Your views on Wedding Photography
It is one of the toughest genres of photography to be in – not only because it is always a mission-critical assignment but also because across the world, and I am generalizing, wedding photographers are usually looked down upon as low-class photographers. So, for a full-fledged commercial photographer to venture into the wedding photography genre is doubly risky.
It is also one of the most fulfilling and personally satisfying genres of photography. I shoot weddings from a photojournalism and artistic point of view and it is lovely to see the entire story come together. I have had the pleasure to be present when the book of photographs was shared with the couple’s parents and it is unreal to see the overwhelming emotions conveyed for literally each image.
The artistic / photojournalist approach to photographing a wedding is still very new for the Indian audience and comparison with traditional wedding photo studios is rampant. As a result, I prefer working with couples I have known for a while / have interacted with previously / have been referred to my work by a friend. It makes it slightly easier for me to tell them that I will photograph the wedding the way I want to so that they can have images that will be better than what they are expecting.
Your views on the booming market of Wedding Photography
Definitely booming in India but will take a while to separate the wheat from the chaff. Everyone who owns a camera is not a photographer but most members of the public believe to the contrary. Couples should set their expectations according to the imagery they have in mind, their budget and the photographer they are hiring. Expecting a person with less experience to produce art quality images is naive. They might have a couple of happy accidents but they will need more experience to be consistent in producing good work. In my opinion, the photography industry in Indian is fragmented and there is no organization that provides guidelines to the horde of photographers that are present. Yes there is immense earning opportunity in the Indian market as a wedding photographer. At the same time, there are no common guidelines for photographers to follow and there is no sense of community amongst photographers themselves.
Wedding planners are routinely partnering with photographers who produce good wedding work but there isn’t much guidance from them either. No database of information that can give insights into the overall market space so that the clients might be served better. We cannot ape the American model of wedding photography because there the weddings aren’t 1/10th as chaotic as they are in India.
Cameras & Lenses used by you
Sharing this information does not mean that the reader must rush and buy the very same equipment to overnight turn into a successful photographer. [ To be clear, I don’t consider myself to be a successful photographer. I take each day and each assignment as it comes and hope to produce my best work yet with each of those assignments. Equipment, while important, is secondary for me. ]
The cameras I use most frequently, in order of usage :
- 1. Fujifilm X100
- 2. Nikon D800
- 3. Nikon D7000
The lenses I use most frequently, in order of usage :
- 1. The Fujifilm is a fixed lens camera, which I use most often.
- 2. 24-70mm f2.8
- 3. 14-24mm f2.8
- 4. 70-200mm f2.8
Few Tips and Tricks for those who want to get into the domain
There are no tips or tricks. There’s hardwork and hours of lugging aroung dozens of kilograms of equipment, hoping you don’t miss the shot while changing batteries. Then there’s hours spent in front of the computer screen sorting, selecting and editing the images you captured. [ Being ruthless is the best strategy in the long run. ] The best way to “get into the domain” is to go in with as much information and awareness as possible. To break the rules of the game, you need to know how to play the game first. Yes, you need exceptional talent to shine through, but you also need business acumen to get your strategy right. While “likability” isn’t a top priority, people will not remember what you did for them but how you made them feel. Be nice. To your clients and their guests and your assistants and your fellow-photographers.