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A Delhi Destination Wedding Story | Vijay+Chandni

Vijay and Chandni make vows for life in a Delhi destination wedding

There are times when you meet a person who turns your life around. They make you believe in fairytales and happily-ever-afters. That one person changes your perspective on life and gives you the courage to take a leap of faith with them. And you know that they will always hold your hand through the thick and thin of life.

Vijay and Chandni were extremely lucky to find that special person in each other. Even though both of them were realists, their first meeting changed everything! Vijay had never thought he would ever have an arranged marriage and Chandni wasn’t the kind of person to dream about Prince Charming. But after that first date, Chandni knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. In Vijay’s words, it was a “karmic connection” that brought them together. They hit it off instantly, with each other and each other’s families!

The lovely duo got married in the beautiful Taj Vivanta and made memories and promises for life. Their two-day wedding was full of love, laughter and family banter. From the haldi and mehendi to their pheras, their love for each other and their families only grew! It was an honour to capture their special day and create life-long memories for them and their family! Here are a few of our favourite moments from their wedding.

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Watch how Vijay and Chandni found their Karmic Konnection during their lovely two-day destination wedding in New Delhi, India.

KarmicKonnection – The Trailer from Twogether Studios on Vimeo.

 

This is a Delhi Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalamBangalore, 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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Review: BenQ SW320 Photographer Monitor

A brief look at BenQ SW320 Photographer Monitor

As professional wedding photographers of today, your work has the maximum reach on the internet. You post your work on Facebook, Instagram, your website, and so on. You have portfolios on different wedding portals, and you get featured on various online and print articles. Basically, you work is everywhere online. While reviewing your online work, have you ever noticed that your photo looks different depending on the medium it is viewed on? Whether it is on two different devices or on a screen and in print. Mobile phone makers often boost and over-saturate colours on the devices. So no two phones will display one picture as the same. It is impossible to achieve a 100% colour uniformity across different devices.

However, as professionals it is important that you deliver the best quality and accurate colour prints – be it albums or hard copy prints – to the client. Imagine how disappointed a bride will be, who bought her wedding lehenga specifically for a favourite colour, and sees a different shade on the wedding album. Not only will you ruin a cherished memory but your credibility as a professional wedding photographer will also be affected.

If you find that your final delivery to the client (as albums or prints) look different from what you expected them to be, it’s probably that the monitor you’re editing on is not properly colour-calibrated.

What is colour-calibration, you ask?

Colour calibration basically means adjusting your device’s colour settings to match a standard value of known accuracy.

Computers read colours (red, green and blue) in numbers. So for example, if you type in a numbered code for a green with no red and blues, you will see that specific green on your monitor. However, if you plug in a different monitor, you might see a difference in the shade of green. Calibration is setting your monitor to certain values so that all colours look the same in different mediums or screens or brands of devices. It ensures consistent display across all screens.

There are several ways you can calibrate your monitor. There are built-in calibration tools in both MacOS and Windows. You can even find some calibration tools online to help you adjust your monitor settings. Or, use an external device called a colorimeter and spectrophotometer.

Even after all these measures, a 100% colour accuracy is neither possible nor guaranteed. External calibration devices and manual settings can only do so much in ensuring precision. Your best bet would be monitor’s that are professionally calibrated and tested for exacting colour accuracy, like the new BenQ SW320 Photographer Monitor.

My pictures look great on the screen I edited on. So why do I need to colour-calibrate my monitor?

People are seeing your photos on every screen possible – mobile phones, tablets, laptops, television and so on. Each of them has a different colour and brightness setting. Which means that every person views your work differently than how you envisioned it. Their display settings change the colour, brightness, saturation and exposure of your images. Now we certainly cannot control the medium that people consume our photos on or calibrate their settings to ours. However, we can minimise the error on our end as much as possible. Which is where colour-calibrating your monitor comes in. It ensures that your clients are seeing your images the way you want them to.

All our calibration and colour-correction woes were put to rest recently when the amazing folks at BenQ India sent us an SW320 Photographer Monitor. And our experience with it has been exceptional.

The first thing that strikes you is the size of the box that the monitor comes in, it’s quite huge! It is a massive 31.5-inch display, 4K UHD resolution monitor with 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB colour space and boasts of the most perceptible quality in graphics, designs, and photos that human eyes can see. We were impressed from the second we switched it on!

You find a “Factory Calibration Report” first thing on opening the packaging. All the other parts are neatly packaged and packed. There is a small manual with directions for assembling and setting the monitor and its parts. It was really not that difficult, once you get everything out of the box. We were able to assemble the entire thing in about 20 minutes or so.

The stand is quite sturdy for the heavy 18.7 kg monitor. You can also adjust the screen up and down on the stand for better positioning. The monitor further boasts of a GamutDuo – enabling you to see different colour spaces on the same screen for side-by-side comparison. Another novel feature is the HotKey Puck that allows you to switch between Adobe RGB, sRGB, and Black & White modes effortlessly. You can also customise the HotKey buttons for other modes and functions.

The monitor has been specifically designed with photographers in mind. While you are editing your photos, a hundred things can affect the display on your monitor – the time of day, reflections from your surroundings, lighting, colours, brightness of your display and so on. The BenQ SW320 has a matte screen that eliminates any reflection that could distort the way you view your work on the screen. It also has a detachable shading hood with black velvet insides to prevent any external glare. This comes in extremely handy while you’re editing stills or videos. You can be assured that the outside world will not manipulate your work. You can also quite easily set up the monitor along with the shading hood in portrait mode while working on portrait images. The screen can also make an upward tilt and a 45 degree right or left swivel.

SW320 also includes a DisplayPort 1.4  and HDMI 2.0 port with the addition of three USB 3.0 ports for connectivity. There is also a port dedicated to the HotKey Puck and a headphone jack.

The monitor is professionally factory-calibrated for exacting colour accuracy. The colours are really incredible on the screen. Although we use Apple monitors in our studio, which are claimed to be colour accurate, the difference between the two was quite something to see. We were absolutely blown away by how our images looked on the BenQ monitor!

It would be fair to say that the BenQ SW320 Monitor is a great investment for the professional photographer and videographer! Its 31.5-inch screen display provides a better viewing and editing of images. Our confidence in the colour accuracy of our systems was taken in for a ride when we viewed our work on the BenQ monitor. It provides a much better resolution and colour, and our images looked quite stunning on the screen. The functions are easy enough to understand and work with. The HotKey Puck had us in thrall of the way it increases our work efficiency. We also took a few test prints by hooking up our Epson SureColor P5000 to the monitor and were ecstatic with the results! All in all, the monitor is a great buy for its price. We are excited to work on it and discover more features and witness better results in our work!

Have any questions about colour calibration or the BenQ monitor? Drop us a comment and we’d love to answer any questions!

P.S.: A detailed post on the monitor and more on colour calibration coming soon!

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Pre-Wedding Shoot: Choosing the perfect location

Pre-weddings are fun. That’s all there is to it. Or, at least, that’s the way we see it. Over the past decade, we’ve seen firsthand how wedding photography has evolved and how integral pre/post wedding shoots have become to the whole package. But we don’t simply consider them as a mandatory item in the wedding photography checklist. The way we see it, a pre-wedding shoot is a great way to immortalise an image of you as a couple today. An image that reflects who you are today, your love and commitment to each other captured in a moment, before you transition to becoming husband and wife! Years later, when your hair turns grey and the memory of your youth seems like forever ago, these photographs will bring it all back to you with a solid dose of nostalgia.

Before you get caught up in the inevitable chaos that makes up an Indian wedding, a pre-wedding shoot is a good time to relax and unwind with your significant other. It is also a great warm-up session before the wedding, an ice-breaker of sorts. This is your chance to get comfortable in front of a camera with each other and the photographer. You can freely tell your photographer what you’re comfortable with and not and get to know his style.

While planning a shoot, one of the most important things is choosing a location. We are not saying that location is everything or that it trumps the skill and technique of a good photographer, but it does play an important role in that it provides a beautiful and comfortable environment to play with as a backdrop.

When choosing a location, the first thing to consider is your story (not to be confused with theme) – think about places that could possibly mean something to both of you or plays an integral part in your story as a couple.  The college you first met in, your first holiday destination together, or perhaps where he proposed you. If you have a location like that in mind, then it should definitely figure in your plans – it will bring out the relaxed and happy side of you as a couple. But if there aren’t any direct “story” related locations that you can pin-point, worry not. We have a few ideas for you to consider and plan your perfect pre-wedding shoot. We know how daunting it can be to plan everything down to a tee! So, sit back and let us do the work for you!

#1 Nature and landscapes

We have been blessed with almost all types of seasons, terrains and incredibly beautiful landscapes in India. Depending on what your preference is, you can choose from a plethora of gorgeous locations in our country. Just find what weather or terrain works for you – beach or mountains, autumn or snow. Freeze your love in the snow-capped mountains of Leh-Ladakh or let your love simmer in the deserts of Rajasthan. Try a laid back feel on the beaches of Goa or the backwaters of Kerala. In fact, make a mini-vacation out of it. Happy and relaxed people make the most beautiful pictures, and we love capturing the joy between them!

#2 Heritage buildings

If you want to capture a moment in time in a place that needs no description, we suggest you choose a heritage site. It gives such an instant “sense-of-place” to your photographs that they can’t help but be grand. If a certain city, for example, Bombay has been central to your journey as a couple, the iconic Gateway of India is your perfect spot. The heritage buildings have stood the test of time, remaining the same for generations. Why not immortalise your love in a place which has witnessed a thousand other love stories?

#3 Forts and Palaces

Has your love-story felt like it’s straight out of a fairytale? Then think no more! We have numerous fantastic locations all over the country. A lot of forts and palaces have been converted to heritage hotels. If you want a royal feel to your pictures, then this is just for you! These locations have all the feels of history and royalty while providing modern amenities (and hospitality support for the shoot) at the same time!

#4 Hotel and Resorts

What do you do when you want a stunning location but also the luxury of a super fluffy white bed and a jacuzzi? You find a luxury resort with amazing architecture + landscaping and trust your photographer to create magic! Plenty of properties around the country provide great packages specifically for pre-wedding shoots. Take your fiance and make a weekend out of it!

#5 Streets

If none of the above fit your bill of the perfect location, then try something off-beat. As photographers, we love the vibrancy and colours of streets. It’s perfect if you’re up for doing something adventurous and aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Take a walk in your favourite part of the city, maybe older parts of town, a chaotic market or even a heavily graffiti-ed area for a grungy feel, forget the photographer exists and get lost in spending time with your beloved!

In the end, all that matters is you pick a location that reflects your personality. If you’re comfortable and happy, the pictures will reflect it. So don’t choose anything out of your comfort zone in pursuit of a theme or a wild idea. Talk with your photographer and finalise a location that you and your partner can feel at home in. You, your personality and your story as a couple are way more important and should always trump what everyone else is doing – because after all, these are not just photographs, they are eternal memories and joy that you can revisit for a long time to come.

We’d love to know where and why you chose your pre-wedding location. Let us know in the comments!

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Photo Editing Workflow: Some Tips & Tricks

Things to keep in mind while finding the perfect photo editing workflow for yourself

Remember when we talked about the importance of Photo Editing Workflow? We truly believe that it is key to efficiency and a consistency in quality. Although there is no one template for a good workflow, we’re sure that every successful professional photographer has one. There is no right and wrong to a workflow and it can continue to evolve over time. What is important, if you are a photographer, is to have one in any shape or form that works for you. Not having a workflow at all can be quite a deterrent to your growth and consistency as a professional wedding photographer.

A solid workflow system makes sure that the task is completed well, using the fewest steps possible. It is flexible enough that you can go back and make changes without compromising on image quality. A competent system additionally safeguards your data as well as delivers a good product – great photos – at the end.

In this post, we will talk about the system we follow in the studio and how a workflow progresses in general. If you don’t already have a structure, feel free to take this post as a starting point.

#1 While Shooting

Having enough memory cards is paramount when preparing for an assignment. It’s a good idea to carry enough so that you don’t run out of space in the middle of a shoot. As a rule, we never overwrite any cards during a wedding at all. Over the years of shooting weddings, we’ve figured out how many cards we need for a 3-day wedding assignment shot by 2-3 photographers and always carry enough memory cards and more. A few extra cards can do no harm.

A wedding assignment consists of a gamut of candid/documentary and posed photos. Therefore, often, we have to set up the composition, lighting wait for that right moment or expression. Now feel free to click more pictures to get the right one but be judicious about it. We don’t suggest shooting in burst mode the entire wedding. It’ll only serve to create double the amount of photos and more headache for you later.

You should also make sure that all the cameras being used by your team are time-synced. Often, we’ve saved precious time looking for a different angle of the same event, because we knew the time of day it happened and that two photographers in the team were bound to have different POV to the event.

Shooting in RAW is another important factor. Although it makes the files rather heavy and you may need a larger number of memory cards to accommodate shots from a single wedding, in our opinion, it’s worth it. The flexibility it gives you at the editing stage and the ability to rescue otherwise unusable images is incredible.

#2 Import

The next step is importing images from the memory cards into storage devices. Be careful and organised while copying images to minimise data loss. The only keyword to this step: Backup! Backup! Backup! We cannot stress enough about the importance of having a backup for your images!

Our mantra for this step of the workflow is ‘3,2,1’. We keep 3 copies of all the data transferred onto 2 different mediums (hard-disk, cloud or LTO tapes) and 1 copy is kept at a different physical location than the other two (2 at the studio, 1 at home). If there is a natural or accidental disaster (fire, flooding etc) at one location, the other backup will be safe.

It also helps to have an index of all the data that you own. You can follow a manual method and log in the information into a spreadsheet every time you copy – which photos go into which card or hard drive, how many photos, etc. Or use a software like the Disk Catalog Maker to take screenshots of various disks for you.

#3 Organise and cull

After the photos are copied and backed up, the next step is to cull, sort and organise. The idea is to very quickly and efficiently reduce the population of your images to identify the ones you like and those you aren’t impressed with. At the same time, you want to organise them into buckets (basis various functions, days or even simply identify the priority level for edit and delivery) so you can be equally efficient in the editing and development stage.

You can use various software to categorise your images. The most popular ones today are Photo Mechanic and Adobe Lightroom. We recommend re-naming the files during import, using details like the couple’s name, the date and location of the wedding, etc, to make the file names unique and easier to identify over time. If you stick with automatic camera generated file names, there’s a chance that there will be a duplication of names after a point. Also, make sure you choose the option to keep all metadata intact in the image. This will help you in identifying which camera shot the image, which team member captured it, time of day, etc.

Unlike the old days, you don’t need to separate photos from different events to various folders while editing. Almost any software you choose to use today has options for making virtual copies, folders and collections. It is also a good practice to always work on the virtual copy of the image. This keeps your edit process non-destructive and allows you to revert to the original at any point, should you need to. Give them colour labels, ratings, flags and use other ranking methods to identify the ones you want to prioritise.

Therefore, this step helps you stay ahead of the game in two ways. One, it reduces the number of photos. Second, the labels will help you find specific photos in no amount of time! There is no need to be lost in folder canyon. You can easily sift out 20 highlight images from a wedding based on the ranking you gave them.

In companies where multiple people work on the same images, this step will help avoid any mismanagement of data. If everyone follows the workflow, one person can cull the data and label them with labels/flags/ratings. The second person can do a basic edit of medium priority photos. And a third person can find the high ranking images for a more detailed edit, re-touching or other special effects.

#4 Develop

This is the part of digital photography where post-processing or editing happens. After the previous step, you already know which photos you need to start working on. You’ve already identified which photos require special attention for highlights and portfolios. If you’ve made sure to shoot judiciously, composed & lit your shots well to get good in-camera results, then the development step will obviously be easier and quicker. But if you haven’t, then we hope you remembered to shoot in RAW so you can do maximum damage control!

As you all know, development of RAW images requires some basic steps like adjusting exposure, white balance, colour temperature, contrast, vibrance, saturation, sharpening and reducing noise if any. If you were to follow these individual steps for every single photograph, it could take weeks to complete one wedding set. And do you honestly have that kind of time?

You can easily increase your speed and efficiency by using development presets! Purchase them online or create your own presets basis your style of shooting, the colour palette you like and the kind of photos you’ll edit. If you’re creating your own, like we have, then name them in a  logical fashion, for example, ‘outdoor harsh light’ or ‘nighttime dance floor’. After you’ve used a basic preset for all pictures of a similar kind, you can always fine-tune each image as required. A preset for all similar images reduces the steps and speeds up the process, leaving you with enough time to give extra attention and special effects to your 5-star photos!

#5 Output

Now it’s time to think about using those photos. You need to output them for client delivery, creating archival prints, photo books or for sharing online. Most websites and social sharing platforms have different requirements in terms of size and resolution. Take time and research to find out what size and resolution works for different media. For printing reproductions, try a few different sizes and colour spaces to know which creates the best product. You can speed up the process and maintain consistency by creating and using presets for export as well. 

Keep in mind that you should never resize images during import. Always edit them in their original size and resize only during the output process. Furthermore, always work on virtual copies of the master image. Never, and we mean never resize the master file. Since one image will need to be resized for various mediums, it is best to keep the original size intact. You can change them at the output stage according to the requirement.

Like we said in the beginning, having a workflow is very important. Having a good workflow is even better. In the absence of a workflow, you can face hassle at so many levels – losing photos, difficulty in locating them, duplication of data, destructive editing of original files etc and these are definitely not good for your business.

You probably have some sort of a system already in place. Now you just have to identify areas which cause you more time and work out a structure for it. Of course, a perfect system doesn’t magically happen overnight. We’ve spent years devising a system, which we’re sure we can also improve on. So, start today. Write it down or make a flowchart if it helps you. Whatever you do, put a system in place at the earliest, if you haven’t already!

Did this post help you get started on a system? Tell us in the comments. Got any questions about the process? We’d love to answer!

 

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A Jaipur Destination Wedding Story | Apurva+Piyush

The perfect couple gets hitched in a beautiful Jaipur destination wedding

What do you do when you find that companion you’ve been waiting for all your life? You do not hesitate even for a second before saying yes to spending the rest of your life with them. Right?

Piyush and Apurva’s story begins just like this.

They met for an arranged setup at Starbucks and four hours later realised that they didn’t want to spend any more time apart. One look was all it took for Piyush to know that “this is happening”. The more time they spent together, the more they realised that they’re very very similar. They met all of each other’s expectations for their life-partner. It was a spontaneous and quick decision for both of them. “Chat mangni, pat byah!,” in Apurva’s words. They did not take any time in saying yes to spending their life together!

What followed is a magnificent celebration of their union. From the first date to the wedding, no one could say that this was an arranged marriage. The couple had assimilated into each other’s lives seamlessly!

Apurva and Piyush were married at the majestic City Palace in Jaipur. We loved shooting these lovebirds and their exceptional story! Here are a few of our favourites from their wedding.

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Watch Apurva and Piyush make promises to love each other forever in a beautiful destination wedding in City Palace, Jaipur.

A Melody Called Love – Apurva + Piyush from Twogether Studios on Vimeo.


Here’s what our groom Piyush said about his experience with us!

“One of the best decisions we made (and full credit to my wife), was to personally search for the best Wedding Photographers. Lucky for us, we met Arjun and Praerna and barely 10 minutes into the meeting, our search ended. From not being convinced about the idea of a Pre-wed shoot, to getting clicked on the streets of Chandani Chowk, Arjun and Praerna helped us shed all inhibitions. Also, its always fun to smile/pose for people you are comfortable with. That’s exactly how the Twogether team made us feel. Thanks guys for capturing our treasured memories.”
-Piyush


This is a Jaipur Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalamBangalore, 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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Photo Editing Workflow: Why do you need one?


A brief look at why a photo editing workflow is important for wedding photographers

All professional wedding photographers will agree that taking a picture is actually a very small part of the process of creating images. There is an entire series of processes that occur from when you press that shutter-release to the delivery of photos to the client. It’s easy to imagine that once you click a picture your work is done. In fact, the majority of a photographer’s work begins from there. Capturing an image is only the first step to a long and meticulous process. The huge amount of data that you gather has to be sorted and categorised before you even begin to think of editing. Sure, you can dump all the pictures in one place and randomly start working on any one and make your way from there. But if you’re a serious photographer intent on improving your work process and ensuring client satisfaction, adopting a workflow is very important.

Why do you need a workflow?

As imposing as it sounds, a workflow is nothing but a sequence of actions or processes that are followed from the start to finish of a project. As wedding photographers in the digital age, a workflow is more important than ever. The emphasis is on digital files rather than prints and also the amount of data collected in digital cameras FAR outweighs that from the film age.

For all these reasons, it’s easy to mix up data (at the very least) and lose/misplace /overwrite data (at the worst). If you don’t spend some time to organise yourself and set a process in place, you could easily reduce your efficiency and output. So much so, that you could regularly jeopardise the timely delivery of the wedding photos to your client. Having a clear workflow will help avoid all these issues and also ensure consistency in your images.

#1 Massive amounts of data

When you come back from a wedding, there are numerous cameras, memory cards and hard disks with thousands of pictures from different events. Considering that most Indian Weddings are an average 3-day affair with multiple events per day and you probably have 2-3 team-members shooting each event, you could end up with 10,000-30,000 images in total from one wedding. With such a vast amount of data, the chances of losing it are that much higher.

#2 Easy culling

While the main objective here is to bring down the number of images to be edited and, therefore, delivered, you can’t ignore that there is a need for speed and efficiency. You definitely don’t want to be stuck staring at a stash of 10,000-30,000 images for days and weeks on end. Trust us, we have made these mistakes when we first started out. The idea is to go through the entire stash as quickly as possible to find a good set of pictures ready for editing – not losing out on gems in the process (because in our experience, once images are rejected in Round 1, we only go back to them if we feel that a particular event or person is missing or not represented enough in the final set).

Point being, you cannot compromise the quality of your selection or culling, in the interest of saving time. But the fact of the matter is, without a clear process, the chances of this step getting botched up or just simply being too slow compared to the delivery timeline is incredibly high. There are various software that can be used and best practices of selection, rejection, labelling, sorting etc that can come in very handy to streamline this part of the process. (More on this coming soon).

#3 Avoiding duplication and overwriting

Like we said, with such massive amounts of data, the chances of mishaps are more. In our own early days, we’ve made a mistake or two with data management, accidentally formatting a card and, even worse, over-writing the formatted card. If you’ve ever been there, you know how heartbreaking it can be.

Also, many of us have teams or crew members, whether as photographers or as editors. Some of us even outsource the editing. When multiple people working on the same wedding set and catalogues/files get copied more than once, the chances of duplication or working on the wrong catalogue are quite high. But a simple & clear system for this will ensure that even when multiple team members work not the same files, it will always be in the correct and updated version.

Taking great pictures is just not good enough. If you want to be considered a professional, you can’t afford to be carefree about data and editing. It is important to be organised in order to avoid losing, duplicating or overwriting your data. Accidents and mishaps can always happen but it is up to you to put systems in place to ensure redundancy and minimise damage.

#4 Efficient editing process

Selecting, rejecting, labelling, sorting, storing and archiving photos is a long and arduous but highly necessary process that all photographers can’t help but live with. Without a distinct process, you could find yourself and your images all over the place.  You could remember taking an incredible picture at a particular point at the wedding but you can’t find it because your labelling and organising process is not efficient. You have one POV of a very special moment and are sure that one of your team members took an equally great photo from a different POV – you want to put the two together, but you just can’t seem to locate that photo. Disappointing, right? Which is why having a streamlined workflow process if necessary to avoid these kinds of hassles. (More on this coming soon.)

Now that you’ve culled, selected & organised the photos, don’t rest easy! There are still a huge number of photos to edit and work through. If you were to give each photo the kind of attention one gives to ad campaign shoots, you could spend a year editing one wedding! But that’s not really practical, is it? As a professional wedding photographer, you don’t have the luxury of that kind of time. There are probably five other wedding sets you need to edit and deliver simultaneously. Having a workflow ensures that maximum work is done with minimum effort taken, without compromising on the quality and consistency of the end product.

#5 Timely delivery of images

We’ve said this a lot, our sole job is to create eternal memories for the couple and their families. After their wedding is over, it is normal for the family to be eager to see the images. If you aren’t efficient, you won’t be able to deliver on time. It won’t matter that your photos are incredible. If you have been inexcusably late in your delivery timeline, it will take the pleasure out of the best possible photos – your client’s excitement will be greatly diminished. You need to create a positive client experience by delivering the wedding photos on the date you promised. Staying true to your word will only add to your reputation as a professional, and this is only possible with a good workflow.

Workflow differs from photographer to photographer, but we’re sure that every successful professional has one. Even for seasoned wedding photographers with established, tried-and-tested workflows, making a few necessary tweaks here and there over the years to stay abreast of new systems and technologies is very important.

How you manage the process and workflow is not as important as having one in the first place – there isn’t one good or correct way of doing things. Everybody needs to find what works best for them. If you’re just starting out as a wedding photographer, then stay tuned for our next post where we talk in detail about the workflow process we follow in our studio – these should help you get started, after which you need to develop what works best for you.

Have any thoughts on data management and photo editing workflow? Leave us a comment below to let us know.

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Photo Printing in the Digital Age – Why it Still Matters

Despite the slow death of the art of photo printing, here’s why it is important for us as wedding photographers to start printing again

Of late, we’ve come to realise that most wedding photographers of our generation have learnt their craft on the job. Majority of them – us included – didn’t go to photography school or learn photography from a formal source. We were born millennials and saw the advent of the digital age as we moved into adulthood. We followed the non-traditional path of photography, which means that most of us made a mid-career switch to photography and, in the process, didn’t learn to print photos in a darkroom or experiment with rolls of film. Yes, we were the last generation to be a part of the film and reel era, but mostly shot digitally as professionals. So, with the development of digital cameras, printing of photographs as a practice is dying.

Today, photographs predominantly exist digitally as files on a smartphone or a computer. The printing part of photography has become limited to digital post-processing and editing. However, we are of the strong opinion that if you are a wedding photographer or any kind of photographer, you should definitely print your own photos. Here’s why.

Prints make for eternal memories

We’ve actually thought about this a lot. Memories are surprisingly fickle. They fragment, fade or even mould themselves to whatever sensory evidence we can find for them – anecdotes of our childhood from parents and relatives, old photo albums. We’re sure you’ve noticed that two people with a shared experience would remember it differently, depending on how the incidents are recounted over time. We might not even have any remembrance of certain events, but seeing pictures creates a makeshift memory in our minds. You may, for example, remember your very first bicycle to be fire engine red in colour. While a picture of the same will tell you that it was actually sunshine yellow!

As wedding photographers, our sole job is to create timeless memories for our clients. Our work freezes moments in time so that a couple and their families can relive the moments years after their wedding. Albums and photo prints are literally the backbone of the memories we create for them. If you give your client fine art prints of photos from their wedding, the memories will forever remain in their minds and in front of their eyes. Digital copies have a way of getting lost amidst the multi-terabytes of data on their systems but a photograph hung on the wall will always remind them of their special day.

Sense of accomplishment

Printing out your work is immensely satisfying. We know this from personal experience. Once we deliver the digital photo files to clients, we archive the files and often forget about them for long periods of time. We hardly ever make time to or even have the inclination to go through older work. Having large fine-art print(s) of the wedding photos you’ve created in front of your eyes will always bring in a sense of accomplishment and joy. The prints are a tangible product, physical proof of your hard work. And once you see that big photograph on your wall, we are sure it will inspire you to go out and create many more incredible images every day!

Improves your credibility as a wedding photographer

As a photographer, your knowledge about printing technology and correct colour calibration can only enhance your credibility as an experienced professional in the field. Moreover, it’s important to show your clients the end result which is as per your original vision of the events and photographs. As an artist,  you’re the only one who knows how you visualised each photo or moment while taking the shot. You know what the finished product should look like in terms of colours, depth, size etc. And you can ensure that final look and finish by working on your high-tech, colour calibrated editing machines and screens. But the impact of so much hard work can be completely lost on a client when they view it on various digital mediums like their (uncalibrated) laptops, tablets, mobile phones and whatnot. They are literally viewing a distorted version of your vision.

But you can control that aspect and ensure client delight by showing them the photos the way you envisioned them – by providing fine art prints of your favourites from the set. Not to forget, it increases your product offerings from a business point of view as well. Of course, you can use other third-party professional photo printing services or get the client to print the photographs themselves. But by printing out the photos yourself, you will have full control over how the final products look.

Makes you a better photographer

The advancements in digital camera technology are no doubt an excellent advantage to us as photographers. However, printing out a photograph is significant because it can bring into perspective those details that our eyes would possibly not see on a screen. Also, when you have online galleries full of thousand pictures, you tend to not be critical of your own work. Social media also spurs on the sense of accomplishment and pride. But printing out a set of the best 10 pictures from a wedding, for example, will force you to be brutal in critiquing your own work, and creating real shortlists and portfolio-worthy shots.

Technology distracts

While viewing an album or gallery of photos online, there are numerous distractions on a phone or a laptop. And one (or all) of them is taking your client’s concentration away from your photos. Seeing a photograph is an immersive experience. When you see a photo, you take it in all its elements, look for a story or a message, appreciate the technique, colours, and the effort behind it and only then, you move on. Seeing it on a digital screen can never give you this opportunity. Your client can only have the best experience of taking every aspect of that photo in, in a print.

Print won’t go obsolete, technology might

How many of us remember seeing a roll film or a VCR? The technology is obviously out-dated now, but many of us never even saw it. We don’t use floppy disks or even CDs to store files anymore. And who knows how long pen drives and hard-disks will be the standard storing devices. But a print has a much longer shelf life. Files and their formats might get outdated, but your clients will always have the print(s) as a memento.

We, at Twogether Studios, are great fans of fine art photo prints. But let’s get real. Learning how to print wasn’t as simple as plugging in a laserjet printer (like we did in our corporate jobs). Fine art photography prints involved learning a lot about colour profiles, print media and substrates, colour optimization, and so on. But learning this was certainly FUN and added a whole new dimension to our professional standing as wedding photographers. We truly encourage you to try it for yourselves. We know the results will be fabulous.

Okay, I’m sold. Give me the low-down for printing my own fine art photos.

Fine Art Photo Printing vs Lab Prints: What’s the Difference?

For years we’ve used our neighbourhood photography lab for our prints – and we were perfectly happy with the results. Sometimes it looked great, and at others… not so much. Their options were limited to glossy paper and matte paper (we used matte, naturally), which were more often than not made by Fuji.

And then we discovered professional fine-art printing – and our world changed! Broadly speaking, the main differences between traditional lab prints and fine art prints lie in two parts – the printing process and the media options.

Labs usually use an inkjet process with four to six ink heads, the results of which are usually not colour accurate. Fine art prints use a dry pigment based process that utilises may more ink heads that are capable of printing at a staggering 2400 dpi – which makes the final product clearer and sharper. The Epson 7900 and P5000 that we use have 11 different inks. When used together it can produce a very large tonal range that most lab prints can’t even think of.

The second difference, which is even more mindblowing in our opinion, is the variety of paper available. We use two types of paper – archival (for client deliveries and other blow-ups) and non-archival for proofs. An archival paper is acid-free fine art paper – the acid content in paper usually turns a regular paper yellow, and it cracks over time. But an acid-free fine-art paper lasts for years without getting damaged. A fine-art paper also enhances the quality of the image. It brings out richer colours and makes an image look alive.

Got it. What do I need to get started?

Well, it’s really simple actually. All you need is access to a printer and the medium of your choice.

If you don’t own a printer or haven’t tried fine-art photo printing, the first course of action is to get your hands dirty with a professional fine-art printing service. Experiment with a couple different set of mediums and printers to figure out what works the best for your style of photography. There is a huge range of paper samples available in the market, so get a few prints to decide which one suits you best.

We have used Epson’s Stylus Pro 7900 printer for the past two years and recently got an Epson SureColor P5000 printer. Epson’s P5000 17-inch 10-Color Inkjet Printer is designed for professional photographers and it is said that the extreme colour gamut makes it possible to hit colours accurately and consistently, achieving PANTONE coverage of 99%*.

Generally speaking, a print made from the traditional lab-used silver halide technology deteriorates at quite a fast pace in exposure to light – and in our Indian weather conditions, this could mean very short lifespans of just a few years. The pigment ink technology in the Epson printers however usually boasts of a print longevity of 200 years for colour prints and 400 years for black-and-white prints. Realistically though, these are under laboratory or “ideal” conditions – but if you keep the prints away from moisture and in the shade, you can realistically have it last for a very long time indeed. And of course, telling our clients that their prints will last 400 years makes it seem really awesome!

As far as the printing medium goes, there is an incredible variety of high-quality fine-art papers available for Epson printers, both Indian and imported brands; we use Epson Enhance Matte (our standard go-to for most prints), Epson Premium Lustre 260, imported archival and canvas paper in our studio and our experience has been exceptional.

We’ve been using the P5000 to print quite regularly on different papers and the prints were every bit as stunning as we expected them to be. We started a project to make a special art installation for the office (using the P5000) – and we’ll post about it soon!

After you’ve played around with different kinds of printers and mediums, we highly recommend getting your own printer. We promise that you won’t regret it after you see the pronounced difference in how your images look and how well they will be received by your clients. Being able to provide your clients with high-quality fine art prints in-house will elevate your offerings to a whole different level.

Do share with us your experiences of fine-art photo printing. Any questions? We’d love to answer!

P.S.: Read a more in-depth review and the second part of printing for Indian Wedding Photographers using the P5000 here. (And see the art installation we made using the P5000!)


Disclaimer: This post has been written in association with Epson India but the opinions are strictly our own. We have owned an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and printed on it for the past 2 years. We also recently got a SureColor P5000 printer from Epson to play with, and the results are fantastic!

*PANTONE® is the property of Pantone LLC. 99% coverage of PANTONE FORMULA GUIDE solid coated palette based on Epson Proofing Paper White Semi-matte printed with Epson printer driver at 2880x1440dpi. PANTONE coverage may vary when printed with a third-party RIP.

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A Jaipur Destination Wedding Story | Abhiney+Ruchika

A beautiful Jaipur destination wedding of the duo that set couple goals for us

The couple that loves each other and laughs together even when they’re 90 – that is how Abhiney envisions his life with Ruchika. He knew with certainty that years later people would talk about them as the “real couple that lasted”.

The lively duo met in medical school and for the next five years, life kept throwing them together! They constantly found themselves in the same study groups and friend circles. They went from classmates to acquaintances to friends and finally companions for life. The pair took a leap together — literally for a bungee jump(!) and for life when they decided to get married.

It was a joy to shoot them in their moments of great happiness and celebration. They exude an aura of comfort and understanding with each other. And their tremendous chemistry had us believing in love and forever after!

Abhiney and Ruchika were married at the stunning Fairmont Jaipur in a magnificent celebration. From the Mehendi to the Pool Party, the fun Haldis and the Pheras, the vibe of the wedding was exactly like them, relaxed and naturally chill! Here are a few of our favourite moments from their beautiful wedding.

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This is a Jaipur Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalamBangalore, 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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Our Favourite Serendipitous Shots: The Story Behind Them

Every once in a while, the universe gives us a thumbs up and allows us to create a phenomenal shot that we hadn’t planned for. Here are some of our favourite serendipitous shots and the story behind them.

As candid and documentary wedding photographers, we know that weddings are crazy and chaotic affairs. They’re almost like those mystery novels where you never know what might happen next. We can be a hundred percent sure that things will never go according to plan at a wedding – events start late, that perfect location you scoped out is off-limits, there is no time for couple portraits and so on. Beyond a point, despite a lot of pre-production and planning, things go out of your control. Pre-weddings are a little bit different in that aspect, but even then you cannot control everything. So, over the years we have learnt to go deal with whatever curve ball comes our way.

We can plan and plan but occasionally things just happen and we get that perfect shot we didn’t originally plan for! Here are the stories behind some of our serendipitous shots. We hope you enjoy their stories as much as we did making them.

#1 The one where we made magic

This has to be one of our favourite portraits from the past year! When we shot Nandini’s engagement way back in the summer – things were inevitably delayed, and we only had 30 seconds for her portraits. We both swore that when the wedding came around, she would put her foot down and make the time! And boy, did she! However, as fate would have it – the heavens opened up during her winter Delhi wedding, and it was grey, cold and smoggy outside. All the brilliant ideas we had for her portraits in the lovely farmhouse she was getting married in went down the drain and we had all the time in the world to kill stuck in her hotel room. We knew we had to pull off something special for her, so we dug into our bag of tricks – and this is what we came up with!

#2 The one where things just drove into our frame

Prateek and Sandy wanted a short session with things that were typical of Delhi and we were only too happy to plan a photo shoot! We chose the iconic India Gate and Rashtrapati Bhawan to create historic memories for the lovely couple. We were trying to frame an establishing shot of the location with the night lights of Rashtrapati Bhawan in the background and just when we got our composition and lighting right, a Delhi SWAT police van whirred by! Oh, how glad are we that we pressed that shutter-release button at the right time! We love it when things just fall into place to give us that extra layer in the our photos, that too without any planning. This shot remains one of our most favourites till date!

#3 The one where we embraced the chaos

Piyush and Apurva had a fun and relaxed shoot in the bustling streets of Chandni Chowk. And we loved every moment of the chaos that is typical of the streets! We were trying to get a clear shot of the duo in the door frame but with no luck. In the end, we threw caution to the wind and framed the shot with the passersby. The picture we ended up with turned out to be a lot more riveting than the one we had in mind. Once in a while, it pays to break a few rules, don’t you think?

#4 The one with DDLJ feels

We were all set for Ayushi and Vikrant’s pre-wedding shoot in the majestic Tijara Fort Palace in Alwar, Rajasthan. But while approaching the venue, we saw lots of mustard fields in full bloom and couldn’t resist driving out for a few shots in the field. And while we loved the photos we got inside the fort, driving and wading through all the mud and thorns towards the perfect spot was absolutely worth it for this shot. Sometimes when you don’t plan things, it turns out to be perfect.

#5 The one where our couple was game

The day after Priyanka and Arun’s wedding in Chennai, we took off to Mahabalipuram with the couple for a post-wedding shoot of sorts. We had gotten a gamut of posed and intimate couple portraits on the beach when we came across a volleyball net and decided to play around with it. Fortunately, the couple was game for an impromptu volleyball match and didn’t mind messing up their outfits for a fabulous action shot!

#6 The one where they jumped for joy

Simran and Ankush were from Norway and had never been in India before. We were crossing these empty fields while heading back from their Anand Karaj (Sikh wedding ceremony) in Noida towards their reception venue. The couple was intrigued and wanted to take a walk along the fields. Obviously, we couldn’t say no to a potential photo opportunity! We captured a beautiful moment of spontaneity and joy of this spirited couple!

Serendipity is not just about dumb luck, it’s also about making accidental discoveries or fortunate revelations when you’re looking for something else or not looking for anything at all. When things aren’t going your way at a shoot or an event, just keep your mind open to possibilities. Stay alert and aware, you never know when you could luck in! Look for patterns or a different perspective. Your chances of getting fabulous shots depends as much on your reflexes, eye for detail and thinking out of the box as it does on the perfect setting. It’s what you do with what the universe throws your way. If you’re blind to your surroundings and rigid in your plans, you might lose the better shot in pursuit of the one you planned. So handle curve balls in the right spirit and see what you can make out of your situation.

If you’re a wedding photographer, you already know there is no planning a wedding. So soldier on, great things happen when you least expect them!

Do tell us if you’ve got any great stories to your pictures!

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Street Style Pre-Wedding Shoot in Chandni Chowk | Piyush & Apurva

Pre-wedding shoot in the vibrant streets of Chandni Chowk

Piyush and Apurva wanted to have a fun and relaxed shoot, choosing the streets of Chandni Chowk over the splendour of famed Delhi monuments and grand hotels. And we were only too happy to grant them their wish! We shot in the busy streets, on the steps of the Jama Masjid, inside the beautiful Haveli Dharampura, and it was absolutely amazing. We love shooting in the streets! It gives us numerous opportunities to play with colours and create wonderful contrasts.

Piyush and Apurva share a brilliant chemistry. They made it so easy to shoot them despite the chaos that is typical of Chandni Chowk. The duo chose to dress in carefully planned and colour coordinated outfits, to be able to stand out despite the bold colours of their surroundings. What got us going was that they weren’t shy about trying things despite being photographed in a public space. We took some beautifully lit intimate shots in the streets while the onlookers stared on! We even got the couple to hop on a cycle rikshaw for a photo-ride of sorts.

Piyush and Apurva had a splendid wedding in November last year. It was exciting to be a part of the grand celebrations and see these two love-birds get hitched. We wish them the very best in their future together!

P.S.: Stay tuned for their wedding pictures!

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