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Photos an Indian Bride Can’t Miss in Her Wedding Album

 

An Indian wedding is a grand and dhamakedaar occasion! Forget of the band baaja baaraat, your friends and relatives are enough to create power packed hungama and noise which can bring even the DJ floor to shame! In a good way of course! There are so many customs and celebrations which alone take a week before marriage. Amidst this adrenaline rush are moments for an Indian bride (You!) which need to be captured so that they have a return ticket to cherish them. Here are 8 types of photographs which an Indian bride can’t afford to miss having them in her wedding album.

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1. Your wedding outfit

There are high chances that in your entire life you didn’t shop for a single outfit for weeks and months but for your wedding you did! You spent your weekends and even took exclusive holidays to find your dream wedding dress by hopping on from one shop to another, one place to another and explaining a dozen of times to the shopkeepers or designers what kind of dress you are looking for. This special dress definitely deserves a solo pic in your wedding album.

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 2. Your wedding accessories

Again! Choosing your wedding accessories was no less a difficult task than choosing your wedding dress.You suddenly developed an eye for detail for laying your hands on the best jewellery you could afford and adorn yourself with beautifully. Lower your expenses when you buy jewellery online via CashKaro.com and get access to enticing discounts and cash back.

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3. The nervous/excited moments

Gone are those frequent days when bride used to sit clenching her hands and little drops of sweat forming on her forehead while leaving her home to get ready and thinking about the futuristic moments. The nervousness does exist today but more than that excited brides are seen who can’t wait to begin with their new life journey!

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4. The makeover

You just cannot skip capturing this beautiful moment which captures your beauty after you have got ready with the help of your makeup artist! Let your photographer take pictures from various angles seizing every detail in your outfit and in your face.

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5. The unconventional picture

The elegant and subtle poses are okay and can be found in every bride’s wedding album. But how about making your wedding album stand out and unleashing your bubbly personality by going for some crazy poses? And if they are with your equally crazy loved ones, it is better!

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akp-indian-bride-must-have-photos-166. Hands shot!

From using sunscreen religiously to applying tan removal packs every day, getting pedicure to spending a bomb on nail art and jewellery; you did everything you could to make your hands look like million bucks. And now it is time to bring them under lime light and flaunt them! Get them clicked from your photographer in various poses to stare at them adorably later. And by the way, you can delight yourself by buying your makeup and beauty essentials at the best bargained rates through these Jabong coupons present on CashKaro.com.

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7. Stunning feet

Only you know how you braved sitting on a chair for more than 6 hours continuously and resisted from losing your cool to get the perfect mehandi design on them. And not just this! You searched extensively for that perfect anklet to go with your dress and skin tone. Get them out now and show your happy feet to your photographer to remember later how expensive they look on your special day!

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8. Your show-stealing entry!

Of course, it’s your wedding and so it’s like your duty to turn heads on as soon as you step in the wedding venue. It’s totally up to you how to walk this walk of fame i.e. whether in your energetic mode or in a subtle manner.

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These pictures will surely make you look back at your wedding album more than a thousand times and melt your heart every time you look at them!

 

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Bridal wear: Colours that work great with Wedding Photos!

Mehak, over at Wed Me Good got in touch with me with a bunch of questions to help her readers be better informed when shopping for bridal outfits; particularly which colours we felt worked, and what are no-nos. Of course, Praerna and I were only too happy to help! As wedding photographers, we have a keen eye for colour – and know what works, and what doesn’t. Here is a reproduction of the interview with her -you can even check out the original article on her blog here.

 

While reds typically dominate wedding fashion, dashes of complementary colours can work wonders

So Arjun. Whats the deal with colors? Is it true that certain colors photograph better than others???

Me:  Well warm and bright colours look better than pastel colours, purely from a vibrancy point-of-view. In certain communities, white or cream is the norm and that also does well, but in terms of actual “colour”, the more saturated, rich and vibrant versions of any colour photographs better than it’s pastel version. Specifically, reds, oranges, pinks, purples, blues and greens are always wonderful colours to work with.

 

Hmmm. So how does one go about choosing a color? What should a bride keep in mind?

Me:   Here are a few pointers:

  • Ideally, one colour should dominate the outfit rather than being a riot of various bright colours.
  • The décor and theme are very important, with respect to the brides’ outfit. Big no-nos are for the brides outfit and the décor colour to be the same colour. She would just blend in.
  • But having lighter, muted versions of related colours is always complimentary. E.g. if she is wearing a rich red and gold lehenga, then good colours to work with would be pale mithai yellow, peach, pastel orange or coral. Maybe some of the small detailing can be in bright red, but not the bulk of the drapes or flowers.
  • Loud, bright colours are always better in small flashes and accents.
A happy bride will love you for going the extra mile.

When you’re happy with your lahenga, it shows!

 

So Im guessing all of this also depends on whether you are having a morning/ night wedding? 

Me: Morning (or early evening) outdoor weddings trump night, indoor weddings any time of the year. Almost any kind of lighting effect can be simulated in the photography studio, but when it comes to weddings it’s not possible to replicate the effect of soft natural light that is available during early/ late morning and just before dusk by using lights and flashes. However high the specifications of a pro camera may be, flash or artificial light usage is unavoidable in many cases during an indoor, night wedding. If lights are used well, the effect can still be very good but not as good as an outdoor, natural light situation (not the harsh afternoon sun though. That would cause harsh shadows on everybody’s face.) In terms of outfit, a bride should still stick to vibrant colours even for an outdoor, day wedding. But make-up for an indoor night wedding should be a little more careful – too much shimmer or glitter would reflect in the flash and artificial lighting scenario, as would too much cover-up makeup. Whereas in the day, natural sunlight would hide a lot of flaws in the skin and reflectiveness will not be a big issue. As long as the make-up artist understands the kind of venue and lighting that will be a part of the wedding, he/she can approach the make-up strategy accordingly

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Whats your take on the whole bride and groom matchy-matchy trend?

Me: Colour coordinate by wearing the same colour is a big no in our books. The bride and groom must both stand out in their own style or individuality and not blend into one another. But complimentary clothing is definitely a good idea. E.g. The embroidery or detailing on the groom’s outfit can be the same or similar colour as the bride’s outfit. Or, as another example, if the bride’s outfit is pink with blue detailing, the groom can wear a dark blue outfit. But there should be some sort of line between feminine and masculine colours and both must not be dressed in the same, bright and vibrant colour. akp-candid-wedding-photography-husband-duties-1

So one thing you guys and we guys have in common. We are both husband-wife teams? How is that working out for you?

Me: Well, to be honest, there is no absolute answer to this question. And we are not just being politically correct by saying this. There are advantages and disadvantages to working together. We feel that we manage to show different perspectives to the exact same moment during a ceremony or an event. So there is a sort of harmony there, in working in our own way to deliver a good final product through our varied approaches. Another advantage is that because we live our personal and work lives together, we often understand what the other wants us to do without any conversation required. When one of us needs the other to move out of the way or help with a shot or shoot from the opposite perspective, the other just gets it. On the other hand, disagreements or misunderstandings while working are also common because it’s very hard to separate our personal relationship with the working one! Despite it’s ups and downs, we do think it is a gift to be able to integrate various parts of our lives together and do what we love doing, together.

 

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Originally written for WedMeGood – you can read the original article on the site here. Questions or comments? As always, ask away below! 

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Indian Wedding Photography…costs HOW MUCH?

A lot of people assume wedding photography in India will be a bargain. If you’re one of them, this post is for you! Fret not though, there are deals to be had…but first!

Disclaimer: This isn’t a post that justifies WHY wedding photography is expensive in the first place. There are plenty of posts online written by both brides and photographers – which explore both sides of the story. This post is only about wedding photography in India, and why it costs just as much here than it would anywhere in the world.

Whether you live in India or not – if you’re Indian, you’ve been conditioned all your life to believe that things are cheaper in India. It’s a general mindset that we carry around with us; it’s the cushion we use to comfort ourselves with when we’re frustrated with the lack of infrastructure and the various other problems that plague our nation. The light at the end of the tunnel always is the fact that’s been drilled into our brains – things are cheaper in India, so forget about the problems you face – and enjoy!

Sadly, this is not the case. The largely capitalist-economy driven lifestyle that we lead costs just as much here as it would anywhere else in the world (in many cases much more!). A meal for two in a reasonable restaurant in New Delhi will cost you just as much as it would in New York. The latest pair of Adidas running shoes will cost you a little more (at full retail price) as it would cost you in Switzerland. I’m not going into an item to item comparison (don’t even get me started on the cost of real estate, and how much it costs to buy an apartment in Gurgaon, when you can buy it at half the cost in Brooklyn) in this blog post, but let’s just suffice to say that unless you shun the city life and everything that goes with it, India is a bloody expensive country to live in.

This reality comes as a fairly rude shock when couples who live in the west come back to India to get married. Expecting to get high quality images at a fraction of the cost as it would in the US or America (hey, it’s India! How expensive can it be?), couples looking for wedding photographers in India are often bowled over when they realise that leading photographers charge $5,000 and above for a wedding. So I’m just going to come out and say it: Like most other commodities and services, wedding photography as a product costs just as much in India as it does anywhere else in the world.

Of course, I’m only comparing apples to apples here. You can still get traditional wedding photography (or amateur wedding photographers who are starting out) at fairly reasonable rates, but that’s another story. 

For all those of you thinking, “But Arjun, isn’t manpower cheaper in India? And by that logic, shouldn’t wedding photography be cheaper?”

Well, not really. Since I love making lists, here are 5 reasons why wedding photography costs just as much in India as it does in the US or Europe (or anywhere else):

#1 Camera Equipment costs just as much in India

Wedding photographers (at least the good ones) use the best gear. We can’t help it; the rigours of shooting a wedding call for high-grade professional quality camera bodies and lenses. We put our equipment through punishing assignments – they get exposed to the dust and rain, they get knocked about in a baarat, they get knocked about with people, things and other cameras and just about anything else you can think about. For the sake of comparison, here is a screengrab of the Nikon D4 (my favourite camera) in the US and in India.

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As of writing this, US $ 5,949 (without tax) on Amazon.com (=INR 3,50,000) vs INR 3,21,954 (including tax) on the popular Indian shopping portal, Flipkart. (That looks like a good deal! But once you add applicable state taxes to the one on Amazon, it comes out pretty much the same). Hmm, maybe I should buy another one…

 

I could go into more examples (like how much lenses cost) but trust me, in most cases equipment costs just as much in India (and in some cases, more!). Photographers need to cover these costs.

#2 CODB (the cost of doing business) is just as much in India as anywhere else

The cost-of-doing-business is a simple math formula that adds up all the fixed costs that you are likely to face while running a business. Make no mistake, professional photography is a business. You need to have an office (and pay rent), pay your electricity bills, pay your staff salaries, pay for internet, for the phone, internet hosting expenses, cost towards transportation, insurance, data backup, computing and a hundred other things I can’t even begin to think of right now. It’s a global marketplace now; most of the costs on our CODB lists are equal anywhere in the world.

#3 This is our full-time job

Just as the cost-of-doing-business is something that Indian photographers need to think of, we also need to earn enough to take care of our family! Being a photographer is a job like anything else. We still need to pay our home rent, pay for our kid’s education, pay our mortgage (or EMIs for the ridiculously overpriced apartment we bought – AARGH!), save for the future and the zillion other costs that are involved in just having a normal life in the city. As I said in the beginning – having a normal life in India costs just as much as it does anywhere else; we need to earn a living just like any other photographer anywhere in the world.

#4 Ancillary costs are just as much

Apart from how much cameras and lenses cost, wedding photographers need to also stay invested in the best computers, best printers, state-of-the-art backup systems, backup power (ha! that’s an India only cost) and so on. Like most creative professions, we’re used to using a Mac system for our workflow. Here’s a quick snapshot of much much the latest Macbook pro costs in the US, and in India.

 

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A 15″ MacBook Pro costs US $ 2,399 (= INR 1,46,000) in the US vs a whopping INR 1,71,000 in India. That’s a HUGE difference. And not to mention it takes ages for new products to find their way to India anyway.

 

It’s not just computers – we’ve set up an entire business around photography, and we’ve invested in double redundancy – so that we can finish our backend work fast and efficiently. We’ve built our lives around providing client satisfaction – but like everything else, that comes at a cost!

5. Insurance companies do NOT cover camera equipment in India

This is a really sore point. Abroad, wedding photographers (and all kinds of photographers) are fully covered by insurance. So in case the worst happens (rain, fire, theft and so on), all they need to do is approach their insurer with a claim, and hey presto – you get some amount of your investment back, so you’re never really at risk. This sadly isn’t the case in India. No insurance company insures cameras and camera equipment. This means, that if I get mugged (or held up along the highways of Uttar Pradesh) and someone steals all my camera gear – I am finished. I really am. I’ll lose everything. I won’t get a single rupee as compensation, I’ll lose all the tools that ensure my livelihood – and I’ll be out in the streets. If you think I’m being drastic; I’m really not. This is a constant fear I live with every day, and almost every photographer worth his salt will too. It’s just one of those risks you have to live with.

It’s worth it: Indian Wedding Photographers are amongst the best in the world!

A couple of years ago, (and I’m talking about as early as the late 2000’s) couples and families would invite wedding photographers from elsewhere in the world (like Europe, the US, Singapore etc.) for high-quality imagery because at that time the talent in India simply didn’t exist (or was very rare). Today, the genre, in general, has grown leaps and bounds and there are many Indian Wedding Photographers I’ve had the pleasure of either working with or simply talking with; who are amongst the best in the world at what they do. In fact, the trend has now reversed. Many NRI Indians and other couples hire photographers from India to fly down to their native country to be a part of their wedding – just because they want the best. India never had any shortage of talent; it’s just that the genre didn’t develop until now – and with global availability of resources and learning, western styles of wedding photography have been internalised, “Indianised” – and translated into work suited for the type of weddings we have here. Of course, with global work comes global pricing. However…

It’s still a great deal

There’s a silver lining here though. All said and done, there’s still a deal to be had here. Indian weddings are big, fat, fun affairs – and they have the particular characteristic of going on for at least two days. Wedding photography packages for western weddings are typically for 6-8 hours of photography (the getting ready, the wedding and the following reception). Indian wedding photography packages are typically for anywhere between 18-35 hours of photography (spread over 2-3 days). In many cases, things run late and we hardly ever kick up a fuss about working overtime. I’ve been at weddings when the original schedule had things wrapping up at midnight and found myself at 5 in the morning waiting for the vidaai to start (the wedding ended at 7 am – I had been on my feet since 8 am the previous day, and worked 24-hours non-stop).

What I’m trying to get at is, if you think about it; hiring an Indian wedding photographer is paisa vasool. For roughly the same price as abroad, you get two days of wedding photography instead of just one day! 😛

If you think I’m wrong and wedding photography in India is indeed cheaper, let me know below.

Coming soon on the blog: How to get great wedding photos on a budget, and how to sort the wheat from the chaff: how to differentiate experienced photographers from the imposters. 

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Finding a Destination Wedding Photographer in India

You’re getting married.

If you’re looking for a Destination Wedding Photographer in Goa. Or Udaipur. Or Jaipur. Or Bali. Or in Malaysia. Read on!

You’ve scoured the internet, you’ve checked Facebook, you’ve asked around…you’ve all set to plan that PERFECT wedding. Here are five simple things to keep in mind when looking for the perfect Destination Wedding Photographer for your perfect wedding!(Psst, to see more of our work – visit our showcase here).  To check our availability, get in touch with us here! [/su_highlight]

#1 Don’t only look for a local photographer

Most leading photographers worth their salt travel all over the world on assignment. It doesn’t matter where you’re getting married…your photographer will come to you! While there can be certain advantages to hiring a local photographer in the location you’re getting married in (like them knowing the place, saving on travel costs etc.), chances are that smaller places may not have high calibre talent locally available. Find a photographer you LOVE – regardless of where they’re based. Chances are that they’ll be more than happy to travel to your wedding at no extra cost! Moreover, foreign locations won’t have photographers who know Indian weddings inside out.

#2 Invest the time

You’ve chosen the place to get married in for a variety of reasons. One of them will certainly be the fact that the location will be gorgeous. Remember, after the years pass – it’s your wedding photos that will bring your wedding memories to vivid life. Choose a destination wedding photographer who will be able to take spectacular pre- and/or post-wedding photos for you that will leverage the location as much as your wedding. Spend the extra day with your photographer either before or after on a couples shoot…these pictures will really stand out in your wedding album.

#3 Three’s a crowd, four a mob

Many times, wedding photographers land up with an army of assistant photographers and their assistants in turn. In addition, the video team will have their own set of people. All in all, there could be upwards of 10-12 people whose job it is to shoot your wedding. At times like this, you have to ask yourself…do you really need so many people shooting your destination wedding? Well, if you ask me – maybe, and maybe not. I prefer to err on the side of a smaller team – and a team that is trained to be inconspicuous. The last thing a professional wedding photographer wants is to spoil the experience for the bride or her guests. Discretion is key. Discuss this with your photographer and make sure you have the right number of people at your wedding.

 

4. Consider honeymoon shoots

Did you know that certain photographers may agree to spend a day or so with you during your honeymoon? There are plenty of advantages to this:

  1. Many couples (especially those who go to non-English speaking locations) come back with “long-arm” pictures – the ones where you hold the camera out while trying to fit yourself into the frame and click. Mostly because it’s difficult asking for people to take your photo
  2. Moreover, you wind up with pictures that you take of each other. You take mine, I take yours. What about ours!
  3. Lastly, the photos just don’t do the place justice.

Ask your photographer to do a couple shoot of you during your honeymoon. You’ll come back with WOW pictures of the gorgeous place you were at, much to the envy of all your friends! If nothing else, there’s this really strange trend that’s starting to pick up.

 

#5 Have you taken your make-up artiste with you?

The relationship between a bride and her MUA (make-up artist) is truly a love-hate one. But after shooting many, many weddings and having seen this relationship first hand…I can tell you that there are times an MUA has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help a bride in need. If the destination wedding you’re planning has good talent locally available, then that’s great! However, remember that especially in foreign locales – makeup styles may be very different than what goes into your big fat Indian Wedding. Make sure you’ve thought of this!

 

#5 Share the love with your guests

Many photographers will help you create smaller “give-away” wedding albums apart from your main wedding album. It’ll be a nice surprise for your guests to receive a small give-away album with pictures from the wedding in the gorgeous location you’ve picked.

To see more of our work, check out our photography showcase here!

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Maximise your investment in Indian Wedding Photography

How to maximise your investment in Indian Wedding Photography

You’re getting married. You know that apart from having a beautiful wedding, you need lovely memories to help you remember your special day for the rest of your life. You recognise that you need to invest in quality wedding photography – and you’ve searched high and low for your perfect photographer. In this article, let’s review some of the things you should think of AFTER you’ve made your wedding photography decision. It’s important to get the most out of your wedding photography—and with a few simple tips, you and your photographer will get exquisite pictures that you will cherish forever.

 Step 1: Talk. Question. Answer.

This is the most important step. Have an extensive discussion with your photographer regarding your (hi)story as a couple, your ideas on style and content.

  • Sharing reference photos is a good starting point for this discussion and will ensure that you and the photographer understand each other. Most brides have very spefic ideas on what they like and what they don’t like.
  • We photographers in general are fairly patient folk, and are generally quite happy answering a lot of questions. Find out what process your photographer follows – and will be most comfortable doing. For instance, find out if your photographer will come by earlier in the day on your wedding day, and take behind-the-scenes photos of the wedding prep, the getting ready shots and fun shots of you leaving your house.
  • As a matter of fact, we appreciate a bride who knows what she wants. Let your photographer know if there are a few pictures you’ve seen on the internet, of of someone else’s wedding – that you would like to try. In addition, try and be as clear as possible about the proceedings and ceremonies involved in the wedding so that he or she can be better prepared.
  • The converse also applies: is there a style that you DON’T like? Chances are your wedding photographer doesn’t have that style – else you wouldn’t have picked him or her in the first place! However, make it clear. It’ll help avoid future misunderstandings.

Step 2: Ensure you get a traditional photographer too

I typically cover this on most of my posts on this subject! Indian weddings are very different from weddings in the west (or anywhere else for that matter). Our weddings go on for days on end, and some weddings can have literally hundreds of guests running amok while you’re getting married. Remember, most candid wedding photographers don’t do the stage shots. This is because his (or her) talent and vision would be wasted on posed shots, and you’d much rather they walk around behind the scenes doing what they do best. It’s best to have a traditional photographer document the more mechanical aspects of the wedding, like the long meet-and-greet sessions on stage – because arranging people for group photos can be an art by iteself! Either arrange a traditional photographer yourself or ask the pro to bring one along (most pro photographers have backup photographers for this kind of thing), so that each can do justice to their own styles.

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Pre-wedding shoots can reproduce fun memories linked to your journey as a couple!

Step 3: Extras and Value Additions

Pre and post weddings shoots are becoming increasingly common nowadays. It’s a really good idea to get a photo-essay done of your story as a couple before you took the plunge. This gives you fun memories to look at years later, or for your children to get a glimpse of how their parents were. Some photographers include this as part of your package, and some have a nominal separate cost to it. It’s worth it to try to wrangle an extra couple portraiture shoot– just before or after the wedding – or a “Save-the-Date” shoot as an add-on if you have purchased a substantial package. You can also look into chargeable extras like special coffee-table-albums, honeymoon photography, merchandise, special frames etc. Many photographers offer the production of certain collaterals using the images.

Step 4: Deliverables and Timelines

Many photographers do not restrict the number of photos they will give you while others do. It’s in your best interest to have at least an idea of how many photos to expect per day or function. These need not be strict numbers but more like a ballpark figure. Pay attention to the format offered by the photographer – finished images would mostly be given as hi-res JPGs in a DVD/ Pen Drive or file sharing software like sendspace or dropbox, but it’s best to clarify in advance and agree upon something convenient. Albums are usually charged over and above the package. Delivery timelines should also be decided, with a little wiggle room for unexpected circumstances.

Step 5: Make Time

Irrespective of the extra couple portraiture shoot, try and be conscious of the odd, unexpected windows of free time in between the ceremonies. The photographer must be encouraged to keep hanging around you so that any unexpected free time can be utilised for some portraiture. Bear in mind that even the best photographer can’t get fantastic portraits of a couple who is disinterested or unenthusiastic. The commitment and enthusiasm of the couple and the photographer should be on the same plane. Even though weddings are endless and tiring, the difference between great and average portraiture is most often the ability to prioritise and make time by the couple.

Step 6: Assign a Coordinator

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Sometime the co-ordinator gets fun shots too!

Be sure to assign a cousin or friend as the co-ordinator for the photographer. The co-ordinator will be responsible to help the photographer with any extra logistics, pointing out important family members and with a million small things that is needed during a wedding. Make sure the person you assign takes the job seriously, and is always available to pick up the phone! It’s normally best to assign the co-ordinator well in advance, so that the photographer knows the person well. Additionally, it’s best to assign one co-ordinator each from the boy’s family and the girl’s family. This will help in cases when both familities don’t know each other too well and have separate functions going on.  You have to remember that your wedding day is YOUR big day and that you may not be available to sort out logistic troubles.

Lastly…

Keep the communication lines open. At any point, if a new idea or direction comes to you, or if you don’t like a particular approach, or you’re not too happy with the finishing style, feel free to talk to the photographer. With so much time, effort and money already in the project, there’s nothing a frank and reasonable conversation can’t solve.

Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun. Your mood and body language are a big part of the final outcome and it’s important that your excitement and happiness reflect in your photos.

Questions or comments? Feel free to ask below!

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How to find a Candid Wedding Photographer in New Delhi

Finding a Candid Wedding Photographer in New Delhi. Or Mumbai. Or Bangalore.

It’s not easy. I know!

Soon-to-be-married-couples today have woken up to the fact that finalising the photographer is as important and urgent as setting the date. Traditionally, photographers were just another “arrangement” and a cursory overview allowed the parents to make an uncomplicated decision. In recent times, the DSLR explosion along with global trends in candid & mood photography have made everybody a photographer. The blogging network and social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have brought up so many options that a simple online search will leave you inspired, aspiring and overwhelmed – all at the same time!

Candid Wedding Photography: What’s that?

First off – I hate bucketing something with a name like that. There’s no such thing as a candid wedding photographer – though this is a term that mostly everyone getting married is really familiar with. Mostly because everyone uses it! Many photographers throw this term about without fully understanding what it means – so let’s clear some things up. Wedding photography today can broadly be split into two genres:

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Traditional wedding photographers can sometimes be really enthusiastic!

“Candid wedding photographers” – or photographers who do NOT follow the traditional approach of taking pictures. These photographers use their skill to be able to bring their own personal style into what they do. Most shots aren’t posed – and good photographers are able to mingle within the crowd and get stunning pictures of people when they don’t know they’re being photographed. Note that there is no such genre of photography called “candid” – I hate calling myself that, but for the purposes of this article I’ll continue to define this style as candid for ease of understanding.

“Traditional wedding photographers” – are photographers who follow a more templatised approach, and are intrinsically cheaper. This style of photography has been around for years and follows a more “smile-cheese-click” approach. There’s nothing wrong with this style of photography, and in my opinion, is equally important for your wedding.

So here’s the bottomline in case you don’t want to read too much: Ideally, you need BOTH traditional as well as “candid” wedding photography at your wedding. A candid wedding photography to shoot you, and a traditional photographer to shoot your guests. 

Finding the perfect Indian Candid Wedding Photographer: So where does one even begin?

According to me, the key is in understanding the information available and sifting it effectively. Most likely you’ll be bombarded from various different directions – Facebook & Pinterest photos, magazine mentions, wedding forums, friendly recommendations, family experience, photographer friends and many more.

It might help to remember that there is no wrong answer – just a good, better, best one. And no two people will grade photographers or view a photograph in the exact same way.

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A newly married couple in the temple town of Madurai

The first thing to keep in mind is not to get bogged down by varied terms like candid, documentary, photojournalistic, artistic, alternative etc. As I had described above, all these terms describe a new approach to wedding photography and most often they are simply polite ways of saying that the style is different from that of the traditional studio photographer. With all due respect to the hardworking studio photographers, the others simply have a different perspective and approach. They may choose to photograph the exact same moment in a different style. Or they may reprioritise the focus of a photograph with a story or creative idea in mind. That being said, there are many skills possessed by the studio photographer that non-studio photographers don’t possess – like assembling and getting a group shot of the entire family! So instead of choosing between a studio photographer and an “artistic” photographer, I would recommend having one of both so the family as well as the couple can get what they are looking for. And, ideally, leave the studio photographer choice to the family so you can focus on the other.

Setting a budget for Candid Wedding Photography

This is the tough part. If you’re just starting out, it’s time to put your thinking hat on. Wedding photography as a genre has really exploded in India today, and you now have photographers available at all sorts of price points. Photographers who juggle wedding photography as a hobby in addition to a full time job in IT or Marketing can sometimes be a real bargain. Similarly, a photographer just starting out may be willing to cover your wedding at a good deal so that he can have more to show in his portfolio. I’ve seen photographers producing decent work at starting prices of even INR 25k per day. The important things to remember here are:

  1. Start from the top. What do the best of the best charge? Fire up your search engine and start asking around. To save you some time, you’ll see that most of the answers you get will be “it depends!”. (That’s what you’ll hear me say!). It all depends on how much – or how little – you want. But suffice to say that starting prices will be at least a lac a day.
  2. Based on the initial information you get, set a budget. Even if you don’t want to disclose it — keep a mental figure. Will your wedding photography be self-funded? Will your parents be supporting you as part of your overall wedding expenses? Is wedding photography covered under your wedding presents (or even a registry!?)
  3. Based on your initial research of what the top photographers in India charge, arrive at a realistic figure. Based on that budget — start asking around.

If your wedding is during the off-peak season, you may even be able to afford a more senior wedding photographer who may reduce his or her prices just for your business. Ask around!

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Experienced candid wedding photographers can find that perfect moment

Okay. We need Candid Wedding Photography. What about Traditional Photography?

You need a traditional photographer also at your wedding in case you want pictures of your extended guests and family, along with group portraits. Some candid wedding photographers have their own team who will help you with this — and others provide bespoke wedding photography in case you want just that. So yes, if you’re expecting more than 500 people showing you AND you want pictures of who-wore-what, and who-brought-what, you need a few guys covering this for you. My recommendation? Don’t get stuck with too many vendors — ask your candid wedding photographer to bring his team along. That way, everything will be consistent. Refer bottom line above!

The photographer “friend”

Next is the question of hiring a professional wedding photographer versus a friend, cousin, or brother with a DSLR. Let’s face it — we ALL know a “guy”! They’ve got great pictures on Facebook, and they’d love to shoot your wedding. And it’s a steal!  There are a few things to consider when deciding on this aspect. Irrespective of how good or professional the friend is, will he or she be able to do justice to both – take photographs and enjoy your wedding? Assuming the focus is on the photographs, rather than attending and enjoying the wedding as a guest, is the photographer experienced enough to capture enough and consistently deliver a series of good, usable and memorable photos? Let’s not forget that many people have a great eye for composition and style, but may lack the technical know-how to deliver a consistent set of quality images.  Most importantly, if the photographer is well known to you, there might be an awkward situation of trying to conduct a businesslike inquiry or transaction with him or her – say in the case of delayed delivery of images or disagreement regarding the style. And lastly, don’t forget that professional photographers also have a team with them who can also help you with photos of your guests, group photos and pictures of your extended family!

 

Remember – there’s really no right answer. When in doubt, go with your gut! 

Next week, I’ll post more helpful tips — including how to maximise your investment in wedding photography and how to choose the best photographer!

 

Update: The post is up! To maximise your investment in Indian Wedding Photography, read my article here! 

Questions? Ask away below!