Why Weddings? Why Not?

 

Have you never shot a wedding before? Raj Lalwani tells you why the genre is so exciting, and a perfect practice ground to improve your photography.

The wedding season is underway and even if you are not doing it professionally, you should consider photographing a friend’s wedding. In fact, you should do this even if you enjoy other forms of photography. Here’s why.

In a single day, a wedding asks you several technical questions. Have you practised enough to answer them? Photograph/S L Anand

In a single day, a wedding asks you several technical questions. Have you practised enough to answer them? Photograph/S L Anand

Wish to Tell Stories?
The wedding story is full of love, romance, comedy, and a lot of drama and melodrama. If you enjoy photography for its storytelling capability, there is no better situation that a wedding to practise that… a skill that you can then apply to other subjects too.

It’s Not Just a Genre
From casual portraits to event shots, from candid documentary to formal portraiture, from architecture to food to the personal moments that tell you so much about people, a wedding photographer needs to proficient at all of these. Whatever genre you see yourself doing in the future, a wedding is a great of trying on several hats.

Weddings are where every human emotion comes together, and the ability to recognise these is dependent on how perceptive you are, as a person. Photograph/Steve D’Souza

Weddings are where every human emotion comes together, and the ability to recognise these is dependent on how perceptive you are, as a person. Photograph/Steve D’Souza

An Ultimate Test of Craft
Technically, the challenges posed by a wedding will really sort out your basics, and force you to adapt. As photographers, we often wait for ideal light and avoid shooting at other times, but weddings don’t give us that option. The rituals may take place in complete darkness, or in the harsh light of high noon. And there are no retakes…

It’s serious business, but if you are having fun while shooting a wedding, you are probably doing a good job. Photograph/Avantika Meattle

It’s serious business, but if you are having fun while shooting a wedding, you are probably doing a good job. Photograph/Avantika Meattle

A Wedding is Like a Street
There is something happening in every corner. A few people are the stars, but the fringe actors are equally important. It is much like your everyday walk on the street, where magic awaits at every corner.

Look at any wedding photo and you will realise how much it shares it aesthetic with some other form of photography. Photograph/Vivek Victor Sequeira

Look at any wedding photo and you will realise how much it shares it aesthetic with some other form of photography. Photograph/Vivek Victor Sequeira

Opens up Conversations, Possibilities
The sheer variety of people at any wedding is a gift for any portraitist. Also, a lot of these will be people you are meeting for the first time. The conversations that follow can be rewarding from a photographic perspective as well. They may give you new ideas or tell you about new places that you would want to travel, for shooting non-wedding work.

Usually, creativity is a personal pursuit, but in weddings, your creativity can give someone else happiness. Photograph/Steve D'Souza

Usually, creativity is a personal pursuit, but in weddings, your creativity can give someone else happiness. Photograph/Steve D’Souza

The Ultimate Test of Physical Fitness
Let’s face it. Not only do Indian weddings go on and on, they are also never on time. You may account for a day that begins early and goes on till late evening, but your stamina may be required once you realise that the festivities go on, well past midnight.

Like all of photography, weddings are about problemsolving. You have to adapt to different situations, an experience that will help you in other genres too. Photograph/Snigdha Sheel

Like all of photography, weddings are about problemsolving. You have to adapt to different situations, an experience that will help you in other genres too. Photograph/Snigdha Sheel

And Eventually… Of You
With delays and unpredictable roadblocks, it is very easy to get flustered and impatient. Keep calm. Smile a little. Rest during events when not much is happening, but keep your eyes open all the time. If you have successfully photographed the great Indian wedding, you are practically ready for any challenge. To uncover more secrets of making great wedding photos, simply turn the page.

Tags: Shooting Technique, Raj Lalwani, portraits, Wedding Photography