Luke Walker,the photographer
My name is Luke Walker and I am a wedding photographer based in New
York. The studio has been in business approximately 5 years now with
Indian weddings now consisting of more than half of our business. In
addition to the many weddings I have the honor of shooting per year,
I'm also a regular contributing photographer to national magazines
like The Knot and Wedding Style Magazine.
What cities do you cover?
While our home base is here in NY, I shoot all over the United States.
Next year alone I have weddings booked from Bermuda to Hawaii, so it's
literally coast-to-coast. The majority of my business is here in the
Northeast though, with a concentration in NYC and Philadelphia.
Traveling for weddings has just become the norm for me and I find it
very exciting continuously shooting in fresh environments.
Your Photography Style
My photography style is a bit unique because I actually started out in
fashion photography. I feel it's vital to be photojournalistic and out
of the way the majority of the day, but it's those relaxed, casual
portraits of the bride and groom that really separate my style. I want
the bride and groom to walk away from their wedding with a variety of
gorgeous portraits of them that reflect their true smiles, their
personalities, and their relationship. Minus that part of the day, I
do try and stay back and remain inconspicuous as much as possible.
Your choice of camera/ lens
For years, I have used the latest technologically advanced Canon
digital cameras. I'm a huge fan of "fast" glass and I love to shoot
wide open at tiny apertures. Two of my favorite lenses are the 135mm
2.0 and the 50mm 1.2.
Black & white Vs. Color photography - your thoughts
Black and white photography has a classically romantic and timeless
quality that can be very powerful. Indian weddings have so much color
though, and are so bright and vibrant that I usually deliver more
color images than I would in, say a Christian church ceremony where
the bride and groom wear black and white. When I started photographing
Indian weddings I was blown away by the colors and beauty of the
weddings and I think that has to be on display in the images.
Indian wedding photos suffer from excessive use of flash - what's your
I think the photography being offered in the Indian wedding market as
a whole is slightly behind the times and perhaps has not quite caught
up to what the current bride expects. Before 2005, I had never
photographed an Indian event but I had a couple come to me, impressed
with my style, and requested that I shoot their wedding (I was
hesitant because I had no idea what to expect). I told them I would
look at some of the Indian wedding photography online and I'll never
forget their response… "No! Please we want you to shoot it exactly
like you'd normally shoot, we don't want traditional photography."
Most of the receptions I shoot have some sort of lighting brought in
and I want to be sensitive to the special ambience they've created.
The amazing technology that's available today means the need for flash
is limited throughout the wedding day.
Post processing and Album design
Everything that I shoot gets minor retouching here in the office to
color correct and balance all of the images after the wedding. It's
important that brides view consistently beautiful wedding images
throughout their proofs. I always take about 10-15 of my favorites
from the wedding and retouch those to put on my blog, but I feel all
of the delivered images should have a little TLC to ensure they are
professional, beautiful images.
We offer 2 very different types of albums to our couples. The first,
and my personal favorite, is our La-Vie album. This album is very
unique because it's based on the more traditional matted albums, but
with a contemporary twist. The images are still mounted onto mats but
they are put together by hand with some of the highest quality boards
and designs to create a very modern and high-end look while still
retaining the enduring feeling of real photographs and mats. We also
offer the more widely used flushmount albums (also known as coffee
style albums) which we design here in-house.
Your favourite wedding photos
My favorite time of the day is always the time I get to spend with
just the bride and groom. The relaxed, informal portraits are sort of
my signature style at this point and always end up becoming the cover
of the album, or the huge 20x30 canvas print in their living room. Not
only is it my favorite part of the day from a photographic standpoint,
but also from a personal perspective because it gives me a chance to
actually talk to the couple and steal them away from the chaos for a
couple minutes. I greatly enjoy the relationships I'm able to build
with my couples and I like to give them to chance to get away from
everything for a few minutes and just enjoy each other.
A wedding photography experience that you wont forget
The first wedding that came to my mind without hesitation was the
first Indian wedding I ever photographed. Not being Indian myself
obviously (as if the red hair and pasty white skin didn't give it
away!) I had no idea what to expect and was slightly intimidated. What
I found was a beautifully genuine experience with more meaning and
sincerity behind the event than the customary American weddings I was
used to. I'm sure you can imagine being an American and watching your
first 30 minute baraat during an extremely hot summer afternoon! It
was a truly amazing experience for me though and something I'll never
forget. It was also the only wedding where I ever actually shed a tear
as well. The bride has just lost her parents before the wedding and
when her brother gave her away after the wedding ceremony there wasn't
a dry eye among the 300+ people, I promise you.
Advice for to-be-wed couples on how to pick venue, lighting, decor,
makeup, clothes etc that contribute to beautiful photos.
The number one factor a couple can use to help them walk away with
amazing photos is to talk with their photographer about the wedding
day timeline. Even if you are using a planner I always encourage
people to keep the photographer in the loop and make sure he/she is
always aware of the plans. There is nothing worse than getting a
schedule a couple of weeks before the wedding and seeing that
portraits of the bride and groom are scheduled outside in the middle
of summer at noon. That just doesn't work. Your photographer can
greatly help in terms of locations and timing with his or her input.