By Jaspreet Soni
Weddings are one of the happiest days of your life. There is magic in the air, you are surrounded by people you love, there is music and dancing, beautiful clothes, stunning décor and the most delicious food. And when the celebrations are over, what remain are memories in the form of photographs and wedding films that remind the couple of the fun and emotions on their special day. They want the day to be captured just the way it unfolded- with perfection and unadulterated emotion. That’s why candid photography is getting so popular among couples. We talk to a few young and dynamic candid photographers to find out why the profession is in the limelight and what are the rewards and challenges.
Ankita and Akash, Wedding Nama (Mumbai)
Ankita Asthana says, “After completing my bachelor’s in architecture, I went to NID, Ahmedabad to pursue post-graduation in photography. The decision came naturally because my family has always been passionate about photography and I spent my childhood traveling to beautiful forests with a camera in hand! After passing out of NID I started off with architectural, travel & product photography and later ventured into portrait & lifestyle photography. The work was good but I always felt a sense of alienation with having to shoot just one-person-one-emotion at a time. I always loved weddings, for me each wedding is a plethora of moments sewn together. The final decision came when I took photographs at a friend’s wedding and she shared them online. When friends of friends saw my work, assignments started flowing in.”
Ankita elaborates: “without a support system, you cannot even think of starting a career in photography since it comes with a heavy dose of challenges early on; both monetary and creative. Being a photographer is like being a businesswoman and an artist at the same time. You have to learn how to deal professionally with a client to ensure you can deliver the best. My then boyfriend now husband AkashAgarwal always encouraged my decisions and backed me up whenever I faced difficulties. After his engineering, he went to XLRI, Jamshedpur for his MBA. His experience in a corporate culture has helped us understand our clients better and develop a professionally managed set-up for our company.”
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Rishabh Sood, CandidTales.com (Delhi NCR)
Rishabh says, “I was working with an Automobile Publication as a Creative Head before I got into wedding photography. What drew me to this career choice was the plethora of emotions attached to one event. Every time I cover a wedding, I get to know and understand people, and often work gets me to travel to and explore new places. All this excites and motivates me to take on the next assignment.”
Rishabh adds, “One of the major challenges we’ve faced on the job are guests with cameras. People love taking pictures these days. But they act as a distraction.Also, you need to keep evolving as a photographer. Sometimes, clients want every possible photography/ videography element at the best price. Keeping the expectations real is the key.”
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Divya and Debashish, SutraSnapperz (Hyderabad)
Divya says, “It’s a wonderful experience to capture someone’s special day, being amidst all the happy faces! Yes of course, we travel intensively which we like and to back that up, we get paid.”
“During outdoor weddings, especially at night we have to be prepared for the lighting condition, and ensure the pictures are perfect.Unlike other photo shoots, where the settings for photographers can be planned, here they cannot always be planned and wedding photographers may need to adapt when required.”
Aditya Marathe and Aditya Mahagaonkar, WhatKnot (Mumbai)
Aditya says: “we began our respective careers in corporate consulting. Aditya was working with one of the big 4 consulting giants as an IT consultant while the other Aditya (Adi) was into market research and handled consumer research and insights for some of the largest FMCG companies. The transition from corporate life to weddings was gradual and planned. We shot our first wedding for a friend in 2012 and got a lot of appreciation from it. We continued shooting weddings during the weekends, steadily investing in better equipment, learning new tricks and techniques. Fast forward to 2015, we are into this field full-time now and enjoying every bit of it.
“While many brides and grooms-to-be spend time searching for a candid photographer, the awareness on this genre is still growing. Sometimes wedding guests think we are there to photograph them posing too but such demands or requests do not put us off. Wedding Photography is one industry where one is required to have good people skills, above average organization skills, superb execution skills while keeping the creative instincts alive! The other challenges include coordinating with different teams during the shoot, managing delivery deadlines during the peak season, shooting at odd hours …. the list goes on.”
Rohan Mishra (Chennai)
Rohan says, “I am a Mechanical Engineer and have always loved automobiles and a career in photography was nowhere even in my dreams. I used to possess a Sony 8 MP Point and Shoot with which I would capture the beauty around. My wife Puja sensed my interest in photography, and gifted me my first DSLR, Nikon D3100 on my birthday. There was a whole new world that opened for me to explore.After getting recognition on various nature photography related platforms, I wanted to explore people photography and thought what can be a better option than shooting a wedding. With Puja’s experience in advertising and styling, and my interest in the camera and lighting techniques, we decided to combine our common interests to take it to the next level and that’s how ‘Rohan Mishra Photography’ was born.
“A wedding photographer has to be a master in different photography styles and one of the biggest challenges for a candid photographer is to shoot different scenes in changing light environments.And sometimes we have to be on our toes- day and night. Weddings can’t be recreated so you have to be on top of your game at all times. This demands utmost mental and physical strength.”
“We are also seeing a change in attitude towards photography in general. The rise of digital cameras and phones is creating a mindset of ‘Anyone can do it.’ The challenge we face now, more than ever, is to produce work which will transform the most touching moments into memories and to do so you need to be an ‘Artist’ and not just a photographer.”
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Robin Saini (Pune)
“Before getting into wedding photography, I spent nine years in marketing with corporate conglomerates and later with a media and entertainment company. People who know me can vouch for the fact that I always liked to push the envelope. Being a ‘Leo’, I was always fascinated to get my own pictures clicked and that’s where my love for camera started. Thanks to social media and encouragement from friends, I spent more time on photography, and then wedding photography happened. I decide to take the plunge by quitting my job and getting into it full-time, and I convinced by wife Jass (who was earlier working as a Designer with Raymond) to join me, and I’m so glad she did, as it is so important to have a second shooter/ business partner/ office coordinator when one is offering wedding photography & film solutions.”
Robin says, “This reality is that the market is very price sensitive, but clients who appreciate the value of everlasting wedding memories are willing to pay a premium for the photographer they trust and whose work they like best. We are sometimes at wedding locations where it is difficult to photograph, or everything (i.e. pre-wedding or getting ready shoot schedule) is not as originally planned. The challenge for the photographer is to then create magical images from not-so-favourable locations, limited time and different lighting options.”