In the United States with no knowledge of Indian culture and its traditions, it is hard to imagine the kind of cash flow shooting an Indian wedding; i.e., if you are open to shoot Indian weddings.
As a wedding photographer, it is really difficult to resist the urge once you understand the potential to becoming an Indian Wedding Photographer.
If you’ve been to an Indian Wedding or even heard about them,. There is often a large turnout of people; with several days of celebrations and parties, and of course the main wedding event, which is the highlight.
One thing is for sure, if you are booked to shoot an Indian wedding, the experience can be a unique blend of utter chaos and a whole lot of fun. Leading it to become an unforgettable experience.
We refer to Indian weddings as if there is just one type, but in reality, India is a multi-cultural nation where each culture has different customs and practices. Hindu weddings are different from Muslim weddings or Jain and Christian weddings, and each state in India has its own culture, language, and practices that tend to affect the actual process.
A typical Indian Hindu wedding occurs over a number of days. Each day of the wedding has its own set of rituals and ceremonies which can be both religious as well as non-religious. When you understand the significance of each ceremony you are likely going to produce better photographs, because you will not only be thinking in terms of a wedding photographer who is going beyond, but you will also understand the emotional aspects that occur in each ceremony, thus being able to relate to them as well as photograph them. You will also likely bring your own take in an event like this which will undoubtedly bring about a colorful montage.
Understanding the ceremonies thus gives you an incredible edge over other wedding photographers.
To give you an introduction to Indian weddings and as well as to keep things simple, we will be discussing just a typical north Indian Hindu wedding in this article.
Understanding Client’s Expectations helping you become an exceptional Indian Wedding Photographer
Before we get into the details, it is very important for you to understand what the client’s expectations are. Typically, in an Indian wedding, the photographer is booked not by the couple but by someone in the family. It could be the parents, a cousin, or an uncle or even a friend; it is better to establish the expectations of not only the person who is booking you but also involving the couple and the parents. It is a high-pressure job which in all reality is the norm these days to earning top dollars.
The problem is that with a huge invitee list and your clients (usually the couple and their parents) expecting you to photograph and document the presence of each guest, you usually end up taking over a thousand photographs.
As the wedding is an occasion of the union for two people, it is always better to meet the couple first and establish their expectations. Indian wedding photography takes time due to the number of photographs that need to be captured and edited. Either way, you will be expected to deliver no less than 500-700 images! At times it can be too overwhelming and something that requires stepping out of your comfort zone. What we feel is the best way is to keep the artistic types of shots to yourself and employ a second shooter who will go about doing the general coverage. That way you can not only get the images that you want to shoot, representing your style but also cater to the expectations of the clients.
Planning Your Day for becoming the Best Wedding Photographer
As have been highlighted elsewhere in this article, a typical Indian wedding is a multi-day event. That means you as the photographer have to be involved full time as the wedding takes place. It is always best to plan out the days so that you have sufficient time in your hand to make all the required images as well as the ones that will carry your signature style. Though we are only referring to typical north Indian Hindu weddings here, there may be some differences depending on the place and culture that the bride and the groom belong to. Thus if you know the events in advance, you can create a schedule of sorts and then blend in with the flow, without having to micro-managing everything.
As the weddings are such a big event it often becomes impossible to get hold of the couple on the wedding day. It then becomes of significant importance for you to explain to the couple the importance of pre-wedding shoot which we one of the rare opportunities where you will find the couple alone helping you shoot some exemplary signature style photographs. More and more Indian couples are understanding the importance of this and are willing to invest the time to do a pre-wedding shoot. A pre-wedding shoot is also one of the rare opportunities that you will get some time in hand to compose and really showcase your signature style. The actual wedding event will be more of a rush thing and on your first wedding, you will find the pace to be a bit too hectic and too much happening all at the same time to be able to cover.
THE MAIN WEDDING EVENT
Baraat in Hindi means the wedding party. It is a formal event when the groom, his family, and friends leave his home and parade to the hotel/lawn where the marriage is to take place. If the wedding is taking place in India, you would see this is to be a high-key event, with bands, fireworks, family, and friends dancing all the way and the groom riding a white stallion to the venue. Once the baraat reaches the wedding venue a further exhibition of dance is put on before they are received by the bride’s family and escorted inside the venue.
The Main Wedding Event:
The main wedding event constitutes a special holy fire where the marriage is formalized. The bride and the groom hold hands at one point, and then they walk around the fire seven times. The key moment of the wedding is when the groom ties a special necklace (known as Mangalsutra) around the bride’s neck. As a wedding photographer, this is a moment that you absolutely cannot miss! A couple will want this key moment of the wedding to be captured without fail.
The post-wedding reception is mainly about presenting the newly-wed to the guests, with an accompanying seven-course meal, blessings, and gifts. Guests present the couple with blessings and gifts while the evening concludes with the banquet. This is a formal affair and while the artistic photography opportunities may appear limited you can still make the evening fruitful bringing in your signature style.
In conclusion, if you are wanting to become the best Indian wedding photographer while almost doubling your bank balance then their things which should be taken into account. Most importantly, Wedding which a union of two souls for eternity should be photographed exemplarily. If you are in DC or Virginia and in need of the Indian Wedding Photographer then check out AVS360, which is a brand in photography that is known for its outstanding clarity in images quality and details. For more information, please contact avs360 at (202) 203-8770 or you can even visit our website at http://www.avs360.com