Weddings, past & present

Indian weddings are not just a ceremony of rituals performed in a certain order. They are significant celebrations of a lifetime of emotions, heart throbs and cultural cues. Every moment is worth shooting as they bring smiles on faces, offering some throwbacks. Wedding photographs are something everyone wishes to adore as they are very special, cherished all through life.

Wedding is considered as an important lifetime occasion which is preserved in the form of photographs or videos for sharing with the generations to come. Documenting the special days moments is something couples rejoice to do.

In olden days weddings were celebrated traditionally as weeklong festivals making the couple observe the rituals with the family members and friends. During those times, the use of photography and videography was very minimal to the extent of just recording the events or nil.

Photographs were taken only from the front, with the subjects all gathered in front of the camera. This was mostly the case, except in case of the rituals. The film rolls (yes, they used to have a maximum of 16, 24 and 36 exposures) that were used limited the number of exposures too. After the wedding, once the films were processed, somebody from the close family would view the negatives and choose the list of photos to be printed in the album. In a couple of weeks, the album was delivered.

The beginning of 2002 saw the appearance of digital technology in the scene. This paved the way for improved coverage of the wedding with more number of pictures and variety of exposures. The same changes happened with the video cameras too. And, photo and video transformed into a creative recording of the celebrations.In India, two styles of wedding photography occupy a prominent position, one called traditional and the other one is photo-journalistic or candid photography. While traditional still is in trend, candid photography has become the popular choice of modern couples.

The traditional wedding photography is the style of photography where the photographer predefined the shots and put in a lot of effort to make the subjects look best in the planned shots. The photographer approaches people from time to time at the wedding with some directions and instructions to capture the best shots. Traditional wedding photography & videography are still an inevitable choice to cover the elaborate rituals  and colourfulness of Indian weddings.

It was after 2008 that wedding photography witnessed the emergence of photojournalistic wedding photo-videography. And, by mid 2010, the word candid photography became popular. Candid photography is a realistic wedding photography which captures spontaneous emotions of people who never know the fact that they have been clicked by the candid photographer. In candid wedding photography, the photographer moves around the wedding area/venue clicking randomly without letting people aware of their image being captured. It is more of a sophisticated kind of high-end photography which demands a great deal of nuances of photojournalistic photography style.

Modern marriages such as destination weddings and beach weddings are the refined version of our traditional weddings where the couples are more particular about dramatic locations, unique ambience, cinematic wedding attire, hair style, makeup and fun filled events. Every modern couple wishes to have a sophisticated wedding experience and hence added the concept of pre-wedding couple shoot, post wedding shoot etc., as creative additions to the wedding celebrations.

Nowadays, people have started enjoying weddings as a social extravaganza. It has given people an opportunity to get close with friends and relatives who may be living far away from each other, to get together and have fun filled few days. People have started using weddings as an excuse to have celebrations, an extra day of fun and frolic; so much so that almost every community now has the haldi and sangeet as part of their agenda, even cocktail parties in some weddings.

With more celebrations, there is more to cover and with much creativity.  With a lot of people active in social media, they want to look good and want themselves to look more beautiful and want their pictures to stand apart from the rest. All this called for candid wedding photography capturing all those candid moments as they happen which are not captured traditionally.

Indian marriages are more colourful than ever and deeply cultural hence a good blend of both traditional and candid photography results in an elevated exotic wedding coverage.

In my more than one and half decades in the industry, I have seen a world of change, where from being an optional service, photography and videography have become one of the indispensable features of weddings, with couples more interested about their looks, lifestyle and a collectible audio-visual treasure for the future.

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