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!