Young and Inspiring: Wedding Photographer Lakshya Chawla of ShutterDown
Our series ‘Young and Inspiring’ showcases fresh, exciting new talent powerhouses from the design, fashion and event domains who specialize in creating dream weddings for couples with stars in their eyes.
This MBA is a musician, amateur chef, ardent traveler and is in his element when he’s in the hurly-burly of a wedding, taking photographs of pure joy. Lakshya Chawla is the founder of ShutterDown, a collective of some of the country’s top wedding photographers and cinematographers. Since its inception in 2012, the company has grown to be one of the most recognized in the industry.
1. Tell us a bit about your journey? What inspired you to get into wedding photography?
There are two things that intrigue me – the gamut of emotions at a wedding and interacting with new people. This is what drove me to the industry.
I was mid-way through B-school when I realized I wanted to be a wedding photographer. In 2012, I shot my sister’s wedding and received a lot of appreciation. Many of my friends were getting married at that time so they asked me to shoot their weddings and people began to recognize my work. In the second year in college, we all had to choose our electives, so I picked the ones that would help me expand my business. That’s how I put all the theory I learned into practice. I backed out of my placements and during my MBA, I founded ShutterDown and started recruiting. Since then there has been no looking back.
2. What are the unique trends in wedding and pre-wedding photography?
People now want to maintain a natural, almost raw feel to their wedding pictures and films – documentary style photos rather than the traditional approach. They’re done with cliché props and fake poses.
And it’s worth mentioning that photographers are able to deliver because the couple and their near and dear ones don’t treat us merely as professionals but as part of the family. It’s easier to get closer to the couple even on the wedding day. The comfort levels you establish then help create intimate images that are true to their personalities.
With pre wedding shoots, our generation would rather travel than just pose in front of extravagant backdrops. Couples want vacations and shoots simultaneously and the idea that they can explore a destination and get a photo shoot done makes everything more relaxed.
Industry professionals have embraced advanced lighting solutions which help bring a lot of versatility into the shoots and achieve a wide variety of moods just by being a little creative.
3. Do you have a favorite among the photos you have captured or a film you have shot? Anything you hold close to your heart and why?
Some time ago we shot Nikhil and Pankhuri’s wedding in Dubai and I have to say that we remember this one very fondly. They were so warm and welcoming, the entire team became a part of their family. We made sure to keep their film and photos very natural with very few interviews and add-ons. They are such a lovely couple and we wanted their true personalities to shine through.
4. What’s your advice to couples searching for their dream photographer? Any other tips for them?
Look for a photographer who is fabulous at their work but also one who will be your best friend during the wedding.
5. Why do you suggest that?
A wedding photographer is someone who is closest to the bride and groom, in terms of proximity and is around them all the time. While weddings are a cheerful occasion, couples tend to stress out at various points. In such situations, you want someone who gets along with you not only so that there is no friction but also so this person can help you calm down.
Meet the photographer in person and go through his/her work properly. A couple should see the complete set of pictures clicked at weddings that may have had a vibe similar to the one they are planning. For example, if a couple is planning a beach wedding they should ask the photographer to show a complete set of his beach wedding photographs including all functions and so on. That should be the tip of the millennium, kidding!