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Covid 19 Lockdown: What you can do to stay busy and productive

Simple tips to make your time during Covid 19 lockdown more productive an useful

The world as we know it has changed over the past month. We are on the fifth week of the lockdown implemented due to Covid 19 and we’ll admit that it has not been easy. Trying to communicate with colleagues over phone calls and video conferences and working from home can be stressful. You might be worried about your business, or feeling stuck at home. As photographers, we are so used to travelling and being outdoors that staying in almost feels like wasting time. But perhaps if you look at it another way, you can find the silver lining in this situation.You finally have time on your hands to do all the things you wouldn’t normally be able to.

This is a great time to challenge yourself creatively and work on your business. Figuring out where to start might be tough, but it helps to make a list and prioritise your tasks accordingly. Here are a few things you can try out to improve your business, be productive, and feel better about your time indoors. A few of them we’ve been practicing ourselves, so we hope this helps you. Read on!

# Work on your online footprint

Now that you have all the time in the world, one of the things you could do is work on your online presence. What social channels are you on? Is there a place you haven’t made a mark yet? Look for all the social channels you can find your target audience in and work on your building your online footprint there.

If you’re a website owner, this is the time to work on it! Update your portfolio and your website with your latest work. If you’ve been waiting to give your website a makeover, do it now! Spend time on optimising your website for search engines and work on building your SEO rankings. We’ve been spending quite some time ourselves working on improving our website. While going through a general check, we saw that we hadn’t updated our gallery images in quite a while, so that’s the first thing we did. Next, we updated our wedding films page with our latest wedding trailers and then went through the pages of our website to check for any broken links. It might take a little longer than expected but improving your website is a step towards better credibility as a professional photographer.

Share your latest work on Instagram or try a different editing style to give your social feed a new look. If you’ve worked on some cool projects in the past year, share them with your audience on your various social media channels.

# Practice and learn

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This is a great time to learn those skills you’ve been wanting to! A lot of great photographers are holding Live and AMA (ask me anything) sessions on their social media channels. Tune in to learn from them or ask them anything you want. You can also find webinars and online tutorials to up your editing game or learn design skills. In the past few weeks, Arjun in association with Fujifilm has conducted Rendezvous – a series of live sessions on Instagram which talk about life and art with some of the industry’s best photographers. We will also be conducting a few more Live and AMA session on our Instagram soon, so stay tuned!

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If you haven’t touched your camera in days, do it today! Go out of your comfort zone and you might just learn something new. If you’re a natural light photographer, practice shooting with the help of artificial light. Try your hand at food photography or practice with a lens you aren’t comfortable with. Shoot a portrait with a wide lens and try to get it right. A lot of photography blogs have great tips about improving your photography skills, so choose any one from the list of Top 100 Photography Blogs and begin your leaning!

# Organise and archive

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You know you’ve been putting this off for a long time. With this downtime, you can work on sorting and organising your data. During the wedding season, we know it’s super difficult to deal with organising all your data. You put it off and pretty soon, months go by. If you don’t already have a system in place, research on how you can build a solid backup system. We have spoken in detail about our data storage process in a blog before, so give it a read if you need some help.

If you already have a backup system in place, organise your data so that it is easy to find in the future. You can also dig a little deep and rate or flag your photos in Lightroom. When you go through your old work with fresh eyes, it helps you keep track of your improvement as a photographer. You have a better understanding of where you need improvement and the experience you have pushed you to learn and do better than the old you!

Organising and archiving is something we have also been working on extensively in the past month. We went all the way back to 2008 and have archived and rated our work. Seeing all our work of the past ten years made us quite proud of how far along we’ve come and how much we’ve grown.

#Personal projects

Graphic for an example of practising photography during Covid 19 lockdown.

All this sitting around at home and business stuff is bound to get boring. So to get out of this creative rut, find yourself a personal project to work on. While we’re used to finding subjects and shooting in the outdoors, looking for an idea inside your home can challenge you to expand your creative skills. Shooting indoors might be limiting but treat it like a challenge or a competition. For example, you could do a photo series using only your phone and edit on it too. Or shoot only in monochrome for a day. This will teach you to look for light and shadow or find interesting textures and lines in a frame. Try your hand at self-portraits or find subjects at home – your family member, your flatmate, or a pet. Choose an object at home and find interesting ways to shoot it. You can even video call with a friend and set up portraits virtually. FaceTime portraits are becoming all the rage these days. Don’t let this Covid 19 lockdown bring down your creativity as artists! 

# Find new inspiration

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This is also a good time to look up all the photographers you’ve admired and draw inspiration from their work. And if that’s not enough, look elsewhere! All the great artists have always found inspiration from different kinds of art. So if you’re feeling an artist’s block, look to other genres of art for inspiration. Watch movies, look at famous paintings and sculptures of the past and present. Inspiration can come from anywhere – your surroundings, nature, books, or even an object.

If there’s a genre of photography you have always wanted to try or improve at, study work of photography masters from that field. Or, you can even look them up on their social handle and drop them an email or message about wanting to have a conversation with them. They will always welcome a chance to talk about art and photography.

# Spend time with family

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If you live with your family, this is the perfect time to alleviate all their grief about you not spending enough time at home. Not everything has to revolve around your business or work during this time. Set some time aside every day to sit with your parents, spouse, or children. Have meals together or do a fun activity in the evenings while taking a break from your work routine. If you are not with your family during this time, you can still spend some time with them through video calls.

The past month has been a difficult time for everyone. With nowhere to go, feeling stuck or unproductive is absolutely normal. When you’re working from home it’s easy for both to merge together. So the first step to staying organised is setting up a routine for your day. Have a dedicated space for your home office and switch off from work on a Sunday. This unprecedented situation has given us the gift of time, sure, but don’t feel the pressure to be productive all the time. It’s great if you use this time to learn and grow but it’s also okay if you take this time for a much-needed break and pursue your hobbies. Personally, this lockdown has given us plenty to time to rejuvenate ourselves after the crazy busy wedding season we’ve had. We’ve rested our bodies and minds and are happy to put our energies into our work. So whatever you choose to do during this time, make sure you’re energised and ready to go as soon as it’s safe enough to go outside again!

Let us know what you are doing with your time doing this Covid 19 lockdown and stay safe!

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Priyanka & Rohan: The Big Fat Delhi Wedding

Rohan and Priyanka were married a few weeks ago in Delhi. They had a lovely Delhi Wedding, Baniya-style, spread over 5 days, full of a lot of fun and family banter. Rohan has a humongous joint family and they all reside in a “compound” made up of 4 large buildings – so a small function with only family means a minimum of 70 people!

The couple first met through some common family connections. Rohan was immediately taken by Priyanka but she wasn’t all that enamoured to begin with. But Rohan got it into his head that Priyanka was the only one for him and he pursued her relentlessly until she had no choice but to give in! She knew that such persistence could only mean that he genuinely wanted to be with her, and only her! Somewhere along those three months, her heart melted and she said yes. Finally.

By the time we met them, they were very much in love and very excited to be getting married and spending their lives with each other.

A few days before their wedding, we took them out to get a few couple portraits at Garden of Five Senses. It was a lovely winter afternoon and we had a great time during the shoot.

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Some pretty flowers and soft late-afternoon wintry sun made it quite a perfect day…

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We just love the open expanse and almost-barren beauty of this venue…

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Don’t they look delightfully happy?

The wedding festivities began with the Bhaat at Rohan’s home, followed by a lot of singing, originally composed songs for the wedding and general family fun!

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This was followed by the sagan-sangeet function, held at the ITC Maurya in Delhi.

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Once the gorgeous bride made her entry, Rohan and everybody else had eyes only for her.

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There was a small chunri and godbharai ceremony for Priyanka…

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True to tradition, the ceremonies were followed by a sangeet and dance evening. All of Priyanka & Rohan’s cousins, friends, family and even grandmother put up choreographed dances for them.

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The next day brought our favourite ceremony, the haldi. It’s usually the most emotional time and also when there is maximum family banter. There are always lovely moments to be captured.

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And, of course, the very real possibility of it turning into a haldi holi!

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The haldis were followed by the mehendi…

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The wedding day began with the afternoon baraat…

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While the baraatis did their thing, we managed to get some portraits of our gorgeous bride…

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The wedding ceremony took place on a platform built over the pool – it was a large mandap which could accommodate the large family and ensured that everyone had a view.

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We managed to sneak them away real quick for a few portraits, before they joined the rest of their family and friends.

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As always, the vidaai was a bittersweet moment, waving goodbye to your family and life as you knew it and embarking on a new exciting journey at the same time. There’s rarely a vidaai where we don’t feel a bit teary ourselves!

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And so ended Priyanka and Rohan’s lovely wedding – we had such a great time and we wish them all the happiness in the world together.

You can also watch their wedding movie trailer here:

Caught in the moment forever ~ Rohan + Priyanka from Arjun Kartha Photography on Vimeo.


This is a Delhi Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiChandigarhJaipur, Udaipur, HaridwarBangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photographyspots like Brooklyn New YorkMalaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Canada to India – A Mumbai Wedding Photography Story: Juhi + Akshay

A Mumbai Wedding Photography Story

As Wedding Photographers, we think that wedding photography is truly a delightful thing – every single time we shoot a wedding, we find a new story. It keeps us motivated, fascinated and raring to meet the next couple and hear their story. And, of course, be a part of documenting and telling their wedding story.

In the case of Juhi & Akshay, we saw once again that two people can fall in love across immense geographical barriers. When they first got in touch, Juhi lived in Canada and Akshay in Chandigarh, India. A chance internet encounter through a mutual friend turned into long Facebook chats, then emails and phone calls over a period of months before they actually met. When they finally did, they just knew that this was for real and they had no choice but to be together.

A few more cross-continent meetings and one very romantic proposal in Bombay later, they set a date. The wedding was to be held in Bombay, as that’s where Juhi’s family is from.

Mumbai wedding photography means wanting to walk away with great photos from a couple shoot! So when we first reached Bombay for their wedding, we couldn’t resist taking some couple portraits at the iconic Gateway to India.

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Mumbai wedding photography is always fun! We had to arrive at the Gateway of India really early to avoid the hordes of people that are usually there!

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On an aside, here’s a funny story. We first met Akshay when he came to attend our Wedding Photography Workshop in 2014. Lo and behold, a year later he came down from Chandigarh to meet us and tell us about his wedding. He was so impressed by the workshop that he just had to have us shoot his wedding! This felt like the biggest compliment and success story from that workshop and we just couldn’t resist sharing it as we gear up for the AKP Wedding Bootcamp 2016!

Getting back on track, the wedding festivities started with Juhi’s mehendi ceremony – held at her family home in Bombay.

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The mehendi was followed by the tilak and chunari ceremonies…

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The best part about shooting Juhi & Akshay as a couple was definitely their ever-ready smiles, for each other and for the camera. It was just such a great pleasure.

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The wedding day began with their respective haldi ceremonies.

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The haldi ceremony is one of our favourites – the fun moments with siblings and cousins makes our day.

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We loved the fact that both Juhi & Akshay had picked complimentary outfits, paying attention to the small, but important, details…

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And finally, here comes the happy bride…

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This Mumbai wedding photography story concluded at the lovely ISKON temple.  Their beautiful wedding took place in the ISKON Temple complex in Juhu, amidst their closest family and friends…

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We managed to sneak them away for a few quick portraits before it was time to say goodbye.

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And, finally, they drove off into the night towards their Happily Ever After!

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We loved being a part of their wedding – it was full of fun, laughter and family camaraderie! We wish them a very happy married life together.


 

This is a Bombay Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiChandigarhJaipur, Udaipur, HaridwarBangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photographyspots like Brooklyn New YorkMalaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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An Indian Destination Wedding in Sheraton, Hua-Hin, Thailand

A Destination Wedding Photography story

Hong Kong based investment banker ties the knot with Dubai based advertiser in a destination wedding in Hua Hin Thailand – a true global-desi wedding, if ever there was one! The bride tells us how it all came together, in her own words.

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How we met

Anool is a Hong Kong-based investment banker turned HR Head for a Swiss private investment solutions company with a very soft spot for me. I am a creative thinker, co-founder of a Dubai based advertising company, lover of kathak and my big fat family. We met at a friend’s wedding in Cebu, Philippines but it all really started when we both missed our respective flights back home. Initially both of us thought nothing of it but, despite the distance and time difference, our similar interests and attraction towards each other made us come together. Our very first phone call will always be a memorable one (it lasted close to three hours) and, like many other long distance couples, we have paid a fortune in exorbitant phone bills and flight tickets.

Anool surprised me with a proposal in Mumbai, where he had brought both sets of parents together and asked my father for his permission before going down on one knee. Even though everything was moving quite fast, it felt right. Being with Anool felt right and I accepted his proposal.

Our Destination Wedding Venue

We both wanted a destination wedding by the beach at a resort where family and friends from both sides can come together with no distractions so that they could cherish all the functions and have the time of their lives. We narrowed it down to Thailand so that it could be relatively central for our guests from UAE, Hong Kong and India. We looked at many venues in Kao Lak, Phuket, Bangkok and more but none of them fit our requirements like The Sheraton, Hua Hin. It is a spectacularly beautiful resort with direct access to the beach, oceanfront lawn venues, and a lovely lagoon pool which runs through the entire property. The ballrooms were just the right size to accommodate our friends and family, they have chefs from across the globe to handle all of our complicated food requests and a whole bevy of warm and friendly staff. There were plenty of vendors to choose from in Bangkok so it was convenient for them to be available at Hua Hin and for us to coordinate with them.

Our Destination Wedding – Functions and Themes

We had a big, fat Sindhi wedding with great pomp and fanfare. A lot went into planning it – both families took multiple trips to Thailand to finalise the decor, food and the logistics for everything. Even though we had hired a great wedding planner, we all took personal interest to stay on top of things and maintain a personal touch with all our vendors. Both, Anool and I, are very detail oriented and wanted to be involved in everything.

The wedding theme was something that took us a lot of time to come up with. We wanted something that had a flow to it, and could give meaning and substance to all our functions. We finally decided upon “Seasons of Love”, i.e. (White) Winter Engagement, Summer Mehendi, Monsoon Sangeet, Spring Pheras and an Autumn Reception. These seasons and colours were reflected in the decor, in the food menu and even our outfits for each and every function.

One of the most special part of our wedding decor was that we wanted to always get married in a Thai-type temple structure and that was made possible by Oriental Events.

And we are delighted that our photography team, Arjun Kartha Photography, was able to capture the beauty of our wedding with their unique destination wedding photography. They made us very comfortable and were fun and friendly to work with.

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Wedding Shopping

Wedding shopping is always the most stressful aspect of a destination wedding – we made multiple trips to Mumbai for a lot of our things including our outfits as well as outfits for our families. Although we used a few different designers, Anool and I generated a lot of our own ideas and details which were beautifully executed by them. The planning and shopping phase lasted the course of a year but it went by like a breeze. It gave us even more time to work together on the wedding like a project, gain a deeper understanding into each other and our respective families. It brought everyone closer together and this beautiful phase will always have a very special place in our hearts.

Wedding Makers

Designers for Taruna: Nova Krishnan, Rubina,  Shantanu & Nikhil
Designers for Anool: Just Men,  Badasaab, Seema Mehta, Brandy & Co.
Planners & Decor: Rimjhim Events & Oriental Events
Music & Entertainment: DJ Manoj Punjabi, Trav Saxsingh Panesar (Sax), Anish Percussionist, Rodney (Singer Performer), Anushka Manchanda (Singer Performer), Paul Veer & Gursewak Singh (Dhol)
Cinematography: Doodle Studio
Destination Wedding Photography: Arjun Kartha Photography


This article first appeared on Wedding Sutra – you can view the original article here

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Adobe Lightroom Presets Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a couple of posts about how Adobe Lightroom has become the default weapon of choice for wedding photographers worldwide for quickly and efficiently sorting and editing thousands of photos from a wedding. I’ve been meaning to write a couple of follow-up posts on the Develop Module, and how you can use presets to speed up your workflow. A quick and easy option to instantly gain access to different looks for your images are to download ready-to-use presets developed specifically for a variety of purposes. We invited Jane Grates from Sleeklens, a company that has a variety of readymade presets available for download – to write a guest post on some of the great presets they offer. 

– Arjun


Save the Date with Adobe Lightroom

by Jane Grates

There are many aspects to consider when we decide to start on this exciting journey of wedding photography: Do I have the necessary equipment? Am I apt for “wedding etiquette” of the event? Where can I learn to be a good wedding photographer?. Many questions that, in some cases, have simple answers, but mostly not.

Certainly, to be a successful photographer, you must be familiarized with this combination of factors:

  • Skills
  • Equipment
  • Creativity

Without the equipment, we couldn’t even talk about wedding photography; despite the well known fact that having a professional camera does not guarantee a quality work – It’s quite common, the scenario where photographers find themselves feeling intimidated if the camera to be used has many advanced features, unknown to the user, or if it is the first time that the photographer in question makes the leap from a point-and-shoot camera to a DSLR model. For that reason, equipment must be equated with our knowledge on this passionate subject; our skills as photographers can certainly make the difference between and precarious work and a job well done.

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Whenever people ask me about this debate, I always have the same answer: “I prefer a thousand times to be working with a simple camera, within my range of knowledge, rather than having a professional equipment that I can’t control”. But assuming that the technical training as a photographer is not a problem, creativity may arise as one.

Not so long ago, photographers met the premise of framing memories for a lifetime in a combination of elements that came from dedication to the quality of the material used for processing the images. Today, digital tools and easy access to photographic equipment makes people to believe that this is sufficient to be a good photographer… The reality could not be further away!

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Keeping creativity in mind, the digital age has enabled the launch of a new range of possibilities which enhance the quality of the work done: the world of digital post-production.

Certainly, many of us have heard of Adobe Photoshop, digital edition, or even from Adobe Lightroom. The purpose of this guide is not to get into the eternal debate of what software is best, because they meet different objectives and also depends on the convenience of the user at the time of work – I would like to show you, in a brief and concise way, how the photographic post-production can do a lot to our work.

Imagine for a minute that this is our final image

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What could we say about this image? First of all, that has a good white balance to the naked eye; It has no exposure problems and has good composition – however, we can go beyond this simple result thanks to Adobe Lightroom.

I will edit this image using a versatile pack of presets and brushes for Adobe Lightroom: “Forever Thine Wedding Workflow” by Sleeklens.

After importing our image in Adobe Lightroom, we can perform different settings depending on our interest. Imagine, for example, that we have to edit a lot of photographs in a few minutes: thanks to the “All-in-One” Presets, it is possible to affect multiple parameters in one simple step, making a professional appearance in seconds!

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However, if you are looking for a more independent style, that suits your personal preference, you can create your own editing process step-by-step with the presets offered in the bundle. 112 Wedding Presets will offer you a variety of styles and effects to try in your work, and best of all: in non-destructive interface – any of the settings applied will not change the conditions of the original file.

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And what happens if we have to correct imperfections in the skin, or even adjust aspects of makeup or details in our photos? That is not a problem, since this bundle includes 23 high quality brushes for which we can perform customizable local settings – an ideal sidekick for making each editing process a handcrafted and unique piece of work.

06_save_the_dateWith the “Forever Thine Wedding Workflow”, the digital editing process becomes quick, fun and efficient. It is amazing to watch the amount of photos with exposure problems or with lifeless hues that can be recovered by using the tools of digital post-production. And if professional photography is about offering your clients the best in your work, with this pack of Presets and Brushes for Adobe Lightroom you’re one step closer to that goal.

We hope this guide has been to your liking. Good luck and keep editing!

 

[alert color=”” BLUE=””]Guest post by Sleeklens. All photos credit: Sleeklens. [/alert]
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How to design a wedding album in 5 simple steps

Looking back at a memory reminds us of how much one has changed as a person; this evolution is a part of life. Similarly, the way we preserve our memories has also changed. Remember, our parents’ wedding album? How it was all about the stage pictures and other “posed” photos — and how the album was made by inserting every picture in the space provided? Just like our memories evolve, so have the the way we save them. With progress in printing technologies and design, albums today are more like a coffee table book and are capable of telling a very different kind of story.

So, if you are a couple or a photographer, designing albums is one job that can leave many of you confused and wondering what’s the best way to do it. If you are looking for the answers to all your questions then look no further!

#1 Remember, it’s all about the story

Well, that’s what the wedding album is for. Reminding you of your story every time you go through it. Nowadays the design of your wedding album is also completely in your hands so you can decide what you want and who all you want in it. The main challenge lies in photo curation and the story flow.

Photo Selection & Curation: This is one task which can be really vexing as you will be tempted to select everything, but to get a good story out of it, try to only choose the pictures which you absolutely love (that means, you can ignore all the uncles and aunties you don’t like). Well, maybe not ignore completely – but choose images with people in it who mean something to you and ignore the urge to try and just “fit” everyone in!

Layout for Story Flow: Once you have a carefully curated selection of photographs, the next challenge lies in deciding how many pictures go on each spread, in which order and in what priority. The trick, here, is to view each spread in isolation and as a part of the whole.

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Each spread should tell a story in itself and also fit in the overall story.

Telling stories in the absence of motion & sound: One of our favourite tricks for storytelling is to use juxtaposition & action-reaction combinations. In the absence of written words & spoken dialogue, we find this the most effective way of presenting a memorable moment. E.g. you dancing and your fiancée cheering for you or you are leaving after vidaai and your parents are crying.

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Juxtaposing action and reaction can replay the entire scenario as it happened

 

#2 It should focus on YOU

Remember it is “your” story and you should be there more than anyone else. Although it is inevitable that you will face quite a few dilemmas when it comes to people and things to be included or excluded, but here’s something to help you.

Prioritization: Gone are the days of stage pictures and including everyone (because they may feel bad). Choose the pictures in which you look the best and place more emphasis on your ceremonies, traditions and moments rather than random people. (Tip: If you just HAVE to have all the group and stage pictures as well, consider going in for a companion album – which is another album along with your main wedding story album that can have all the group photos and photos of extended family in it for posterity).

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Choose the pictures in which you look the best and concentrate on your ceremony.

Enriching the story: Focusing on you doesn’t mean you should not have group pictures – pick the ones that include the people closest to you and can enrich the story in the album rather than placing them just for the sake of it.

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Including your closed ones and ceremony pictures is more important than adding pictures of random people.

#3 Less is More

Since Indian weddings have a lot of functions and everything needs to come in the album, chose the pictures wisely. Other than choosing the pictures, distributing them per spread and selecting proper layouts is also something you need to ponder over.

Number of Pictures per spread: Don’t make your album disorganized and congested. Instead, try to put 2-6 pictures per spread and use different layouts to make them look interesting. For example, alternate a spread of large format couple portraits with another which has more pictures showing a ceremony/ritual.

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Each spread should have 2-6 pictures and with the use of correct layout your picture will pop.

Layouts and Patterns: Loud patterns and templates as well as using a picture as background and placing other pictures on top of it, is a big no! It doesn’t do justice to any of the pictures. Also, even though white space is necessary to bring clarity and clean lines to the layout but too much white space can cause a distraction.

A white border is nice simple way of dividing the pictures neatly but leaving too much of it on the sides should be avoided.

#4 Pick the Right Tool

People always think that designing a wedding album is something only a professionally trained designer can do, but by choosing the right software and a little practice, anyone can do it with ease. So knowing the right tool is very necessary.

Professional Design Software: One of the most obvious options is to use advanced photo-editing, design & layout tools like Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign. These give you a fabulous amount of control and flexibility at the same time but require an extensive learning curve.

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Non-Technical Designing Options: If you lack design training, software like SmartAlbums2 and Fundy can come to your rescue. Using these, along with a little practice and taste, anyone can create layouts, arrange pictures and design their albums with ease, even if they lack expertise in design.

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SmartAlbums2 is one of the non-technical softwares which is easy to use.

#5 Choosing the right vendor

Finally, the last step in album production – finding the right vendor partner to deliver a beautifully printed album that matches the quality of design can be as confusing as the curating & design process. With so many options available today, it’s easy to feel lost amidst them – printing technology, paper & finishing can seem like daunting factors to consider. Here are few pointers to keep in mind while making this selection-

Paper, Binding and Mounting: Always ask for sample albums and look for good quality paper as it defines the age of the album. Binding should be strong and lay-flat variants are preferable, as they don’t take away from the pictures stretching across the centerfold.

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Layflat style binding doesn’t breaks a picture if it spreads across the two pages.

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Binding and Quality of the paper are important factors!

Cover: It is the first thing that attracts you towards an album and makes you want to see more. Nowadays, there are various options for cover available like, eco-leather, satin silk, etc with an amazing amount of personalisation possibilities — so pick the kind that reflects your personal style.

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Metal covers give an album a more contemporary modern look!

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Leather on the other hand is timeless and looks very classy.

Packaging: Good packaging has two main advantages – it makes the whole album package look more impressive and, more importantly, ensures your album remains safer and is likely to have a longer life.

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Online Versions: Since, Indian families are big, usually very close and very enthusiastic about weddings; the excitement to see the album is always immense. Circulating the physical hard copy of the album can be a painful thing to do, so thank god for online versions. So look for vendors who offer this options – all you have to do is get the link and share with as many members of your family and friends you like. They can see a virtual copy of your entire album.

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Online version can be viewed only by you through a special phonebook code.

These are a few factors that we look at while designing and printing albums. We hope that these will help make your decision and process simpler. Have any more questions? Ask them in the comments section below and we will be happy to help answer them.

[su_box title=””]Arjun Kartha is a professional wedding photographer based in New Delhi, India. Along with his wife and partner Praerna, they obsess over how their wedding albums look like and have spent years looking for the perfect way of designing an album. If you’re a bride looking for the perfect wedding album – get in touch with them today! [/su_box]

 

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A New Delhi Wedding Photography Story: Kanchan+Piyush, Taj Vivanta, Gurgaon

As Wedding Photographers based in Delhi, it’s always fun to shoot a wedding right in our backyard! Kanchan and Piyush got married earlier this year in a grand, three day wedding at Taj Vivanta. Kanchan and Piyush first met at work in Auckland, where they both lived. In fact, for both of them, it was more like a part time/ summer job, while Kanchan was still 17 and Piyush was already at University. As Kanchan tells it, she was pretty awestruck with this Uni kid who showed an interest in her! They clicked together instantly, in so many ways. But they only realised how important their connection was when Kanchan moved to Sydney. Something seemed to be missing for them both, until Piyush decided to make the move to Sydney as well. From what we saw of the couple, it was a brilliant decision on Piyush’s part! 

After dating each other for about 8 years, when Kanchan & Piyush decided to get married, it seemed like the natural choice to have the wedding in India. Even though both their parents’ live in Auckland and Sydney, the rest of the extended families were in India. It was a great way to be amidst them all for their big day(s) and also somehow feel like it was a destination wedding since they were all based in the hotel!

We met up with the couple a few days before the wedding events started to get some relaxed portraits with them. They were totally stoked for the shoot and happy to pose for as long as we wanted, which is always a pleasure! They couldn’t keep their hands off each other and always had a ready smile for us and, more so, for each other. Here are a couple of our favourites from the session. 
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Having spent such a lovely evening with them, we couldn’t wait to get started on their wedding. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait too long. The events kicked off with a milni, where both sides of the families met and greeted each other. 

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Next day, the fun started with Kanchan’s mehendi  – she began first, surrounded by her closest friends and family. This is one of the most fun times for us to shoot because of all the banter between them all – it’s a great time to capture some intimate moments as well as fun girly portraits and group pictures.

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The mehendi function was followed by a ring ceremony & sangeet.

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Piyush’s family decided that this was as good a time as any to have a mini baraat – they brought on the dhol and showed the ladkiwallas who’s boss! 

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Piyush’s mom and sister performed a short sringar ritual on Kanchan before the couple exchanged their rings…

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Once the traditions and ceremonies were taken care of, it was time to party! there was lots of cake, cocktails and dancing. And we enjoyed every second of it.

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We snuck them away for a few portraits before the night ended, of course.

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Next day, there were a series of rituals and poojas on both sides of the family, including Sagri & Jaago. For a short while, Piyush’s family came in to join the festivities on Kanchan’s side.

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Even though most of the rituals on Kanchan’s side followed their Sindhi tradition, the family has a lot of Punjabi friends. So the night ended with an impromptu Punjabi sangeet, with all the friends singing traditional Punjabi wedding songs and boliyaan. And of course, there was more dancing.

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Finally. The wedding day is here. Piyush’s face just says it all, how he just can’t wait to be married to Kanchan!

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Kanchan too, couldn’t suppress her excitement. 

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Piyush’s family brought the baraat in full swing! 

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The couple read out their vows in English and their genuine excitement at making those vows brought a smile to everybody’s face. 

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We snuck them away for a few more portraits, right after the wedding, before they got caught up with all their guests and well wishers. 

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For the vidaai, Piyush had arranged a little surprise for Kanchan — a vintage car to whisk her away in! You can totally see how pleased she was with this unexpected gesture. (It may even have distracted her from the emotion and nostalgia while bidding her parents farewell..!)

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The wedding was a lovely one – very well thought out and personal. We really enjoyed being a part of it and, as always, are delighted to have found more friends in the couple and their family.

We wish them all the very best for their married life.

Hear Kanchan and Piyush talk about their story in their own words by watching their wedding movie trailer below…

Best Friends & Lovers ~ Kanchan + Piyush from Arjun Kartha Photography on Vimeo.


This is a Delhi Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Udaipur, Haridwar, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photographyspots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Oz to India – A Wedding Photography Story in Delhi: Nikita + Sameer

Wedding photography is a curious thing – we truly believe that some marriages are created in heaven…even if they are arranged here on Earth! Nikita and Sameer wed a few weeks ago in the NCR and we had such a wonderful time shooting their wedding. Even though we do this for a living, it is always an incredible experience to be around a couple who are deeply in love.

Nikita & Sameer both live in Australia, as their families relocated there many years ago. Sameer’s parents saw Nikita at a friends home, during a Puja and instantly decided that they just had to introduce her to their son. The attraction and connection between the two young people was fairly instantaneous too — not very long after they met and began to date, Sameer organised an elaborate day out for Nikita, going around town in a carriage, and proposed! She obviously said yes, after which they met up with the parents to celebrate and seal the deal.

They decided to have the wedding in India, where both their families are from. The wedding in Delhi was a one-day affair, held at the Kempinski hotel in Ghaziabad. It was a medium sized affair, but so full of love, laughter and camaraderie that it was a delight to shoot.

We managed to squeeze in a small couple shoot at Rajpath in Central Delhi.

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Oh, we just LOVE central Delhi!

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#HAPPY! We’re happy too!

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Curious bystanders notwithstanding – we just wanted to build in an element of Delhi to their wedding story

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They make such an adorable couple!

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We got in a little early, on the day of the wedding, to take a few pictures before they got ready for the wedding…

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away…and your rings together too!

Sameer had a few of his friends from Australia over for the wedding too…

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Show us your mahendi!

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Strike a pose!

 

We found a pool table near the area that was being used to place Sameer’s pagdi!

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Too many caption ideas come to mind 🙂

We loved the day(light) baraat outside the hotel…

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This would have been a nice time for a selfie

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Rocking the baarat – Australian style!

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We found a few moments alone with the bride before she made her grand entrance…

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The ceremony was simple yet beautiful…

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The simple mandap during twilight

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The happiest moment of all — laddoo time!

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Open wide..aaaaaaa!

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With a quick change of clothes, the couple returned for the reception…

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Nikita was looking gorgeous in her reception outfit too!

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Jaimala part 2…

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After a few group pictures, there was dancing…

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The first dance

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It ain’t a wedding until the epic selfie has been taken!

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There were emotional speeches…

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And, finally, the tearful Vidaai

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It really was a wonderful wedding — don’t forget to watch the trailer from their wedding movie to hear their story, from Niki & Sameer themselves…

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We wish them all the very best and a wonderful life together…

 

 

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5 ways to deal with negative feedback as a photographer

Negative feedback.

It happens; No matter how good a photographer you are, it’s bound to happen at some point or the other. It could happen in the most innocuous of ways, like a random follower posting criticism on something you’ve just uploaded on your Facebook page – or in the most serious of ways – which is an unhappy client.

As a photographer, I put in my heart and soul into what I do. Being a commercial photographer, I get paid to take photos. It could be photos of weddings, of food, of a product or anything else a client needs shot. Whatever be the subject matter, I’m obsessed with making that image as perfect as it can be at that point in space and time. It’s just how we do it – unless you love taking pictures, it’s just not going to be fulfilling. Once I’ve made a picture – I’m proud of it. And that’s where it starts getting tricky: most of the work I do is commissioned work. Though I’m getting paid; it’s not the cheque in the bank that results in creative fulfilment. It’s a happy client. A client who takes one look at the final image and is blown away is worth more than a client who pays me triple my fees but makes no comment on the final product. It’s just how it is; appreciation drives satisfaction.

This cycle works well most of the time, until the day it happens: an unhappy client. This always makes my world come crashing down: it preys on mind, gives rise to all sorts of dark and unhappy thoughts. Every fibre in my body wants to blame the client for not being “educated” enough; or “sophisticated” enough to appreciate good art when they see it. Very quickly I go from angry to depressed; and start questioning my own skill – and whether I’m actually good enough to go around handing someone an invoice for work that I do.

When this happens, it’s important to shake it off – and remember that this is a professional transaction. I started my career as an advertising professional, and heart of hearts I think I’ve always been a client servicing person. A satisfied client is important to me. In my agency days, I had to sell the art director’s work. Today, as a photographer – it’s my own work (and that much more personal).

So, if you’re a photographer – or any sort of service provider, here are five things you need to examine if you find yourself with an unhappy client:

1. Take a step back, and assess WHAT the problem is

Many times, I’ve found that clients have trouble articulating exactly what it is that they feel. Maybe they’ve never really been exposed to the creative industry, and find it hard to sum up their feelings into constructive and bullet-point based critique. Shrug off your disappointment, and find out what the problem is? Many times I’ve found that when I actually start to listen, I find that the problem could be something very minor; and in some cases, something that I wasn’t responsible for at all!

2. Is it justified?

Hard as it may be, once you understand the problem – there are times when you realise that the client is right. You could interpreted the brief completely wrong. If your client is a bride, you could have given her what you thought were ten stunning portrait photos. However, every bride views herself differently – and she may not be fully satisfied with them. Work with her to find pictures that SHE loves, and and you can shake hands and have a fully satisfied customer on your hands. If your client is a brand manager, you may have photographed the product against it’s core brand messaging – even though your photograph is technically brilliant. Once you’ve understood what and where the problem is, you can then start to move forward to address it. Speaking of which…

A happy bride will love you for going the extra mile.

A happy bride will love you for going the extra mile.

3. Is it fixable?

Now comes the tricky part. Once you’ve understood what the problem is, you can decide what course of action you want to take. One of BIGGEST problems I always face is clients who view the images on a PC (or non calibrated monitor) and see all sorts of weird colours – and naturally freak out. The dissatisfaction usually is articulated as “the photos don’t look good” instead of “the magentas look green!”. Once I understand that they’re looking at the images all wrong, I quickly send them a proof print (or invite them over to have a look at the images on my screen) – and bingo! Unhappy client to sheepish client just like that!

Sometimes though, the problem goes deeper than that. When you’re shooting a wedding, if the couple don’t instantly fall in love with the body of work, things can start snowballing from there. One problem can turn into ten, and suddenly you’ll find yourself firefighting on multiple fronts.

4. Talk it out – and try and find a solution

If the problem wasn’t instantly fixable, and you’ve reached this stage – then you’re in a serious situation. The client isn’t happy, and there seems to be fundamental problems with the assignment. At this point, it’s important to put on your best professional face, be friendly and proactive, and offer the BEST form of after-sales service possible. This can help keeping the situation in hand, and making sure the client feels that you’re taking them seriously and are not fighting them on it. Possible solutions could involve reshooting the work, doing it in a completely different manner or working with different partners or assistants who may be key in the shoot.

This can get particularly tricky if you’ve shot a wedding; because there can be absolutely no scope of “shooting” it again. From experience, it can help to go back to all the original RAW files – and work with the bride with those. Surprisingly, in some cases – images that you may have originally rejected could work wonders with the bride, and could be just what she wanted!

Many times, what seemed like a huge issue could boil down to simple colour correction!

Many times, what seemed like a huge issue could boil down to simple colour correction!

5. Dealing with an unreasonable client, and learning where to draw the line 

This is where things start getting ugly. If you’ve done everything in your power (and gone beyond the call of duty) to ensure customer satisfaction – but are still left with a disgruntled client, it’s time to start planning where you want to draw the line. It’s very rare, but sometimes a person who seemed perfectly reasonable before the assignment turns into a whole different person altogether right after; and will refuse to be pacified, come what may. Again very rarely, dissatisfaction may be a front to avoid paying the bill; or it may be from lack of expertise in evaluating creative work; sometimes there maybe too many people involved in the approval process, and that too many contradicting voices screw up the entire job.

There is no real rulebook on what you should do at this point. It’s important to document for your records what all has happened so far – type up an e-mail that lists out all the various edits / work / reshoots that you’ve done to try and complete the job. Be clear that there will not be any further changes or edits unless you’re commissioned to do it again.

Whatever happens, remember: all of this is PRIVATE! It’s between you and the client. Under no circumstances post about this on social media, and expect your followers to sympathise with you. If the customer posts about it on either their or your social media channels, refrain from getting into a long drawn out passionate war of words. Be polite, offer all possible assistance – and request that it be discussed face to face instead of in public. Take my word for it; leave ego out in the parking lot. There is nothing to be gained by arguing or debating in public. You’re hurting your own brand value; potential clients WILL notice, and regardless of how justified you were, or how right you were – they will think twice before becoming associated with you.

Well, that’s about it! I do hope that none of you ever have to go through all of this. If you do find yourself stuck with a dissatisfied client, take my advice – be professional, and hope for the best!

Let me know how it went using the comments below.

(Attribution: Blog cover photo (c) theodore99)

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Bangalore Wedding Photography Story | Reena + Anik

A Bangalore Wedding Photography Story

Reena & Anik had a lovely Destination Wedding at Golden Palms Resort & Spa in Bangalore a few weeks ago. The only word that we could think of to describe it is “multi-cultural”. It’s sounds cliched, we know. But consider this.

Reena is Tamil. Lives in Canada. The majority of her family lives in Tamil Nadu & Karnataka.

Anik is Gujrati. Born and raised in Canada. Has never lived in India. He visited India for the first time to scout the wedding venue.  In fact, his parents lived in Africa (Kenya, if we remember correctly) before they migrated to Canada. The rest of his family lives across the UK & North America.

They picked Bangalore as the destination and everybody converged for this lovely, fun-filled wedding spread across The Chancery, The Gateway Hotel and the Golden Palms Resort & Spa.

Reena & Anik first met at a party in Toronto, where they live. Not very long after, Anik told his parents he had met the girl he’s going to marry. That didn’t take very long at all. When the time was right, he surprised Reena during lunch at work and proposed. Roping in her boss and colleagues, he staged the whole thing and she was completely stunned. So much so that she couldn’t concentrate on any work at all for the rest of that day. Obviously. Which girl would?

All this led up to the wedding in Bangalore. The ceremony itself was primarily in Tamil style, but the Gujratis weren’t to be left behind with their traditions as well as the song and dance in the run-up to the wedding! What added to the fun of the wedding was that their closest friends from Toronto also flew down to Bangalore for the wedding — making the 3-day wedding a continuous riot.

The celebrations began with the Mehndi and the cocktail dinner…

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Reena’s Dad couldn’t get enough of his daughter’s happiness!

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Anik’s mom telling the couples’ story to all those who didn’t know

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Re-enactment of the proposal

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After a few shots of vodka, there was much more wild dancing…

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A pooja the next morning ensured an early start to the day…

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Anik’s mom who suddenly (and emotionally) realised that her boys have all grown up!

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Then came the big day…

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Enter the bride — always one of our favourite moments!

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The ceremony…

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The after-wedding games…

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And some fun with family and friends…

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We finally managed to sneak some time away between the wedding and the reception dinner to walk around the beautiful property…

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To round off the wedding, there were speeches, some more shots and lots of dancing…

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And so ended an extended weekend that celebrated love, life, family and friends. With lots of emotion, laughter and camaraderie.