It’s the wedding season and there’s so much activity going on. While as guests, you may remember how pretty the decorations looked and how much fun you had, for the two people who actually matter – the bride and the groom, the day would’ve gone by in a haze of activity and nerves. Which is where the wedding photographer comes into the picture.
Capturing those precious moments eternally in well-timed shots, Indians who love their weddings are willing to shell out insane amounts for a professional to not just take pictures but also make a movie out of it. The newest trend that’s been picking up in the past year, wedding filmographers shoot your wedding like a movie, complete with its own soundtrack. And while the more prolific photographers with the infrastructure are taking over the movie-making business, in the last year, smaller fish with the skills are providing more economical alternatives for people who just want the standard wedding album.
“It is easier for one to learn photography. In our country, it is a saturated market and there are plenty of opportunities for photographers especially in the field of weddings, as there is lots to shoot when it comes to Indian weddings,” opines Joshua Komanapalli. A freelance photographer for the past five years, Joshua has specialised in wedding photography and sees the mushrooming of young amateur photographers as a symptom of easy access.
Agreeing, Joseph Radhik, known for doing big wedding projects like Ram Charan Tej’s and Allu Arjun’s wedding says, “The scope of the job has increased rapidly. The art of managing a lot of things like publicity campaigns and getting clients on social networking sites has made the job easier for youngsters.”
While experience says that the ease of learning and showcasing has made it a favourable career option, the younger lot believe that the ‘cool’ factor associated with being a photographer plays a bigger role in the recent rise in numbers.
Bengaluru-based Amulya Nagaraj who is also known in the Hyderabad circle for her work says that social networking not just helps career wise, but also entices quite a few to take the plunge.
“There are several reasons why one takes to photography; one thinks it is cool and glamorous to take pictures and post them on a social networking website. Another aspect is that it is easier to make money from a visible form of a hobby/passion.” But, like it happened with Joseph, she points out, “One may even have an emotional connection with the subject,” which is what perhaps ignites the passion. In her case, the media student-turned-journalist came to realise that telling stories through the images trumped telling them through words.
While the numbers may not be so curious, amateur photographers surviving alongside with some established names in the field is.
Advice is free-flowing. In fact, Joshua had recently conducted a workshop on wedding photography for those interested. His ‘Destination Wedding Photography’ was a two-day workshop conducted at his home town, Amalapuram.
“There is a lot of drama that takes place during an Indian wedding. Photographers need to understand that shooting the wedding has to reflect a very natural setting,” says the 33 year old. For Radhik, respecting the day and it’s importance is the key. “A wedding photographer should respect the fact that it’s someone’s big day and the significance it holds for the couple. A thought like that adds to the beauty of the picture.” With more than 15 wedding movies to his credit, what makes the movie a popular choice he says is, “Instead of 100 pictures, it’s viewing just one video.”
“The short movie including the journey of a couple makes it look so dramatic and memorable. While the hours consuming wedding video would make it dull, an edited version with background music would definitely leave a wow factorial,” adds Joshua.
Photographer Kamal Kiran has been popular for his portraits for a while, but the growing market for wedding movies has nudged him in the same direction. With the trailer for his first wedding movie set to release this month end, he joins the list of wedding photographers turning to wedding filmographers.
“The fact that one can view their wedding day in a half-hour movie with visual effects is an unusual concept that is fast picking up. Its feel good factor to see your wedding day as a short movie with effects will definitely bring smiles on the couple’s face which means our job is successful.”
Kamal began his career when he participated in the 365 Project – a social initiative that encouraged people to upload one picture with a caption every day for a year. The shift to wedding photography happened when he was offered to shoot his friend’s wedding. While his definition of a good photographer is someone “should be capable enough to bring smiles on the faces of the couple in the images”, his take on why the young generation’s interest in this field has multiplied is “because of the money and fame that one gains by displaying their photographs online”.
Be it the money or the passion, or that one probably just loves Indian weddings, one thing is for sure, you need to know how to use the camera.
Says Amulya, “The better you know the object, the clearer object is captured. I studied the technical aspects of photography and would suggest that all photographers know their equipment and have control over it.” And it isn’t just the technical expertise that makes a good photographer. “Photographers need a lot of patience as well!” she adds.
Between these photographers, charges for their services range from as low as `30,000 to `3 lakhs for a wedding. Services range from just couple portraits to covering the wedding and a movie that follows the groom and bride through the day.