Blogs – WPAI https://www.wpai.in Wedding Photographers Association of India Sat, 07 Sep 2019 11:16:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.4 https://i2.wp.com/www.wpai.in/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-wpai.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Blogs – WPAI https://www.wpai.in 32 32 116230802 Mayad Academy Workshop: Special Discount for WPAI Members https://www.wpai.in/blogs/mayad-academy-workshop-special-discount-for-wpai-members/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/mayad-academy-workshop-special-discount-for-wpai-members/#respond Wed, 26 Jun 2019 13:42:15 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=7567   The WPAI has always supported and encouraged excellence in wedding photography. Our aim has been to inspire wedding photographers to think creatively and fearlessly, and to bring them together under one roof to foster collaboration and healthy competition. Keeping in line with that motto, WPAI is collaborating with the Mayad Academy to give you the … Continue reading "Mayad Academy Workshop: Special Discount for WPAI Members"

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The WPAI has always supported and encouraged excellence in wedding photography. Our aim has been to inspire wedding photographers to think creatively and fearlessly, and to bring them together under one roof to foster collaboration and healthy competition.

Keeping in line with that motto, WPAI is collaborating with the Mayad Academy to give you the opportunity to attend their world-class wedding photography and cinematography workshops. The Academy is holding a workshop series for wedding videographers, photographers and editors in Delhi on the 16th, 17th and 18th of July. And WPAI members get a flat 50% discount on their workshop packages! All you have to do is send us an email, and we will send you your unique discount code.

Check their website here to know more about what their workshops constitute and the work they do. This is one in a lifetime chance for you to learn from the best mentors and teachers. So don’t miss this!

How it will work

  1. Send us an email at : membership@wpai.in
  2. Once we receive your email, we will verify your membership status.
  3. Post-confirmation, you will receive an email with a unique discount code. You can apply the discount code at checkout while buying your workshop package.

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WPAI Connect x Pune Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-pune-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-pune-roundup/#respond Wed, 01 May 2019 07:59:39 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=7401 Here’s what happened in Pune’s first-ever WPAI Connect event The first ever WPAI Connect event in Pune was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen. We had an engaging panel discussion followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised … Continue reading "WPAI Connect x Pune Roundup"

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Here’s what happened in Pune’s first-ever WPAI Connect event

The first ever WPAI Connect event in Pune was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen.

We had an engaging panel discussion followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised of four well-known names in the wedding photography industry – Navdeep Soni, Aabha Chaubhal, Robin Saini and Anshum Mandore. Arjun Kartha moderated the discussion that touched on topics relevant to the wedding photography industry today.

The panelists spoke upon various issues that the wedding photography community faces today and attempted to find a way out of it. They also had a discussion on how to encourage creativity and loyalty in second shooters, social media marketing for photographers, and the popularity of wedding trailers over full wedding films.

The panel discussion was followed by an interactive Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees.

The next session was an informative presentation by well-known commercial photographer Radhakrishnan Chakyat. He encouraged the photographers in the audience to have patience and work consistently towards their goal.

Informal interaction with the panelists followed the session. It was great to see the photography community come together to interact, and share knowledge and experiences. So thank you all for your overwhelming support and participation in making this event a big one! To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and we hope to see you in the next series of Connect events.

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support from Fujifilm India and Sennheiser for this event. Thank you!

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WPAI Connect x Mumbai Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-mumbai-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-mumbai-roundup/#respond Tue, 30 Apr 2019 12:47:45 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=7387 Here’s what happened in Mumbai’s first-ever WPAI Connect event. The first ever WPAI Connect event in Mumbai was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen. We had an engaging panel discussion followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised … Continue reading "WPAI Connect x Mumbai Roundup"

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Here’s what happened in Mumbai’s first-ever WPAI Connect event.

The first ever WPAI Connect event in Mumbai was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen.

We had an engaging panel discussion followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised of four well-known names in the wedding photography industry – Ankita Asthana, Raonak Hathiramani, Shreya Sen and Aditya Marathe. Arjun Kartha moderated the discussion that touched on topics relevant to the wedding photography industry today .

The panelists spoke upon various issues that the wedding photography community faces today and attempted to find a way out of it. They also had a discussion on how to encourage creativity and loyalty in second shooters, social media marketing for photographers, and the popularity of wedding trailers over full wedding films.

WPAI Connect wedding photography meet up

The panel discussion was followed by an interactive Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees.

The next session was an informative presentation by well-known wedding photographer Ankita Asthana. She spoke about her journey as a photographer and her beliefs and vision for her work.

Informal interaction with the panelists followed the session. It was great to see the photography community come together to interact, and share knowledge and experiences. So thank you all for your overwhelming support and participation in making this event a big one! To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and we hope to see you in the next series of Connect events.

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support from Fujifilm India and Sennheiser for this event. Thank you!

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Wedding Video Awards 2018 Results https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-video-awards-results/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-video-awards-results/#respond Wed, 06 Feb 2019 11:08:51 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=6886 The Wedding Photographers Association of India, in association with Sennheiser, is proud to announce the results of the first-ever WPAI Wedding Video Awards 2018. With more than hundreds of entries received, the decision-making process was extremely tough for the contest judges.  We would like to thank the many, many artists who submitted their work for … Continue reading "Wedding Video Awards 2018 Results"

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The Wedding Photographers Association of India, in association with Sennheiser, is proud to announce the results of the first-ever WPAI Wedding Video Awards 2018. With more than hundreds of entries received, the decision-making process was extremely tough for the contest judges.  We would like to thank the many, many artists who submitted their work for the contest and would like to affirm that we saw some GREAT work from all the entrants and encourage them to keep submitting their work for all future contests. It is your continued participation and support that will keep us going.

 

WPAI Wedding Video Awards Judges

WPAI Awards judges are masters of filmmaking and are invited from across various genres to form a collective jury that represents some of the best talents in the world today. These judges have, in the course of their careers, spent a lot of energy helping younger artists discover their potential and grow their craft.

 

Badal Jain

 

Vishal Punjabi

 

Francesco Spiezia

 

Mili Ghosh

 


WINNERS

The winners per category are listed below.

WPAI Filmmaker Award

The category awards achievement in the overall execution of the film/trailer.

First prize

Studio/Company: Journeys by Ram
Team: Arjun Shetty, Santhosh V, Vignesh Bhat

Congratulations! You win a FujiFilm XT3 camera kit worth 1,49,999 INR and an AVX Combo Set by Sennheiser worth 79,900 INR!

WPAI Filmmaker of the Year Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Runner up

Studio/Company: Naman Verma
Team: Dushyant Gadara, Sagar Parmar, Chetan Prajapati

WPAI Filmmaker Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Honourable Mention

Studio/Company: Ashish Taj Photography

WPAI Filmmaker of the Year Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

 

Honourable Mention

Studio/Company: Karan Sidhu Photography

WPAI Filmmaker of the Year Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Sennheiser Sound Award

The Best Sound Award will be awarded to the film/trailer exhibiting the finest or most aesthetic sound design or sound editing.

First prize

Studio/Company: Picturemakers (Praveen Padmanabhan)
SOUND ENGINEER / EDITOR Name: To be updated shortly

Congratulations! You win an AVX MKE 2 Set by Sennheiser worth 67,900 INR!

WPAI Sennheiser Sound Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Runner up

Studio/Company: Busy Bee Studio (Kinjal Majithia)
SOUND ENGINEER / EDITOR Name: Kinjal Majithia and Nitin

WPAI Sennheiser Sound Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Editor Award

The Editor Award recognises films/trailers where the editing process has created meaning, understanding and emotions.

First prize

Studio/Company: Naman Verma (Naman Verma)
EDITOR Name: Dushyant Gadara

Congratulations! You win  Monitoring Headphones by Sennheiser worth 6490 INR.

WPAI Editor Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Runner up

Studios/Company: Priyam Malhotra
EDITOR Name: Priyam Malhotra and Vikas Lodhi

WPAI Editor Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Honourable Mention

Studio/Company: Magic Elephants
EDITOR Name: Mani Rathnam

WPAI Editor Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Director of Photography Award

The category awards the cinematographer of the film/trailer with the most visually appealing and creative camera work.

First prize

Studio/Company: Rock Paper Scissors Films (Joseph Touthang)
DOP Name: Joseph Touthang, Ikron Luikham
T
eam: Ridhima Sekhri, Joseph Thaliath, Seigoulien Touthang

Congratulations! You win an MKE – 440 by Sennheiser worth 20,900 INR!

WPAI Director of Photography Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Runner up

Studio/Company: Ashish Taj Photography (Ashish Taj)
DOP Name: To be updated shortly

WPAI Director of Photography Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Honourable Mention

Studio/Company: Priyam Malhotra Photography (Priyam Malhotra)
DOP Name: Ankit Agarwal, Priyam Malhotra, Ravi Kumar & Chandra Prakash

WPAI Director of Photography Award from WPAI on Vimeo.

Visual Effects Award

This category recognises the most outstanding visual effects in a wedding film/trailer.

First prize

Studio/Company: Recall Pictures (Raonak Hathiramani)
VFX ARTIST Name: Raonak Hathiramani
Team: Raonak Hathiramani, Mithil Kotwal, Tony Adrial, Atish Kumar, Shelly Sharma, Aniruddha Aggarwal, Sunny Pariani

Congratulations! You win  Monitoring Headphones by Sennheiser worth 6490 INR!

WPAI Visual Effects Award from WPAI on Vimeo.


Congratulations to all the winners. If you aren’t a member already, sign up for WPAI Membership or join our mailing list to get the latest updates quickly. WPAI Awards will be back soon!

 

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How to Say No to a Client https://www.wpai.in/blogs/how-to-say-no-to-a-client/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/how-to-say-no-to-a-client/#respond Tue, 18 Dec 2018 06:53:25 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=6114 As wedding photographers, every project we get is exciting, to say the least. Each new client and assignment is an opportunity to do new things and create great images. Our main aim with every new assignment is to create images that make our client happy. Client happiness and satisfaction is what drives most of us … Continue reading "How to Say No to a Client"

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As wedding photographers, every project we get is exciting, to say the least. Each new client and assignment is an opportunity to do new things and create great images. Our main aim with every new assignment is to create images that make our client happy. Client happiness and satisfaction is what drives most of us and our work. Shooting their wedding day is a responsibility that we photographers take most seriously.

Now it can be tempting to do everything for the client in order to make them happy, but it doesn’t always work that way. There comes a time when it’s important to say no to a client if you feel you can’t meet all their requests. Now we’re not asking you to say no just for the sake of saying no. Of course, as professionals we want to cater to our clients every need and be able to give them what they want. But if the client wants something that is absolutely impossible for us to accommodate, it’s okay to say no. We want them to be happy but we also don’t want to be a misfit for each other. But when we say no, we don’t want them to walk away with a bad service experience. So remember to say no only when you’re absolutely sure you cannot help them.

Now there can be two scenarios where you might have to say no. One is at the talking/negotiation stage where you’re still sorting things out. For that initial stage, we’re here with some simple tips to help you say no while keeping the client experience positive.

Image by Rimi Sen

#1.a. Begin with apology and end on positive note

Clearly explain why you are saying no to the assignment and apologise for not being able to do it. Whether you’re already booked on those dates, your style doesn’t match with their expectations or they want something that you cannot give them, apologise sincerely for not being able to do it. But try to end it on a good note. Give them an indication that you’d love to work with them given another chance.

If you can, try to explain to them how your refusal is actually a good thing. If your style doesn’t match, they can now look for someone who suits their taste more. If you’re too busy or have too much work on your hands already, having a photographer who can give their assignment more focus and attention will be better for them. This shows them that while you are saying no, you care about what they want as well.

Image by Harsh Seksaria

#1.b Offer an alternative

As mentioned above, in case you aren’t available to shoot or your style doesn’t match their vision, it can be a good idea to help them find someone who can. You can suggest another photographer who you know they can trust. This establishes a goodwill between you and them, and it can help them think of you the next time they want a photographer to shoot a wedding. In addition, a referral will also help build a good rapport between you and the said photographer.

Image by Divyam Mehrotra

#1.c Ask the right questions

In the early negotiating stages, ask as many questions as possible. Ask the couple about their dates, their venue, their guest size, number of functions, their vision for the wedding, what kind of images they expect, and more. The answers to these will tell you if you’re a right fit for each other. If at any point you feel, the views differ too much, feel free to say no. Working with a client who has completely different plans and targets than you is a recipe for disaster anyway.

The next situation is running into a tough spot after the client has been signed on and booked. Now if you’ve spoken in length beforehand, the chances of a mismatch are fewer. During the initial stage, if it feels like there are going to be some major fundamental problems later, definitely don’t take them on. Clients are often influenced by what they see online and have very specific requests in terms of colour, edit/shoot styles, etc. Which is why these things are best discussed at the talking stage. But once you’ve signed them on, it’s your responsibility to do everything you can you accommodate their needs. So here are a few tips for you to sail through tough spots with your clients.

Image by Vivek Gnanasekaran

#2.a Offer them a counter

Always accompany a “no” with another offer or suggestion. Give them an alternative where their request and your capability are both taken into consideration. Tell them that while you’re sorry that you can’t exactly do what they desire, you can perhaps create a middle path that works for both parties. Get creative, and we’re sure you’ll be able to come up with an offer that wasn’t their original demand but still keeps them happy.

Image by Rimjhim

#2.b Be honest

It’s important, to be honest with your client. In case you have to say no if at all, tell them the “why” behind the denial. Make them understand that you’re not just denying their request to be difficult or to stick to your guns. After all, you want the client to be happy during the entire process because their satisfaction is the end goal of an assignment.

Image by Vivekk Vikas

#2.c It takes practice

No one wants to say no to a client. You’ll feel guilty and want to just do that one thing that’s a deal-breaker. But resist the urge and know that it gets easier with time. It’ll feel bad and awkward maybe the first few times, but after that, you’ll know what to say and do. Remember that sometimes saying no to a misfit opportunity is better than doing it and being mutually dissatisfied later. So always do it politely and with the utmost care for the client’s feelings.

Image by Kartik Jasti

Keep these guidelines in mind and you’ll sail through the conversation with them while keeping their experience with you positive. Although this doesn’t happen very often, maybe once or twice a year, you should be prepared for it. Never hesitate to educate your client if they ask for something that you possibly but can’t deliver, but do it tactfully. The way you handle this will determine whether they’ll come back to you in the future or not. Feel free to write to us if you have any doubts/questions/suggestions, we’ll be happy as always to help you out or take tips from you.

 

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WPAI Connect x Hyderabad Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-hyderabad-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-hyderabad-roundup/#respond Mon, 10 Dec 2018 10:08:51 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=6015 Here’s what happened in Hyderabad’s first WPAI Connect event The first ever WPAI Connect event in Hyderabad was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen. Check out this short video to see more of the event: WPAI Connect x Hyderabad from WPAI on … Continue reading "WPAI Connect x Hyderabad Roundup"

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Here’s what happened in Hyderabad’s first WPAI Connect event

The first ever WPAI Connect event in Hyderabad was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen.

Check out this short video to see more of the event:

WPAI Connect x Hyderabad from WPAI on Vimeo.

WPAI Connect x Hyderabad from WPAI on Vimeo.

We had an engaging panel discussion followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised of four well-known names in the wedding photography industry –P Venkata Rajesh, Kishor Krishnamoorthi, Venkataramana Mallojjala and Suman Chakravarthy. The discussion touched on topics relevant to the wedding photography industry today and was moderated by Arjun Kartha.

 

 

WPAI Connect Wedding Photography

 

The over-arching theme of the discussion was – An art form or a service: Where does wedding photography stand today and where is it going? Venky Photriya was of the opinion that photography is neither art nor service. In fact, he believed that it is a business. Kishore Krishnamoorthy held the viewpoint that while the service element is very important, the “art element is almost optional”.

The panelists also discussed topics like how to satisfy your artistic sensibilities while keeping the client happy and also touched upon the topic of style and branding in wedding photography. P Venkata or PVR as he is better known said that it is okay to spend some money to get visibility on your brand. While Suman Chakravarthy asserted that “brand is what will keep you going in the long run”. The panel discussion was followed by an interactive Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees.

 

 

 

The session was followed by a mixer over food and drinks. It was great to see the photography community come together to interact, and share knowledge and experiences. So thank you all for your overwhelming support and participation in making this event a big one! To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and we hope to see you in the next series of Connect events.

 

 

Coming Soon

We have WPAI Connect events lined up for only two more cities – Mumbai and Pune. Te see what happened in the other series of Connect events, visit our blog here. Watch this space for more!

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support from Fujifilm India and Sennheiser for this event. Thank you!

 

 

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Things Not to Do as a Wedding Photographer While Shooting https://www.wpai.in/blogs/things-not-to-do-as-a-wedding-photographer/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/things-not-to-do-as-a-wedding-photographer/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:51:24 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=5463 Keep these in mind as a wedding photographer shooting a wedding As wedding photographers, we play a huge role in making a couple’s wedding day special. The pictures we take, make for wedding memories for generations of family to come. Like we’ve said a lot, photos are the only thing that remains with the couple … Continue reading "Things Not to Do as a Wedding Photographer While Shooting"

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Keep these in mind as a wedding photographer shooting a wedding

As wedding photographers, we play a huge role in making a couple’s wedding day special. The pictures we take, make for wedding memories for generations of family to come. Like we’ve said a lot, photos are the only thing that remains with the couple and their families after a wedding. Everything else perishes or is disposed of. So it’s very important that we make this a great experience for our couples. There are no rules for wedding photography, but there ARE certain rules to be followed at a wedding as a wedding photographer.

If you stick to the following guidelines, not only will you provide a great experience for your client, but they will also come back to you with referrals for other weddings in their family and friend circle, or any other event in their family for years to come. So go on, have a read to know what to avoid doing as a photographer while shooting a wedding.

Image by Vivek Gnanasekaran

Don’t be unprofessional

As wedding photographers, you have one and only ONE job at a wedding. To take pictures and capture memories for the couple. Never forget that. No matter how much you want to dance at a fun wedding or make a boring event lively. Never try to be the life of the party or treat it like a friend’s wedding. Sure, be friendly with everyone and make them comfortable, but only so that you can do your job – taking pictures – better. It’s easy to want to join in on the fun but…

Another thing to never do is drink at a wedding party, even if the couple or their friends or family insist that you do. You would never drink in your office while working, would you? The same rules apply to a wedding. When you’re shooting, the venue is your office. So be professional and decline politely.

Image by Vivekk Vikas

Don’t show up unprepared

This is basic to being a wedding photographer. When you show up to a wedding, you should always know what is happening where and when. So being prepared during a wedding is the result of prepping for it before. Talk to your couple and their wedding planner beforehand and figure out their itinerary well in advance. Spend some time getting to know the bride and groom before the wedding so that you and they are comfortable with each other while shooting. Have a conversation with them about their style and what kind of pictures do they like. Figure out their vibe so that you can tailor the pictures according to what suits their chemistry best.

The other side of being prepared is checking all your equipment and arriving at the venue with everything in hand. Have enough memory cards, batteries, lenses and backup camera bodies to be able to shoot the entire wedding. Take more than you think you will need.

If you’re planning to try out a new technique, make sure you’ve practiced before in your studio. Trying something new is important but don’t get into a situation of trial and error while the shoot is ongoing. To be on the safe side, take a few good safety shots first and then try out anything new that you might have in mind.

Image by Rimjhim Bora

Don’t be sloppy/tardy

This is the golden rule to being a wedding photographer – always be on time. In fact, be a half hour early. Arriving early and waiting for the event to start is part of being a wedding photographer and something you should get used to. But being late and missing the beginning of a ceremony is never acceptable. Not only do you break your client’s trust but also earn a bad reputation.

You might think that your art and skill are the only things that matter at a wedding, but that’s not true. How you dress also affects a lot of things while you’re shooting. There’s no rulebook that says that you have to dress up when shooting a wedding, but we suggest you do. It is a reflection of your brand and company, and it influences the way people respond to you at weddings. If you’re a wedding photographer who is still confused about what to wear while shooting a wedding, give our guide for dressing while shooting an Indian wedding a read.

Image by Kunal Khanna

Don’t share technical problems 

Let’s be honest, something will go wrong. Your camera might get stuck, or your battery may die or your lenses may lock up – whatever happens, take care of it discreetly. Even if it happens in the middle of a ceremony, quickly ask your second shooter to take your place while you deal with whatever has gone wrong. It’s your responsibility to be prepared, so don’t stress the couple or their family with problems you already should have answers to. Have backups for everything and be ready in case something goes on technically.

Image by Dhruv Panchal

These are just guidelines to get you started. As you go on and shoot more weddings, you can keep adding to your list of “don’ts”. After every wedding, make a mental list of what went wrong and right. This will help you avoid the pitfalls and do better the next time. If you have any suggestions or advise, do let us know in the comments! What else do you think wedding photographers should avoid doing?

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Diwali Giveaway with Pixellu Smart Albums https://www.wpai.in/blogs/diwali/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/diwali/#respond Tue, 06 Nov 2018 14:28:50 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=5580 An exciting giveaway for Diwali by WPAI with Smart Albums This year for Diwali, as the first in a series of exciting giveaways, we bring you a chance to win a one-year subscription of Smart Albums worth 299$. To win the giveaway, you just have to follow WPAI on Instagram and sign-up for WPAI membership. … Continue reading "Diwali Giveaway with Pixellu Smart Albums"

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An exciting giveaway for Diwali by WPAI with Smart Albums

This year for Diwali, as the first in a series of exciting giveaways, we bring you a chance to win a one-year subscription of Smart Albums worth 299$. To win the giveaway, you just have to follow WPAI on Instagram and sign-up for WPAI membership.

The contest is open to non-WPAI members only. The contest opens on 7th November and ends on 14th November. The winners will be intimated via email by 25 Nov.

How to enter

  1. Follow us on Instagram (@wpaiofficial).
  2. Sign up for WPAI Membership on this page.

Terms and conditions

  1. There are NO hidden clauses here, and no cash payments to be made to WPAI by the winners.
  2. The contest is open to all non-members.
  3. Membership sign-ups for the contest are valid only between 7th November and 14th November. The contest closes on 14th November.
  4. The winner will be randomly selected based on new memberships during the contest window.
  5. Membership to WPAI is subject to approval.
  6. Remember, that until further notice membership fee to WPAI is currently waived.
  7. The subscription to Pixellu Smart Albums is valid for one year only.

 

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Caught-in-the-Moment: WPAI Photo Theme Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/caught-in-the-moment-wpai-photo-theme-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/caught-in-the-moment-wpai-photo-theme-roundup/#respond Wed, 31 Oct 2018 14:33:48 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=5462 A collection of images that were caught-in-the-moment All wedding photographers out there will agree that there’s barely time to breathe when we’re shooting a wedding. Between capturing every ceremony, taking portraits, shooting intimate moments, to running after where the action is, we’re always moving. Indian weddings are so action-packed that you look away for 30 … Continue reading "Caught-in-the-Moment: WPAI Photo Theme Roundup"

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A collection of images that were caught-in-the-moment

All wedding photographers out there will agree that there’s barely time to breathe when we’re shooting a wedding. Between capturing every ceremony, taking portraits, shooting intimate moments, to running after where the action is, we’re always moving. Indian weddings are so action-packed that you look away for 30 seconds and you’ve missed a moment. And as people who the couple has trusted to capture one of the most special days of their lives, we cannot afford to miss even a millisecond.

We know that spontaneous and unscripted moments make the best wedding memories. That’s why we wait for those moments that happen in the blink of an eye and it’s capturing those moments that our clients trust us with and love us for. The glance that a couple shares during a ceremony, that unexpected water splash during a haldi ceremony, a moment of respite during the wedding. Wedding photography is all about capturing these moments and everything in between. And as much as it’s about capturing a beautiful story in an ordinary moment, it’s also about seeing it from a different perspective. In this post, we will look at images that were captured at juuust the right moment or taken from a perspective that added a new dimension to the image.

Here are a few images from our WPAI library that may inspire you to go out and give your best!

Image by Nitin Dangwal

 

 

Image by Karan Sidhu

 

Image by Prasheila Lookhar

 

Image by Kartik Jasti

 

Image by Rishabh Sood

 

Image by Abhimanyu Sharma

 

Image by Jatin Thakkar

 

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Wedding Photographer’s Survival Tips for the Wedding Season https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-photographers-survival-tips-for-the-wedding-season/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-photographers-survival-tips-for-the-wedding-season/#respond Thu, 27 Sep 2018 13:54:55 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=4629 Survive the wedding season with our tips and tricks We chose to be wedding photographers because we LOVE weddings. We love shooting moments of love and celebration between people and it’s fantastic to be a part of so many beautiful love stories. But with the exhilaration of having shot a gorgeous wedding comes the crash … Continue reading "Wedding Photographer’s Survival Tips for the Wedding Season"

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Survive the wedding season with our tips and tricks

We chose to be wedding photographers because we LOVE weddings. We love shooting moments of love and celebration between people and it’s fantastic to be a part of so many beautiful love stories. But with the exhilaration of having shot a gorgeous wedding comes the crash of having worked for days without proper rest and sleep. And it’s inescapable during the peak wedding season in India. Our weddings go on for days without break and often run late into nights and start early in the mornings. And we need to stay on top of our game at all times and at every wedding.

Our most basic strategy is to just power through the tough days. But that’s not all we should do. To be able to deliver our 100% to our clients, we need to be at our 100% during the wedding. And while powering through and surviving on energy drinks might work a few times, there’s only so much time before our bodies give up. So we’ve come up with a basic survival list for all the photographers out there.

Image by Vivek Gnanasekaran

#1 Start planning in advance

Planning for the wedding begins before the wedding even begins or you even reach the venue. Communicate well with your clients to know the flow of the events. Make sure you know about the details of the functions and are aware of what is happening where and when. When you arrive at the location, do a quick scout around. Knowing the good photo spots will save you from being in a panic when you’re in the middle of a ceremony and pressed for time for a couple photo.

Never underestimate the advantage of taking care of logistics beforehand. If you have two back to back weddings, keep a buffer time in between for you to travel, reach the next location and rest a little before you have to get in action. Planning some things in advance will save time and energy during the wedding.

Image by Rohan Mishra

#2 Prepare for contingencies

We’ve said this countless times before, anything can happen during a wedding. Cameras and memory cards malfunction, batteries run out, flights run late and the weather takes a turn. Don’t wait until a disaster strikes to figure out what you’re going to do; plan for some of the common failures, have backup equipment ready, keep a few hours buffer while travelling and plan ahead for bad weather. Even when you plan for everything, there is always something that can go wrong. So be calm and do the best you can at the moment.

Image by Dhruv Panchal

#3 Wear smart but comfortable shoes and clothes

As people who are on their feet for hours at a stretch at weddings, you should invest in a pair of good, solid and comfortable shoes with thick soles. Yes, you need to look good but you also need to be comfortable while shooting long hours. Shooting while your feet are hurting is counterproductive to getting good photos. If you’re wearing juttis to compliment your kurta, you can get it custom padded for comfort. Slip ons are the best for Indian weddings, as they’re easier to take off at a second’s notice, should you need to be at a pooja quickly.

Find stretchy pants that look smart but can also be comfortable to run around and jump up and down for the day in. Having a few functional accessories can make it easier for you to move around to shoot. You can get custom-made pants or kurtas with multiple pockets to carry around extra batteries, memory cards, and triggers. Sling bags or wristlets are also a good way to carry your photography accessories.

Image by Onam Giri

#4 Stay hydrated and eat well

It can be sooo tempting to get that plate of jalebi and rabri or stack your plate with the butter naan, but also remember that this is just one of the 20 weddings you’ll be shooting in the season. And eating well is key to staying energetic enough to be able to shoot all of them well. With the crazy schedule that Indian weddings have, it’s possible that you go from shooting one event right into the next without having time to grab a bite or eat too much all at once. So it’s better to keep snacking throughout the day and avoid large meals. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to do that, keep a few protein bars or energy-boosting snacks like nuts in your camera bag.

It’s also really important to stay hydrated. Avoid too much fizzy, sugary or caffeinated (tea and coffee) drinks. They only make you more dehydrated. Just grab a few smaller water bottles and keep them handy while shooting. Or grab fresh juices whenever you can.

Image by Rajvinoth

#5 Emergency Repairs and First Aid

Carrying a gaffer or a duct tape is a big must while on a wedding assignment. It can repair and hold everything in place – broken stand or a softbox, flashes on a wall and anything else you can think of. Apart from that remember to carry a strong thread like twine, and multi-purpose tools like a swiss army knife always come in handy. Don’t forget to keep the sharp objects in your check-in luggage if you’re travelling by flight.

Keeping a first-aid box is a no-brainer. Like we said, weddings are unpredictable; so be prepared for headaches, stomach upsets, flu or a cold. Carry band-aids and bandages, an antiseptic liquid, mosquito repellants, and pain-relief sprays. This all seems obvious, but we might forget the first-aid in favour of packing our cameras, lenses and other photography equipment.

#6 Have a Support System

We’re all in agreement that the wedding season is exhausting. It comes with a lot of work, sleepless nights, long travel hours and working weekends. So having a group of photographers that understand your frustrations and can offer you support and suggestions can really make a difference. When you’re down in the dumps, these group of people will be the ones who can relate to what you’re going through. You can look for photographer’s Facebook or WhatsApp groups either in your city or larger groups across India. After all, no matter where we work or live our challenges and experiences remain largely the same.

Image by Inderjeet Gill

We hope that these will tide you over this wedding season. Of course, there are a lot of things to be added to the list. There is always something more to be done when it comes to weddings. But even during all this chaos, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy your work. After all, we’re all going to miss these hectic days when the season is slow. We, wedding photographers, are quite the workaholics!

What would you add to this list? Do let us know your tricks to survive the wedding season. We’d love to know!

 

 

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Drones are now legal in India | Everything you need to know https://www.wpai.in/blogs/drones-are-now-legal-in-india-everything-you-need-to-know/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/drones-are-now-legal-in-india-everything-you-need-to-know/#respond Tue, 28 Aug 2018 14:55:37 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=4491 Things you need to know about the aviation ministry’s latest regulations about drones in India The Ministry of Civil Aviation has recently released a regulation that makes flying drones legal in India with effect from December 1 this year. If you haven’t seen or read about it yet, here’s a link to the official announcement. … Continue reading "Drones are now legal in India | Everything you need to know"

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Things you need to know about the aviation ministry’s latest regulations about drones in India

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has recently released a regulation that makes flying drones legal in India with effect from December 1 this year. If you haven’t seen or read about it yet, here’s a link to the official announcement. Of course, like everything official – it’s quite lengthy with a lot of legal jargon involved. There are a bunch of rules and regulations, forms and permissions you need to get to legally fly a drone in India. And if you’re wondering how it affects you as a wedding photographer and what you need to do, don’t worry! We’re here to break it down for you.

The regulation has classified the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), or as we say the drone, into 5 categories based on the weight of the drone. Most drones used by wedding photographers (like the Phantom series and the Mavic series) fall under the ‘micro’ category which includes drones greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg in weight. These need to be registered, and there are a few things you need to know, so let’s dive right in.

#1 What are these regulations?

These are some basic set of rules set by the civil aviation ministry for the legal operation of drones in India. This is a significant step forward, and paves the way for drones to be flown in India legally without fear of prosecution by the authorities.

#2 Does it apply to me?

Yes. Wedding photographers use drones for cinematography like the Phantom 4 Pro / Mavic etc which falls in the micro category of drones under the regulation.

#3 Do I need a license?

Thankfully, no. You do not need an operator license or permit to fly drones under the micro category. You do, however, need other permits which we will get to in the following questions.

#4  Can I import a drone from abroad?

Yes, you can. You need to get the following done to legally import a drone (only after Dec 1)

  1. Apply to DCGA for an import clearance.
  2. Once you get the clearance, then apply for an Equipment Type
    Approval (ETA) from Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of the  Department of Telecommunication.

#5 Can I legally buy a drone locally?

You can. You just need to apply for an Equipment Type
Approval (ETA) from Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing of the  Department of Telecommunication, as mentioned above also.

#6 Do I need to register my drone? Or, what registration do I need to be concerned about?

The regulation does not give any guideline regarding the drone you already own. But if you import one or buy one locally in the future, you need to apply for a Unique Identification Number (UIN) for the specific make and model of the drone. One UIN is assigned to one drone only. You can request it as an individual owner of the equipment or as a company. You also need to get a security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs once you’ve received a UIN for the drone. The approved drone will then need the UIN number (similar to a license plate for a car) on it.

#7 What is Digital Sky Platform?

All applications will be processed through the online Digital Sky Platform and permits will be given digitally through an automated process. This platform isn’t live yet, so it’s hard to tell how easy or how difficult this will be.

#8 Do I need permission for every flight? I heard that all drones need to have a SIM card and need permission every time they fly.

Yes, the drones are required to have a SIM card for app-based real-time tracking.

As of now, the users under the micro category will need to intimate the local police office 24 hours prior to actual drone usage. You also need to apply for permission every time you need to fly the drone. The requests will be made through the Digital Sky Platform.

(Editor’s Note: This rule seems highly restrictive, so we’re waiting to see how this evolves. It is also unclear how the online platform will operate or how the permissions will be screened.)

#9 Can I shoot anytime?

The DCGA has also placed a limitation on the timings that you can fly a drone in. It can only be operated from sunrise to sunset within visual line of sight and no drones can fly at night. (Editor’s Note: Again, as most drones can fly very safely at night, we’re waiting to see how this rule evolves. Most weddings happen at night in North India, so no-flying at night is a serious killjoy). 

#10 Can I shoot anywhere?

The areas around airports, near the international borders, Vijay Chowk in Delhi, State Secretariat Complex in state capitals, strategic locations, vital military installations are no drone zones. Most other areas seem to be okay.

#11 Can I travel in an aircraft with a drone?

The regulation, as of now, has no directive on travelling with a drone. (Editor’s Note: as of right now, many WPAI members travel with a drone in carry-on luggage without any incident). 

#12 Are these regulations final?

No. This is the first in a series of regulations from the aviation ministry. We expect more guidelines or changes to come out soon.

#12 Do I need to do anything right away?

No. The regulations come in effect from December 1. So any and all permits, applications, and forms will need to be submitted from then.

There are obviously more guidelines in the ministry released document, but these are the only ones that concern wedding photographers as of now. In the coming months, the ministry will come up with more and detailed mandates for flying of drones. We will update you as and when more news and directives are released, so stay tuned to our blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us.

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WPAI Connect x Bangalore   Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-bangalore-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-bangalore-roundup/#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2018 15:45:21 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=4136 Here’s what happened in Bangalore’s first WPAI Connect event   The first ever WPAI Connect event in Bangalore was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share and learn. Check out this short video to see more of the event: WPAI ConnectXBanglore from WPAI on Vimeo.   We … Continue reading "WPAI Connect x Bangalore   Roundup"

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Here’s what happened in Bangalore’s first WPAI Connect event

 

The first ever WPAI Connect event in Bangalore was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share and learn. Check out this short video to see more of the event:

WPAI ConnectXBanglore from WPAI on Vimeo.

 

We had an engaging panel discussion and an informative presentation followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised of four very well-known names in the wedding photography industry – Rimi Sen, Neeta ShankarMahesh Shantaram and Anbu Jawahar. The discussion touched on topics relevant to the wedding photography industry today and was moderated by Arjun Kartha.       The over-arching theme of the discussion was – An art form or a service: Where does wedding photography stand today and where is it going? The panelists also discussed topics like how to satisfy your artistic sensibilities while keeping the client happy and also touched upon the topic of style and branding in wedding photography. The panel discussion was followed by an interactive Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees.       The next session was an informative presentation by well-known wedding photographer and Fujifilm brand ambassador Chenthil Mohan. Chenthil spoke about his journey as a photographer and his beliefs and vision for his work. He emphasised that “photography is a lot more than just making money”. To be a great photographer, he said, one should practice their art even while not getting paid for it. He also advised on learning the history of photography in addition to just learning about the business of photography.       The session by Chenthil Mohan was followed by a mixer over food and drinks. It was great to see the photography community come together to share knowledge and experiences. Thank you all for your overwhelming support and participation in making this event a big one! It’s only going to get bigger and better from here! To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and we hope to see you in the coming events.                

Coming Soon

We have WPAI Connect events lined up for four more cities – Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Pune – in the coming months. Watch this space for more!

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support from Fujifilm India for this event. Thank you!

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WPAI Connect x Chennai Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-chennai-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-x-chennai-roundup/#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2018 05:44:56 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=4135 Here’s a recap of the first ever WPAI Connect event in Chennai     The first ever WPAI Connect event in Chennai, attended by the who’s who of the wedding photography community, was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen. Check out this … Continue reading "WPAI Connect x Chennai Roundup"

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Here’s a recap of the first ever WPAI Connect event in Chennai

 

 

The first ever WPAI Connect event in Chennai, attended by the who’s who of the wedding photography community, was a huge success! We had a great crowd of talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen.

Check out this short video to see more about the event:

WPAI Connect X Chennai from WPAI on Vimeo.

We had a stimulating panel discussion followed by an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised of four very well-known names in the wedding photography industry – Pranesh PadmanabhanSoundarya MurugaiyanGayatri Nair and Alpheus Danson. Moderated by Arjun Kartha, the discussion touched on topics relevant to the wedding photography industry today.

 

 

 

The over-arching theme of the discussion was – An art form or a service: Where does wedding photography stand today and where is it going? The panelists also discussed topics like dealing with client’s expectations, touched upon the topic of awards as motivation and, how to satisfy your artistic sensibilities while also keeping the client happy. The panel discussion was followed by an engaging Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees.

 

 

 

 

The discussion was followed by a mixer over food and drinks. It was a great opportunity for the photography community to come under one roof and share knowledge and experiences.

Thank you all for your overwhelming support and participation in making this event a big one! It’s only going to get bigger and better from here! To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and we hope to see you in the next ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Soon

We have WPAI Connect events lined up for four more cities – Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Pune – in the coming months. Watch this space for more!

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support from Fujifilm India for this event. Thank you! 

 

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Artist Spotlight: Ananya Rijhwani https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-ananya-rijhwani/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-ananya-rijhwani/#respond Thu, 19 Jul 2018 06:54:38 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3870 In conversation with Delhi-based wedding photographer Ananya Rijhwani With over four years of experience in the wedding photography industry at just 23 years of age, Ananya Rijhwani has a successful company under her name today. Her journey started out tough, with having to pay bills and phases of self-doubt and frustration when she was just … Continue reading "Artist Spotlight: Ananya Rijhwani"

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In conversation with Delhi-based wedding photographer Ananya Rijhwani

WPAI Artist Spotlight Ananya Rijhwani

With over four years of experience in the wedding photography industry at just 23 years of age, Ananya Rijhwani has a successful company under her name today. Her journey started out tough, with having to pay bills and phases of self-doubt and frustration when she was just 18 but she believes that every day is a new chapter and a new day to learn.  Art came into her life when she was just 4-years-old in the form of Kathak and she realised very early in her life of her penchant for creating visual stories. Shooting weddings came naturally to her because of her love for the culture, emotions, the people, and the colours they hold.

In this very candid conversation with Ananya, we talk about her journey, her dreams, and inspirations and where she thinks life will take her.

pre-wedding couple shoot

It’s been four or so years since you’ve opened your wedding photography studio. How has your journey been?

Sigh. Its been a roller coaster ride (all in a good way) & I am loving and learning with every single bit of it 🙂
I started from Varanasi actually, my hometown. Varanasi/Benares as you call it is a small spiritual town in UP. I have been living in Delhi now for the last three years.
My moving out of my house, taking up wedding photography has made me learn so so much. From paying my own bills at 18 years of age to going through a lot of phases of self-doubt, frustration, and days where I had no one to actually applaud my choices in life, I have seen it all! But I have been blessed to meet some absolutely beautiful people who came as clients and became very good friends & motivators on the lowest days and what not! And not to forget, some amazing fellow wedding photographers who have been such a support at all times 🙂

Indian bridal lehenga

How did you find your calling in photography?

Ahh… I grew up in a Sindhi family (Not at all Sindhi by thoughts haha). My Mom and Dad own this pretty little Bed n Breakfast aka Homestay in Varanasi. Unlike usual Indian kids, I was lucky to be growing up and exposed to people from different nationalities and cultures which led me to be what I am today. From salsa dancers to photographers to authors to administrators from different nations, people with such daring life stories. Interacting with all of them every day on my dining table for hours, opened me up to a whole new world.

I specifically remember being fascinated by this female Australian photographer who stayed with us for some 15 days and was in Varanasi to photograph ‘Death’. Usually, death & cremation are intense topics and not really talked about/shown to children but her images (the ones she shot) were so moving that I wanted to actually explore & learn and do exactly what she was doing. My father who has always been my push to everything in life never stopped me from experiencing it all. He let me walk around the city with her while she photographed it all as her project for her university, silently giving me my motto in life – to create everlasting visuals.
A lot of credit goes to my father & mother as well who enrolled me into Kathak really early (at the age of four), unknowingly sowing in me the seeds to grow towards ART.

Do you think that entering the wedding photography industry at a young age has been advantageous to you? Or has it put you at a disadvantage?

Umm. YES!
Advantages – I have a lot of time, to make mistakes, learn and do them all again & grow! Haha! Plus no pressure ever at such a young age to give back at home.

Disadvantages – I feel saturated sometimes (a lot of times in 2018 specifically). I end up feeling that I am mediocre & my work isn’t that great like others. Being mediocre has always been the worst feeling anyone can have and it gets really bad onto me turning into bad anxiety. But, this is when I take breaks, travel, shut off from everyone for days, and realise the advantage I have of working for my own self! Haha.. not really a disadvantage!

Indian bride wedding photography

What pulled you towards wedding photography specifically? What do you love the most about shooting weddings?

I am a people’s person. I gel up with people easily. I love celebrations, colour, good food off-course. Also, I have always been very BOLLYWOOD, very emotional towards everything in general. I just had a very strong pull towards weddings always.

You’ve gone through a lot to get to where you are today. Any regrets? What are your thoughts?

I wish I had done photography non-professionally for some more time at least before jumping into it professionally. I started at 18 (I wasn’t really 18 by my mind then, I am not 23 by mind right now too lol!) and I feel it was too early (but only sometimes, and not always) and one of the reasons why I feel so done up now could be this as well.

The above is also not a regret actually but just a way to kinda tell myself that I really want to do more and more and not tire so easily with it all. Apart from that, I have learned so so much! I have grown into a better person more than being a better photographer. As I said above and I will say it always, I have met some amazing clients who have become some closest friends now & I wouldn’t trade anything for it ever! And the amazing places I get to travel to, not losing it all, haha!

What keeps you going? Tell us about your inspirations – work or otherwise.

My Dad – he is one of my biggest inspirations. He is 55, successfully running three businesses, never gets tired/bored of his job and is always smiling while doing his work. Since childhood, I have seen him go through so much in business but never has he been unhappy with his work. I have never seen him complaining or cribbing. I don’t ever see him getting retired. In fact, the older he is getting, the more fun-loving and more of an entrepreneur he is becoming (Not denying its difficult to control him sometimes haha).
He always tells me this one line which is my go-to line when I am low or in self-doubt “Don’t focus on earning more it will only bring more stress, focus on the value you want to create through your work, rest will follow.”

My team – Whenever I have given up, felt low, gotten frustrated due to workload, they have picked me up. They have been there at -ups and never ever has anyone backed off. Whatever I am today is because of what they make me. They listen to what I want from them, expect them, and deliver more always & I won’t deny that I am really bad at times with them while they create repetitive mistakes or with my mood swings, anxiety issues but they deal with it all, but they won’t deny it either that I love all of them and stand for each of them whenever they need me!

What does success mean to you?

Success for me means creating everlasting visuals. What do I mean by everlasting visuals here? Images that my client’s children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren will see. Images that will adorn the walls of the houses they live in. Images that will stand the test of time and will always be there.
I have been there, into these lists of ‘Top 10 wedding photographers in Delhi’ or ‘Top 20 of this and that’ and I won’t deny it that in the first few years of doing wedding photography it has always felt like a recognition and recognition feels good to everyone but eventually over the course it has all gotten down to creating simple imagery yet images that connect the bride & the groom to their families, to their lives, to their own stories.

That’s what success means to me. If my bride is happy and all gaga to see the image I created of her father while she was stepping out of her house for the last time, or when she sees the image I created of her fiancé waiting for her on the aisle while she walks towards him to a new life. That’s it! That’s all. It ends there for me 🙂

We’ve read that you do quite a bit of work with NGOs. Tell us about that.

I have always been associated with some NGO or the other and tried contributing in my own small ways. I have taught photography for a very short period of time with two Delhi based NGO’s where I taught a group of 14 girls how to operate a basic point & shoot camera. It was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done for anyone.

Now, with a team to handle & growing pressures, I don’t get the time to be there, to visit, or teach. Thus now I do my contribution in a different way where every wedding photography package that gets sold off, we give a certain percentage of the total package to either children’s education to some NGO when they need it or some plantation drive. And I do believe, everyone should do their bit of giving back, it’s the best feeling ever, to be grateful.

We also read somewhere that you wanted to fly airplanes and own a travel cafe. Does that still hold true? If not, what do you dream about now? What else do you love doing apart from photography?

Yes, I still want to fly airplanes. I feel flying, is the ultimate thing where human beings could reach. I mean you are in the air, between the clouds, can there be anything greater than that? It’s the greatest joy for me. Whenever I am on an airplane, I feel so grateful. Also not denying if there is one thing I really want to learn, it’s how to fly airplanes and I would do it really really soon!

Owning a small travel cafe is my ultimate thing in life to do for me, I feel. A quaint tiny cozy one in hills somewhere where I would be involved in the whole experience. Or maybe a homestay just like my parents.

Also, I have always been a dreamer, a dropout! That’s what I call myself. So ‘dreamer dropout’ was the back blurb of a book by Cyrus Mistry. I came across this book sometime back and fell in love with that line and since then it’s been all mine and I feel it completely fits me too 🙂

Apart from photography, I love reading, gardening, doing up my house and the studio, (you never find the same piece of furniture ever in the studio at the same place and my team gets really annoyed with me for it, haha!) and travelling of course. 🙂

So what’s next for you?

‘Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.’
One of my favourite lines I get from my father every time I plan too much or overthink about what’s next. 🙂

I love it when my life surprises me!

Till then,
Dreaming and then maybe dreaming more and then dreaming a little more each day 🙂

__________________________________

See more of Ananya’s work on her WPAI profile page or her Instagram page.

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WPAI Connect x Delhi Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-delhi-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wpai-connect-delhi-roundup/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:11:44 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3663 Here’s what happened in the first of the series of WPAI Connect meet-ups The first of the WPAI Connect events, attended by the who’s who of the wedding photography community in Delhi, was a huge success. We had a great crowd of about a hundred talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen. … Continue reading "WPAI Connect x Delhi Roundup"

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Here’s what happened in the first of the series of WPAI Connect meet-ups

The first of the WPAI Connect events, attended by the who’s who of the wedding photography community in Delhi, was a huge success. We had a great crowd of about a hundred talented photographers and cinematographers ready to share, learn and listen.

Check out this short video to see more about the event:

WPAI Connect x Delhi from WPAI on Vimeo.

 

We had an interesting panel discussion followed by a knowledge session and an interactive mixer over food and drinks. The panelists comprised of four very well-known names in the wedding photography industry – Karan Sidhu, Snigdha Sheel, Badal Jain and Harsheen Jammu. Moderated by Arjun Kartha, the discussion touched on topics relevant to the wedding photography industry today.

L-R: Karan Sidhu, Snigdha Sheel, Harsheen Jammu, Badal Jain and Arjun Kartha
L-R: Snigdha Sheel and Harsheen Jammu

 

The over-arching theme of the discussion was – An art form or a service: Where does wedding photography stand today and where is it going? The panelists also discussed topics like how to satisfy your artistic sensibilities while also keeping the client happy and touched upon the topic of awards as motivation. The panel discussion was followed by an interactive Q&A session between the panelists and the attendees.

WPAI Connect photography meet in Hauz Khas Social

 

The next session was an informative presentation by well-known photographer and panoramist Amit Pasricha. Amit spoke about his journey as a photographer and his philosophies and vision for his work. He emphasised that panoramic work is not about picture perfect images. It’s rather about interplays and about trying to fool the eyes into a make-believe world. He also spoke about the idea of the man and the cosmos and the fact that how something that we consider to be significant, let’s say the Taj Mahal, becomes insignificant under the eyes of our observation.

WPAI Connect speaker Amit Pasricha
In photo: Amit Pasricha

 

The session by Amit Pasricha was followed by a mixer over food and drinks. It was a great opportunity for the photography community to come under one roof and share knowledge and experiences.

Thank you all for your overwhelming support and participation in making this event a big one! It’s only going to get bigger and better from here! To those who couldn’t make it, we missed you and we hope to see you in the coming events.

Coming Soon

We have WPAI Connect events lined up for six more cities – Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Chennai, and Pune – in the coming few months. Watch this space for more!

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support from Fujifilm India for this event. Thank you! 

 

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Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photography Client https://www.wpai.in/blogs/questions-to-ask-your-wedding-photography-client/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/questions-to-ask-your-wedding-photography-client/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:31:02 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3395 Your guide to hiring the client best suited to you As wedding photographers, you’re the people who are going to capture the most important day in a couple’s life. Years later, the only memory from their wedding will be the pictures you take for them. You are going to be the one constant presence beside … Continue reading "Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photography Client"

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Your guide to hiring the client best suited to you

As wedding photographers, you’re the people who are going to capture the most important day in a couple’s life. Years later, the only memory from their wedding will be the pictures you take for them. You are going to be the one constant presence beside the couple during all the events. The photographer’s and the client’s relationship is a precious one. You are doing a job for them, but to do it well, you need to be their friend too. A mutual trust and liking between the two always result in a great wedding set.

So, as much as it is important for the couple to be comfortable with you, it’s equally necessary that you like and relate to the couple as well. In one of our previous posts, we listed out questions a bride should ask a wedding photographer before hiring them. In this post, we will focus on the questions a photographer should ask before finalising a client. These tips will help you decide if a client is a right fit for you and prepare for the wedding you’re planning to shoot if you sign them on.

couple portrait pre wedding
Image by Sheetal Sherekar

#1 Have you seen our portfolio?

In order to figure out what the client’s expectations are, you should definitely ask if they had a look at your website portfolio or your images online. If they have contacted you after seeing your portfolio, it means they like your photography style and the kind of images you shoot and are a good fit for you. If they haven’t, ensure that they do. It’s important that your client understands your vision and you know what their expectations are.

This is also the time to discuss your approach to shooting a wedding and what a client wants as well. Would they like their personal space respected and want you to shoot quietly or are they comfortable with you getting in the middle of the action? Maybe they like some of the pictures from your work but would like something different from your style.

pre-wedding couple portrait shoot
Image by Rajvinoth Jothineelakandan

#2 How did you two meet? Tell us your story.

Any conversation with a couple should begin with you trying to know them. They’re not just strangers who are providing you with business. You are going to be spending a LOT of time with the couple during their wedding, so it’s important to get to know them as people. If they don’t feel comfortable with you or vice-versa, shooting the wedding will seem like a task that you have to get over with. A mutual comfort level brings out great pictures.

Ask about their background, where they grew up, what college they went to, how they met and fell in love, how and why they decided to get married, their likes and dislikes, etc. This getting-to-know conversation will give you an insight into their personalities, and their vibe and chemistry as a couple. It will also tell you what kind of pictures you need to be planning and preparing for. If they’re the shy kind you will have a different strategy than if the couple is adventurous, flirty or playful. And although this seems a bit pertinent for love marriages, you’d be surprised by how much insight you can gain into couples who met in an arranged set-up, just by asking the right questions.

Image by Onam Giri

#3 Tell us about your wedding – plans, venues and themes

Because of the unpredictability of Indian weddings, it’s a good idea to get as much information about the celebrations as possible. Ask the couple how many functions over how many days they are planning. You need to know the exact dates you should block for their wedding. Some venues have certain limitation or restrictions to photography and videography, and it’s important you prepare for it beforehand.

Knowing beforehand about the themes and decor of the wedding, the make-up artists they’re planning to hire and the kind of wedding trousseau the bride is planning will tell you a lot about the aesthetics of the wedding. If they have different tastes, you might be inclined to let them go for someone whose vision matches more with yours. Or if you’re up for the challenge of shooting a different wedding, go ahead! But no matter what you choose to do, an insight into their tastes will help you make the kind of images that will please your couple.

Image by Pramod Mitta

#4 What is the size and scale of your wedding?

The answer to this question will give you a good idea about the size of crew you will need to take to the wedding. If you’re an independent photographer you might have to hire second or freelance photographer/s. Even in case of a big photography company or studio with enough photographers, the size of the wedding will determine the number of people needed to cover the wedding.

The size of the wedding will also help you expect what kind of situation you might be shooting in and prepare for them. If it’s a small intimate family wedding, you know that you will need to take only a couple photographers and shoot subtly. Small family weddings are also about the people and capturing the little moments shared between them. For big weddings with over a thousand guests, not only will you need a larger crew for full coverage but it would also require you to document the grandness and the extravaganza of the celebrations. Weddings of celebrities and politicians, for example, might need you to cover the who’s who of their respective industries and capture the luxurious affair.

Image by Akshay Sansare

#5 Which wedding photos are most important to you?

It just so happens sometimes that wedding photography is not a couple’s priority. Sometimes it’s one of those things that they just have to tick off a check-list. So it’s important to know first if this is something that is important to them.

If it is a priority, then you definitely need to know what kind of photos are precious to them. Are they looking for great couple portraits, intimate and emotional moments, fun and candid moments or do they want you to extensively cover their family and friends? Their priority will tell you if they’re a good fit for you. If you specialise in dramatic couple portraits and they want a documentary-style coverage, then they’re probably not a good fit for you. In that case, it’s best for you to tell them and recommend somebody else that might suit their needs.

Image by Sourav Paul

#6 What is your budget?

This is something you should actually get out of the way early on. You should know their expectations and limitations with the budget. Honestly, not a lot of people who look for wedding photographers really know how much it should or does cost. They just go in with whatever amount they think is right or want to spend. So if they’re low-on-budget in the photography department or they’re astonished by how expensive you are, definitely sit them down and explain to them the relationship between price and experience and brand value.

If photography is important to a couple (which you will have figured out if you asked them the above question), it just might be possible that they will be willing to stretch their budget a little. You can customise their package to suit their needs and requirements. But if they aren’t that bothered with photography and aren’t willing to go beyond their limits or are expecting you to deliver them quality pictures in a lesser price range, then you’ve to let them go. Learning which client not to hire is as important as figuring out which ones you should.

budget money stock image

#7 Do you have any questions about the contract?

After you have discussed everything and clarified all details with the client, it’s important that you ask them if they would like anything explained again. It doesn’t matter if you have already discussed everything, you should ask again. Cover all the details like payment, albums, timelines and other deliverables. This is the time to make sure there is nothing left undiscussed.

Before you sign the contract with them, ask them if they are okay with all the clauses. And only after they’ve replied in the affirmative should you sign. A contract is important as it will prevent any future arguments or confusions. It also protects the interest of both the photographer and the client. So make sure you’ve given your couple all the information. And then some more.

contract sign stock image

#8 Where did you find us?

This will not help you hire the right client but it will give you an idea of where your leads are coming from – social media, Google searches or personal referrals from previous clients. To get the kind of client you want, you need to know which ones of your marketing strategies are working, so you can focus on them.

social media apps stock image

Every photographer has a different conversation with their clients in the initial stages, but we’re sure that they have a process to it. This is a basic guide to help you and the client make an informed decision. You can keep adding any number of questions you feel are important for your business. But make sure you do have a basic know-the-client conversation before making any decision. After all, an open line of communication is the key to a successful wedding assignment.

We hope this guide will help you find the right client. Any questions or confusions? Comment and we’d love to answer!

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Announcing WPAI Connect 2018 https://www.wpai.in/blogs/announcing-wpai-connect-2018/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/announcing-wpai-connect-2018/#respond Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:19:45 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3453   We’re so excited to announce WPAI Connect 2018 – a series of community meet-ups of wedding photographers and cinematographers across India! Planned to be hosted in major metros in the coming months, we aim to make these events an enriching, sharing and learning experience. It is designed for experienced and aspiring wedding photographers to talk … Continue reading "Announcing WPAI Connect 2018"

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We’re so excited to announce WPAI Connect 2018 – a series of community meet-ups of wedding photographers and cinematographers across India! Planned to be hosted in major metros in the coming months, we aim to make these events an enriching, sharing and learning experience. It is designed for experienced and aspiring wedding photographers to talk about the art and craft of wedding photography and cinematography.

WPAI Connect meet-ups have been scheduled for 7 major metros – Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Pune, and Hyderabad – in the coming few months. The meet-ups will include talks by leading WPAI members and/or advisors and also have highly experienced wedding photographers participating and speaking in the events.

WPAI Connect x Delhi

WPAI Connect x Delhi

The first WPAI Connect meet-up will be held at Hauz Khas Social in Delhi on the 17th of June. There will be a panel discussion by three well-known wedding photographers followed by an informative presentation and a mixer over food and drinks.

You will be interacting with some of the industry’s biggest names and gaining an insight into their knowledge and experience. This is a one-of-a-kind event you do not want to miss! Trust us!

Event Entry

The entry to all events is by invite only. WPAI members please RSVP to the invitation you will be receiving shortly. Non-members please register for the event to receive your exclusive invitation here!

The WPAI would like to acknowledge the support by Fujifilm India for this event. Thank you! 

 

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Framed Moments: WPAI Photo Theme Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/framed-moments-wpai-photo-theme-roundup/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/framed-moments-wpai-photo-theme-roundup/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 09:58:57 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3362 A collection of images that use shoot-through frames to draw attention to the subject We are not doing justice to our profession if we’re not constantly improving and evolving our work. Trying new techniques is not just a way of providing a better product to the client but also a means to constantly challenge ourselves … Continue reading "Framed Moments: WPAI Photo Theme Roundup"

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A collection of images that use shoot-through frames to draw attention to the subject

We are not doing justice to our profession if we’re not constantly improving and evolving our work. Trying new techniques is not just a way of providing a better product to the client but also a means to constantly challenge ourselves as artists. And one of the ways to do it is using framing as a technique to create something remarkable.

Simply defined, framing is the technique of drawing attention to a certain subject by blocking other parts of the image with or through something. It adds depth and context to your image by adding something in the fore and background of your subject. Now you can use anything to create a frame within your frame – a window, arches/doorways, trees/leaves, an interesting architectural space, moving objects, other inanimate objects, light, and even humans! The objects you use to frame your subject could surround them from all sides, or it could also be just on two sides of your shot. It’s not necessary to use something in the foreground as a frame, but in this post, we are going to look at examples where shoot-through foreground framing adds more to the image.

Here are a few images from our WPAI library that may inspire you to go out and experiment with your style.

Image by Kartik Jasti

 

Image by Divyam Mehrotra

 

Image by Amit Puri

 

Image by Sutanu Parh

 

Image by Mahima Bhatia

 

Image by Pramod Mitta

 

shoot-through frames wedding photography
Image by Prashaunth Jagannathan

 

Image by Anirban

 

 

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Artist Spotlight | Karan Sidhu https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-karan-sidhu/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-karan-sidhu/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 08:20:27 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3305 In conversation with Gurgaon-based wedding photographer Karan Sidhu Finding his love for photography wasn’t accidental for Karan Sidhu. He’d always had a certain inclination towards it, but only discovered it as his “calling” when he left his career in the hospitality industry. It didn’t take long for him to realise that taking pictures and creating … Continue reading "Artist Spotlight | Karan Sidhu"

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In conversation with Gurgaon-based wedding photographer Karan Sidhu

Finding his love for photography wasn’t accidental for Karan Sidhu. He’d always had a certain inclination towards it, but only discovered it as his “calling” when he left his career in the hospitality industry. It didn’t take long for him to realise that taking pictures and creating extraordinary memories for people was what he wanted to do in life.

Today, his decision of pursuing his passion for photography has been proven the right one. He recently won the prestigious Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year (2017-2018) Award. Though he’s not new to getting recognition, Karan has also won 4 WPAI awards previously. This conversation is an attempt to understand the inner workings of this warm and generous man and understand what inspires his work, what success means to him, his relationship with those around him and more.

Congratulations on winning the Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year (2017-2018) Award! How does it feel?

Thank you. Any form of appreciation or recognition feels great. So that’s how it feels, great! But with recognition also comes a sense of responsibility to continue to improve and learn and do better with each shoot if not each shot. 🙂

What was your thought process while curating the 16 pictures as part of the final submission for the contest? How did you choose and was it difficult to separate your favourites from the “best”?

Oh, it was a mind-numbing exercise! I just didn’t know which ones to submit and which ones to discard. But eventually, I just went with my gut and submitted the pictures that resonated with me the most.

Tell us about the face-off for the final round of the WPOY contest. Considering everyone was given the same shooting conditions, what did you do differently that allowed you to emerge the winner?

I didn’t, even for a second, think I was shooting for a contest. Nor did I think of what the other contestants may or may not do. It was like any other shoot for me. I went in like I normally do for any shoot and tried to make the most of what was available.

You’ve won the BP WPOY award and also four awards in the WPAI contests. What do awards and winning them mean to you?

I’d be lying if I said they don’t mean anything. Awards mean a great deal. Especially when they are judged by the masters of the craft.

But the thing with me is, I don’t hold on to my successes or failures for too long. There is so much more to learn and to achieve and more importantly, to experience that if I keep basking in my own glory, I’d keep myself away from greater experiences in life.

What does being a ‘successful photographer’ mean to you?

Great question!

A successful photographer to me is the one that can successfully, (and repeatedly so), take successful pictures. It’s as simple as that.

And successful pictures are the ones that my clients will hold on to for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t need to be a ‘creatively genius’ or an ‘award-worthy’ picture. It may just be a simple portrait of the bride and groom; or a picture of the bride or the groom with their grandparents; or a picture of the brides father whose normally awkward displaying emotions but when its time for him to give his little princess away, a tiny tear finds its way out; or a picture of the grooms mother welcoming her new daughter with open arms.

The point is, to be a successful photographer, you don’t need gimmicks. What you need is your heart and your mind in the right place. When I walk into a wedding, I walk in with a huge sense of responsibility. I am well aware of the fact that I am going to an event where I will be creating history for that family by making pictures that will potentially become an heirloom for generations to come.

To each their own but to me, this is how I measure my success:

1. Client’s happiness.
2. Creative satisfaction.
3. Enough money to travel (after paying the bills :D)

From hotel management and chef-in-training to a real estate marketeer and now a wedding photographer – we’d love to know more about this journey and how wedding photography happened.

I love to cook which is why hotel management happened. But when I joined the hotel industry after college, I very soon realised that I enjoy cooking for my loved ones with a drink in my hand. This commercial cooking is not my thing. Left the hotels and worked in various fields in various organisations for over a decade and hated every single day of it. All along, I knew that this isn’t for what I am born to do and also knew this is just a means to an end till I find my “calling”.

They say, when life shuts a door, it opens another. So when my then girlfriend shut her doors on me (it was my fault and I deserved it), I suddenly had all the time in the world after work and on weekends, which were otherwise spent with her. I decided to take up “hobby classes” and photography was one of them. I fell in love with the process of picture taking. I always had this love for photography but when the passion for a skill is supplemented with the knowledge and technical know how it’s a different ball game altogether. Well, then one thing led to another and I decided to take my camera to a friends wedding I had to attend. Loved every bit of it. Gave myself a year and shot friends’ and acquaintances’ weddings for free (where they had commissioned photographers and I was just doing my own thing without coming in their way) before I decided to do this professionally …and rest as they say is history!!

Today, I can very confidently and VERY PROUDLY say that I was born to do this. There is nothing and no one I love more than my work.

We’ve heard that once you sign on a client, you’re all in. From the decor and planning to the bride’s makeup and trousseau. Is it true? What is the thought behind this approach?

Oh yes!! I love weddings. And a wedding isn’t just that last day where the ‘pheras’ take place. A wedding is actually the entire process of it. The months and years of planning that goes into it. I love being a part of the entire process. Not only does it create a great rapport/friendship between the couple and me, which is a phenomenal thing during the shoot, it also lets me get to know who they really are as individuals and as a couple, which further helps me in making meaningful pictures for them that depict their personalities and true self.

Does this part of your personality also extend to your work colleagues? We’ve heard that you’re a tight-knit group and you share more than just a formal employer-employee relationship with them. Tell us about your approach to team-making and team-building.

I am a lover, I am a compulsive hugger and its obvious that my team will face the brunt of it… hahaha. I am lucky to have a great team. They stand by me, support me, encourage me, inspire me, and also deal with my mood swings.

Honestly, I didn’t grow up in a very normal household with loving parents and picnics and holidays etc. It was more of a life of struggle amongst other things. I guess that’s also a part of the reason I love weddings – I get to see and experience the familial love. It fills my heart with joy to see all those emotions.

I don’t have any serious ‘approach’ towards team making or team building. The only approach is to:

1. Keep nurturing the sense of responsibility that comes with every assignment.
2. Always have each other’s back.
3. Continue learning the art and craft of wedding photography.
4. Most importantly, have loads and loads of fun.

Has your background in hospitality and marketing helped you in the business of wedding photography? If yes, how?

They say we are all a sum total of our experiences in life. Therefore I am most certain that it has helped. I just don’t know how though…haha…may be in being able to tell good food from bad ?? … I’m guessing…haha

What impact has photography seminars and workshops had on you, if any, during your time as a photographer?

Oh yes!! Workshops are a great source of learning. When you see the work of masters, it inspires you to do better. And I am no different.

So many photographers have inspired me and continue to do so. Rocio Vega and her ability to freeze emotions that shake your soul or Susana Barbera’s layering mastery, or Jeff Ascough’s clean and jaw-dropping compositions.

WPAI Artist Spotlight Karan Sidhu photography

Part of being an artist means you’ve to constantly experiment and evolve with time. What is your process, your inspirations to that?

I think more than constantly experimenting and evolving, it is important to have a ‘healthy dissatisfaction’ with your work. I don’t mean should dislike your work and get depressed and also it’s not something one can put on. It’s either there or it’s not. But if you get too happy and proud of yourself, then that’s already half the battle lost. Again, to each their own but I haven’t yet reached the skill level in terms of the craft of picture taking that I intend on reaching. Once I get there, I’ll think of “evolving”. 😀

I don’t think of myself as an artist yet. I am learning to be one. 🙂

So what’s next for Karan Sidhu?

Lunch. 🙂

I haven’t ever planned my life. And I feel that’s the beauty of it too. I like to let it surprise me.

__________________________________

See more of Karan’s work on his WPAI profile page or his Instagram page.

 

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Photographing the Same Location: How to Create Unique Images https://www.wpai.in/blogs/photographing-the-same-location-how-to-create-unique-images/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/photographing-the-same-location-how-to-create-unique-images/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 06:03:49 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3222 Tips from wedding photographers to create something different at the same location We often say that Indian weddings are diverse, vibrant and colourful affairs with something unique happening at each one. The locations, venue, cities, people, and set-ups change over time. But the essence of the rituals at the centre – irrespective of religion or community … Continue reading "Photographing the Same Location: How to Create Unique Images"

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Tips from wedding photographers to create something different at the same location

We often say that Indian weddings are diverse, vibrant and colourful affairs with something unique happening at each one. The locations, venue, cities, people, and set-ups change over time. But the essence of the rituals at the centre – irrespective of religion or community – boil down to similar values and emotions. The emotions of a bride’s parents during kanyadaan, how the bride feels during vidaai, the expression on the groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time are essentially the same.

Over time, there are certain locations and destinations that become more popular than others. And the assignments we get, start to become the same in terms of the location and venue. This might be because a couple saw a picture they liked and wanted their shoot at the same place. Or they met in a certain city and wanted a pre-wedding that includes an iconic building. Or it could simply be that a trend for certain kind of locations caught on. But our problem as an artist remains the same in these situations. How do we keep re-inventing ourselves so that each photo shoot is unique for each couple? How do you get out of the danger of getting similar images everytime you’re in the same location?

We’re sure that at some point in their career, every photographer has faced this challenge. They’ve stood in front of the location and wondered what they could do to make that photo-shoot different from the previous one. So we decided to speak to a few wedding photographers to find out what they do differently in a similar situation. Here’s what they had to say.

Image by Sunny Rapol

#1 Focus on the couple

It is but obvious that even though you shoot at the same location, the couple you’re capturing changes every time. So, make it about them. Focus on their chemistry, on the energy they exude. The location is just a prop that supports the couple. Get to know them and understand their personalities, because that will make the image unique.

Richa Kashelkar, a wedding photographer based in Goa, echoes the sentiment,” I focus on the couple I’m shooting. The location is just a backdrop; a prop, so to say, and I don’t give it more importance than the people whose love I’m supposed to be documenting. I have shot in South Mumbai a couple of times, but my aim is not to make South Mumbai look unique or to create an extraordinarily different photo each time. Because the couple doesn’t care about any of that.. they want to see their relationship captured. At least that’s the philosophy I run by.”

Pre wedding couple shoot
Image by Rishabh Sood

#2 Change your perspective and find different angles or composition

A lot of locations in our country are landmarks or heritage sites and are chosen by couples because of that exact reason. Sometimes, a couple may choose to shoot at a famous place, let’s say Gateway of India, because of their connection to the city. In this case, by all means, take your money shot. The couple hired you to capture them with the location, and that’s what you should do.

But after you’ve got your stock of images that the couple wants, experiment with different angles and composition. You would be surprised how much difference a simple shift of angle can make. Wedding photographer Lakshya Chawla looks for unique angles and composition in images,” I look for angles which I haven’t covered before. If the property looks gorgeous from the top angle, I would take a drone shot.”

So get off the eye-level. You could try shooting from above, getting on your knees or down on the floor. You could shoot through the branches of trees or champagnes glasses, frame reflections off water bodies or glasses and mirrors.

Image by Amit Puri

#3 Shoot at a different time of day

It’s amazing how a slight change in lighting can drastically change the image. Bengaluru-based wedding photographer Neeta Shankar recommends changing the time of day at which you’re shooting. Most photographers will agree that the best time to shoot is during sunrise or sunset. So use that natural light to your advantage.

But if you feel like those images have been done to death, then try something different. “If I shot in natural light last time, to make it look different I might use artificial light the next time,” Neeta adds. Shoot in the middle of the day to get high-key shots or play around with artificial lighting at night to create dramatic mood shots.

Image by Sheetal Sherekar

#4 Try fun tricks and techniques

Every photographer has, what we can call, a ‘magic bag of tricks’. For when they need to add something interesting to the image or to add dimension. This little bag contains things like battery operated LED lights to shoot through or create bokeh, small mirrors for creating reflection, or tiny beads and tinsel for adding shimmery effect.

Wedding photographer Tarun Chawla said that he uses smoke bombs and techniques like double exposure to create unique images. When you feel that you’ve used the background, light and setting to the fullest and want something more in your frame, try these out. Adding any one of these elements will give your image a new look.

Image by Rahul Shah

#5 Change the mood/feel of the picture

Last but not the least, work with your couple. Ask them what they have in mind for their images. Get to know them and their vibe. Are they the intense and romantic kind? Do they flirt and tease each other? Or are they a relaxed and chill couple? Their body language and pose also plays a major role in changing the feel of the image. If they’re an extremely passionate couple, give them a little space and let them get intimate. If they’re more playful, have them run around, tickle or hug each other for creating light moments. Changing the action, movement or mood in the image will help you create something different.

Image by Prashant Nahata

So remember to keep experimenting. If you change even one aspect of an image, you’ll have a completely different photo. The ‘safe’ and the obvious shot will no doubt be beautiful too. But why not create something that is much more interesting than what we’ve already seen around a lot? These pointers are obviously not everything there is, there’s so much more you can do to add to your images. So keep trying and who knows you might end up creating something no one has before!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you’re a photographer who has had to shoot in the same location again and again, what did you do differently? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

 

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Sneak Peek: Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja wedding https://www.wpai.in/blogs/sonam-kapoor-anand-ahuja-wedding/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/sonam-kapoor-anand-ahuja-wedding/#respond Mon, 14 May 2018 08:25:36 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3282 In conversation with Anand Rathi who recently shot the much-awaited wedding of Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja The recent wedding of Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor and Delhi businessman Anand Ahuja has taken the social media by storm. From pictures of her mehendi, the Anand Karaj ceremony (Sikh wedding ceremony) to the star-studded reception, we’ve seen … Continue reading "Sneak Peek: Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja wedding"

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In conversation with Anand Rathi who recently shot the much-awaited wedding of Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja

The recent wedding of Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor and Delhi businessman Anand Ahuja has taken the social media by storm. From pictures of her mehendi, the Anand Karaj ceremony (Sikh wedding ceremony) to the star-studded reception, we’ve seen it all on the internet. We’re proud of our WPAI member Anand Rathi, who along with his team at Reels and Frames, covered the much-anticipated wedding. We had a quick chat with Anand to find out about his experience of shooting the grand celebrations. Here’s what he had to say.

#1 Congratulations on being the official photographer at Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja’s wedding! How do you feel? The wedding was just last week!

I feel pretty tired. We went thinking it was gonna be a social affair. But it was madder than your most mad weddings – too much activity, too much energy. And at the same time, we feel surreal because at the end of it when you come out and you see your work being appreciated, it feels nice. An artist wants an audience.

#2 Tell us a bit about how it happened? Did you get a mysterious phone call, a visit, an email?

I don’t know how it happened. They called us one day, they saw through our work and they liked it.

#3 How big a crew did you take for the wedding?

We were a crew of 16-18 people.

#4 Were there any preparations before you went for the wedding?

Lots! Because they are used to paparazzi and they didn’t want the wedding to become a paparazzi show. So it had to be good coverage but inconspicuous. And that balance was achieved by understanding how the venue was, understanding how the event was flowing, assigning people to Sonam, assigning people to Anand. Understanding how Sonam and Anand react to cameras. Other preparations included a lot of walkie-talkies for sure. This was the kind of ceremony where you aren’t supposed to chat or wave hands. It was an Anand Karaj and so like any other Anand Karaj ceremonies, it was a quaint, sit-down kind of affair. So a lot of visual communication was required.

#5 So what kind of photography equipment did you take?

Except for Fujifilm, we were shooting with everything available in the market. We had Canon, Nikon, Zeiss, Sony, lots of Sony’s. Photography and film-wise it was mostly Sony Mark lenses. We also used a lot of lenses which were supposedly in the sports or concert photography category. Long and fast lenses because you want to shoot in a very stealth mode. The rest of the shebang is like any other photographer’s, we have our creative equipment.

#6 Tell us about the challenges, if any, of shooting this wedding?

This wedding was a blur of about 48 hours that just went by. In most weddings, you’ll get a nice turnaround time. But the party ended late in the night. And we had to be ready at 7 in the morning for the Anand Karaj ceremony. So it was a very very short turnaround time. The second challenge was trying to shoot all the A-listers of Bombay without being in their faces. You sort of start understanding the rhythm in a while of how people react to cameras, how Shahrukh takes a camera or how Salman takes a camera.

#7 Is there a difference between a non-celebrity wedding and a celebrity one?

I thought this was going to be a celebrity wedding but turned out to be a complete non-celebrity wedding when it comes to the fun quotient of it. They let their hair down and they partied their heart out. They were mischievous and naughty, something we didn’t expect them to be.
Sonam was a delight to work with. The easiest bride I’ve shot in at least this season, for sure. She gets ready on time, chills with her friends, and smiles like she means it. Doesn’t fake the smiles, doesn’t be like all nakhra-vakhra. Nothing! Normal next-door-girl.
So actually I don’t know the difference between shooting a celebrity wedding. I don’t think I experienced that in this wedding.

#8 Every wedding is all about the couple, their vibe, their chemistry. Tell us about Sonam and Anand.

Oh by god, what a chemistry! All the images that we’ve clicked and the ones that are circulating on the internet – they’re all them. I didn’t even have to utter a word, kiaisa pose karo, waise pose karo’. They look at each other and they start doing their thing. And that’s something they do off-camera as well.

Their personalities are different. She’s bubbly, girl-next-door and this guy’s a nice, real gentleman you know. But at the same time, he has this fun side. So that was very much there through the wedding. And of course, you know, both of them were so social. It wasn’t one of those weddings where people had to go meet the bride and groom (on a stage). They were roaming around. That way it was very nice.

#9 How was your experience shooting this wedding?

It’s still going on. I mean, our experience didn’t stop at shooting. We are still editing, we were editing till 11 in the night yesterday. I think we’re going to pull off another long night today. It’s almost unreal that we’re broken and tired and we need that break but at the same time, we’re super excited that the images we created really really look nice and pretty. Because a lot of things worked out for us, the chemistry worked out, the lighting worked out. One hour into the wedding, when you’re there and you know the couple, then you can switch off your “how do I manage myself zone” and get into a “how do I create zone”. That’s what we did and we were fortunate enough to do that.

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See more of Anand’s work on his WPAI profile page or his Instagram page.

 

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How to be a Good Second Shooter https://www.wpai.in/blogs/good-second-shooter/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/good-second-shooter/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2018 15:57:20 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3244 Your guide to being a good second shooter Wedding photographers – independent or studio owners – are always on the lookout for good second shooters. A lead and a second shooter working in perfect sync is the requisite recipe for fantastic wedding photos. If you’re looking to start in the wedding industry as a photographer … Continue reading "How to be a Good Second Shooter"

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Your guide to being a good second shooter

Wedding photographers – independent or studio owners – are always on the lookout for good second shooters. A lead and a second shooter working in perfect sync is the requisite recipe for fantastic wedding photos. If you’re looking to start in the wedding industry as a photographer or plan to launch your own business, working as a second shooter is the best way to gain experience for both. Working with a professional will help you understand the nitty-gritty of how the industry works.

In one of our previous posts, we spoke about the qualities a professional photographer should look at before hiring a second shooter. This post deals with the other side of that relationship, namely second shooters. A lot of second shooters don’t understand what it means or what are the rules to being a good one. There goes a lot into evolving as a second shooter that people can trust and recommend. It’s not as easy as just showing up with a camera and shooting whatever you fancy.

Whether you’ve recently started shooting as a second or are planning to gain more experience for more work, it’s important to get it right. If you’re feeling clueless or wondering why you aren’t getting hired more, this post is for you. Being an amazing second shooter is the key to getting hired again.

Image by Onam Giri

#1 Set expectations and communicate clearly

First and foremost understand what the lead photographer is hiring you for. Every photographer has their own way of working, so work out the specifics. Will you need to focus on crowd shots, detail shots, safe shots or creative alternates to what the lead is shooting? Clarify all points of conflict – payment, ownership of photos etc in the beginning so that there is no bad blood between you two later.

Keep the communication lines open even during the wedding. If at any point, you want to clarify something, find a gap where nothing major is happening and have a quick chat with the lead.

Image by Fahim Sayed

#2 Be Professional and Responsible

When professional photographers are looking to hire someone, this is of priority. Be flexible and always willing to listen and understand. Arrive on the time given to you in the brief. Memorise the schedule/itinerary so that you always know what’s happening where and when. Talk to your lead about family dynamics and know who are the important members. Being reliable and responsible is the key.

Sync your camera to the lead photographer’s as soon as you arrive at the venue. It’s also important to show up dressed appropriately. Treat this like you would any other job. Don’t hesitate to ask your lead for suggestions. We’ve written in a previous post on how to dress for a wedding as a photographer. Give it a read if you’re confused.

And most importantly, work without distractions. It would be prudent to not take phone calls or check your social media. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an important moment while you were looking the other way. Your work ethic and behaviour will reflect on the lead. So be alert and respectful at all times. Another important thing to keep in mind is data management. Losing the data is not an option – whether you’re shooting on their cards or yours.

Image by Rishabh Sood

#3 Be Selfless

No matter what, the brief given to you by the lead should not be compromised on. Your main aim is to complement the lead photographer and help him, so focus on that. By all means, take great pictures. But at no point, your portfolio or your personal career should take precedence. If they’ve asked you to take guest and group shots, stick to that. Keep doing your work with due diligence and the lead will definitely credit your work. Your main task should be helping the lead fulfill his/her vision. And you can do that by making sure that you’re shooting according to his/her general style and direction.

Image by Shishir Gaurav

#4 Know who’s the boss

NEVER hand out your business card or promote yourself at a wedding. This is extremely extremely important to understand as a second shooter. A lead hires you to represent their name and brand. So be careful about that and don’t forget that your job is to only and only be the lead photographer’s right hand. You should help promote their work and brand. Keep a stash of their business cards in case a guest asks for it (it happens quite often!) and pass along only that. There is no argument to this.

Then there’s the issue of image ownership. Can you share the images you shot? Do you need to mention that you worked for them? How long after can you share the images? Will you be credited as the photographer when they share your work? Can you use the images in your portfolio? We assume that you will have had this conversation before signing on for an assignment. Once you’ve signed on for an assignment with them, you should respect their rules. Just in case you haven’t talked about this before, make sure you have a discussion or ask for permission before posting the images anywhere.

Image by Sheetal Sherekar

#5 Be prepared to be the primary photographer

Even though your main job is to complement the lead, you should be accountable, and prepared to take up any responsibility. Accidents happen all the time at weddings. It’s a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’. So be prepared for ANYTHING. Carry extra batteries, lenses and memory cards. Take care of gear – whether it’s yours or the lead’s. There are more incidents of photographers losing expensive gear in the chaos of weddings than we can count. So keep an alert eye out.

You should also be prepared to step into the lead’s shoes if need be. In case of gear malfunction, any medical emergency or two different events of the same wedding happening simultaneously (for example, Bride Haldi & Groom Haldi taking place at the same time in different locations) – you should be confident enough to handle it on your own.

Image by Sourav Paul

Working amiably and successfully with the lead can go a long way in getting you re-hired for future assignments. Remember that the photography community is small, so word – whether good or bad – travels quickly. So be on your very best behaviour to make sure that your lead recommends you to other photographers. No job is too small when it comes to supporting your lead. Be it helping them carry their gear or assisting when they’re framing and directing a shot. Grabbing a photo of them while working, for example, is a step forward to establishing a good relationship with them. Also, help the lead make the couple and guests comfortable. You’ll be shooting some extremely intimate moments of their lives, so it’s important that they trust you. And if at any point you’re confused, never hesitate to ask. It’s better to ask a ‘silly’ question than fail to deliver what is expected of you.

How has your experience been as a second shooter at weddings? Do let us know. Feel free to comment if you have any questions! We’d love to answer.

 

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Reflections: WPAI Photo Theme Roundup https://www.wpai.in/blogs/reflections-wpai-photo-theme/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/reflections-wpai-photo-theme/#respond Thu, 26 Apr 2018 14:13:35 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3246 A collection of some amazing images that use reflection As wedding photographers, we try to make each wedding we shoot special for the couple. When we’re shooting a wedding, our only focus is to do justice to their story and capture it beautifully. We constantly try and experiment with techniques and camera gear to improve our … Continue reading "Reflections: WPAI Photo Theme Roundup"

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A collection of some amazing images that use reflection

As wedding photographers, we try to make each wedding we shoot special for the couple. When we’re shooting a wedding, our only focus is to do justice to their story and capture it beautifully. We constantly try and experiment with techniques and camera gear to improve our photography. We aspire to be bigger and better every time.

Using reflections to create images can give a whole new perspective and depth to a story. Shooting a wedding requires you to see a couple’s story from different angles and make sure that you don’t miss out on anything. The great part about including the technique is that it will add a whole new dimension to your photography. It gives you the opportunity of adding something more to the frame, which one would not normally see. You can use reflective surfaces like mirrors, glasses and water bodies to create drama in your image, add a new perspective, show different sides of the same image, or capture more than one action in the frame.

Here are a few images from our WPAI library that may inspire you to go out and experiment with your photography style.

Image by Ravi Mistry

 

Image by Aditya Marathe

 

Image by Pramod Mitta

 

Image by Prateek Gour

 

Image by Sneha Kar

 

Image by Prasheila Lookhar

 

Image by Dhruv Ashra

 

Image by Divyam Mehrotra

 

Image by Ranjan Zingade

 

Image by Anbu Jawahar

Cover Image Credit: Pramod Mitta

 

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Artist Spotlight – Inderjeet Gill https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-inderjeet-gill/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-inderjeet-gill/#respond Wed, 04 Apr 2018 12:02:12 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3163 In conversation with Ahmedabad-based wedding photographer Inderjeet Gill For Inderjeet, a passion for art was something he had since childhood. He’d always had an inclination towards painting and playing with colours. It was only a matter of time before his interest in art, as well as technology, turned towards the perfect combination of the two … Continue reading "Artist Spotlight – Inderjeet Gill"

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In conversation with Ahmedabad-based wedding photographer Inderjeet Gill

For Inderjeet, a passion for art was something he had since childhood. He’d always had an inclination towards painting and playing with colours. It was only a matter of time before his interest in art, as well as technology, turned towards the perfect combination of the two – photography. And his love for knowing people’s stories and seeing diverse cultures led him to wedding photography.

He strives to capture all the beautiful moments that families share when they come together for a wedding. This conversation is an attempt to get to know more about the vision and philosophy behind his work, his inspirations, and his goals.

From an IITian to a wedding photographer today. Tell us how that transition happened? What pulled you towards wedding photography?

I did my schooling from Kota, was good in studies and liked technology related subjects. Around that time, especially in Kota, if you were good at studies the next default progression after schooling was IIT-JEE. So that’s how IIT happened and I became an engineer.

I loved painting since childhood and my paintings were exhibited at various school level competitions. And, life at IIT was luckily much beyond just studies. We had amazing platforms to pursue non-academic skills too, so my connection with painting continued at IIT as well. I led the fine arts section and also was the head of design teams of the institute’s magazine.
Essentially, art and technology have always been my two main areas of interest.

After finishing my studies at IIT my then-girlfriend-now-wife Mrinal gifted me my first DSLR camera, and that’s when I started exploring photography more seriously. I uploaded some of my images on Facebook. One of my college seniors, who knew about my artistic abilities from college, saw those images and asked me to photograph her wedding and that’s how my first exposure to wedding photography took place.
I am an army kid and frequent transfers of my dad quite initially groomed me to gel up with new people very easily. I always loved to interact with people and understand their stories. I was always excited to see different places and diverse Indian cultures fascinated me at a totally different level. And, wedding photography offers great opportunity to experience all this more often.

I would say by doing wedding photography I get to live all of it at once and that’s the pull factor. I am pursuing my artistic passion using technology and getting the opportunity to meet new people, capture their stories and closely witness and understand different cultures. What more I could ask for!

You travel to a variety of places for weddings and pre-wedding shoots. What has been your favourite destination to shoot at in the past? Why?

Rajasthan is by far my favorite place to shoot. Udaipur, with its beautiful lakes and royal palaces, offers great scenery for a picturesque setting for romantic couple portraits. Forts and desserts/dunes of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer offer the grandeur and rustic character. Jaipur city has its own charm and ethnicity, royal settings and grandness.

One of the captions on your Instagram mentioned that in addition to couple portraits you want to take more portraits of family and friends. Tell us why capturing portraits of friends and family is important to you?

My approach to anything in life is to understand the basic reason for its existence. In case of weddings, the most basic is ‘Love is building up a new family by the union of two families’. And, this statement explains my whole approach towards the wedding photography.

In today’s world, people move out to different places for work, lead a busy life and typically live in nuclear families. Weddings help the families to reunite and bring back the “family wali feeling”. So, not only the bride and the groom but the families and their coming together makes the weddings complete. Hence, family portraits are very important for us at IG Photo and Films. We make sure to make family portraits as that’s what gets printed and is hung on the wall among all the wedding pictures, reminding the people of good times and memories with their families. 

A lot of your pictures are made using light modifiers like the magmod. How do you think the sudden influx & popularity of different light modifiers in the market has changed or influenced your style of wedding photography?

If photography is defined as ‘painting with light’ then the light shaping tools like Magmod are ‘beautifully crafted brush strokes’. Being a painter, I have always studied the direction of light in paintings, and that has been the building block in my current body of work with the Magmod modifiers.

I love to play a lot with light & shadows, and Magmod has made shaping the light possible in whatever and whichever way I want. Honestly, before Magmod, the things were a lot cumbersome and not that much fun. But the best thing about Magmod is its portability and the great design sense for the ease of use. Now with the Magmod, I create light and shadows the way I want, and create artistic images in any lighting condition (day or night) and practically in any ambience.

You started IG Photo and Films with the vision that ‘moments do not happen as per photography package’. Tell us a bit more about what this means to you.

I became a wedding photographer because I love capturing genuine moments of emotions floating at weddings. And, if I am putting a restriction on the ‘coverage time & scope’ I block and limit the thing I love to do, which makes no sense to me.

The term ‘candid’ has been abused so much lately. We at IG Photo and Films, never define ourselves as ‘candid photographer’ because we’re not. We are documentary photographers and we love to take pictures that matter to the people in them. We give equal importance to ceremonies, group shots as well as the candid moments.

Moments that happen in between events many times tell deeper stories and from our past experiences, I can say that they are some of the most precious memories to the families involved. Capturing emotions being my primary satisfying point I won’t want to miss the integral pieces of a story. Hence, I say moments don’t happen as per photography package, they happen when they do and as a team, we are committed to capturing these precious memories that families entrust us with.

What do you love the most about shooting weddings? Are there any moments that are your favourite to capture?

I am a person in awe of diverse human relationships. A wedding is a prime example of celebrating the joy of human relationships, and I love to capture them the most.

A wedding is two people in love starting a journey of lifetime companionship, and their families coming together to celebrate this sacred union. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to experience the beauty of human relationships. I get to capture myriad of emotions from laughter, shy smiles, subtle romantic moments, tears of joy and ecstasy. So many human emotions are floating in front of our camera, and no matter how much you capture it, you still want to witness more and more. And when people trust you so much that they give you the opportunity to document their life, you won’t want to miss any of those.

I love to capture every ceremony of weddings but capturing the fun of haldi ceremonies is so much fun. The madness and fun this ceremony unfolds are amazing. It brings out a totally different side of people involved as it relieves the entire hustle-bustle of the wedding. The entire atmosphere gets filled with tons of positive energy and full-of-life emotions. People purely enjoy, laugh and have fun during this ceremony!

Tell us your thoughts on wedding photography as an art vs as a business?

I believe art is being used in different spaces/ industries and definitely with a purpose. Apple brought art into technology products and the purpose was to make gadgets look more attractive & hassle-free; movie industry tells stories with a purpose of entertaining and spreading learning, and there are so many similar examples we can quote. As a ‘Wedding Photographer’ we tell stories through images and our art has a purpose of bringing happiness and creating long-lasting memories for people.

Wedding photography is 20% photography and 80% business. Its business part spans from building up a brand to marketing yourself to get more clients, client meetings, strategic collaborations, and partnerships with other service providers, managing finances, inventory management, and planning expansion. But the main purpose of doing all this is to create beautiful and meaningful images for the clients.

With the increase in wedding photography conferences and workshops over the past few years, what do you think has been the impact on the industry and on the practicing wedding photographers?

Photography involves a lot of learning. There are so many things from using the light, to composition, to editing to your pictures in the right way so that they communicate exactly what you want them to. The business side of wedding photography needs proper techniques and skills to overall growth as a brand.

With mediums like YouTube, you can learn a lot of things about both artistic & business aspects of running a successful wedding photography business. However, the conferences and workshop make all this knowledge available to you in a more structured and streamlined manner. Learning from people with more exposure, years of experience and learning can save you from getting lost amid loads of information available online and at the same time gain from their experiences as well. Information is out there but what to do with that information on the ground level is something only such platforms can provide.

With PEP summit and Silk Inspire, we now can meet top internationally acclaimed photographers here in India and can learn from them. These are the people who are doing great work and the whole world looks up to them to interact and learn.

Also, photography is a lonely profession if you shoot alone or don’t have an in-house team. These platforms give the opportunity to meet industry peers, network, learn and share knowledge. ‘We are the average of 5 people we spend our most time with’ and these conferences give us the opportunity to build new connections. We then get to interact with a lot of fellow artists and understand different styles of working, business and it is definitely a great opportunity to make long-lasting friendships built on sharing ideas and learning together.

We are living in a very good time per se for the photography industry. I believe this is still an initial stage for us as an industry and getting exposure like this will surely help us grow and gain better footing to compete at International levels. Eventually, if each one of us can up our skills it will help the whole industry to grow and excel. And not to forget the end purpose, first hand learning from the great masters will help us create better output and provide a better experience to our clients.

I would call these conferences ‘the hostel life of Indian artists’, you learn, share and grow together!

Tell us about your photography inspirations, wedding or otherwise?

My first encounter with images that capture the timelessness of life was through the National Geographic Magazines. So, I would say the idea ‘become a photographer and tell stories’ came from NGC.

Personally, I am a big fan of Steve McCurry’s work. I am also a huge admirer of Christopher Nolan’s philosophical style of storytelling. In the wedding space, the work of Two Mann Studios is my favourite. The way they use light and shadows to create compelling images is beyond words.

What’s on your Goal List for wedding photography this year?

Well, for this year I would want to create as many awesome pictures as I can and continue to capture beautiful memories for the people.

We have also ventured into commercial advertising now. So growing in that space along with covering meaningful wedding work is what we are aiming for this year. I hope someday we can touch as many lives like Apple’s ‘Think Different’ campaign did.

A business is truly isn’t a business until it can’t work and grow on itself. So, building and growing into an artistic agency which can tell stories and touch lives is my dream for IG Photo and Films.

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See more of Inderjeet’s work on his WPAI profile page or his Instagram page.

 

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Starting a Wedding Photography Business: Things to Keep in Mind https://www.wpai.in/blogs/starting-a-wedding-photography-business/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/starting-a-wedding-photography-business/#respond Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:17:05 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3066 All you need to know if you’re considering starting your own wedding photography business Over the past couple of years, the wedding photography industry in India has been booming – there are more wedding photographers today than ever. Some still moonlight as wedding photographers while holding on to their day jobs whereas many others have … Continue reading "Starting a Wedding Photography Business: Things to Keep in Mind"

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All you need to know if you’re considering starting your own wedding photography business

Over the past couple of years, the wedding photography industry in India has been booming – there are more wedding photographers today than ever. Some still moonlight as wedding photographers while holding on to their day jobs whereas many others have full-fledged businesses. If you’re one of the former – whether you’re a second shooter or a freelancer – this article is for you. We are sure you’ve thought about going full time and starting your own business more than once. But while it may be tempting to go pro, starting your own business is not something that can be taken lightly. There are tons of things to consider before you take the plunge and, lucky for you, we’ve put them all in a handy-dandy list. So here are some of the things that you should keep in mind if you’re thinking about starting your wedding photography business.

Image by Ranjan Zingade

#1 Do it for the right reasons

Having spoken to a lot of young and emerging wedding photographers, we’ve gathered that the reasons to want to become a wedding photographer are many – ranging from the perceptions of glamour to easy money, hobnobbing with celebrities to travelling to exotic locations are just a few of them. Whatever your reasons are, be confident that there’s enough substance in them – a successful wedding photography business requires all that a regular business does and more. It’s extremely extremely hard work to manage everything from client acquisition to team management, marketing to finances. So you have to be absolutely sure you’re doing it because of your love for photography and, more specifically, for wedding photography as a craft.

Before venturing straight into it, it would be a good idea to gain experience first. Spend some time freelancing as a second shooter with a company or a well-known independent photographer. It’s essential to be confident that you enjoy wedding photography enough to make a business of it and also to understand what it takes to be a full-time photographer. Use this time to decide what kind of weddings you like shooting the most and the kind of images you desire to make.

Image by Pramod Mitta

#2 Have a business plan

Then you need to get down to brass tacks – a business plan to list out how you plan to attract clients to your work; how you plan to market your brand and yourself. Do you have a strong enough portfolio to show clients once they come to you? What about the expenses of high-quality equipment, skilled team members and office space?

A professional photographer should have a studio/office space they can invite clients to. A meeting at Starbucks doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Most importantly, you should have the tools of your trade. Cameras, memory cards, editing software and monitors, hard drives etc, you need to have all of these.

Now whether you plan to buy some and hire others, buy all, or hire everything, that’s your call. But you need to know the answers to these. And before you quit your job, do you have the capital to sustain yourself and your business in the first few months? Until the assignments and the money from those assignments pour in, you’re on your own.

Image by Satya Nayak

#3 You WILL need help

No matter what kind of a business plan you make for yourself, remember that you will need people to help execute the cycle – from client acquisition to delivery. Deciding to have freelance or full-time photographers as a part of your team is only one of the staffing decisions you’ll have to make. You’ll need to think about team members to handle sales and marketing, photo editing, album-designing, accounting and so on. Trust us, it isn’t possible to function at full power all the time – you won’t be able to do all the above consistently and well all by yourself and still maintain your creative sanity. So plan to outsource and/or hire and delegate parts of the job to increase your efficiency and output.

Image by Prashant Nahata

#4 It’s time to pull up your socks

If you really want to do this, you can’t think of photography as a hobby or something that you do part-time. It’s important to enjoy what you do for a living but it needs to be more than fun and games. And if you’re seriously serious (ha!), then you need to do all the things it takes to be seen as a credible, formal and professional business – brand name, business registration, taxes and all the other legalese becomes an important part of your business identity.

Plan for all kinds of contingencies. Who will be your back-up in case your second shooter cancels? Is your data backed up to three storage devices? What will you do if you pass the deadline for a delivery? What happens if your camera/memory card/battery malfunctions in the middle of a wedding?

The reason we’re asking you to ask these questions is that you are considering transitioning from a freelance status to that of a business owner – as a commercial wedding photographer, you will be answerable to your clients. They will monetarily commission you for an assignment and will have every right to have expectations and question you, or hold you to your promised deliverables.

Image by Aditya Marathe

#5 You need to sell

As an artist or a photography enthusiast, you have all the freedom to take photos however you want because you are doing it on your own time and money. But if you want to make a living off taking wedding photographs, you need to do work that will sell. Whether you follow the current trends or set your own, the point is that the saleability of your work is of prime importance. You will need to find the right clientele for yourself, understand what they expect from their wedding photos and commit yourself to delivering what they want to ensure that you have delighted customers who will be happy to refer you to their friends and family.

Now don’t misunderstand us – we’re not saying that you need to tamp down on your creativity and free thinking just to do work that sells. In an ideal world, you should be able to strike a healthy balance. Shoot a good mix of photographs that make, both, you and your client happy and proud.

Image by Rahul Shah

#6 Don’t fall into the social media trap

We know it’s important to maintain a strong social media presence today – after all, it is one of the strongest marketing tools that we have at our disposal. But while you do that, don’t lose sight of your goals and aspirations. It is no doubt extremely flattering to get thousands of likes on your pictures. It’s a huge ego boost, we admit it too! But don’t get complacent with social media fame or bogged down by criticism from peers online. Highs and lows in that respect are very common and should not dictate the kind of work that you do.

Remember what got you into this field – we’re very sure it isn’t simply Facebook likes because in that case, you’re definitely getting into the wrong business! Keep striving to be better and constantly challenge yourself. If you feel your creative juices ebbing, take inspiration from other works of art, not limited to photography. Don’t fall into the trap of trending or popular images, but rather work towards technically and aesthetically strong images. It’s important to keep raising the bar for yourself to be able to stay ahead of the pack.

Image by Prasheila Lookhar

#7 You steer your own car now

With great power comes great responsibility. You thought not getting bossed around would be the dream? Now, you have to be your own boss too. There are plenty of pros and cons of being your own boss. On the one hand, it means that you have a whole lot of freedom and can control every aspect of your business (read do whatever the hell you want), but you also have to be the one to get things done. The rewards and pitfalls will, both, be of your own making! It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time, but we’re very sure you’re going to make it!

Image by Chetana Bhatt

From experience, we want you to know that there will be times when all the tasks will seem overwhelming and you will want to give up. There will also be days when you curse the day you decided to become a professional wedding photographer. As hard as you try to plan and have contingencies, somewhere, somehow and sometimes, things will go wrong. But it is exactly in these times that you have to stay strong and persevere.

Rather than discourage you, we want to familiarise you with all the things you should know. The things that some of us wish were told to us when we decided to go pro and take the plunge.

If you remember only one thing from this post, remember this: There is no right and wrong way to start out your own wedding photography business. You just need to find the right way for you. And we are here to help you, as a community and as a support system. 

Are you planning to make the big jump? We’d love to answer any questions you might have. And if you’re someone who has already gone through the growing pains, do tell us about your experience! We’d love to hear from you.

Cover Image Credit: Ravi Mistry

 

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Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer https://www.wpai.in/blogs/questions-you-should-ask-before-hiring-your-wedding-photographer/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/questions-you-should-ask-before-hiring-your-wedding-photographer/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2018 20:06:45 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=3051 Choosing a wedding photographer best suited to you made easy with a few questions Picture this. It’s your wedding in a few months. The date is decided, the venue is booked, the catering is done, you’ve chosen your wedding dress, the decor, entertainment, everything is checked. Now all that is left is to find the … Continue reading "Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer"

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Choosing a wedding photographer best suited to you made easy with a few questions

Picture this. It’s your wedding in a few months. The date is decided, the venue is booked, the catering is done, you’ve chosen your wedding dress, the decor, entertainment, everything is checked. Now all that is left is to find the right wedding photographer to capture all those important details  – the one remaining important decision for your big day.

Sounds easy, right? Well… There’s a little more to it than just making a few phone calls. Your wedding day deserves to be captured in the most beautiful pictures. And for that, you need a wedding photographer you know, like and trust.

As wedding photographers, we like to think that we are the most important decision you make for the wedding. After all, once the food is eaten and the decorations taken down, what remains is the memories we capture for you. More importantly, we are going to be the one constant presence beside you during all the events. So it’s not only important that you feel comfortable with us, but also that we gel with you as well. The relationship street needs to work both ways for a successful wedding assignment. As important as it is for you to find a photographer who you like, it’s equally significant that we work with a client we connect with.

All the wedding portals will tell you numerous things you need to clarify before hiring a photographer, many of them quite empirical. But to be honest, no one can tell you what you need to know better than us. Remember, we WANT the perfect fit with you as much as you want it with us! The fact of the matter is that there are fabulous wedding photographers in India available across price points, what differs is personal style and approach to work. So grilling us only about our price and number of photos is not a fair way of making your decision. We’d like you to ask us about our style, our personality, what we bring to you and what kind of people we are! We’re here to help you with the right questions that will help you ensure that we’re the right fit for each other.

Image by Abhimanyu Sharma

#1 Ask us what kind of style and approach we follow

Every wedding photographer has a style and method of working they follow. There is no right or wrong – just a personal, creative style and approach. It’s important to find the one that works for you so that correct expectations are set right at the beginning. Some terms you may hear are photojournalistic, documentary, or candid etc. Don’t be bogged down by technical terms – simply request the photographers to demonstrate their style pictorially and talk you through their work.

Talk about how they approach a wedding day typically and what that will mean in terms of shooting your wedding. Do they largely work unobtrusively, behind the scenes or give directions to set frames? It’s important that their style and approach matches what you and your fiancé want from your wedding pictures. For example, if your focus is grand environmental portraits or if it is more along the lines of raw, emotional moments, it would be a better fit for you to choose a photographer who specialises in that kind of work. If you hire a fabulous portrait photographer for documentary, emotional moments, then you’re not thinking your decision through.

Image by Manan Shah

#2 Ask us who will be shooting your wedding

It is extremely important that you ask us this question initially, because like we said it’s all about expectations. If the photographer you’re speaking with is an independent professional and works alone, then you’ve got your answer. But if you happen to be speaking to a photography company or a studio, then it’s important to ask who exactly will be holding that camera when you are getting hitched. This is important because we’d hate to have our clients misunderstand this part – are you booking the primary photographer or the team?

Another reason why it’s important to know who will shoot your wedding is budget – photography companies often have differential pricing based on who the team-lead is. A well-managed, professional wedding company will have excellent photographers across price points, but it is important for you to understand the difference so you can decide whose style and budget match yours.

Image by Pranesh Padmanabhan

#3 Ask us if our packages are flexible

Once again, we’re back to the matter of expectations. Like we said earlier, price and number of deliverables should not be the primary deciding factors, but it is good to have all these details laid out on the table at the beginning to avoid confusion later. More importantly, it is important to ask how flexible the packages are – not from a negotiation point-of-view but, rather, to include/exclude elements which apply or do not apply to your wedding. We all know and understand that every wedding is unique and being able to take that into consideration while building a customised package for you is always a good thing. All photographers hate starting a conversation with price; we’re hoping you have a budget set beforehand which is a filter you used to reach out to us in the first place!

Image by Sagarneel Biswas

#4 Ask us about our pricing models and overtime charges

There are generally two ways photographers work. One is the day-wise pricing model (small and/or big functions priced equally and charged by the full day) while the other is decided by the size and time span of each function. Neither is right or wrong – it is what works for the photographer. What you need to consider is which works for you, basis the size and scale of your wedding.

Most Indian weddings are chaotic and tend to run over schedule, whether you realise it at this point or not. It is important to ask at this point whether the photographer has any time restrictions or overtime charges in this case – many of us charge an extra fee for the extra effort and it is important for you to be prepared and have your expectations set right in the beginning.

Image by Ankit Goel

#5 Ask us to share a full set of wedding pictures

It is only natural that most photographers present a well thought out, tightly curated set of photos on their portfolio. But for you to understand whether a photographer is the right fit, it is not a bad idea to ask for a slightly more expanded collection from any one wedding – either as an album or as an online gallery. This will give you a sense of the approach towards all kinds of functions and events at a wedding – grand or personal, crowded or intimate, crazy fun or emotional.

Image by Soundarya Murugaiyan

#6 Ask us how long after your wedding will you get your photos

Most photographers have a standard timeline as far as photo delivery is concerned. They all work in their own way and it would not be fair to compare or use that point as leverage to decide between two photographers. But it is very important to be prepared for that timeline – we know it can be hard to wait for your wedding pictures to come through. But, more often than not, it will be worth it.

Image by Shreya Sen

#7 Ask us about our T&Cs and contracts

Most professional wedding photographers would have a standard contract for every wedding assignment, customisable to your wedding functions if required. It is designed to protect both – you and the photographer. It lays down all the terms and conditions in black and white and makes your agreement formal. If at this point, there is still any question troubling you, this is the best time to get it out. Remember that contracts are all about safeguarding you as much as it about safeguarding us!

As wedding photographers, we are all professionals and have the best interest of the assignment at heart. We want as fabulous an outcome to your wedding photos as you do and will help answer any questions you may have before signing on the dotted line. So ask away and then sign up one of us already!

Image by Sourav Paul

We are sure that we’ve given you a lot to think about. But don’t worry. Don’t let the number of options daunt you. Ask all the right questions and leave the final decision to your gut – choose the one photographer or team that you feel that you can connect with and relate to the most. Because after you’ve sorted out the finer details, your comfort with your photographer will show in your fabulous photographs. It will bring out the best of you in your wedding photos.

We’d love to know what made you choose your wedding photographer. Let us know in the comments!

 

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Tips to Deal with Difficult Clients https://www.wpai.in/blogs/tips-to-deal-with-difficult-clients/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/tips-to-deal-with-difficult-clients/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:13:13 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2582 Work towards a better client experience and successful business with these tips As wedding photographers, we put our heart and soul into our work. We work odd and long hours, take flights at ungodly hours and are always on our feet to make sure that our couples get the most beautiful memories of their special … Continue reading "Tips to Deal with Difficult Clients"

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Work towards a better client experience and successful business with these tips

As wedding photographers, we put our heart and soul into our work. We work odd and long hours, take flights at ungodly hours and are always on our feet to make sure that our couples get the most beautiful memories of their special day. In a perfect world, the client will always be happy with our work, understand the contract and be satisfied with the deliverables. But anyone who has ever worked in client servicing or had to deal with clients will tell you that people are not always rainbows and sunshine. If you’re a wedding photographer, you’ve definitely come across clients who didn’t make things any easier for you. Difficult clients are an occupational hazard and are a part and parcel of our profession. The key to a good wedding photography business is working around that and finding ways to keep them happy and satisfied.

We’ve got a few pointers for you to keep in mind when dealing with a client who just can’t be pleased!

#1 Be patient

We know it’s hard to keep your cool when someone else is beating down on you. But if you take a few calm breaths, count to 10 and then respond, trust us, it’ll work out in your favour. At no point should you immediately respond to a complaint or a negative feedback. We understand that any form of criticism is hurtful. But keep in mind that it’s not a personal attack from the client. Keep that instinct to defend yourself at bay, and just wait it out. You will gain nothing by trying to reason with a hot-headed client. Wait for them to finish their rant and then proceed as rationally and calmly as you can.

Image by Soundarya Murugaiyan

#2 Listen to understand, not respond

Maybe the client’s point is valid, or maybe it is absolutely unreasonable. But you will only find out if you hear them out fully and try to understand their point of view. Do not interrupt them in between. Acknowledge their point of view. If they feel like you’re dismissing their issues, it’ll only aggravate them more. And, most importantly, don’t start formulating responses while they are talking, because then you’re not fully listening are you? In fact, it’s a good idea to take notes so that you have all the key points of complaint in front of you.

Once your client has calmed down, you can review each point and respond suitably to each, trying to find a solution to each of the grievances – the goal is to have happy clients and there is no merit in allowing a situation to get ugly. Even if you’ve done the best work of your career thus far, but the client who paid you for the job hasn’t got what they expected, then it’s not really a win. Is it?

Image by Prashaunth Jagannathan

#3 Don’t lose control

If a client is using inappropriate language, making personal attacks or screaming, don’t take the bait. Don’t engage in a screaming match with them and don’t play the blame game. It will not help if your behaviour and reaction starts to deteriorate as well, because there’s no scope for a resolution in that case.

If you’re on the phone, suggest talking at a later time. If this happens to you in a face-to-face meeting, offer them water and leave them to cool down. Walk away and give yourself a few minutes to shake it off as well. It can be incredibly easy to mirror their actions and blow off some steam. But how you respond reflects on you and your brand. Even if you were in the right, the client will only remember how you acted. Their re-telling of the story to other people will only paint you as an unprofessional. And you don’t need to give an aggrieved client more reasons to bad-mouth you, on social media or otherwise.

Image by Aditya Marathe

#4 Be polite but don’t back down

If you made good on your side of the deal, stand your ground. You might be tempted to give in if the client is particularly troublesome. But stay firm. If they know they’re wrong and see you holding your ground, they will accede too. Make sure you have all the facts in front of you when you’re talking and calmly point out that you’ve fulfilled all the points of the contract.

For example, maybe they’re asking for something that is not detailed out in the contract like extra albums or extra photos. Be calm and direct about the fact that all deliverables under their budget were discussed clearly and delivered as promised. But if they would like to add on some extras now (wherever possible), they can pay the difference and have access to more album copies or prints.

Image by Pon Prabakaran

#5 Work towards a solution

No matter who was at fault, it is important that they walk away happy and satisfied. We don’t believe in the saying that “any publicity is good publicity”. As professional wedding photographers, we integrate into the couples’ families while we shoot. It is important to be seen as dignified, reliable and trustworthy; worthy of being allowed into the family inner circle. For this reason, your reputation as a professional should not be marred – only good publicity and praise from clients will do!

If it’s possible for you, throw in something extra – an extra post-wedding portrait session or a framed print. If a bride is not quite satisfied with her wedding pictures, a reshoot offer is redundant. However, you can offer to sit with her to identify what specifically she doesn’t like and maybe try different criteria for selection or a different style of edit to make the set more to her liking.

But don’t promise something or offer a solution you cannot deliver on just because you want them to calm down. It will come back to bite you.

Image by Shiv Sharma

Like for any situation, prevention is always a better option than the cure. Wouldn’t it be better if you took a few necessary steps to avoid a problem in the beginning? If you feel like there is a disparity between your offer and the client’s expectations, don’t hesitate to set them right in the beginning. Sit them down and make sure they understand the terms of the contract. Let them know what to expect in the budget they have decided. Interact with your couple, get to know them so that you can marry your style with what they want in the images. If you feel like it isn’t a good match and there could be hassles later on, politely decline the business. Recommend another peer whose style and budget would be better suited to their demands.

Despite everything, if the same or similar complaints keep cropping up from different clients, then we recommend that you take a good look at your business model and work system.

Even after you’ve done everything possible to avoid an altercation, it could still happen. So do your best and if all still fails, remember to let it go and don’t hold a grudge.

We hope these tips and tricks have been useful to you. Have any advice on how to better deal with tough clients? Share your experiences with us!

 

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5 Things to Consider While Choosing a Second Shooter https://www.wpai.in/blogs/choosing-a-second-shooter/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/choosing-a-second-shooter/#respond Wed, 14 Feb 2018 06:51:27 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2966 Some tips to help you find the second shooter best suited to your style and work You know how much we love to talk about the evolution of wedding photography – the style, the method, the technology and the budgets. Inspired by trends and methodology in the West, much has changed over the past decade … Continue reading "5 Things to Consider While Choosing a Second Shooter"

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Some tips to help you find the second shooter best suited to your style and work

You know how much we love to talk about the evolution of wedding photography – the style, the method, the technology and the budgets. Inspired by trends and methodology in the West, much has changed over the past decade but so much is also just the same. Although young couples now prefer a more candid and documentary style of wedding photography, there are still those in their respective families who still prefer the older way of smile-pose-click approach. So essentially a complete, well-rounded wedding photography assignment is now a mixture of both candid/ documentary and posed photos.

The increased awareness of clients and the numerous opportunities in the field have paved the way for so much talent in the industry – some working solo, some with ad-hoc or project-based teams and others with full-fledged photography companies that employ an in-house team of photographers, editors, marketing and client servicing professionals. If you fall into the second category, i.e. you’re the talent as a solo practitioner but would like to give your clients a more comprehensive service package which can cover all functions, take care of shooting from both sides, handle family and group pictures in addition to focusing on the candid/documentary side of things, then hiring second and third shooters on a project basis is your only recourse!

Choosing a good second shooter will go a long way in improving your business as a professional. They will literally be your right hand at the wedding, as your support system as well as your back-up in case of emergency. And we’ve got the lowdown for you on how to choose the right second shooter.

Image by Kartik Jasti

#1 Be clear about your expectations from the start

First of all, what are you looking for in a second shooter? Do you need someone to shoot family and group photos? Are you looking for someone who’s style of candid/documentary photography is an extension of yours?  Perhaps you want someone who can focus on details while you focus on the grand shots. Or someone who can take family candids while you’re shooting bridal portraits. In addition to your personal style, what is your client looking for? Depending on all of this, you will have a profile for your search.

Once you’ve finalised a photographer based on the above, be straightforward about your expectations from them. Tell them about your method of working and how and where you want them during the wedding. Establishing clear guidelines beforehand will help avoid any clashes later on.

Image by Ravi Mistry

#2 Look for style and skill

Dig thoroughly through their portfolios/websites. Identify profiles whose style and skill compliment your work. But at the same time, look for someone who has their own unique style and does not just mimic photos. The purpose of hiring a second shooter is to get a more comprehensive story of a wedding, not someone who will try to duplicate just what you are doing.

It’s also important to gauge whether you can leave them alone to capture a particular moment/event at the wedding. If there are two different events of the same wedding taking place simultaneously (for example, Bride Haldi & Groom Haldi taking place at the same time in different locations), can your second shooter handle being on their own? You don’t want a nervous shadow over your shoulder at all times at an event. Recommendations from peers are a great resource when looking for second shooters. If they’ve previously worked with someone you know, give your acquaintance a call and ask about their skills.

Image by Ankit Goel

#3 Do you feel like you can rely on them?

You cannot discount reliability over skills. A fabulous second shooter is no good if he/she doesn’t turn up on time for a shoot. Having a second shooter means that they share some of the responsibility of the wedding. You should be able to trust them to be committed to your project and deliver. Ask yourself these questions before: Do you think they would be on time? Do you trust them to give you the quality of images you are expecting? Do you trust them to be your partner for the shoot?

It is also important to find someone who has enough experience to understand the importance of data management. We’ve all had data mishaps in our early, inexperienced days – loss of data, overwriting, duplicating, misnaming of files and so on. So it’s not foolhardy to take precautions and set guidelines to ensure your second shooters treat data with the same respect that you do. The second set of hands should help you stay ahead of these problems rather than cause them.

Image by Ranjan Zingade

#4 Does their work ethic shine through?

There is a fine line between the second shooter and lead photographer. Make it clear to them that the ownership of images lies with the lead photographer. Work out an arrangement that works for both of you. You don’t want them sharing images on their social media before you even deliver them to your client!

Clarify with the second shooter that they are working to represent you or your brand. It won’t be prudent that your second go around handing his/her own cards at the wedding, or acting like he/she is the boss. It would be best not to assume that all second shooters are already aware of the roles and responsibilities, so don’t be afraid to be direct and define them. You should try and understand the motivation behind a prospective second shooter’s desire to work with you – is it fuelled by a desire to capture and deliver quality images or simply the allure of travel and lifestyle that is a part and parcel of the work that your brand does?

Image by Sourav Paul

#5 Can you afford them?

While there can be subjectivity in style and skill of the second shooter, there is no standardised rate card for them. So it all boils down to what you can afford, within the budgets you have set aside for external resources. There are good, better and great freelance photographers out there and they all charge differently basis talent, skill, experience and location (freelancers based in some cities could be priced higher than others).

Based on the kind of style and skill you’re looking for and the budget you have available to you, the pool to choose from will automatically narrow down for you. There could be disparities between what you and other companies/photographers are offering but don’t worry about matching any rates. Find out what works for you and let their skill, talent and reliability dictate your offer.

Image by Satya Nayak

These are just a few things you should keep in mind. There are obviously no rigid rules when it comes to choosing what or who works best for you. It’s a trial and error process and you need to find what works for you and your brand. We would recommend that you do your due diligence and find 3-4 people who work best with you and keep them on your speed dial. If you have confidence in your second shooters and have a good working relationship with them, it will show in your work.

Do you have any other advice for choosing a second shooter? Let us know in the comments.

Cover Image Credit: Sowmya Mense 

 

 

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5 Good Habits for Wedding Photography Beginners https://www.wpai.in/blogs/good-habits-for-wedding-photography-beginners/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/good-habits-for-wedding-photography-beginners/#respond Fri, 09 Feb 2018 05:46:29 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2959 Good photography practices for beginners to adopt when starting out Wedding photographers often get asked about their success secrets. People want to know about their practices, the gear they use, tips and tricks for getting better photos, and so on. But in simple words, it sounds like an easy job, right? Just capture a few … Continue reading "5 Good Habits for Wedding Photography Beginners"

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Good photography practices for beginners to adopt when starting out

Wedding photographers often get asked about their success secrets. People want to know about their practices, the gear they use, tips and tricks for getting better photos, and so on. But in simple words, it sounds like an easy job, right? Just capture a few pretty pictures and you’re good to go. But wedding photography is a lot harder than you think. It requires a photographer to be skilled in almost every genre of photography – environment, portraiture, fashion, action shots, landscape and so much more. The goal is not to walk away with just a few pretty pictures; any amateur can get lucky a couple of times. The challenge is to consistently deliver a full set of good images wedding after wedding. As professionals, it is important for you to deliver the quality of pictures that the client expects from you. Your reputation depends on it.

Image by Pramod Mitta

It can be a difficult task for beginner’s to cover their initial weddings seamlessly. To help you with that, we’ve listed out a few best practices to maximise what you want to get out of a wedding. These few tips will definitely help you smoothly sail the chaos that is Indian weddings.

#1 Set the expectations right

In the very first conversation with a prospective client, set some expectations on both sides. Be very clear about your style of photography and what you will deliver. Make sure that what the client wants and what you can deliver are in the same ballpark. If they ask something of you that you’re not sure about or haven’t done before, tell them honestly. It is also absolutely okay to say no at the cost of losing an assignment than having the client disappointed or disgruntled in your work later on. One bad word could mar your reputation and jeopardise potential future assignments.

Image by Sowmya Mense

#2 Preparation is key

This is perhaps the most important of all. We cannot stress enough about the significance of knowing what is happening where and when! You HAVE to familiarise yourself with the itinerary of all wedding events, highlights and programmes scheduled so that you can be at the right place at the right time. Also, get a list of all the important people from the couple and make sure you don’t miss them. You should have shots of all the people that the couple expects in your delivery – from close family members and best friends to the drunk uncle and the talkative Dimpy aunty!

It also helps to have a personalised must-have shot-list. Keep a mental list of shots that you definitely have to get on the wedding day. Portraits, candids, action shots, family photos, details – anything that is your and the client’s priority. You should also talk to the client and have one person to coordinate with from the family – they can help inform you about any changes in events or locate people during functions.

Image by Purushottam Deb

#3 Be professional

It is extremely important for you to be on time for all events – whether they actually start on time or not. If you said you’d be there to cover 6 events, make sure that you’re present for all 6 of them. Even if a family member asks you to take a picture with their phone, keep your cool. Setting a firm but polite tone of behaviour will definitely work in your favour.

Establish a relationship with your client as well as their close family and friends. This will help get you access to intimate moments and even introverts will feel comfortable in front of the camera. Just a smile, a hello or a small introduction will do wonders in getting them to relax around you! But also remember that you’re not a guest or a family member. Be friendly but not intrusive. Maintain professional decorum with the guests.

Professional behaviour does not apply only at the actual wedding, but also after it. Be true to your word and deliver pictures on the date you promised to your client. If you realise that you will not be able to deliver on time, be honest. Call them up, tell them and apologise for the inconvenience. But wouldn’t it be better to set a realistic timeline in the beginning itself?

Image by Anbu Jawahar

#4 Dress for the occasion

This might not be high up on your priority list when thinking about shooting a wedding, but it is nevertheless important. How you dress is a reflection of your personality and your brand. It is a great way to blend in amongst the wedding guests and get your perfect candid shot! Dress smart but functional, and make sure you’re appropriately dressed for the event. You don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb in formals for a pool-party or dress casually for a super-formal wedding event. If you’re having trouble deciding what to wear, read our blog post on dressing guide for shooting at a wedding, where we go into detail about style guide for wedding photographers.

Image by Lakshya Chawla

#5 Be adventurous but don’t interrupt

Once you’ve got your shots from the must-have list, don’t be afraid to experiment or try new things. Get down on the ground, climb up a ledge, be creative, try a different perspective. Try and get at least one portfolio worthy shot from each wedding. Use unconventional angles, reflections, props, dramatic lighting and anything else that strikes your fancy — and don’t be afraid to be bold. But at the same time, don’t interrupt the rituals. You should know when to keep your distance and be respectful of the wedding.

Image by Rahul Shah

No one can be perfect in their first assignment, even seasoned wedding photographers make mistakes. So it is extremely important to remember that every assignment is a new opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Try and aim to learn or do something new at every wedding. Keep a note of what went wrong and how you can get past the hurdle next time. And lastly, don’t forget to have fun.  Weddings are heartfelt and wonderful celebrations of love. Join in the fun and relax!

Cover Photo Credit: Akshay Sansare Photography & Films

 

 

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Artist Spotlight – Shreya Sen https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-shreya-sen/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-shreya-sen/#respond Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:02:56 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2902 In conversation with Mumbai-based wedding photographer Shreya Sen Being a photographer wasn’t part of Shreya’s plan. Her life was on track to become a psychologist. She was pursuing her Masters at John Hopkins when a few disheartening aspects of the profession led her to leave her studies. However, her penchant for observing people and studying … Continue reading "Artist Spotlight – Shreya Sen"

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In conversation with Mumbai-based wedding photographer Shreya Sen


Being a photographer wasn’t part of Shreya’s plan. Her life was on track to become a psychologist. She was pursuing her Masters at John Hopkins when a few disheartening aspects of the profession led her to leave her studies. However, her penchant for observing people and studying human emotions drew her towards photography. Her love for human interaction found a creative outlet in photography, and capturing precious moments in people’s lives became her passion.

Almost 6-7 years later, today, she has made her mark in the Indian wedding photography field. Her work is driven by an understanding of the importance of real moments and the desire to make pictures that can be passed down for generations.This conversation is an attempt to get to know more about the person behind the beautiful images.

Do you think your background in psychology has helped you as a wedding photographer?

Photography was an extension of my purpose, to do something meaningful for others. I do think my background in psychology has helped me in the obvious sense of being observant, anticipating and capturing the smaller subtle emotions during weddings. More than that, I feel it has equipped me with the most important tool of ‘empathy’ which is crucial in photographing weddings. One has to understand weddings tend to be chaotic and stressful where emotions are all over the place from overwhelming joy to anxiety to tears. Within that, a lot of my brides and their families often tell me that my calm disposition was a refreshing relief and it has definitely added to the customer experience for my clients.

Is it important to be involved and get to know the client closely to create good images?

I absolutely believe it is extremely important to get to know the client to create images that feel personal for them. As a lifestyle photographer, we are not just shooting an event in a person’s life, we are responsible to give them memories that carry their personality. I also take photography as an opportunity to give clients something tangible, that holds that abstract feeling of a moment and the bonds they share with their loved one. This is an extremely intimate space and to create these intimate images that transcend poses and carry something more, it often requires the client to trust you and allow you into their personal space. It requires establishing a comfort level where the client can get out of their own head and give into the moment as if the photographer does not exist. That is when the real meaningful images happen. Since my goal has always been to create classic images that carry authentic real emotions, establishing that comfort level has become a crucial part of that workflow.

Why do you think capturing real and intimate moments are so important?

With the danger of sounding extremely dramatic, due to certain experiences in my life of having lost family and loved ones, I personally believe that the only thing that truly holds value in this life is family, love and the experiences we have with them. These bonds will define us and at times break us when we lose them. Photographs are almost time capsules that we can keep coming back to. They can be our triggers that make us smile, laugh, reminisce, they motivate us, drive us to action, immortalise an emotion and an event, document our history; and at some point make us realise the value family, memories & these relationships have in our lives. Hence I treat photographs with my clients almost like heirloom jewellery that have to be taken with care, that often go beyond me as an artist, that have to taken with integrity, simplicity and grace so that they can be handed down through generations.

You have spoken about getting to know your client personally, and conceptualising their pre-wedding shoots around their personalities. Tell us about one such shoot that you loved planning and executing?

One of the couple shoots I had planned was a message in a bottle concept, where the couple had to write notes to each other without sharing, prior to the shoot. Then we put the notes in bottles and placed them in the sand on a beach.

Each of them had to pick a note and read it aloud to each other. The reactions were spontaneous and really sweet. The groom loved planning things so the whole step by step process of the shoot was a true reflection of their dynamic and he had also proposed in Goa on a beach, so it aligned with their story. The experience of the shoot itself became memorable for them.

It is close to my heart because I had not anticipated their reaction to the messages and though usually pre-wedding shoots tend to feel contrived this felt real and true to what they felt at that moment.

Tell us about a piece of work or a shoot that you are most proud of?

Last year I shot a Parsi family where I got to photograph 4 generations, including the client’s grandmom, her mom and her son. The family was a typical cacophonic Indian family – bickering, mocking and teasing each other. Indian families, mostly of an older generation, find it difficult to openly display their affection and love. At one point I asked the clients son to hug his great grandmom and it was the sweetest moment, she teared up quietly and you could feel every bit of love in that moment. My client called me a few months later that her grandmom passed away and thanked me for the special memories I had captured for them. When I opened up the folder and saw that image again, I remember tearing up and smiling. I think at that point, I understood the significance and importance of what I did.

Do you think being a female wedding photographer gives you an edge in capturing certain moments during a wedding?

At one point I did believe that I had that advantage as a female photographer to capture the intimate getting ready moments. However, I do believe that if photographers establish that comfort level with their client prior to the wedding and the bride becomes your friend rather than a client then gender should not matter in getting ready images. The advantage female photographers have is that we probably appreciate details such as jewellery, lehengas, shoes and designers better, and are able to understand the significance of those details for the bride. Often you end up complimenting moms, aunties and bridesmaids during the wedding, and they end up being ‘one of the girls’ which often results in more relaxed natural photographs. Also during couple shoots, while posing couples, it is often easier as a woman to break their personal space without them feeling uncomfortable.

You are also a maternity photographer. What do you love about shooting expecting mothers?

I love a sense of calm a lot of moms-to-be have in their last months of pregnancy. You sense that this is the time that moms share this indescribable unconditional love with their little one which is only hers. It is like entering a room filled with this tenderness and anticipation, and as a photographer, you know you are shooting the first page of this little human’s story.

Tell us about the people or work that inspire you.

My biggest inspiration has been my mentor R. Burman. I learnt everything about photography and aesthetics from working with him. Being influenced heavily by fashion and editorial photography, I love the classic style portraits of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn & Peter Lindbergh to name a few. Prabhudu Dasgupta’s work is pure visual poetry for me and now Bikramjit Bose. Apart from him, I’ve always loved Raghu Rai’s photographs and how he layers his images and the way he aligns the chaos in India like a beautiful symphony. In terms of weddings, I’ve been a huge fan of fine art wedding photographers such as Jose Villa, Elizabeth Messina & Greg Finck.

You left your post-grad at John Hopkins to pursue photography. Almost 6-7 years later, today, do you have any regrets? What are your thoughts?

I absolutely do not have any regrets about leaving Hopkins and pursuing photography. Even the days I am extremely tired mostly after shooting back to back weddings, I still feel this adrenaline rush when I pick up my camera and this feeling that I am doing what I love and what I am meant to do. More than regrets, I do have a nagging feeling that I would want to use my background in psychology and bridge this medium of photography and films to create work that truly has an impact on people’s lives. Keeping that in mind, this year I am planning to start a new personal project called Project Heal and hopefully I can use this gift of creating stories and take it one step forward to talking about difficult topics such as depression, yet inspiring stories.

You shoot grand affairs of love between two people. Are you a person who is sentimental, and believes in love and romance?

I am a romantic at heart. I believe in unicorns, in soulmates, love hearing proposal stories, tear up listening to people finding love randomly, feel warm and gooey seeing old people holding hands and sitting on a bench. I soak up young adult books still and Dirty Dancing is one of my favourite movies. I enjoy shooting simple moments of love between two people, between people and their dogs too or their kids.

You got your certification for open water dive back in 2013. What other travel adventures have you embarked upon since then? Tell us about a few of your favourites.

Travel is my soul food. I love exploring new cultures and I am a serious foodie at heart. Diving is the only adventurous activity I love but it is more a meditative, relaxing activity for me rather than an adrenaline kick. In the past few years, my trip to Leh Ladakh, Greece and Bali has definitely been my highlight and I cannot wait to explore the Northern Lights this coming year.

Apart from photos, we see quite a bit of writing on your social media. Tell us more about the kind of writing you do. Which topics are close to your heart and why? Any book recommendations for us?

Before I found photography, I used to write. But quite honestly, I often find my writing to be dark and rather intense, and ironically my photographs are quite the opposite – they are bright and lit and (excuse the pun) probably has been a positive ‘light’ in my life. I usually write to provoke thought and make people analyse something deeper. My favourite books have always been Shantaram and God of Small Things. Currently, I am reading this beautiful book called Remnants of Separation by Aanchal Malhotra. I encourage everyone to read it even for photographers to understand that we could be creating images that are a ‘museum of memories’.

We heard that it was your one-year marriage anniversary in December. Congratulations! So, has anything changed? Do you think that being married has given you a different perspective or changed the way you approach or photograph weddings?

My own wedding photographs have immensely changed the way I approach photographs. It has humbled me in a way and pulled me away from this thought that I am an ‘artist’ and I am here to create these ‘visually-grand-beautiful-artistic’ images which I’ve begun to understand are not the images that have the real true value. The family group portraits, that simple photograph of the bride with her grandmom, the portrait of the bride’s mom who never usually puts make up otherwise, the father’s college friends who have all come together at the wedding after 25 years, the bride’s best friend who is constantly running around that at times you have to pull her to get one photo with the bride, the groom gently looking at the bride from the corner of the room all these seem like small moments but after my own wedding I’ve begun to realise the importance of these photographs. I remind my clients about these photographs and am extremely mindful of seeing to it that apart from the cool-silhouette social media worthy images, my brides and grooms also get to preserve these simpler moments.

Any resolutions/goals for the New Year?

My resolution for this Year is a bit different. I have been trying the philosophy of minimalism not just in my photography but also in my personal life. The past year I found myself trying to do everything and be everything. I had this laundry list of things I wanted to do from losing weight, to taking vitamins, going for meditation twice a week, opening up a studio, doing 4 posts a day on Instagram, travelling more, being less negative, being a good daughter, handling my finances, reading more, watching 5 movies in a week, checking all my emails everyday, doing up my house perfectly, trying flash photography, attending every workshop in town and just feeling an insane amount of anxiety feeling am not doing it all and not doing enough. I’ve also had an epiphany that doing it all does not keep the depression at bay or makes you happier. So my new year resolution is actually the opposite this year. It’s to do less and being happier with less. To slow things down even when it comes to photography. Hopefully, I can stick to this one and it clears a lot of clutter literally in my life and in my head and takes my photography to a different place.

See more of Shreya’s work on her WPAI profile page or her website.

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Definitive Guide for Dressing While Shooting an Indian Wedding https://www.wpai.in/blogs/definitive-guide-for-dressing-while-shooting-an-indian-wedding/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/definitive-guide-for-dressing-while-shooting-an-indian-wedding/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:00:51 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2865 There’s no rulebook that says you have to dress up when shooting a wedding. But we suggest you do. Here’s why. As wedding photographers, we all tend to think that, because we are artists, our art and skill are the only things that matter. So what is this brouhaha about clothes, dress code and dressing … Continue reading "Definitive Guide for Dressing While Shooting an Indian Wedding"

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There’s no rulebook that says you have to dress up when shooting a wedding. But we suggest you do. Here’s why.

As wedding photographers, we all tend to think that, because we are artists, our art and skill are the only things that matter. So what is this brouhaha about clothes, dress code and dressing up at a wedding? Why is it even a topic of discussion?

As many of you know, the Wedding Photographer community in India is pretty connected – we like to talk to each other a lot, in person or through the digital medium. Would you believe that we have found this to be one of the most recurrent topics of conversation on the Wedding Photographer Facebook & WhatsApp groups that we’re a part of? From the basics of what to wear to the specifics of which brand and style of shoes are considered the most comfortable to shoot in all day, is the gamut of questions we ask each other all the time!

But you’re probably wondering: I’m not a guest at the wedding. So why is important for me as a wedding photographer to dress up?

Let us break it down for you.

Your client has trusted you with capturing one of the most significant days of their lives. It is a HUGE deal! It is your responsibility as professionals to respect them and their wedding by showing up nicely dressed. You would never show up at your corporate job in a wrinkled shirt or flips flops, would you? So treat this one just the same.

How you dress up is also a reflection of your brand. It is not a hidden fact that society judges us on how we dress. In this context, dressing up smart at a wedding becomes all-important because of two things.

First, if you’re looking smart, you’re more likely to get referrals from the guests. Impressions are important, and your first impression at the guests must be that you take your job seriously.

Second, people’s attitude toward you at a wedding will change based on how you dress. If you dress like a professional, they will treat you like one. Sure, you’re not bound to, but it’ll be easier to merge and mingle with the people if you look like one of the guests.

Wedding photographers Prasheila Lookhar (extreme left) and Abhimanyu Sharma (extreme right) at a wedding.

 

“Considering this (wedding photography) is a creative field and our work is heavily aesthetically inclined, it only makes sense that your appearance also speaks about your taste,” says Richa Kashelkar, a wedding photographer based in Goa.

“While weddings are all about having fun, as photographers we are cognisant of the fact that we have a responsibility towards the couple and how we dress and behave reflects on them. The couple we are making memories for has invited us to their wedding and into their life, so we dress accordingly,” adds Prasheila Lookhar from Going Bananas Photography.

So now that we’ve convinced you to dress up and look sharp, what should you wear to a wedding? The answer is multifold and depends on the kind of wedding it is, your style and brand as a photographer, and the client you’re working with. Finding that delicate balance between dressing sharp but functional can put you in a tough spot. So here are a few style tips that our fellow photographer’s swear by, to get you started.

Blend in

The one thing that all wedding photographer’s we spoke to agree on is – it is extremely important to blend in at a wedding. It is natural for people to get conscious in front of a camera and more so when they realise one is pointed it at them. Our job as candid and documentary photographers becomes difficult if the subject is hyper-aware of our presence.

“Candid photography cannot really be candid if the people notice you,” says Simran from Bhumi and Simran Photography.

Prasheila Lookhar shooting at a wedding.

 

When choosing an outfit to photograph a wedding in, keep in mind that team members often come into each others’ frames. Wearing loud or bright colours could make that much more obvious, so neutrals are always a good choice. If you’re inconspicuous, your job as a documentary photographer at a wedding is half done.

Dress smart but comfortable

Having shot hundreds of weddings in their career, most wedding photographers have their default outfits planned. But if you’re someone who’s starting out and are worrying about what to wear, don’t fret.

Vivek Sequeira, a wedding photographer based in Mangalore, keeps it functional in a plain, dark blazer for most wedding events. He says he tries to keep it formal, but “not too formal”, as shooting comfortably is important.

Wedding photographer Karan Sidhu

 

It is also extremely important to invest in a pair of good, solid, comfortable shoes. You know you’re going to be on your feet for hours at an end. You will run, jump, crawl, and climb for that perfect shot and you need to be comfortable doing it.

Delhi-based wedding photographer Karan Sidhu says that he likes to dress as if he were a close friend of the couple. His go-to is well fitting Kurtas and Nehru jackets, and he swears by his Toms for comfort, “I don’t wear anything apart from Toms.”

Dress according to the event/situation

Wedding photographer Simran shooting at an assignment.

 

It is always a good idea to consult with your client about the themes and structure of their wedding events. You don’t want to turn up dressed in green for an all-black colour theme party. Blending in also means dressing up appropriately for wedding events, for example wearing kurtas and jackets for the more traditional events and maybe smart blazers (for men) and a dress (for women photographers) for the cocktail evening.

Richa sums it up perfectly,“ … in weddings, if blending in means dressing up, then so be it”.

Consider a dress code or theme for your team

This may seem contradictory to when we said it is important to blend in, but having a similar style for your entire team is a good idea. It need not be anything overtly noticeable, but in case the family needs to get to you urgently, a themed dressing style might help in locating you or your team members quickly. You could have colour coded elements in the team’s attire, for example, same coloured bandis/blazers/kurtas or even go one step further to brand your camera straps/bags with your company logo. Some sort of uniformity to establish you and your team members as one goes a long way in brand recall.

Image source: Wedmegood

Choose the right accessories

Now we don’t mean bling yourself up with jewellery or those ray-bans you love so much. But having a few functional accessories can make it easier for you to move around to shoot. You can get custom-made pants or kurtas with multiple pockets to carry around extra batteries, memory cards and triggers.

Women photographers, you can count on Simran’s advice to carry wristlets, ‘potli’ purses or even small sling bags to be able to store personal basics as well as photography accessories. Find accessories that work best for you, to be able to marry convenience & efficiency with comfort.

Image sources: Pixabay, Flickr, Pinterest and Google

 

As we said, there is no rulebook to dressing up as a wedding photographer. But after having spoken to peers in the community, we can safely say that there are certainly lots of advantages to it. The way we dress and behave reflects our brand and personality. Not only is it a great branding tool but also is a small step towards ensuring client delight in their overall experience with their wedding photographers.

Have any style recommendations for us? Let us know in the comments.

Cover Photo Credit: Karan Sidhu Photography

 

 

 

 

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Wedding Photography and Cinematography Trends of 2017 https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-photography-and-cinematography-trends/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-photography-and-cinematography-trends/#respond Tue, 26 Dec 2017 13:27:54 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2825 A look at 2017’s biggest wedding photography and cinematography trends Wedding photography has come a long way from when the family was lined up on the stage to take ‘smile-pose-click’ pictures to today, when capturing real moments has become the norm. Since the renaissance of Indian wedding photography in 2008-2009, wedding photography no longer follows … Continue reading "Wedding Photography and Cinematography Trends of 2017"

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A look at 2017’s biggest wedding photography and cinematography trends

Wedding photography has come a long way from when the family was lined up on the stage to take ‘smile-pose-click’ pictures to today, when capturing real moments has become the norm. Since the renaissance of Indian wedding photography in 2008-2009, wedding photography no longer follows the textbook style of creating images. Photographers today are experimenting more and more with different styles, technique, camera gear and genres of photography. Wedding photographers are increasingly creating images that reflect their individual style.

As another fantastic year draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the trends that dominated the Indian wedding photography and cinematography industry in 2017.

#1: Photojournalistic style

Photo by Vardaan Malhotra

 

Wedding photography has seen a progression from the generic meet-smile-click template to “candid” wedding photography and is now maturing to the photo-journalistic style of shooting wedding. Therefore, it’s not just about taking unposed (candid) pretty, happy or emotional pictures anymore. The photo-journalistic style records raw and authentic moments while establishing a story.

“More and more people are getting aware of photo-journalistic style of photography,” says Radhika Pandit, a wedding photographer based in Ahmedabad.

Nitin Dangwal from Shutterink Photography adds that their style of photography is now moving towards creating meaningful images that capture real moments.

#2: Layered Storytelling

Photo by Abhimanyu Sharma

 

The focus is shifting from taking just candid, pretty pictures to images that tell stories. And wedding photographers from the industry agree.

“There is a lot of focus on layered storytelling, stories within stories or deeper meaning of photographs. Where you actually look at a picture and you try and understand that there are probably two layers of story going on at the same place,” says Saketesh Mohapatra, the man behind the wedding photography company Fotografia9.

#3: Environmental Portraits

Photo by Radhika Pandit

 

2017 has been a year of larger-than-life images! Indian wedding photographers are increasingly leaning towards capturing environmental portraits that give a sense of space and bring out the grandeur of the surroundings.

Radhika comments, “I take a lot of wide shots, I incorporate a lot of architecture. Sometimes my figures are small, somewhere in the frame. And this is what people have been liking. They would rather spend a lot of time in planning the theme, the dressing and then let the photographer do those kinds of pictures which cannot be replicated again.”

#4: Sound Design

Niharika + Abhiroop | Kasauli Wedding from Shutterdown Photography on Vimeo.

 

Sound has been another important part of the change this year. Wedding cinematographers paid attention to ambient and organic sounds on locations. Rather than a song glossing over all the background noise in a wedding film, now there is a conscious effort to use more naturally recorded sounds – actual conversations between people during and in between the events, the rustling of clothes, music performances & speeches from a sangeet and so on.

“… personally the films that I have loved have been lot of teams who have been doing amazing sound design and instead of following the cliché formulae of interviews and montages have been using sound design very intelligently by incorporating real dialogues and bloopers in the wedding films to give the real feeling of the chaos and the energy in our Indian weddings,” says Shreya Sen, a wedding photographer based in Mumbai.

#5: Stop Motion Videos

Stop Motion save the date HeMetPri from Reelsandframes on Vimeo.

 

We’ve also seen photographers merging photography with technology to create quirky stop-motion animation videos in the last year. These definitely pique the audiences’ interest and make for fun memories of the wedding, pre-wedding or the couple story in general.

Anand Rathi’s Reels and Frames created a stop motion save the date video for a couple this year, “This was fun because it was sort of a photography technique being combined to add fun to the video.”

#6: Dramatic Lighting

Photo by Karan Sidhu

 

This year has also seen a shift from the naturally light-filled and evenly lit photos to dramatic and mood lighting, especially for portraits as well as dance/party shots.  Wedding photographers this year have experimented a lot with light – artificial and natural – to create stunning images. In addition, the market saw a huge influx of and demand for light modifiers by the likes of MadMod and Godox. And, not to forget, the increased use of light props like fairy lights and ice lights.

All in all, it’s been an exciting year. Experimentation has been the key. Whether it was in terms of technique, composition, lighting, gear or themes. We have had some fabulous photo-festivals over this past year and collaborations between great photographers. The wedding photography community is definitely charged up towards reinventing themselves and creating magnificent images. There is a drive in the community for each one to make their place in the industry and establish a unique identity. And we couldn’t be happier about it! We are absolutely looking forward to new innovations in the coming year.

Do you have any predictions for 2018’s wedding photography and cinematography trends? Drop us a comment if you know what is going to take the industry by storm next!

Cover Image Credit: Prashant Nahata

 

 

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Contest Prizes | The Best Shot Video Contest by Sennheiser https://www.wpai.in/blogs/the-best-shot-video-contest-prizes/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/the-best-shot-video-contest-prizes/#respond Thu, 10 Aug 2017 19:36:55 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2610 Here’s your chance to score some fabulous audio equipment for your wedding films – just enter “The Best Shot” Video Contest. Remember when we wrote about how great video deserves great sound? This is especially true for wedding films. There are so many points in a wedding where capturing great audio becomes imperative – song … Continue reading "Contest Prizes | The Best Shot Video Contest by Sennheiser"

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Here’s your chance to score some fabulous audio equipment for your wedding films – just enter “The Best Shot” Video Contest.

Remember when we wrote about how great video deserves great sound? This is especially true for wedding films. There are so many points in a wedding where capturing great audio becomes imperative – song and dance performances by family and friends, the complex rituals and ceremonies that form the Indian wedding and so many more. A soundtrack tacked on to a montage just doesn’t do the trick ALL the time. It makes for a good film, don’t get us wrong. But not an exceptional film. So if all that is standing between you and wedding cinema greatness is great sound, then do we have a treat for you or what!

Here’s your chance to score some innovative and advanced audio equipment from German audio giant, Sennheiser. We are sure that all this fabulous equipment will amp up your films by quite a few notches.

All you have to do is enter “The Best Shot” Video Contest and stand to win goodies worth INR 6 Lakh. Here’s a blog post about the contest and here are ALL the details of the contest.

Today, we wanted to share with you some of the finer details about the prizes up for grabs. Here is the low down!

 

The AVX-Combo Set is the perfect digital wireless microphone for film projects. The system fully self-configures and is ready to film within seconds. Its ultra-compact receiver fits directly into the XLR audio input of your camera or recording device.

 

Clip Mic Digital: Now you can generate high-quality audio recordings on your mobile device. Developed by Sennheiser and digital audio technology leader Apogee it combines the benefits of a lavalier microphone with the benefits of sophisticated signal conversion

 

MKE 2 Element: Looking for amazing audio to accompany your beautiful video? The MKE 2 elements Action Mic for GoPro® HERO4 cameras, will make all the difference. It is ready when you are. No matter what you’re into: mountain biking, winter sports or surfing that big wave, the MKE 2 elements Action Mic will provide you with that extra dimension

 

MKE 440: This one has two aligned and matched mini shotgun mics ensuring that the MKE 440 captures the audio you want. The stainless steel micro-mesh wind protection reduces wind noise and protects the fine high frequency details in your sound.

Some of the other exciting products which you can win are- MKE 600; KA 600; MZH 600 and HD 280 Pro

So go on. Put on your creative caps and submit your video for a chance to win these incredible prizes. Submit here: http://www.sennheiser-campaigns.com/thebestshot/ 

Last date for entries is 31st August.

The Big Shot is a video contest organised and managed by Sennheiser, in association with WPAI. We, at the WPAI, are proud to be associated to be able to promote the use of excellent audio in Indian Wedding Cinema. Please note that the contest management & final results lie solely with Sennheiser.  In case of any dispute or difference in respect of this Contest, the decision of the Sennheiser shall be final and binding on all concerned.

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Creating a Photography Website | Things to Keep in Mind https://www.wpai.in/blogs/creating-a-photography-website-things-to-keep-in-mind/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/creating-a-photography-website-things-to-keep-in-mind/#respond Wed, 09 Aug 2017 06:08:23 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2581 Photography Portfolio Website | Your very own gateway to a lucrative photography business As photographers, we all understand the importance of a strong portfolio. It’s our pride and joy. It validates our own sense of achievement and gives us confidence. And, let’s not mince words, it is also what gets us business. As wedding photographers, … Continue reading "Creating a Photography Website | Things to Keep in Mind"

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Photography Portfolio Website | Your very own gateway to a lucrative photography business

As photographers, we all understand the importance of a strong portfolio. It’s our pride and joy. It validates our own sense of achievement and gives us confidence. And, let’s not mince words, it is also what gets us business. As wedding photographers, the main reasons we get hired are: (a) portfolio (b) portfolio (c) portfolio. And, yes, you can throw in some other add-ons like price, referral and, of course, our (winning) personalities!

Okay. I’m sold. I need a strong portfolio. But why do I need a great website?

Websites are the equivalent of a shop for your photography business. It’s a place to showcase your talent, your products, your awards+achievements  and also testimonials from delighted clients. It’s the perfect platform to build your brand and share seasonal offers. The website is also a great place for clients to find your contact information. And, let’s face it — the first place that modern to-be-wed couples look is online. By not having an effective portfolio website, you stand the chance of losing out on a lot of assignments.

But I have fabulous following on my Facebook & Instagram page. And I’m listed on all the relevant portals. Do I still need a website? 

Yes. You do. Trust us.

A website implies stability and dependability, giving prospective clients the reassurance that their desired photographer is not some fly-by-night operator. If social media marketing works well for you, then you should definitely continue to invest in promoting your social handles, but make sure they all link back to a fabulous website.

Okay. I’m sold. What should I keep in mind while creating / updating my website? 

Now that you’ve decided to invest time and money in a good website, we have some great tips for you. And, believe us when we tell you, a website need not be a large investment. You can spend as little or as much as you like, the options are endless; Here’s how you can choose:

  1. If you have very little time and zero inclination towards tech, choose plug-and-play systems like Pixpa, Square Space, Photo Shelter etc; They are functional, have easy and simple templates wherein you just write your content and upload your photos. They take care of all the icky tech stuff like domains, hosts, servers etc;
  2. If you have a little more time, some inclination towards tech+DIY and would like to go beyond standard templates, browse through the hundreds of  WordPress themes which are highly customisable;
  3. If you have very high standards, a very specific idea and the inclination to spend more money, then hire a web developer to build you a customised website, from scratch!

Whichever direction you choose, make sure you pick something that makes your life easier. Because, after all, you’re a photographer and not a web developer. Also, keep these tips in mind:

Portfolio is King

Whatever theme or design you choose, make sure that your portfolio is front and centre. Let your images do the talking to showcase your talent and skill. Be ruthless when it comes to curating your portfolio – leave out the safe shots and find a limited number of your very best shots to display on your website. A smaller number of extraordinary photos will trump a larger selection of good photos. Every single time. For all the other great, but not extraordinary shots, there’s Flickr, Facebook and Instagram! PS – don’t forget to frequently update your portfolio by bringing in newer, better images and purging an equal number out.

Simplify

Pick a design or template that is clean and uncluttered. The patterns and graphic effects should not distract from the main hero, your images. Ensure that your design or template has a great mobile version too because many people browse on their phones and iPads as much as they use computers.

Enable Easy Browsing

Use simple and clear navigation or structure in your website so that visitors can easily follow the logical flow, i.e. go easily from your home page to portfolio to more information / about / press coverage and then finally to contact information or form. A reasonable number of navigation buttons is 5-6, in which you must remember to keep one for returning to the home page. It is considered good user-interface practice to have the navigation buttons in the same, consistent place throughout the website and to make them as obvious and clearly visible as possible.

Follow Good SEO Practices

The algorithms that determine good SEO performance are some of the best guarded secrets in the online world! But over the years, we’ve managed to put together some good practices that have worked for us — ensure that your website and images are optimised for fast loading of pages; have a good sitemap on the website; make good use of H Tags (in the body text of the website and on the blog); upload images with all the information filled in (like image names, captions, alt tags, meta tags etc); collaborate with other websites to get good quality incoming links into your website.

Image Credit: Freepik

Easy Contact Options

One of the worst things that could happen to you is if a visitor to your website is incredibly impressed by your work but just cannot find a way to contact you. More people than you think make this elementary mistake. In addition to a comprehensive Contact Page (preferably with a form so visitors can submit their enquiries once and for all), it is considered good practice to have your contact information clearly mentioned on every page.

Image Credit: Freepik

Bring it to Life

Remember the part where we mentioned your winning personality? Well, let it shine through on the website. Infuse your personality into the finer details of the website, like the language you use. Another way to do this is to have an active and vibrant blog, where you tell photo-stories from assignments, behind the scenes stories, personal projects and generally give your readers a glimpse into your life, your likes, your dislikes and more. It gives the readers an insight into how they would relate to you in real life. After all, a wedding photographer is the person that any couple sees the most at their wedding — more than their own parents and friends! So it’s kind of important that these couples relate to your personality.

Image Credit: Freepik

So go on. Give it a nice long think and go make or upgrade your website today. If you have any questions or any tips to add on to our list, do leave us a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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‘The Best Shot’ Video Contest by Sennheiser https://www.wpai.in/blogs/announcement-the-best-shot-video-contest-by-sennheiser/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/announcement-the-best-shot-video-contest-by-sennheiser/#respond Fri, 04 Aug 2017 07:45:31 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2586 Cinematographers: This one is for you Are you passionate about video and cinematography? Do you love weddings and creating beautiful wedding cinema from the most special day of couples’ lives? More importantly, do you have what it takes to pit yourself against your contemporaries and emerge a winner? If you’re as passionate about cinematic wedding … Continue reading "‘The Best Shot’ Video Contest by Sennheiser"

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Cinematographers: This one is for you

Are you passionate about video and cinematography? Do you love weddings and creating beautiful wedding cinema from the most special day of couples’ lives? More importantly, do you have what it takes to pit yourself against your contemporaries and emerge a winner?

If you’re as passionate about cinematic wedding movies as we are, then this contest is for you. We truly believe that great video needs great sound. Of course, super imposing your videos with film or pop songs is a fabulous way to showcase the movie — but what if you could do better? Get brilliant location sound as well clear, crisp sound for interviews and bytes? What if you had fantastic audio for the numerous rituals, family performances and behind-the-scenes “candid” moments?

Well that’s where the German audio giant Sennheiser comes in — they would like to showcase touching, emotional, fun wedding stories from India on their platform, The Best Shot. And that’s not all. There is also INR 6 Lakhs worth of their fabulous audio products up for grabs as prizes for this contest. Check out the full prize list here.

We, at WPAI, are thrilled to associate with Sennheiser for this initiative as one of their key partners for the wedding category. Arjun Kartha, Founder WPAI is also a jury member and looks forward to guide these aspiring videographers through their journey. The contest can be entered in 3 categories — Wedding, Wildlife and Miscellaneous.

To participate, all you need to do is submit a 30-90 seconds short film on or from a wedding at http://www.sennheiser-campaigns.com/thebestshot/ – it’s really that simple! This submission could be an existing film or it could be a re-edit from existing footage to fit the criteria. Either way, don’t forget to use and showcase the importance of great audio. Remember, great video needs great sound!

Contest registrations open until 31st August. [—UPDATE: Last date extended to 20th September.—]. Submit your entries here.

The Big Shot is a video contest organised and managed by Sennheiser, in association with WPAI. We, at the WPAI, are proud to be associated to be able to promote the use of excellent audio in Indian Wedding Cinema. Please note that the contest management & final results lie solely with Sennheiser.  In case of any dispute or difference in respect of this Contest, the decision of the Sennheiser shall be final and binding on all concerned.

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Artist Spotlight – Varun Bhasin https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-varun-bhasin/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-varun-bhasin/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 06:38:40 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2151 In Conversation with Varun Bhasin: Soldier, Husband, Father, Traveler, Wedding Photographer. Read on to know how this dedicated soldier in the Indian Army balances his duty, his relationships and his creative need.

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In Conversation with Varun Bhasin: Soldier, Husband, Father, Traveler, Wedding Photographer.

“It is the Soldier, not the minister, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
~Charles M. Province

Words will always fall short if we try to articulate the essence of a soldier and what he or she does for a nation and its people. But we DO believe  that a soldier is the pride and joy of any nation. And to know that a soldier in the Indian Army has something in common with us, is a part of our community of Indian Wedding Photographers is something that we feel very proud to talk about.

 

Today we bring forward the life of a soldier who has been serving our nation for fifteen years. He loves his country, his uniform makes him stand out of a crowd but what he has in common with us, is his passion for photography. As a soldier, he knows the value of human life and as a photographer, he also knows the significance of those little and fleeting moments in a persons life that can mean everything. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Army and Wedding+Travel Photographer Varun Bhasin. He has traveled to 23 countries in the world and plans to increase that number to 50 before he turns fifty years old!

Your father served in the Indian Army before you. Did that play an important part in your desire to join the Indian Army? Do shed some light on your journey to becoming an army officer.

The process of becoming an army officer actually started very early in my life. My father always encouraged us to take our own decisions and also taught us to face the consequences that came along with those decisions. Having traveled the length and breadth of the country with my parents and having seen every possible situation that an army officer could and might be faced with, this subconscious decision was made in my mind long before I sat down to give the exam for the defence forces. To be honest, the exam to get into the Military Academy and the 6-day interview that follows was actually easy for me because my whole personality by that time was shaped to meet the pre-requisite of an army officer.

The one factor that always pushed me was my inherent need for freedom and to be able to sustain everything on my own, and what better way to do that than to join the army. Till this day “freedom” is the one thing that I value the most in my life, freedom of being able to express yourself and decide your own path, freedom from vices and judgment and freedom to construct a life of your own choice and flavour. 

Those who serve the nation, specially as soldiers, are always an inspiration to the rest of us. You also drew inspiration from your father and it played a big role in your decision to join the army.  But what inspired you towards photography? When did you decide to pursue it simultaneously as a career?

The decision to pick up the camera was not really inspired by a particular person or any personality; it was purely the need to express my mind which has always been creative. For the longest time, I have been writing poems and articles, sketching or doing something creative so I have an alternate vent and keep my soul fed with emotion and positivity.

I was made alive to the aspect of photography while serving in Ethiopia as part of the United Nations peace keeping mission, where I saw life from a totally different prism. It is perhaps one of the hardest parts of the world where humans are probably living a whole century behind the rest of the world. I started clicking pictures with a film camera borrowed from my brother. I was refused access to a lot of places and thus the hustle ended in me not having substantial stories in print but a lot of learning.

I came back and was deployed in the valley in hard operational conditions where I followed this new found obsession to travel and click pictures. To be honest, I have always carried a camera in my backpack, even to operations, along with my rifle. It may sound a little dramatic but it’s true. So what started as simply a need to express myself gradually became an intrinsic and inseparable part of my life. 

In addition to weddings, your website and social media feeds are full of travel pictures. Was it wanderlust that led you to the genre of wedding photography since it allowed you to travel quite often?

Yes, pretty much. Traveling has been an obsession with me for years now, so much so that my mates in the army called me “passport” as a nickname. I ventured into wedding photography primarily because I found that weddings are a whole package of vibrant emotions and moments and also that they fuelled my need to be on the road and travel. Although I don’t really like to be called a wedding photographer or a travel photographer, I have travelled to some really unheard-of places in India just to shoot a picture. But that doesn’t necessarily make me a travel photographer. I simply call myself a photographer. The freedom that comes from letting go of genres and titles is very pleasing to me. 

So you are a soldier, a photographer, a traveler and a writer. At the same time, you are also a son, a husband and a father to a baby boy. How do you balance all these hats that you wear – serving the nation, time for your family and yet managing your artistic and creative streams?

I actually have a theory for this which my wife thinks is hilarious. It’s called “the pivot theory”. I believe that if, in your small existence on this planet, you become very good at only one thing or one aspect or get really embedded into any one realm, you start turning into a machine and become mechanical. I feel that 24 hours in day are more than enough for an individual to have so much variety in their life that the sheer excitement of the next task will always keep you charged and going. Over the years I have perfected the art of dividing the day into many unrelated and non-interfering parts. I have a slot for office and army related things. I have a slot for being home with my wife for dinner and lunch or a chat in the evening. I have a slot for my creative endeavours – writing, editing or watching photography tutorials etc. Of late, with the arrival of Rikaar, our little baby boy, I have created a really late night slot called “the stinky diaper”. Playing with him and talking to him goes on simultaneously.

As far as family and personal relationships go, there can’t be a better way to feel alive than coming back to a family that welcomes you and loves you unconditionally. It does take a whole lot of investment and it does come with a cost of time, but it’s the only investment that truly pays. Just keep expectations to a minimum and love to maximum.

You are a self-taught photographer. Do you ever feel at a disadvantage from your peers who may have trained formally, have more experience or generally achieved more in the field? How do you manage to stay ahead of the curve?

I have always been an extremely competitive person but I’ve never felt insecure watching other people create amazing images. I’m being totally honest, I’ve never felt self-conscious, sad or insecure in this regard. Instead, when I see phenomenal work,  it makes me think about how it was done and if I can do better than that. I have a close friend called Ramit Batra. He’s a leading wedding photographer in Delhi and has been a much needed helping hand for me in terms of learning.

I am happy that I’m getting good work based on the kind of images I take and the portfolio I display – it gives me a lot of satisfaction. Getting ahead of the curve was never my intention, I’m just glad to be a part of it; my intention has always been to be better than the previous shoot I did. That’s all.

Serving in the army is, undoubtedly, a tough job. But when it comes to photography, do you find it challenging as well?

Oh yes, it is a very challenging pleasure to attain. Wedding photography is like being responsible for the only real memory of the most important moments in the couples’ life. The pressure and responsibility that it puts on me is a lot and I love it. It helps me to push myself and think more creatively. As far as my travel photography goes, the challenge lies in getting it right the first time, because who knows if I will visit the same place again. Being a self taught photographer I do struggle with a lot of technical gaps in my photography, but that’s a challenge that I relish and work on constantly.

The Army is a hard taskmaster, you have a full time job that requires your 100% physical as well as mental presence. In that scenario, how do you find time to shoot weddings? Have you ever had to let go of a wedding photography assignment because your duty to the nation came first?

I try to plan my leave in such a way that it coincides with my shoots. I don’t really take too many projects and, thus, not much leave is needed. But nevertheless, my travel, shoots and leave are planned meticulously. Yes, I have had to forgo many projects because of my responsibility as a soldier,  which always comes first. Projects, shoots, festivals, birthdays, wedding, family, I’ve had to let go a lot. But that is part and parcel of the life I have chosen.   

We’re sure that you find a lot of pleasure in both the professions and it would be unjust to ask you which you love more. But is there any common thread between the two that binds you to both?

Yes, you’re right, I can’t really pick one. The army has given me everything I have today, not just material but also emotionally; it has shaped me as the person I am today. Photography has given my soul a window to peep out of and find a medium. I am bound by both equally and both balance my life with their presence. Without the army I would’ve never had the freedom to be able to pursue my photography. It funded my obsession. On the other side, photography keeps me in touch with my inner self which I think is essential for the pivot to stay balanced (the pivot theory).

Do you wish to become a full time photographer eventually? As a soldier, what would you like to say to the youngsters who are the future of our country?  As a passionate photographer, how would you motivate budding amateur photographers?

Yes, full time photography is on the cards. I have a plan in mind and will work on it to ensure that it fructifies in the way I see it. That’s all I’ll say about that for now.

As a soldier, I’d like to say something to those who are on the fence about joining the armed forces. There’s no better place than the forces to bring out your innermost strengths and assets. You will learn the true and deepest meaning of friendship and brotherhood. There are so many young hearts who I’ve had the honour of grooming. I can say with conviction that the defence forces is a life choice not a job. It’s tough but it will make you a winner. But whether you choose to serve the nation or not, respect and be thankful for what you have and don’t ever stop learning.

For the young photographer, I can say this: don’t shoot to create a beautiful image in every frame. Instead before every frame, take a moment and think why you want to shoot it and what do you want to derive out of it. Photography is a way of expression to treat it with respect and reverence. Never rest and keep your mind alive to the surroundings and every minuscule aspect of it, keep shooting and stay happy. 🙂  

____________________

See more of Varun’s work on his WPAI Profile Page or his Website.

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Mythbusters: Wedding Photography Myths Busted https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-photography-myths/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/wedding-photography-myths/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 12:36:15 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2028 Wedding photography is fast becoming one of the most popular professions. But is it really everyone’s cup of tea? One of the most famous sayings from Ansel Adams was, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Over quoted as it may be, we think it fits in rather aptly with the art of wedding photography. Yes, … Continue reading "Mythbusters: Wedding Photography Myths Busted"

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Wedding photography is fast becoming one of the most popular professions. But is it really everyone’s cup of tea?

One of the most famous sayings from Ansel Adams was, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” Over quoted as it may be, we think it fits in rather aptly with the art of wedding photography. Yes, photography is about good lighting and sound composition. But it is also about capturing fleeting moments, waiting for the right expression or emotion and about telling stories. And weddings are full of them all – moments, emotions and stories. No wonder Wedding Photography in India is becoming such an increasingly popular choice of career.

In a country like India, the wedding industry is growing at such a rapid pace and so are the number of wedding photographers. However, with this rapid increase in popularity, a lot of false perceptions related to the profession have also mushroomed. There exist a whole lot of preconceived notions and expectations because this is a legacy industry and there are a lot of anecdotal tales which have been handed down and are still being handed down till date. Most new entrants into the profession see wedding photography as something “easy” to do unlike other genres of photography like fashion and advertising – which require sound knowledge of lighting, posing, post production and so on. Being part of the Wedding Photographer community, we all know that wedding photography is a tough row to hoe. And so, today we’re going to talk about the top myths about Wedding Photography in India and (hopefully) give you a reality check if you think it’s an easy industry to get into!

Myth 1 – It’s easy to become a wedding photographer.

Photo Credit: Freepik.com

 

Spend 4-8 hours at a wedding (in the evening or over the weekend), take candid close ups of pretty people and the job is done! Easy, right? A lot of people are of the opinion that anyone can become a wedding photographer since all it takes is a DSLR and a little free time – you are all set for the candid party. No need for formal knowledge, training or experience is the general perception.

Busted!

Wedding photography is one of those rare genres which is truly an amalgamation of various fields of photography. You need to have mastery of portraiture, fashion, boudoir photography, event photography, documentary and photojournalism and many more. Even more importantly, you need to master lighting. Especially when it comes to Indian weddings, you have to create beautiful pictures out of loud and often mismatched colours, bad ambient lighting, big crowds of people and numerous rituals. The working hours are long and odd. You can expect to be on your feet for at least 14-16 hours, be swift on your feet and yes, you need to do all this with a big smile on your face.

Here’s a little #funfact that you may enjoy! (click to enlarge)

Myth 2 – Wedding Photography means turning into Mr. (or Ms.) Moneybags!

Image Credit: Freepik.com

 

Popular perception and social media feeds that show “success stories” propagate the myth that wedding photographers earn a lot of money, very quickly and all the time. All the biggies in the game charge in Lakhs of rupees, have expensive gear and are always posting selfies in beautiful destination resorts. So Wedding Photography definitely makes you some mad cash!

Mostly Wrong

According to an article published in Reuters, there are more than 2,50,000 wedding photographers in India. Though the number of weddings increase 40% year on year, there are more photographers entering the field than there are couples wanting to get married. There is stiff competition in the wedding photography industry and major price wars. While India’s top photographers do seem to earn a lot (don’t forget that they constantly pay for upgrading their very expensive gear and maintaining top-notch and expensive human resources), it’s important to remember that for every well known photographer there are thousands who haven’t been able to make it. In the middle and the lower rungs, decisions are made on price and, as far as the customers are concerned, the cheaper the better!

Myth 3 – I can be a part-time wedding photographer. 

Image Credit: Freepik.com

 

Since wedding photography is easy, I can have a regular day job at a corporate and shoot weddings during my free time.

Oh really?

Busted

Wedding photography is not simply a form of art or a hobby you can do for fun. It’s a service and a business – which requires 100% commitment. Weddings are hardly ever restricted to weekends and are governed by pandits and sayers and are, in fact, often midweek. The idea of making a little extra spending cash on the side by moonlighting as a wedding photographer is, no doubt, quite appealing but hardly sustainable in the long run. In addition to shooting the actual wedding and taking leave from work for those days, there are also client meetings to be managed, pre-production and post-processing, marketing, vendor management, gear maintenance etc.

Also, consider this. You’ve accepted a wedding booking about 3 months in advance. But 1 week before the wedding, you’re informed that your super-boss is arriving from a different city and he wants to meet the entire time and identify an individual for a special opportunity abroad. The date of the super-boss meeting clashes with the wedding. So when it’s crunch time, who would you choose? Boss or Bride? Your corporate career or your moonlight hobby?

To give you just a little hope, there are a few, and only a few, photographers who have successfully managed to balance a corporate career along with a wedding photography business for a sustained period of time. After all, there are always exceptions. So yes, it can be done part time. As long as things like family, eating, sleeping, going out and having a personal life means nothing to you!

(There are of course, exceptions to every rule. There are a handful of talented photographers who have made a success story out of having a full-time job AND a wedding photography career…but that’s another story for another day!).

Myth 4 – Wedding Photography is all fun and games

Image Credit: Freepik.com

 

Wedding photography is all about having a good time isn’t it? Spend a few days at a pretty venue, amidst joyous families, good food and alcohol, an enthusiastic DJ – just use your zoom lens and take some pretty candid pictures of people laughing, talking & dancing. Maybe even connect with some of the pretty, young guests on Facebook while you’re at it. Come on, it’s like a night out in town, isn’t it?

Busted

Wedding Photography is a responsibility. As a commercial wedding photographer who has taken a paid assignment, it’s your responsibility to capture the most important day(s) in the couple’s life. These are the memories and photographs that they will cherish forever and pass down to their children and grandchildren. There is NO CHANCE for a second take. You either get it the first time, or you lose it forever!

It is your job to pay attention and remain professional. The families will treat you like a guest and offer you hospitality, but don’t forget that you are not actually a guest invited to enjoy the wedding. You’re a wedding photographer, paid to do a job. Through the long hours, the constant delays, the endless rituals, you have to find a way to remain creative and capture the moments as best as you can. You have to focus on the actual rituals, on the stories you can find within the family and friends, immortalise the ambience of the wedding so that when they look back on these photos, everything comes back to them – how they felt throughout their wedding.

Oh, and after the shoot, let’s not forget the wedding hangover in the form of a huge dump of photos to cull and edit! On top of that, you have to be consistent – Wedding Photography is not an ad-hoc or one time commitment. You have to churn out consistently excellent photos, again and again and again. So it takes dedication, tenacity and lots of hard work and consistency to build a successful professional wedding photography business.

Myth 5 – Wedding photography is extremely glamorous — all people are pretty, all weddings have celebrities, all happen at destinations, all have great food.

Photo Credit: Radhika Pandit. Visit WPAI Profile or Photographer Website.

 

Social media feeds would have you believe that Wedding Photographers live a very jet-set and glamorous life. It would seem that all successful wedding photographers only shoot fancy weddings that are hosted in destination palace hotels with drop-dead gorgeous couples and guests and delicious food! Oh, and they all have time to take an extra day at the resort and take selfies in the pool with delicious umbrella-ed cocktails!

Wait. There’s more. Wedding photographers fly business class, stay in the best hotels, hang out with celebrities and look amazing while they shoot.

Sounds awesome, I want in!

Busted.

If one were to believe everything that our friends post on Facebook & Instagram, we would probably all sink into depression. How many of you have seen this Social Media vs Reality video on Youtube or Facebook?

Well, what Wedding Photographers post online is not too different. Yes, of course there are extremely high-budget weddings with unbelievable sets (like a movie production), private islands and jets come into the fore, families pay SRK and Justin Beiber to perform at their weddings and all of that. But the bitter truth is that those are only 0.1% of the entire wedding industry in our country. 99.9% of weddings happen in small venues, often small marriage halls with bad lighting and very average decor+ambience. They take place in crowded cities and places close to their homes. Most couples are regular, girl/boy-next-door type people who feel extremely awkward in front of the camera. And yes, even those wedding photographers who post about destination weddings all the time shoot these as well!

Don’t even get us started on “sunset pheras”. If we had a rupee for the number of times we have been promised those beautiful, beachside, sunset pheras and ended up with black sky because everything at an Indian wedding runs terribly late, we’d be millionaires.  In fact, most auspicious muhurat times are 2 am – 4 am in the North, and 6 am or earlier in South India.

Traveling in coach class with tons of gear, having camera bags opened and dismantled at airport security, awkward travel times, odd hours and lack of sleep, and being faced with “vendor food” at weddings are all just a few issues that even successful and money-making wedding photographers face all the time.

With so many negatives, is there any point in becoming a wedding photographer? Are there any rewards?

Image Credit: Freepik.com

 

Why are we telling you all of this? Is there no up-side to being a wedding photographer? Why do we all do it?

Yes, there are negatives. Yes, there are misconceptions. But there are some great rewards too. Being a wedding photographer, you can create magic for the couple and the families. The memories from the most important day in their lives are in your hands. The photos you make for them will bring immense joy to the couple, their families and their future children and grand-children. The joy and delight you get from a family far exceeds the appreciation you could ever receive from a corporation or a brand manager. That joy and delight is priceless – no client will ever be as grateful to you as a delighted bride.

And yes, there are great, big and fancy weddings, there is lots of money to be made but you need to work hard for it. It takes time, effort and discipline to reach the top of your game. So work hard, develop a unique style and be consistent with your professional attitude. All the money and fame will find you!

Have any other myths to contribute? Let us know in the comments below!

Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com

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The “Top 10” Wedding Photographer Lists https://www.wpai.in/blogs/top-10-wedding-photographer-lists/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/top-10-wedding-photographer-lists/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 05:05:25 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=2176 …and why it’s dangerous. Earlier this week, many photographers across India received an e-mail from a popular wedding portal – an event which in itself is fairly routine. What wasn’t routine about this e-mail though, was the fact that the email in no uncertain terms, offered to list the photographer as one of the “Top … Continue reading "The “Top 10” Wedding Photographer Lists"

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…and why it’s dangerous.

Earlier this week, many photographers across India received an e-mail from a popular wedding portal – an event which in itself is fairly routine. What wasn’t routine about this e-mail though, was the fact that the email in no uncertain terms, offered to list the photographer as one of the “Top 10” photographers in his or her geography, in return for a fee. One of the forms of the e-mail is reproduced below.

The e-mail reads:


Hope you are doing well.  We are going live with the blog on top 10 Photographers of Delhi. Some vendors have paid exclusively for this and the rest are our Empaneled Vendors. If you want to be featured in this, it will be priced at 10,000 inclusive of all taxes. Please let me know ASAP if you are keen on this. Would need your starting price for 1 day for candid, traditional and cinematography and some great images to put.  http://XXX.in/blog/7-best-candid-wedding-photographers-in-delhi-you-need-to-check-out-now/ We will be changing all the names tomorrow. Awaiting confirmation on the same soon.  Regards, <Redacted>


This e-mail is just one part of a largely very popular trend; that of industry websites to create various forms of lists and rankings, all in exchange for a fee. This is alarming for a variety of reasons, some of which are:

1. They set wrong expectations

If you are a bride or a groom reading this, or you happened to be getting married and chanced upon these lists on Google, chances are you would trust these lists at face value. This would lead you to assume that the photographer you’re about to hire is at the top of his or her game, and by virtue of being so – will deliver to you outstanding results. This may or may not happen (we hope it does!) – but the fact is that you’re expecting a photographer who is indeed amongst the “top photographers in xyz city” but in all probability is actually someone who’s just started out in wedding photography and is still learning.

2. They set a wrong benchmark for wedding photography

Apart from the personal ramifications to an individual bride or groom, the bigger problem with such lists it that the photos showcased to support the “Top Photographer” is viewed as the benchmark for what good wedding photography is supposed to be. This is extremely dangerous – because at the end of the day, art is in the eyes of the beholder. As an industry, we cannot allow shoddy or “templatised” imagery to be viewed as the standard. We WANT photographers to think outside the box, to go where nobody has gone before…and to be fearless.

3. They lead to bad blood

Over the last year there has been great camaraderie in the wedding photography industry. Aided by photography festivals, workshops and contests, photographers are coming together and collaborating like never before. Never before have photographers supported each other like they do today (and this is wonderful). In fact, within the entire wedding industry – it’s safe to say that it’s the photography community that is now the most tightly knit. However, false accolades (being ranked on top lists) in exchange for money leads to bad blood. No matter how well you may get along with other photographers in your community – there will inevitably be questions raised. This will lead to cracks and fissures in a young and diverse workforce – and lead the industry back to the days where everyone worked in silos and didn’t collaborate with anybody else.

4. It leads to confusing lists

At last count, it is estimated that there are over 120 wedding portals in operation, about to begin operations or just about starting operations in India. The portals view creating lists as easy ways of generating revenue. Doing the maths, a portal that lists ten photographers per city at the rate of INR 10,000 per listing generates 1 lac rupees per city listing. Considering there are at least 5 important metros in India, a simple listing exercise generates a cool INR 5 lac rupees to each portal. Now if all 120 portals come up with their own lists (and if one were to assume that each photographer doesn’t pay for more than one list) there will be at least 1,000 photographers in each city – all of whom are the Top 10!

5. Everything loses authenticity

If this trend continues, it’ll lead to a negative fallout for everyone involved. To-be brides and grooms will realise that all content online isn’t to be trusted, and will look at other sources of information going forward. For instance, today everyone knows that both Hindustan Times and The Times of India are Number #1 in New Delhi – because they’ve both been screaming it from the rooftops for years now. No amount of independent awards and citations will ever make a subscribe believe in one or other. Similarly, if paid awards and lists continue – our clients will lose faith in authentic industry awards, like the WPAI Awards and Fearless Awards. It’ll all seem commercialised!

Recommendations

  1. If you’re a bride or a groom about to get married and are in search of a photographer, do not wholly depend on wedding portals as your source of information. Almost ALL wedding portals list photographers in exchange for money in the form of preferred vendors, top 10 vendors, black book of vendors and so on. Do your own research, select an artist you like based on their style – and go with your gut.
  2. If you’re a photographer, you should view joining these lists with caution as they will inevitably lead to your own standing in the community being called into question. Not just that, you’ll be indirectly supporting an industry that only looks at where money can be made in return for endorsing anyone. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with all sorts of artists on that list – is the return on investment worth it?
  3. Alternately, look into investing these funds into alternate promotions – like Google AdWords, Facebook marketing and so on. YOU control these ads, and control the narrative of what you’re trying to say.
  4. If you’re a wedding portal, or work for a wedding portal – understand that your job as a content curator is to present options to a bride or a groom in as unbiased a view as possible. This is what leads to authenticity and trust. Everybody understands that at the end of the day, business is business – and you need revenue to pay your bills. Hey, nobody understands this better than artists! However, seek income generation streams that keep you in good standing, and help cement your position as a thought leader, and not a paid receptacle for every Tom, Dick and Harry.
  5. As a community, we need to help the promoters of wedding portals understand what’s good for everyone in the long run. It is inevitable that a technology solution WILL help the industry at large, and portals will have a very important role to play. After all, photographers and other artists and wedding portals are partners – and a proper symbiotic relationship helps everyone succeed.

Do you agree that wedding portals should not charge for Top 10 lists? Or have you paid to be a part of these lists? Let us know in the comments below.

(Disclosure: The WPAI was founded to help bring about excellence in wedding photography. Though membership to the WPAI is paid, admission into the association is strictly based on merit, something that is evaluated by a panel of senior advisors. The WPAI will NEVER charge for awards, features or any such promotion.

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Why WPAI Awards https://www.wpai.in/blogs/why-wpai-awards/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/why-wpai-awards/#respond Tue, 02 May 2017 10:41:42 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=1984 5 Reasons Why You Should Participate in WPAI Awards As creative professionals, we all share many of the same concerns. From client management angst, to finding the mind-space to maintain creativity during hectic wedding shoots; from drowning in bread-and-butter shots to the quest for new inspiration on a regular basis; from marketing our services to rising above … Continue reading "Why WPAI Awards"

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5 Reasons Why You Should Participate in WPAI Awards

As creative professionals, we all share many of the same concerns. From client management angst, to finding the mind-space to maintain creativity during hectic wedding shoots; from drowning in bread-and-butter shots to the quest for new inspiration on a regular basis; from marketing our services to rising above the current clutter and price wars in our field and so much more.

Image Credit: Anbu Jawahar; Vist WPAI Profile Page or Website

 

One of the biggest sources of conflict, in our opinion, is being torn between confidence in our art, knowing that we are exceptional at what we do and seeking validation from others. Because we are not just artists, we are also commercial photographers – we are commissioned to shoot weddings for an agreed price. So as much as we love taking and making photographs for the sake of our soul, true validation of our wedding photography is the love and excitement we get from delighted couples when they receive their photos; it is also when couples are willing to pay the price you demand because they believe that you are worth it; and, of course, an award here and there isn’t a bad form of validation either. A pat on the back never hurts!

Image Credit: Abhimanyu Sharma; View WPAI Profile Page or Website

So what does WPAI Awards have to do with this?

Well that’s exactly what we are trying to work towards. The overarching aim is to showcase a body of work that sets the benchmark for Exceptional Wedding Photography in India. A body of work that can inspire amateur wedding photographers; a body of work that can stand out and that couples can aspire to for their weddings; a body of work that is based on merit, skill, photographic excellence and one that is transparent and fair. Because WPAI will never charge for special, featured, handpicked lists, the way to get ahead is by winning awards and bragging about them.

Image Credit: Anirban Brahma; View WPAI Profile or Website

But when we have Fearless & ISPWP, why should we participate in the WPAI Awards?

At no point and in no way have we said that you should not be a part of international bodies for photographers. Of course you should. The more awards and more recognition you get, the better.

But WPAI is closer to home – we have worked on a model that is made in India, for India. The aim is to raise the bar for the entire community, from within the wedding photographers community in India. No one understands the complexities and challenges of Indian weddings like Indian Wedding Photographers. Having Indian weddings featured amidst international white weddings is definitely a novelty and an honour. But to create magic from within the chaos that is a 3-day Indian wedding and to stand out from 250,000 other Indian Wedding Photographers just like you is an achievement of a different level altogether.

Image Credit: Arjun Mahajan. View WPAI Profile.

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Do you want to be a part of a vibrant, inspirational community of Wedding Photographers, to inspire and be inspired?
  2. Do you want to be able to rise above the price wars and be desired by couples for your art and your signature style?
  3. Do you want your work to be showcased amongst the very best in the country and be considered a front-runner in setting the benchmark for Exceptional Wedding Photography in India?

If you answered YES to even 1 of the 3 questions, then you MUST participate in the WPAI Awards.

Image Credit: Karan Sidhu. View WPAI Profile or Website

Still not convinced? Here are the Top 5 Reasons to Participate in WPAI Awards:

  1. Raise the Bar: You get to be a part of the select few who set the benchmark and raise the bar for Wedding Photography in India. Instead of wedding portals educating couples about what good wedding photography is, you get to do it.
  2. Inspire & Be Inspired: Awards maintain a healthy level of competition in the market. It is a way to keep challenging ourselves to be better,  to do better, to inspire others and be inspired by our peers.
  3. Awards Showcase: Award winning entries to the WPAI Contests will be showcased in the Award Winning Gallery. Because WPAI will not be charging for featured, handpicked or special listings, the Award Winning Gallery is the definitive, transparent and fair showcase for the very best wedding photographers in India.
  4. Unique Showcase: The WPAI Inspiration Gallery and Award Winning Gallery are unique in the sense that it is created by photographers, for photographers. They showcase the very best Wedding Photography in India without the clutter of “wedding vendors” like Planners, Florists, Mehendi Artists etc.
  5. Bragging Rights: And, of course, we saved the best for last. It’s always nice to talk about winning awards, isn’t it? Whether as a marketing tool for your clients, as an inspiration to others or simply to get likes on social media – an award is an award is an award! It’s always awesome.

So come. Be a part of the change. The renaissance of Indian Wedding Photography is here. It’s up to you to jump on the bandwagon and make your way to the front.

If you haven’t already, enter the Current Contest. For details and guidelines, visit this page. If you’re already clued in, then simply enter by clicking on the below link:

ENTER CONTEST

Cover Image Credit: Amar Ramesh. View WPAI Profile or Website

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Artist Spotlight | Mahima Bhatia https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-mahima-bhatia/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/artist-spotlight-mahima-bhatia/#respond Mon, 01 May 2017 07:06:17 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=1929 In conversation with Delhi-based Wedding Photographer Mahima Bhatia. My dear little bird, Fly, Fly, Fly high, Unfurl your wings; befriend the profound sky!! Perhaps it was a refrain like this that reverberated in Mahima’s heart and mind the moment she decided to rise above all the barriers and take up photography as her career. She … Continue reading "Artist Spotlight | Mahima Bhatia"

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In conversation with Delhi-based Wedding Photographer Mahima Bhatia.

My dear little bird, Fly, Fly, Fly high,
Unfurl your wings; befriend the profound sky!!

Perhaps it was a refrain like this that reverberated in Mahima’s heart and mind the moment she decided to rise above all the barriers and take up photography as her career. She knew very early on that an ordinary life would never do for her – she stepped out of the poetic and literary world of Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy to enter a brand new one — the equally colourful and somewhat more exciting world of photography.

Today, Mahima is a very well known player in the world of Indian Wedding Photography. From setting up a photography society in college to becoming an established wedding photographer, she has had her share of ups and downs. Our tete-a-tete was an attempt to get to know her a little better and share the love with our readers!

When did the epiphany of photography as a viable career strike you? Did your Bachelors degree in the Arts have a hand to play in pushing you towards appreciating aesthetics?

I started photography during college. In an Arts setup, the whole college was divided into music societies, dance societies, drama societies etc. but  there was nothing formally available for photography. So we started small — a couple of us started taking our cameras for nature walks and other college events. Eventually, we set up the photography society of Sri Venkateswara College, which was coined ‘Effulgence’ by yours truly.
While I was doing my Masters (in Literature), I took up wedding photography assignments alongside. I got better at it and assignments started flowing in. The workload intensified to a point wherein I had to make a choice – that between going ahead to apply for an M.Phil degree or to continue with wedding photography as a serious profession. I chose the latter simply because it made me happy. It still does. I also realized I’m not the kind of person who can sit all day behind a desk and, so, my choice was quite obvious really.

As a woman who is a powerhouse of talent at a fairly young age, how do people respond to you? Are they intimidated by your success or do they have a hard time taking your abilities seriously on account of age?I think the first and foremost reaction is shock. People don’t expect (A) a younger person and (B) a woman.

But beyond the initial shock I think it has always worked in my favor. I feel that I can relate to the bride, understand her state of mind because of both, my gender and my age. Frankly, from carrying lipsticks for the brides to holding their hands when they are going through a bout of the jitters, I believe in becoming bride’s best friend. And I truly reckon that this is one of the facts that make me connect more with the people around me while I am working.

Given that you studied photography at a prestigious institute in a city like New York, how does that dictate your sensibilities as opposed to a self-taught photographer who is a bit of a dilettante without prior training?

Being in NYC taught me a lot of things, things that I realised the importance of only much later, like respecting my own vision and art and putting that first and foremost. It also put things in a much larger perspective, that of an international level playing field. As far as technique goes, although I do agree that capturing an important moment or emotion at a wedding must take precedence over the perfect composition, I truly also believe that weak or subpar technique can immensely hamper the impact of the most powerful, emotionally charged image.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Oh, that’s a toughie. There’s so much talent around us that it’s hard to choose! Many of the super talented Indian Wedding Photographers are my friends so I’m going to play it safe and not call out to my favourites. From the international players, I’d have to narrow down my inspirations to Two Mann Studios and Sam Hurd.

The one thing that pops up frequently on your Facebook feed (other than your lovely photographs, of course!) is your love for dogs (Bailey is a handsome pup, btw). Tell us a little more about him, the cuddly stress-buster?

My 6-month old, hyperactive baby is the reason I smile every time I come home from a shoot! The face lick makes all the exhaustion go away!

Other than wedding photography, what else floats your boat? Bailey’s name hinted at a weakness for cakes and a penchant for baking.

Bailey and cakes are my two weaknesses! I love baking on days when not stuck behind the laptop. It’s really a fantastic stress buster!

Considering the huge demand for skilled wedding photographers, the competitiveness amongst them, and the ever-changing trends within the industry, how do you manage to stay ahead of the curve?

By being constantly open to learning. Even a newbie can teach you things, you just have to be open to learning. I attend workshops, keep abreast of my peers’ work and engage with international photographers as well.

Is it tough to manage artistic temperaments when one is collaborating with their partner? What advice would you have for burgeoning artists who work as a couple?

Working with your partner, like everything else, has its own ups and downs. The most conspicuous one is the communication channel. I know what Harsh is clicking by just looking at him from across the room. And he is perceptive enough to know what shots I need from a given particular situation. For instance, during the Jaimala, if I’m taking an OTS shot of the bride, he will instantaneously position himself outside of my frame and get the OTS shot of the groom.

The difficult part is, of course, separating the personal from the professional. My advice to us (since our working relationship is also a constant work-in-progress) as well as other couples like us, is to take out at least 10 minutes during a day to discuss work and nothing else. When shop talk happens during dinner time, it is usually less conducive.

Generally, when people are a dab hand in a particular field, they usually get accustomed to that particular activity. You have been a wedding photographer for a couple of years now and have gained expertise in this field. Do you still,  somewhere and sometimes, find photography challenging?

Yes, everyday. Though I have been doing it now for a couple of years, I still take each day of my photography career as a challenge. As I mentioned earlier, I believe in incessant learning. It can never stop because there’s always a new skill, approach or perspective to master.

Many budding photographers draw inspiration from you. Opting for academics or an artistic stream of their interest is the predicament of most of the youngsters these days. You too had to face the dilemma of either going for M.phil degree or continue with wedding photography. What is your advice to the youngsters when it comes to a situation like this?

For the longest time, I was taking up commercial wedding photography assignments alongside my Masters. I was following my passion as well as was keeping up pace with my studies – the best of both worlds, you could say. I only felt like I had to make a choice when it was time to apply for my M.phil degree, which is a higher degree and requires complete and utter concentration. At that point, I chose wedding photography because I had procured my Masters degree and felt like I was done with my basic education – it seemed like it was enough for a back-up plan beyond photography.

So I do believe that education is essential and I would advise everyone at that juncture to make sure that higher education is taken care of, before proceeding with a full time career in photography.

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See more of Mahima’s work on her WPAI Profile Page or her Website.

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Something’s Phishing https://www.wpai.in/blogs/somethings-phishing/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/somethings-phishing/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 07:11:16 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=1931 WPAI Advisory: Beware of the latest phishing scam to hit the social media scene. And this time, it’s targeting wedding photographers. Remember the idiom wolf in sheep’s clothing? Well it’s an excellent time for a refresher course. If you thought that it was just an overprotective warning by our elders for when we were young and naive, … Continue reading "Something’s Phishing"

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WPAI Advisory: Beware of the latest phishing scam to hit the social media scene. And this time, it’s targeting wedding photographers.

Remember the idiom wolf in sheep’s clothing? Well it’s an excellent time for a refresher course. If you thought that it was just an overprotective warning by our elders for when we were young and naive, think again. As grown-ups, we tend to believe that we are older, smarter and wiser and cannot be hoodwinked by anyone. But is it true? Are we “too-wise” and can we really avoid being tangled up in the web woven by impostors?

One of the alarming occurrences that has brought all this introspection to light is the recent spate of Voice Phishing attacks. But what does this have to do with the wolf and the sheep? Let’s find out, shall we?

Image Credit: Freepik.com

What in the world is this Voice Phishing?

For the uninitiated, Voice Phishing is a fraudulent and unethical practice of obtaining financial and confidential information from the gullible public over the phone.

Traditionally, the aim of phishing has been to take control of an individuals bank account, credit card or other financial avenue. Like every good con, phishing and voice phishing rely on the art of manipulation and instilling fear in the targets – with the aim of extricating confidential information from the victims. In the case of bank accounts and credit cards, the caller poses as a bank/credit card company employee to inform the target that their account or card has been compromised and that they need to share their CVV or OTP to be able to regain control. This gives the fraudster control and allows them to abuse the account or card to the extent of their greed.

Image Credit: Freepik.com

So what? How does this bother Wedding Photographers?

Well, the very same template has now been applied to social media. With the increasing use of social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram by wedding photographers to promote their business and get assignments, these fraudsters have discovered a new kind of target. The targets are those wedding photographers with large followings on social media, be it Facebook Pages, Instagram or Twitter. The community is abuzz with this latest scam and many WPAI members have also been contacted.

The aim is to take control of the social media page, then hold it to ransom and extort money from the photographers. These fraudsters call and harass photographers, try to instil fear and threaten them to get what they want.

Image Credit: Freepik.com

Wolves in sheep clothing – how do they hack social media accounts?

The most common approach that we have experienced, personally, and heard about from our members is that the scammers call and impersonate an officer from the Cyber Cell of Bombay Police. They speak with utmost authority and do their best to convince you that your social media channel has been compromised – that since the channel is generating spam and unacceptable content for the general public, the target should report to the Police Station or else their account will be forcibly shut down. Unless the target agrees to let the Cyber Cell investigate and re-set the account. Having instilled a sense of fear and insecurity in the target, who fears that their account will be shut down leading to loss of existing following as well as potential business, they are only too happy to provide the OTP on their phone. This OTP is the code generated to reset the account by clicking on “Forgot Password” option.

The scammers are so convincing that they leave no stone unturned, to the extent of caller ID spoofing so that even their True caller ID read as ‘Cyber Cell’ and the victim does not doubt scammer’s identity. As soon as the target shares this private information, the scammer takes over the account. Only then do the scammers show show their true colours by holding the account hostage and  blackmailing victims to pay ransom in order to gain access to their page.

(Hindustan Times covered a version of this in their paper last week. Read the full article here.)

Image Credit: Sudhir Shetty @ Hindustan Times

 

As a wedding photographer with a huge social media following, if you’re not worried then you definitely should be.

Fishing is relaxing while Phishing is most definitely not – how to save ourselves?

So, what can we do to avoid being taken in by this ingenuous phishing scam? Half the battle is in awareness and being just a little cautious. As a community of wedding photographers, we reckon that it is our duty  to make sure everyone in the wedding photography business is in the know of this rampant fraudulent activity. Here are a couple of pointers to help avoid becoming the latest victim.

Be aware, wolves ahead: The first and foremost thing is for you to be aware of this latest scam. As a community, we need to be vigilant and keep a hawk’s eye on all the latest developments in this regard. This article has been an attempt in this direction and we would love for you to share this with your friends within the community.

Suspicion and vigilance are (sometimes) a good thing: Now that you’re aware, be suspicious and vigilant. Don’t take any such calls at face value – do your best to verify them. Ask informed questions; try and get hold of a landline number you can call back; ask which Police Station they are calling from and find the landline number online to call back through the switchboard; we’re told that sometimes the scammers can hold up the line and direct our calls so try calling from another number/device.

Use the smarts on your smartphone: Install True Caller on your phones. Having spoken to a lot of photographers who have faced this, some of these numbers are already showing up as “Facebook spammers” on True Caller. In case it doesn’t in your case, then make sure you mark the call as spam so it can help others. You can also use call recording apps (like Call Recorder ACR or Galaxy Call Recorder) on your phone to record calls that you think are suspicious – this can help in case you want to report it to the actual Cyber Cell yourself.

Play it smart: Avoid imparting any confidential information. Just like a bank or credit card would never actually ask you to give out personal or confidential information like PINs, CVVs and OTPs over the phone (note that even on IVRS while talking to customer support, you have to enter your own information using the keypad and not recite them to the customer support executives), reputed social media platforms, cyber cell officers or their representatives would never ask you for passwords and OTPs over the phone. Even if you are convinced that the call is authentic and legit, don’t give out the information over the phone. Arrange to meet at the police station or cyber cell office to discuss further. Verify the address of the office online before proceeding there.

Keep calm and carry on: Despite everything, if a scammer has managed to gain control of your account, don’t give in to their demands. Use logic and not fear. Contact the police or cyber cell and make a report, asking them to investigate and take action. Alongside, get in touch with your friends, clients and associates offline and let them know that your accounts have been compromised and that they should ignore any spam coming from it. Take their help to spread the word and have your account officially blocked using the proper channels available.

Maintain your dignity and become a champion of the wedding photography community

Most importantly, don’t forget that in todays day and age, these things do happen and people do understand. Phishing, hacking and manipulation are common occurrences and people will not judge you for falling pray to these scammers.

That doesn’t mean that you should ignore the warning signs and stick your head in the sand. Do your part. Be vigilant and spread the word – help warn your friends and peers from the community. If one of them falls prey, support them and help them do what is needed to minimise damage and recover their account.

Remember that we are stronger together.

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Client Budget vs Client Expectations: How to Bridge the Gap? https://www.wpai.in/blogs/client-budget-vs-client-expectations-how-to-bridge-the-gap/ https://www.wpai.in/blogs/client-budget-vs-client-expectations-how-to-bridge-the-gap/#respond Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:55:16 +0000 https://www.wpai.in/?post_type=blogs&p=1891 Have clients who want Good, More and Cheap? Tell them they can only have two. We’re sure you’ve come across one or more of these memes – the internet has recently been flooded with multiple versions of them. Although we have all been laughing along, reminiscing about our own “client expectations vs client budget” experiences, this … Continue reading "Client Budget vs Client Expectations: How to Bridge the Gap?"

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Have clients who want Good, More and Cheap? Tell them they can only have two.

We’re sure you’ve come across one or more of these memes – the internet has recently been flooded with multiple versions of them. Although we have all been laughing along, reminiscing about our own “client expectations vs client budget” experiences, this attitude from clients is considered par for the course. While we enjoy poking a little (or a lot of) fun at the situation, it’s important to acknowledge that what we have is a problem. A recurring one. Clients want everything. For nothing. The rising popularity of these memes is a testament to the fact that this attitude is the new “normal”.

While everyone understands that if you pay a cheaper price for a tangible product, you can expect the parts, craftsmanship and overall quality to suffer (except in the case of mass production and economies of scale); the same logic doesn’t seem to be acknowledged for services or art. But in both cases, what you pay for is what you get. Generally speaking, in a market like India, it’s the cost of human talent, expertise and effort which has always been underrated and not given its due.

And you know what the worst part is? This mismatch in expectation and budget isn’t even the clients’ fault. Here’s why.

Competition, Competition, Competition

The estimated worth of the wedding photography industry is INR 2,000 crores, with over 250,000 photographers contributing to this revenue. Now those are some huge numbers. Consider, for a moment, that all these photographers are providing wedding photography and cinematography at various price points, with an equally varied bouquet of deliverables. The couples are spoiled for choice and literally have too many options. It is very difficult for them to navigate the market and discern the quality and quantum of the offerings from photographers. There are enough and more who are willing to offer a “better and cheaper” option. It’s very easy for the clients to fall for this and by the time they realise their mistake, it’s often too late.

Image Credit: Soumak Mukhopadhya | View Profile Page or Website

Good, More & Cheap – The Holy Trinity

When we say that clients want it all, we weren’t kidding. They want experienced professionals and artists, excellent quality of work, expensive equipment and gimmicks used (and being seen by their guests), a large number of final photos delivered, a photo album for every member and section of the family – all at 1/10 of the cost that you quote for it. Because they’ve been told that it can be done. But, practically speaking, only two of the three is possible. And it’s up to us to educate them – be transparent during initial meetings, detail out the process and deliverables, give realistic timelines and not compromise on our prices. Here’s a little something we made for you. We have a feeling you’re going to like it!

But all is not lost. There’s still something we can do about this. As a community of wedding photographers, it is up to us to join forces and educate the clients, bridging the gap between the expectations and their budgets. Here’s how.

Gimme More. Just a Little More

Like we said, clients want everything. Just because they now know about the wealth of options available within wedding photography packages. Often, what they ask for is not even relevant – for example, asking for a 1000 pictures per day of the wedding; or even asking for RAW files; or 5 wedding albums; or 5 extra shooters; or 3 drones. More often than not, they’re comparing photographers basis how many pictures, how many albums or how much footage they can commit to giving.

It’s up to you to explain to them that quantity and volume do not guarantee quality. You need to understand their wedding and their plans in detail so that you can recommend the best fit for them, i.e. how much is relevant and reasonable for them as well as how much you can deliver without compromising the quality.