Sony BP WPOY 2018-19: The Final Round of Judging

 

The winner of the Sony Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2018-19 title was based on a comprehensive set of photographs submitted by our six category winners, which were then looked over by Prakash Tilokani and Joseph Radhik, our judges.

After the face-off, the submissions of the six category winners were presented to our final two judges—Prakash Tilokani, India’s premier wedding photographer, and Joseph Radhik, one of the most soughtafter celebrity wedding photographers in the country. The submissions comprised the image that won the finalists their category, pictures submitted during the Portfolio Submission round, and the 20 images shot during the face-off. The judging took place on 18 March, followed by a grand awards ceremony on 19 March, at the Hotel Sahara Star, in Mumbai. The judging was a meticulous five-hour process, where Prakash and Joseph debated over various parameters—storytelling, composition, use of light and technique—that decided the winner of the contest.

Here’s a look at our seven category winners…

Rishika Brahma, Kolkata
Winner: Family & Friends Category

Bride & Groom Portraiture winning image. Photograph/Rishika Brahma

Family & Friends category winning image. Photograph/Rishika Brahma

Rishika Brahma While she was preparing for her CA finals, Rishika stumbled upon photography, and since then, has never looked back. She is the lead photographer and the right hand at Anirban Brahma Photography. Her visuals are people-oriented and inspired by street photography aesthetics. You can find her on www. anirbanbrahma.com.

Rishika Brahma
While she was preparing
for her CA finals,
Rishika stumbled upon
photography, and
since then, has never
looked back. She is
the lead photographer
and the right hand
at Anirban Brahma
Photography. Her visuals
are people-oriented
and inspired by street
photography aesthetics.
You can find her on www.
anirbanbrahma.com.

“It was a pleasure working with professional models during the face-off. Unlike the couples that I am hired to photograph, the models were very expressive and forthcoming.”

This was my first time photographing on a cruise liner. As great as the experience was, the biggest constraint that I faced was not being able to shoot enough in natural light, as I was scheduled to photograph in the evening. So I improvised by making use of lighting equipment courtesy of Elinchrom.

Images from the Portfolio Submission Round

Photograph/Rishika Brahma

Photograph/Rishika Brahma

Face-off Submissions

Photograph/Rishika Brahma

Photograph/Rishika Brahma


Harsheen Jammu, Gurgaon
Winner: Finer Wedding Details or Still Life Category

Finer Wedding Details or Still Life category winning image. Photograph/Harsheen Jammu

Finer Wedding Details or Still Life category winning image. Photograph/Harsheen Jammu

Harsheen Jammu Her indomitable passion for photography began from her childhood interest in painting. A graduate from IIM Kozhikode, Harsheen’s tryst with wedding photography began seven years ago. In 2015, she founded her company Ombre. You can find her on www.theombre.com.

Harsheen Jammu
Her indomitable passion
for photography began
from her childhood
interest in painting.
A graduate from
IIM Kozhikode, Harsheen’s
tryst with wedding
photography began seven
years ago. In 2015, she
founded her company
Ombre. You can find her
on www.theombre.com.

“My work emphasises a lot on intimacy. However, during the face-off, I wasn’t quite able to bring out this quality between the models. So I decided to focus on composition.”

I was an avid painter in school, and so, a lot of my aesthetics today are inspired by design elements and colour theory. I am particularly drawn to clean frames, and I often take the minimalistic route when composing my photographs. That’s exactly what I focused on during the face-off.

Images from the Portfolio Submission Round

Photograph/Harsheen Jammu

Photograph/Harsheen Jammu

Face-off Submissions

Photograph/Harsheen Jammu

Photograph/Harsheen Jammu


Pon Prabakaran, Chennai
Winner: Photoseries on a Single Wedding

Photograph/Pon Prabakaran

Photograph/Pon Prabakaran

Pon Prabakaran His love for photography was inculcated while working part-time at a photography studio in Chennai, while still in college. But by 2012, Pon began actively shooting weddings, and adopted a photojournalistic approach to the genre. He cites Selvaprakash Lakshmanan and Senthil Kumaran as two of his biggest inspirations. You can find him on Instagram at @ponprabakaran.

Pon Prabakaran
His love for photography
was inculcated while
working part-time at
a photography studio
in Chennai, while still
in college. But by
2012, Pon began
actively shooting
weddings, and adopted
a photojournalistic
approach to the genre.
He cites Selvaprakash
Lakshmanan and Senthil
Kumaran as two of his
biggest inspirations.
You can find him
on Instagram at
@ponprabakaran.

“I am impulsive when it comes to photography. It’s the in-between moments, as people transition from one situation to the next, that I am after.”

As excited as I was about the face-off, I was equally self-conscious about how I’d fare in a controlled environment, where I was expected to make a specific number of photographs within a set time and location. Regardless, I decided to just be myself and bring in the same spontaneity that defines my work. It was tough at first, as I began shooting very early in the morning. And since my pictures largely focus on a myriad of human interactions, I found it difficult at first to bring out this layered narrative, since so few of the guests were awake that early in the day. In the end, I just let the models roam around and be themselves.

Images from the Portfolio Submission Round

Photograph/Pon Prabakaran

Photograph/Pon Prabakaran

Face-off Submissions

Photograph/Pon Prabakaran

Photograph/Pon Prabakaran


Divyam Ramji Mehrotra, Kanpur
Winner: Bride & Groom Portraiture

Bride & Groom Portraiture category winning image. Photograph/Divyam Ramji Mehrotra

Bride & Groom Portraiture category winning image. Photograph/Divyam Ramji Mehrotra

Divyam Ramji Mehrotra He began photography by imitating his father. Since then, Divyam has gone on to win several awards, including the One Eyeland Award and the Fearless Award. He is the Founder of Weddingrams, an award-winning wedding photography collective, and has been shooting for the last six years. You can find him on www.weddingrams.com.

Divyam Ramji
Mehrotra
He began photography
by imitating his father.
Since then, Divyam has
gone on to win several
awards, including the One
Eyeland Award and the
Fearless Award. He is the
Founder of Weddingrams,
an award-winning wedding
photography collective,
and has been shooting
for the last six years.
You can find him on
www.weddingrams.com.

“On the day that I was shooting, the wind was particularly fierce. It lashed out at anyone who came in its way. I was looking for drama, but didn’t expect to be rewarded so abundantly.”

My style derives a lot of inspiration from Renaissance paintings. There’s a certain subtlety in the gestures, whether it is the face or the hand, that loans a sense of timelessness to the portraits. I tried to imbibe the same enduring quality in the photographs that I made during the face-off.

Images from the Portfolio Submission Round

Photograph/Divyam Ramji Mehrotra

Photograph/Divyam Ramji Mehrotra

Face-off Submissions

Photograph/Divyam Ramji Mehrotra

Photograph/Divyam Ramji Mehrotra


Abhimanyu Sharma, Gurgaon
Winner: Emotions

Emotions category winning image. Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

Emotions category winning image. Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

Abhimanyu Sharma He is the Co-founder of Going Bananas Photography, which is ranked fifth, globally, in the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers’ (ISPWP) Winter 2019 collection. His company is also the recipient of the most Wedding Photographers’ Association of India (WPAI) awards, including four Fearless Awards. Abhimanyu was the first Indian photographer to win the This is Reportage award. You can find his work on www.goingbananas photography.com. Photograph by Rocio Vega

Abhimanyu Sharma
He is the Co-founder
of Going Bananas
Photography, which is
ranked fifth, globally, in
the International Society
of Professional Wedding
Photographers’ (ISPWP)
Winter 2019 collection.
His company is also the
recipient of the most
Wedding Photographers’
Association of India
(WPAI) awards, including
four Fearless Awards.
Abhimanyu was the first
Indian photographer
to win the This is
Reportage award.
You can find his work
on www.goingbananas
photography.com. Photograph by Rocio Vega

“When I photograph weddings, I do it for posterity. I want my images to facilitate in the remembrance of the cascade of emotions that was felt by the people viewing it, years later.”

I photograph what I feel. However, this does not imply that I approach the shoot unprepared. I always make it a point to create mental notes of the images that I’d like to execute. I also prefer not to bind myself to any particular style, so that I cam free to pursue different creative avenues within photography.

Images from the Portfolio Submission Round

Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

Face-off Submissions

Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma


Prasheila Lookhar, Gurgaon
Winner: Behind the Scenes or Offbeat

Behind the Scenes or Offbeat category winny image. Photograph/Prasheila Lookhar

Behind the Scenes or Offbeat category winny image. Photograph/Prasheila Lookhar

Prasheila Lookhar Prasheila is the Co-founder of Going Bananas Photography. She aims for simplicity, impact and meaning in her photographs. With a keen sense for photojournalism, she’s highly perceptive and excels in capturing fleeting emotions and moments. You can find her work on www.goingbananas photography.com. Photograph by Rocio Vega

Prasheila Lookhar Prasheila is the Co-founder of Going Bananas Photography. She aims for simplicity, impact and meaning in her photographs. With a keen sense for photojournalism, she’s highly perceptive and excels in capturing fleeting emotions and moments. You can find her work on www.goingbananas photography.com. Photograph by Rocio Vega

“I believe that there’s something to be learned and inspired by, with everyone around you. As photographers, we’ve got to look for it.”

The face-off was a very interesting experience for me, more so because this was my first time photographing models. Hiten and Arjita, both the models, were very easy to work with, and took off a lot of the pressure that comes with an event of this nature. I took each moment, as it came, and just had fun with it.

Images from the Portfolio Submission Round

Photograph/Prasheila Lookhar

Photograph/Prasheila Lookhar

Face-off Submissions

Photograph/Prasheila Lookhar

Photograph/Prasheila Lookhar


Gautam Agarwal, Visakhapatnam
Winner: The Joy of Light by Photoquip

The Joy of Light by Photoquip category winning image. Photograph/Gautam Agarawal

The Joy of Light by Photoquip category winning image. Photograph/Gautam Agarawal

Gautam Agarwal Initially involved in the automobile retail market, Gautam’s career in wedding photography took off seven years ago. He is the Founder of Agarwal’s Capturz, a company that offers a variety of services ranging from wedding/prewedding shoots, fashion, and product photography, among other things. You can find his work on www.agarwalscapturz.in.

Gautam Agarwal
Initially involved in the
automobile retail market,
Gautam’s career in
wedding photography
took off seven years
ago. He is the Founder
of Agarwal’s Capturz, a
company that offers a
variety of services ranging
from wedding/prewedding
shoots, fashion,
and product photography,
among other things.
You can find his work on
www.agarwalscapturz.in.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed after I discovered that I had won the category. But it means that my responsibilities have grown manifold.”

I’ve always been inquisitive and a keen observer of people. That is why weddings hold a great appeal for me. At the same time, I also enjoy experimenting with light and other photographic techniques. This particular image of star trails, shot at Thotlakonda, in Visakhapatnam, is a combination of 157 photographs.

 

 

 

 

 


Here’s a look at our category runners-up…

Nitin Dangwal, Panchkula
Runner-Up: Bride & Groom Portraiture

Nitin Dangwal If it wasn’t for his wife gifting him a camera, Nitin would’ve probably never discovered photography. After receiving an incredible response for his first assignment, Nitin’s wedding photography career took off in 2013. He is the Co-founder of Shutterink, an awardwinning company that specialises in wedding photography and videography. You can find his work on www.shutterink.in.

Nitin Dangwal
If it wasn’t for his wife
gifting him a camera, Nitin
would’ve probably never
discovered photography.
After receiving an
incredible response for
his first assignment,
Nitin’s wedding
photography career took
off in 2013. He is the
Co-founder of
Shutterink, an awardwinning
company
that specialises in
wedding photography
and videography.
You can find his work on
www.shutterink.in.

Runner-up in Bride & Groom Portraiture category. Photograph/Nitin Dangwal

Runner-up in the Bride & Groom Portraiture category. Photograph/Nitin Dangwal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Harsheen Jammu, Gurgaon
Runner-Up: Family & Friends

Harsheen Jammu Her indomitable passion for photography began from her childhood interest in painting. A graduate from IIM Kozhikode, Harsheen’s tryst with wedding photography began seven years ago. In 2015, she founded her company Ombre. You can find her on www.theombre.com.

Harsheen Jammu
Her indomitable passion
for photography began
from her childhood
interest in painting.
A graduate from
IIM Kozhikode, Harsheen’s
tryst with wedding
photography began seven
years ago. In 2015, she
founded her company
Ombre. You can find her
on www.theombre.com.

Runner-up in the Family & Friends category. Photograph/Harsheen Jammu

Runner-up in the Family & Friends category. Photograph/Harsheen Jammu


Sanoj Kumar, Kochi
Runner-Up: Emotions & Behind the Scenes or Offbeat

Sanoj Kumar A self-taught photographer, Sanoj has been photographing weddings for the last 20 years. He finds inspiration in the works of Andrea Corsi, Victor Lax and Two Mann Studios. He is the Founder of 123 Wedding Album, a company that’s based in Kochi. You can find Sanoj’s work on www. sanojkumarphotography. com.

Sanoj Kumar A self-taught photographer, Sanoj has been photographing weddings for the last 20 years. He finds inspiration in the works of Andrea Corsi, Victor Lax and Two Mann Studios. He is the Founder of 123 Wedding Album, a company that’s based in Kochi. You can find Sanoj’s work on www. sanojkumarphotography. com.

 

Runner up in the Emotions category. Photograph/Sanoj Kumar

Runner up in the Emotions category. Photograph/Sanoj Kumar

 

Runner up in the Behind the Scenes or Offbeat category. Photograph/Sanoj Kumar

Runner up in the Behind the Scenes or Offbeat category. Photograph/Sanoj Kumar


Rahul Shah, Pune
Runner-Up: Finer Wedding Details or Still Life

Rahul Shah He is a wedding and documentary photographer based in Pune, and has been shooting since 2012. Rahul is of the opinion that storytelling is about the in-between, significantly insignificant moments. You can find his work on www.raconteur.in

Rahul Shah
He is a wedding
and documentary
photographer based
in Pune, and has been
shooting since 2012.
Rahul is of the opinion that storytelling is about the in-between, significantly
insignificant moments.
You can find his work on www.raconteur.in.

Runner-up in the Finer Wedding Detail or Still Life category. Photograph/Rahul Shah

Runner-up in the Finer Wedding Detail or Still Life category. Photograph/Rahul Shah


Sandeep Holla, Mangalore
Runner-Up: The Joy of Light by Photoquip

Sandeep Holla He received his first camera at the age of 19, and since then, has founded/co-founded two companies— Holla’s Photography, a company that specialises in wedding photography, and Blink Films, a production company dealing with videos. He is the recipient of seven Wedisson Awards and two WedAwards. You can find him on Instagram at @hollasphotography.

Sandeep Holla
He received his first
camera at the age of
19, and since then, has
founded/co-founded two
companies— Holla’s
Photography, a company
that specialises in
wedding photography,
and Blink Films, a
production company
dealing with videos. He is
the recipient of seven
Wedisson Awards and two
WedAwards. You can find
him on Instagram at
@hollasphotography.

 

Runner-up in The Joy of Light ny Photoquip category. Photograph/Sandeep Holla

Runner-up in The Joy of Light ny Photoquip category. Photograph/Sandeep Holla


Abhimanyu Sharma, Gurgaon
Runner-Up: Photoseries on a Single Wedding

Abhimanyu Sharma He is the Co-founder of Going Bananas Photography, which is ranked fifth, globally, in the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers’ (ISPWP) Winter 2019 collection. His company is also the recipient of the most Wedding Photographers’ Association of India (WPAI) awards, including four Fearless Awards. Abhimanyu was the first Indian photographer to win the This is Reportage award. You can find his work on www.goingbananas photography.com.

Abhimanyu Sharma
He is the Co-founder
of Going Bananas
Photography, which is
ranked fifth, globally, in
the International Society
of Professional Wedding
Photographers’ (ISPWP)
Winter 2019 collection.
His company is also the
recipient of the most
Wedding Photographers’
Association of India
(WPAI) awards, including
four Fearless Awards.
Abhimanyu was the first
Indian photographer
to win the This is
Reportage award.
You can find his work
on www.goingbananas
photography.com.

 

Runner-up in the Photoseries on a Single Wedding. Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

Runner-up in the Photoseries on a Single Wedding. Photograph/Abhimanyu Sharma

 

Tags: Abhimanyu Sharma, Angriya, better photography, Divyam Ramji Mehrotra, face-off, Harsheen Jammu, Hotel Sahara Star, Joseph Radhik, Judging, March 2019, Pon Prabakaran, Portfolio Submission, prakash tilokani, Prasheila Lookhar, Rishika Brahma, Sony BP WPOY 2018-19 Awards, Wedding Photography