decision, so if you don’t like someone, communicate your reservations with them. In most of our cases, a conversation helps clear our couple’s worries. If you still don’t like them, move on to the next person on your list.

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#3 Understand the photographer’s process and style

This part is very important in making the right choice. Every photographer has a distinct and different style of working and shooting. The kind of wedding you envision should also weigh in when you’re making a decision. So when you’re talking to your shortlisted photographers, tell them the style, mood, and themes of your wedding. However great the photographer might be, if you don’t gel with them or vice-versa, you won’t be able to make great images with them. Ask them about their style and approach of shooting and tell them to prep you beforehand about how the shoot will proceed on the actual day. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or tell them what you want. If their style and work matches your perspective, there’s nothing like it!

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#4 Don’t get bogged down by budget

The budget is certainly one of the major factors in deciding on a wedding photographer for your destination wedding. Any good quality product doesn’t come cheap. And so is the case with good wedding photography and cinematography. The top-end photographers are definitely on the higher side of money, but the investment is absolutely worth it! We’ve had countless couples come back and tell us that spending on wedding photography was the best decision they made for their wedding.

Nevertheless, we understand that money does count in while making a decision. If the photographer that you love is a little over your budget, we suggest you talk to them about it. No photographer, including us, wants to let go of a couple they really like. We tend to get attached pretty soon. So talk to them and find out if they can customise a package for you. Over the past years, some of our couples have chosen to cut down budget from one or two of the other areas of their wedding, to spend on photography. And we can safely say that they haven’t complained. Usually, we suggest that you keep a budget of about 10-15% of your total wedding budget for photography. We have spoken previously about how you should set your wedding photography budget. You can read it in detail here.

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#5 Consider the coverage

With a photographer from the venue/resort, you might only get certain hours of coverage. Indian weddings tend to go on for days and into late hours of the night. So the hour-based coverage doesn’t really work well into the equation. Bringing your own photographer will ensure that you have all their attention and commitment for all the days of your wedding celebrations. Make sure that you talk about the coverage they offer and discuss extra charges if the events run late so there are no surprises later on. Once we sign on a couple, we give our 100% to them. From the first function to the vidaai ceremony, we’re there. We’re always up for the challenge that different locations throw before us, even if it means shooting in the middle of the night to get that couple portrait under the starry sky!

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#6 Can they adapt?

While hiring a photographer, make sure that the person or company that you’re talking to has enough resources to be able to pull off a destination wedding. We’re not talking in terms of the size of the crew, although that’s certainly a consideration. If you’re planning a large-scale destination wedding with grand festivities and 100-200 people, then make sure that the photographer has enough resources to capture your entire wedding without any compromise on coverage. Wedding photography companies, like us, often have enough in-house team member to be able to pull that off. Independent photographers usually hire freelance photographers to complete their team. But whoever you’re talking to, it’s important that you know if they can arrange a competent crew to manage the scale of your wedding.

Even if the wedding is small, there are other issues like camera, lenses and memory back-ups. Can they manage if one of their cameras, lenses, cards or any other piece of equipment fails in the middle of the wedding? It’s important because replacements or repairs in some of the destinations aren’t easy. So the team should be prepared for any situation and can adapt to different environments.

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Please remember that these are not rules that you have to follow. These are some basic guidelines to help you navigate through thousands of photographer options. One of the above might apply to you, all of them might apply to you or none of them might apply to you. You might even end up finding a great photographer local to your destination. But most of the above guidelines apply even in that case. Please do lots of research and ask your photographer tons of questions before making any decision.

We’d love to know how you chose your destination wedding photographer. If you’d like to ask anything, please write to us in the comments. As always, we would love to answer and help make your wedding day as magical as you imagined it to be!

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A Delhi Wedding Story | Vasvi+Puneet

Two beautiful souls vow their love for each other in a Delhi wedding

When two people in love come together, magic happens. And what’s not to love about capturing the journey of those beautiful souls?

Vasvi and Puneet’s story began in college, where they met each other as strangers, became acquaintances and then friends. Puneet was mesmerised by Vasvi since the first time he saw her. Soon after he knew that Vasvi is the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. For him, there was no going back. His love and care for her over the years made Vasvi realise that she too loved him and wanted him as her life partner. And their families were only too happy to unite the two lovebirds.

We shot their pre-wedding at the Park Hyatt in Goa. It was great to spend some time getting to know the two. We had a fun and relaxed shoot on the beach before the hustle-bustle of their wedding preparations began. Vasvi is the kind of girl that you can’t help but like and Puneet is an absolute gentleman. Shooting their wedding was so comfortable for us as both Vasvi and Puneet’s families are great hosts. Their four-day wedding was an intimate affair with loads of laughter and tears.

Vasvi and Puneet had two beautiful wedding ceremonies in Delhi – Hindu-style pheras followed by a Sikh wedding. The Hindu wedding happened at Shagun Farms while the Sikh wedding took place at the beautiful Gurudwara Pahariwala in Greater Kailash. The grand wedding celebrations continued for four days with haldi, mehendi and sangeet functions. Being the beloved of the family, Vasvi’s bidaai had everybody (including us!) crying their eyes out.

Here are some of our favourite moments from their wedding.

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Watch as Puneet and Vasvi begin a new life with a promise for a lifetime.

Promise for a Lifetime ~ Vasvi + Puneet from Twogether Studios on Vimeo.

 

This is a Delhi Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like MussoorieGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalam, Mumbai, PuneKochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photography spots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur, Thailand, Hua Hin etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Tips for Creating a Professional Photography Website

A good-quality website increases your chance of being hired

The first step to launching your career as a professional wedding photographer is without a doubt having a website. Any bride or groom who is looking for a wedding photographer is doing it on the internet. It’s all about your online presence today. Do you come up in search results? Does your Instagram have enough followers? Do you have a footprint on every social media and are you taking up every marketing opportunity out there? Having just a portfolio with a gallery of your images online is not the wrong way to go about it. But if you want people to take you seriously and establish yourself as a credible photographer, creating a website is definitely the right way. It is the one place you can showcase the best of your work. There are no wedding photography exhibitions, where people can come and see your work and decide if they want to hire you. So your website becomes all the more important to showcase your product – your images.

Seeing your website is the first experience that a client has with you, without ever meeting or talking to you. It is a place where you can infuse your personality, draw the client in with the way you present your brand. It’s also a place where you can showcase your achievements and testimonials from previous clients. And a place for a potential client to find your contact details.

Now obviously landing up on your website doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be hired. So what makes the difference? You might certainly be a great photographer, but does your website reflect that? A good website can make that difference between getting hired and the client moving on. In this post, we’ve got some basic tips for you that make the foundation of every good website. Read on to find out what we have done ourselves to create a professional website. 

#1 Image Quality and Portfolio

This is the most important thing on your website. Your portfolio is your resume and it needs to be a curation of your best work. When someone arrives at your website, this is the one thing that will make the decision for them to book you. So be harsh while selecting which pictures to display on your website. Don’t feel compelled to put up every photo, ignore your favourite ones and critically examine and cull your work. Select the kind of pictures that display your strength and style of photography. A small curation of outstanding pictures is any day better than a large number of average photos. When a potential client visits your website, they should find your best work front and centre. Also, don’t forget to update your website portfolio frequently. This is the best place to showcase your latest work and talent.

Another thing to keep in mind is the image resolution. Output your images to a too low resolution and the quality decreases; output them in a higher resolution and your website slows down. We’ll talk about how to retain your image quality while keeping it in the right size as to not slow down your website, at further points in this post.

#2 Keep it uncluttered and easy to navigate

Whichever theme you choose, ensure that it is clean and uncluttered. Nothing distracts more than twenty things happening on a screen. Pick a design that focusses on what you want the client to see first – your images. Your website represents you, so whatever you choose, make sure it reflects your personality and your brand.

Keep the navigation simple and easy-to-follow so that your visitors can flow smoothly from your home page to portfolio to about page and eventually to your contact info. Remember to always keep a button that directs them back to the homepage. But don’t clutter the navigation bar; restrict the options on it to 5-6 navigation buttons. We also suggest keeping the navigation pattern consistent and in the same place throughout the website so as to keep it familiar and obvious to a visitor.

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#3 Make your website fast and mobile friendly

There is nothing worse than a potential client reaching your website, but moving away because it took too long to load. One way of making your website faster is to down-size the images you plan to upload. You can use Photoshop or plugins like JPEGmini to help reduce image size without losing out on quality. Websites that are light and faster to load also ranks better on Google.

Google also up-ranks websites that are optimised for mobile phones. So ensuring that your website design has a good mobile version will help you rank better in search results. We also suggest spending some time choosing a good host for your website. The kind of host you choose will also determine the speed of your website and its security. Consult a web developer if you have any confusion or aren’t able to figure out any settings.

#4 Follow good SEO practices

We know, we know, you’re photographers and you have nothing to do with this SEO mumbo jumbo. But having a good SEO will make sure that you pop up in search results when a bride searches for wedding photographers. Our experience of running a successful website over the years has taught us a thing. Or two! So to ensure that you land up, if not in the first few Google search results, but the first page at least, there are a few basic things we suggest you keep in mind.

First, build good quality internal links and backlinks. And fix ALL the broken links on your website. Broken links do a lot of harm to your website’s ranking and credibility. Next, use the right keyword and tags in your heading and content. Think like your average consumer and find words that they might use while searching for a wedding photographer. And keep the keyword related to your content.

Don’t forget to add alt-tags and titles to your images. This will tell Google in words what your image is about (Google can’t read images) and helps it index them. And lastly, create good and relatable content. We’ve written previously about good SEO practices in detail, so if you need more information, click here to read.

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#5 Easy-to-find contact info

Now that you’ve managed to get a client to your website, wow-ed them with your images and kept them there long enough for them to decide to book you, have you given them an easy way to contact you? It’s surprising how many people make this elementary mistake. Don’t make them look around for your contact; people are more likely to move on and find someone they can call easily. So, make a separate Contact page for your contact info and make it prominent on the navigation bar of your homepage. Include all available options – a phone number, an email address, a contact form and social media links. It is also a good practice to include your contact information on all pages of the website.

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#6 Make your content interesting

Having a blog is the best way to make your website interesting and liven it up! Write about topics your clients and other photographers will be interested in. Write about what inspires as a photographer, tell photo-stories from assignments, behind the scenes stories, or give your readers an insight into what your average day as a wedding photographer looks like. This is basically your playground. You can get as creative about topics as you want and let your personality shine through!

It may sound a bit too much at first, but tackle one thing at a time and move forward from there. Sit down and decide which part of your website needs to be worked on first and get on that. As you go on, you’ll have a fairly good idea of how to proceed. While we think that this is something you can totally do on your own, if you feel it’s too much or that you don’t want to spend your time working on this, go ahead and hire a web developer for your website.

We would love to hear any other suggestions you might have for creating a professional photography website. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments and we’d love to answer!

 

 

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Lighting Tips for Photographing Indian Weddings

The lowdown on making the best of available and artificial lighting at Indian weddings

In our previous post, we spoke about some lighting basics for photographing Indian weddings. We don’t need to say it again, but we will nevertheless. The lighting situation is quite unpredictable at Indian weddings. And as people who are going to capture some of the most important days of a couple’s life, we can’t afford to make mistakes. It is one thing to shoot in the perfect golden hour light but taking consistently good pictures in dim-lighting, spot-lighting, coloured disco lighting etc, is quite another beast. If you do it right, the family will cherish the memories for years to come. But if you don’t, you’ll most likely ruin your reputation and a couple’s most precious day. So it’s important to know how to handle unsuitable lighting conditions at various wedding events. You should know how to manipulate the light – available and artificial – to get what you want.

This post goes into more detail about using available light and the kind of lighting equipment that works in different situations at an Indian wedding. If you’re someone who’s just starting out, this post is for you.

#1 Make the most of available light

As we said before, it’s important to see light, understand it’s direction and intensity and the effect it has on the shadow and highlight of a scene or subject. By available light, we mean any light source available at the location that helps expose the shot – sunlight, bulbs or tube lights in a room, candles, LEDs, bonfire, neon lights, etc. It doesn’t matter what kind of light it is or its source, you should remember that diffused directional lighting always produces the most pleasing results for human subjects. And the challenge at weddings is attaining this exact effect using available light.

Even though many photographers acclaim the benefits of natural light, it certainly has its own challenges. In a perfect world, we would only shoot in the golden hour. But the reality is that even while shooting in natural light, we have to diffuse harsh sunlight, fill shadows and illuminate open shaded areas.

One trick is to turn the subject so that source of light falls at a 45-degree angle for a more pleasing effect. Flat front facing or direct light is harsh and can cause you to lose details in the frame. So try to use natural reflectors available at the location – large white walls or windows/mirrors. You can also carry portable, foldable reflectors to fill shadows. Or use open shade technique – place the subject the at the edge of a shaded area facing the non-shaded area – to illuminate the subject in a softer way.

#2 Create drama using available light

When trying to work with available light at a wedding, look for any source of light that can create drama – a shaft of light coming from the window, spot-like concealed ceiling lighting in a ballroom, landscape spot-lighting focussed on a tree or wall, filigree or cut-work lamps as part of the decor. The easiest way is to take the subject where these sources of light hit directly. Then spot meter for face and take your high-contrast dramatic shot.

#3 Static constant LED panels

LED panels are great to add light and achieve the exposure needed in dimly lit areas and situations at a wedding. The advantage is that they’re battery-operated chargeable panels, portable and easy to mount on light stands. So you can place them wherever you need to add fill light. But also remember to place them at a 45-degree angle to the subject so the light is directional and flattering.

One other advantage of LED panels is that unlike flashes and speedlights, it’s not blinding or startling to one’s eyes. But they could be a mood killer. If the event is dimly lit and has mood lighting, setting up an LED panel could ruin the feel. So be judicious about their use. You don’t want to disrupt the vision of the couple. But the good thing is that most good quality LED panels will give you the option of adjusting the brightness levels as well as let you mix warm and cool light. So you can easily adjust the light accordingly and get the exposure you need without disrupting the ambience.

#4 On-camera flash

Even though most wedding photographers would prefer off-camera lighting, on-camera flash is a good fallback option for when you don’t have an assistant or a radio trigger handy. Like we said, it’s better to get a shot that you could salvage in post-processing than miss a moment. So if you have to use an on-camera flash, we suggest taking manual control of the flash settings as it will help in creating softer and more flattering light.

The disadvantage, however, of using an on-camera flash and one that drives away most photographers is the harsh light, and the flash burn it produces on the subject’s face. But that can be minimised by bouncing the flash off the ceiling or a wall. If you find that difficult to do because of high ceilings, then use light diffusers in forms of plastic domes to soften the light from the direct flash.

#5 Off-camera flash lighting

Off-camera lighting is the most preferred lighting set-up in wedding photography today. Why? Because it allows us to give directional light, and controls the intensity, harshness and softness of the light by being a movable source of light. Off-camera lighting also gives you option of creating images ranging from well-lit studio style portraits to dramatic mood shots. But the effect created by off-camera lighting is based on the choice of modifier. So, let’s talk about a few light modifiers that you can pair with your off-camera flash.

5.1 Off-camera flash with umbrella

Umbrella gives a lovely soft lighting that covers a broader area. One of the bigger advantages of using this is that it’s pretty simple and straightforward to use. And easily available. It’s also not a problem if one gets damaged during a wedding, because it’s extremely cheap. An umbrella is also very portable, easy to install and breakdown. Another advantage is that it is a good option for amateurs to start learning.

And the drawback is that it produces only one kind of light that is often spread too wide and spills. It also illuminates the background as much as the subject, so it’s difficult to create dramatic images. Another problem is that because of the surface it covers, it could just as easily get into your teammate’s frame and disrupt his shot, and can be quite an eyesore at a wedding.

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5.2 Off-camera flash with softbox

Softbox is a great lighting equipment that we’re sure all photographers swear by. It emulates the soft, diffused light that comes from a window, conceals skin blemishes, reduces contrast, softens edges of shadows and produces light that “falls off” very quickly as it gets further away from source so that background is less affected.

One reason why it’s preferred over umbrellas is its ability to control and shape light. Unlike the case in using an umbrella, the light doesn’t spill over a larger area when using a softbox. It also gives you the option of adding grids on top, creating more narrow and directional lighting. Plus, they’re available in different shapes like the square or octagonal softboxes that create a very pleasing, round catchlight in the eyes of the subject –  which is quite important for portrait and fashion photography.

It’s not as portable as umbrellas though and takes a little more effort to assemble and breakdown. And a good quality softbox is at least ten times the price of an umbrella. But while it is a relatively expensive investment, it’s one that will reap you more than you sow.

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5.3 Off-camera flash with MagMod

These are all the rage in the wedding photography industry today. They’re great for dramatic mood shots, especially using the MagGrid. Mostly used for giving sharp shafts of directional light to create high contrast dramatic images, they are suitable for dance floors during DJ performances, sangeet night or creating striking bridal/groom or couple portraits. You could use a kit of coloured gels, handy for creating dramatic shots much like giving the effect of coloured LED focus lights or backgrounds.

But unlike softbox and umbrellas, the quality of light produced is harsher. It creates harsh shadows, which is sometimes part of the artistic decision but not always desirable in every kind of low light situation. They’re also quite an expensive buy.

lighting-tips-for-photographing-indian-weddings

Don’t be afraid to play around with artificial lighting. We’re not saying it’s easy, but it’s not impossible either. Once you have the hang of it, we guarantee your images will be quite extraordinary. The key is to practice, prepare and scout. Practice shooting in odd-lighting in your off time. And prepare for a wedding by scouting the location, talking to the wedding planner, the lighting guys and being aware of what will happen when and where. If you’ve practiced enough, know what lighting situations an event will happen in and which time of the day it’s happening, you’re good to go.

If we haven’t covered anything, or you have any questions, do let us know in the comments. We’d love to answer!

 

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Lighting Basics for Photographing Indian Weddings

Our tried and tested tips to help you shoot in challenging lighting conditions typical of Indian weddings

All of you have shot at least one Indian wedding sometime in your life, right? So you definitely know from experience how unpredictable and chaotic Indian weddings are. Rituals run late and there are always more people you know (and don’t) and more functions than you expect. Most Indian wedding celebrations are spread over days with rituals like sagan, haldi, mehendi and sangeet/cocktail. In fact, every community and culture have different rituals. Considering that, being a wedding photographer today isn’t just one thing. One has to be an expert at fashion, landscape, concert, portrait, family photography and more. And you’ve to be prepared to shoot anything in any situation. And it’s certainly not easy. Events run late, venues change and functions move quickly form harsh noon light to dim-lit indoors.

One of the most difficult things we have to deal with as photographers at a wedding is the lighting. And it changes with every wedding and even various functions during a wedding. The lighting conditions are not always what you anticipate. It can be frustrating to shoot in terrible lighting, so planning ahead and being prepared is your best bet. It’s really important to see, understand and manipulate light to your advantage so that you can give the couple and their family beautiful memories from their special day. Shooting weddings over the last decade have given us enough experience to handle any situation. And to be honest, we love the challenge too! So we’ve put together a few tips for you to keep in mind while you’re shooting a wedding.

Indian wedding photography couple photo

#1 Learn to see light

We don’t use cameras with film negatives any longer. But photography is still all about the way light reacts with the subject and surrounding conditions. To be a good photographer, you have to learn how to see light. When you look at a scene you should be able to identify the shadows and highlight areas as well as the contrast range of the scene. Our eyes are always drawn to the brightest part of the scene, that is, the highlight. So try and place your main subject in the highlight area.

It’s also important that you visualise how your photo will come out before you take it. Be it outdoor functions with harsh mid-day light, soft evening natural light, a semi-indoor event with light streaming in from one side or concealed ceiling light in a ballroom, or coloured flashing LEDs at a sangeet. You should be able to see the light, it’s direction, and know your settings without having to undergo trial and error on the spot. So make it a habit of seeing the light every time you look through the viewfinder.

#2 Decide your lighting strategy

Basis your reading of the scene, the venue, the decor, surroundings and lighting, there are a couple of ways you can proceed. First, ask yourself if there is enough natural light? If yes, you’ve got your work cut out for you. If not, look around and see if you can move your subject to a place with better light. Or can you move around and take the shot with a different angle that provides better light? It’s a simple solution, but one that fails to cross our minds a lot of times.

In case, there is not enough ambient light or you can’t move your subject, you can go two ways. One, you can push the limits of your gear and bump up your ISO and open your aperture wide. Two, you can choose to use artificial light – LED panels, on-camera flash or off-camera flash if you have an assistant handy. Whichever option you choose, make sure you’re comfortable with it and have a strategy in place.

Indian wedding bridal portrait

#3 Know your camera and equipment

While deciding on your strategy, remember that it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes once you’re on the scene. Trying to figure out how your camera settings are configured or how to pair your off-camera flashes at the venue is just not an option – if you’re not familiar enough with the camera, or just got a new one, learn how it works on your off-time. After you reach the scene, it should only be about deciding your camera strategy and switching to the settings required to achieve that as quickly as possible. During a wedding, it’s about capturing that one moment during the chaos. So time is of the essence.

So familiarise yourself with your camera and it’s every function. And most importantly, know the relationship between the holy trinity – ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Needless to say, any of the 3 can be used to get the right exposure but remember: a higher F-Stop will reduce exposure overall, lower ISO will help curb hard light or a too-bright flash and a higher shutter speed will cut out harsh/disturbing ambient light.

Make sure your camera, flash, and triggers are synced and have enough juice. You should know how to install, remove or change your light modifiers quickly. Having a few different light modifiers and knowing which one works for which situation will give you more flexibility. (More about manipulating light and different light modifiers in our upcoming article).

Sikh Indian wedding photography bride and groom

#4 When in doubt, meter for the face

Like we said, the lighting situation at each wedding and event is different. The strategy is decided basis many different factors as we mentioned above. Even though the expectation is that you should know your equipment and the exposure basics well, learning how to use light to your advantage takes time and skill. So while you’re on the learning curve, and have any doubts about how to handle the light situation, switch to spot metering mode and meter for the face before you take a decision. The worst that could happen is that the ambience/background will get either blown out or underexposed. But as long as the face and skin tones look good and natural, the picture can be salvaged.

Indian wedding photography groom photo

#5 Maintain the mood of the event

Every wedding function has a theme and follows a certain mood throughout – haldi/mehendi functions are usually bright and colourful, and a sangeet function might have dramatic or mood lighting along with a lot of fairy lights and candles.

When planning your lighting strategy, whether using flashes or setting up constant LED light panels, try and maintain the mood of the event as far as you can. Changing the light and mood won’t capture the essence of their day and will also make your images much more flat and uninteresting. If the event is dimly lit, rise up to the challenge. Get creative with your lighting strategy to give the couple dramatic images with depth because we’re sure that they would like their memories to be as close to reality as possible. Don’t forget that, after a few years, they remember their wedding only as you captured it.

Indian wedding photography couple portrait shoot

#6 Knight in shining armour: Digital Post-Processing

If you find that the venue is poorly lit or you don’t have an arrangement for artificial light or for some reason you aren’t allowed to use it (in a church or gurudwara perhaps), don’t hesitate to bump up ISO. It’s always better to have an underexposed or a grainy shot than to have none. If you’re shooting in RAW (as all professional wedding photographers should), you should be able to rescue the image during post-processing. But don’t make this a habit. Try as much as possible to find ambient or set up artificial light to get the images right in-camera. Saving your image in post-processing should be your last resort.

You can’t control the situation at weddings, but you can certainly prepare for them. Arriving on location before time, having a discussion with the planner about the decor and timing of events, talking to the lighting guys at sangeet ceremonies, etc are just a few ways you can keep abreast of what to expect at a wedding. None of the above measures are as complicated as they sound. Once you practice enough, everything will come automatically as a matter of process to you.

These are just some basic tips & tricks of lighting that you should follow as a rule for every photo-shoot. We’ll be talking more about manipulating available light, the use of artificial set-ups, and different light modifiers for different situations in our next post. So stay tuned for finer details of how to manage the lighting in Indian weddings.

Do you follow any lighting basics for photographing Indian weddings? Let us know in the comments!

Krabi pre-wedding sunset reflection couple shoot silhouette photography

Easy Posing Tips for Couple Portrait Photography

Make every shoot breezy with our tried and tested posing tips for couple portrait

We know as wedding photographers, every pre-wedding shoot or couple portrait during a wedding, is an opportunity to do something different. It is our endeavour to create better images each time. We scout our locations, set up our lighting, mount the best lenses on our expensive cameras and visualise the magic we’re about to create. In this jigsaw puzzle, one of the most important pieces that could make or break the image is the pose and body language of the couple. And one that we may sometimes forget about in all our planning. After all that planning, it’s essential to place and pose the couple right. And struggling with posing the couple is not something new to us or other photographers.

Being in front of the camera is naturally out of most people’s comfort zones. And being intimate in front of an audience might rightly seem daunting. So often, we may find ourselves directing the couple to no avail. Now as professionals, we can’t get frustrated and give up. As people who’ve done this a hundred times, it’s our job to help their experience be positive and move the shoot forward.

If you find that you struggle with ideas sometimes, then read these simple tips we have for you. They’ve always worked for us, and we’re sure they’ll work for you too!

#1 Make them comfortable

If you’re able to achieve this, you will be quite a few steps ahead in creating great images. It’s no secret that most people are camera shy. And putting them on the spot will only make it worse. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – get to know your couple as people and not just as clients. It begins as soon as you have your very first conversation with them. So keep the conversation going. Ask them about their wedding planning, get them to talk to each other about the very first time they met or just general chatter about the kind of movies or TV shows they like. Try and not make a big deal about your camera or equipment. As long as they’re talking to you and not eyeing the camera, you’ll have them relaxed. And you’ll get your natural and beautiful shots.

#2 Tailor your shoot according to the couple

The more you know your couple, the chances of your shoot going well will be that much more. Get to know their personalities – introvert or extrovert, their comfort level with intimacy – holding hands or kissing, their ‘vibe’ as a couple – flirty, romantic, fun or cute, and you’ll know how to approach and plan their shoot. Of course, this would work well during a pre-wedding shoot because of more time to plan and execute the ideas. But even when you’re hard-pressed for time to get portraits during a hectic wedding, this basic knowledge will help you direct your shots and poses quickly.

Now that you know your couple, tailor your shoot accordingly. Everything from the environment, venue, light, concept to their comfort zone. You should know if they’re comfortable being photographed in a busy public space (monument, park or a heritage fort) or prefer intimate settings. This will decide your venue and environment. Then plan the lighting depending on the venue you’ve chosen or the time of day you’re shooting in. Will the natural light work or will you need to bring some lighting equipment? All your problems and questions will be solved if you know them.

#3 Take inspiration for posing

Don’t limit yourself to just wedding photography. Look at fashion and lifestyle magazines, movies and movie posters, and other forms of art like painting and sculptures for inspiration. You could even put together mood-boards and Pinterest boards for ideas if it helps you organise. Always have a minimum of 5 go-to poses which you can pull off on autopilot especially for those 3 minutes before the wedding ceremony.

But don’t get stuck with a stash of 5 ‘safe’ poses only. Make sure to experiment and explore when you have time. Sure, you can have a list of poses and use them for every couple. But the idea is to keep evolving yourselves as photographers as well as create something unique for your couple every time. It is tempting to take the easy way out with a list of easy poses. But we read somewhere that boring pictures are almost as bad as technically bad images. And we agree. Give a couple an image that reflects their personalities. You might have to work more, but the results will be rewarding.

Pre-wedding shoot couple portrait phootgraphy

#4 Add action in the frame

The beginning of a photo shoot is always a bit difficult and awkward. So we suggest adding some movement to the frame to warm them up. Step back a little from the couple and let them walk holding hands. You can even ask the groom-to-be to chase his fiance. There are no rules to this. Play some music and get them to dance or let the guy spin her around. They might or might not get you good pictures. But you will surely loosen them up and get any jitters out of the way. Spending even an hour on this is worth it, we think. But never rush or urge them to do anything they’re uncomfortable with. You should know how far you can push your couple because your ultimate goal is to shoot them in the most natural and flattering poses possible.

posing tips for couple portrait

#5 Don’t be afraid to demonstrate or direct

Most couples are not professional models (we wish!) and their uniqueness lies there. Every couple we’ve met till date has had a different chemistry and personality. And that is what makes their pictures stand out. But only if you take the time to understand that.

Remember to always direct and not pose rigidly. And when you think they’re having trouble following your directions, don’t hesitate to walk up to them and place their hand correctly or fix their clothes. Also don’t be shy to demonstrate a pose yourself. If you’ve done as we said and established a comfortable relationship with them, there will be no weirdness.

Wedding photography pre-wedding couple shoot Mussorie

#6 Evoke emotions and intimacy

Posing a couple facing the camera with their cheeks touching can be super easy to execute. There is nothing wrong with it. And no doubt, it makes for a good picture. But you’re creating something unique here for the couple. So once you’ve gotten them in the pose and position you want – add depth to the image by evoking emotions. The trick is to give the couple a basic body arrangement as a starting point and let them do their thing. But of course, you can’t just say “do your thing” and expect them to know what to do. So we have a few tips that work every time. Ask the groom to whisper something cheesy in the bride’s ear. Or suggest that he draw his initial on her forehead with his nose. This little trick works for us every single time. It looks like they’re nuzzling, gets them to laugh and you get your perfect intimate shot. You can even count them down and ask them to hug each other tightly or hold hands and jump up high. Again, you’ll know what will work if you’ve done your homework and gathered information about their dynamic as a couple and an individual.

Kochi backwaters pre-wedding couple portrait photography

There is no rocket science to this. It’s all about creating a friendly atmosphere and knowing your couple. They’re more likely to open up if you feel like a friend to them. Don’t worry about being awkward or overtly forthcoming. Once you’ve done this for a while, it’ll come naturally to you. So always keep going back to the first and second step. Keep it light, softly direct them and play within their comfort zones (unless they’re willing to step out it). And last of all, don’t forget to have fun!

If you are a photographer, we’d love to know about any other tips you follow to photograph couples. If you’re still confused and have any questions, drop them in the comments. We’d be happy to answer!

 

Krabi beach pre-wedding couple shoot photography

Pre-Wedding Couple Shoot in Krabi | Ajay+Nandini

Pre-Wedding couple shoot in the magical Krabi islands

A couple of months ago, we had a fabulous pre-wedding couple shoot with one of our favourite couple Ajay and Nandini. Wait. Did we say pre-wedding? Oops! Our mistake, we most certainly meant a post-wedding shoot!

When we were planning their pre-wedding shoot last year, we couldn’t decide on a date that suited all of us. They lived in different cities and were making arrangements to move countries after the wedding. So we decided on doing a post-wedding shoot after they had settled down. And we don’t regret the decision for even one minute!

The two-day shoot in Krabi was a fun and relaxed one. Since we had spent a lot of time with them during their wedding celebrations, it was almost like a weekend getaway with old friends. We took the long tail boats to Railay island on the first day and shot on Krabi’s Ao Nang pier the next. 

Krabi beach pre-wedding couple shoot photography

The beach, boats and the famed limestone rock formations on Railay beach made for a fantastic background for our couple shoot. And there is nothing more fun than exploring the natural chemistry between a couple amidst nature’s magic. Far removed from their regular life and away from the pressure of organising a wedding, the post-wedding shoot was a great idea. We were able to get some lovely playful and intimate moments between the two.

Krabi beach sunset pre wedding photography Twpgether Studios
Krabi pre-wedding sunset reflection couple shoot silhouette photography

The intermittent rain during our time there made it a little challenging to shoot. But it was interesting as we raced to get our work done in little windows of time. All in all, we had an awesome time shooting our gorgeous couple.

Couple shoot pre-wedding Krabi beach
Railay beach pre-wedding couple shoot Krabi
Pre-wedding couple shoot Krabi