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“A child is the inspiration for my Wedding Albums”

Baroda-based Prakash Tilokani, a titan in the wedding photo industry, is a role-model for thousands of wedding photographers. The self-taught photographer runs his 40 people strong organisation on the lines of a highly professional corporate house; his office building is aptly named ‘Memories House’ and his clients include business, bollywood and political heavy-weights like Laxmi Mittal and Shilpa Shetty. Tilokani is revered not just for his talent and business acumen but for his people management and inter-personal skills too. He spoke to WeddingSutra, a day before the awards ceremony of Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2010, for which he is the Judge.

Traditional Indian elements and fairy-tale glamour
My wedding photographs combine traditional elements and fairy-tale glamour to tell a beautiful story. While designing the wedding album I keep a simple philosophy in mind: ‘the wedding album should be interesting for a four year old child too’. Each of the colourful pictures showcasing love and unique moments should entertain a child.

Simple, stylish albums and Photo books
My albums are simple yet stylish in design, where the focus is on the picture, printed on the best-quality paper. I don’t believe in rich edges or borders, which take away from the beauty of the pictures. Nor do I pay much importance to captions, because the picture speaks a thousand words! If photo albums have a lot of sentimental value, photobooks are treasured. I introduced the concept of Photobooks in India, and I’m so happy that they are so popular today.

Favorite Wedding locales
In India, my favourite destinations include Neemrana Fort and Devi Garh in Rajasthan. Amby Valley is another awesome destination wedding venue. Though I must add, the charm of a beautiful destination shows up in the pictures, only if it’s a day wedding, and at night most exotic venues look the same. I also look forward to shooting weddings in Europe- the great climate and pollution-free environment contribute to much better photographs.

Pool Party and Portraits
At Destination Weddings I enjoy photographing the pool parties—its one event, where all adults act like kids. In our hot, sweaty climate, water lifts everyone’s spirits so they are on a high! I also enjoy the portrait sessions with the bride and groom—it’s interesting to observe how much they’re silently communicating on the most important day of their lives.

Funny incident @ a Shaadi
Once at a Gujarati wedding, as is the tradition in some families, the bride and groom were lifted by friends and family members to garland each other. There was this funny competition, where each side kept trying to lift higher, they went so high, both the bride and groom couldn’t keep the balance;  they fell on the ground, embracing each other.

Advice for budding wedding photographers
Think big and change with the times. Being a successful photographer has two elements to it—your skill at photography and your business acumen, and both contribute equally to your success. With creativity and talent, you also need to improve your attitude, observation skills and patience. Thanks to Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards, there’s a new excitement among the Photographer fraternity. They look forward to participating and winning the most prestigious awards—and it pushes them to explore the new.

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