May 15, 2011 Wedding Photographers
Photographing a beautiful Indian wedding is a much sought-after assignment for many international wedding photographers. Some photographers even prefer to make India their temporary or permanent home. Like Cory Goldberg from New York who now lives in Mumbai, Sephi Bergerson from Israel who lives in Goa and UK-based Annie Heslop who stays in India for a few months every year. And those who come regularly look forward to living here someday, like LA-based Dina Douglass at Andrena Photography (recently named as one of the Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World by American Photo Magazine). Says Dina: “There is no place like India. From the moment I step off the plane, I am transported into a world that is unlike any other. The hospitality is incredible and the wedding venues are a photographer’s dream! I am equally excited when I get to shoot in the villages and more rustic areas. The juxtaposition of a gorgeous couple against a rural backdrop is something that creates brilliant images.”
(Left) Dina Douglass of Andrena Photography, (Right) Annie Heslop. (Below) Photograph by Dina Douglass
Cory Goldberg who lives in Khar, Mumbai tells us what he looks forward to most: “Action at the baraat! It’s very intense and as a photographer, it’s important not to get overwhelmed with all the many things happening in so many places. It can get chaotic– but in terms of capturing raw emotion and unforgettable candid moments, nothing beats the baraat.” He adds: “The style in which I work is a combination of candid, photo-journalistic, semi-posed portraiture, as well as a good amount of still life and landscape. I believe it is important when covering an event as dynamic as a wedding, to be versed in more than one style of shooting.” Cory is in India from September through May, and he goes back to the US during the monsoons. He explains: “Although I find the monsoon quite beautiful, my equipment hates the rain and humidity!”
Photograph by Cory Goldberg
Wedding Planners opine that traditionally, India’s wedding photography industry has had a community connection— most clients felt a photographer from their own community would be the best person to photograph the family wedding, but this is changing. And while India’s wedding market may be huge, that doesn’t mean all talented wedding photographers can get many assignments soon. As Prakash Tilokani, one of India’s most successful photographers explained in an interview to WeddingSutra: “Talent is of course one of the most important requisites for success, but you also need to be patient, sensitive and possess an astute business sense to grow and prosper.” Josh Komanappali originally from Andhra Pradesh, lived and worked in the US for 15 years, and he recently relocated to Hyderabad. He says: “In the US, I hardly got a chance to photograph Indian weddings, and it’s an all-new experience here, the market and mind-sets are different but that’s part of the learning experience.”
Photograph by Annie Heslop
Cory, Dina and Annie believe Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year (WPOY) Award is one of the best initiatives for India’s Wedding Photographer fraternity. Says Cory: “I was fortunate to attend WPOY 2010 and pleased to see such an array of genuine talent and innovation among the photographers.” Dina who is the only solo female photographer to make it onto the list of American’s Photo’s top 10 international wedding photographers, is elated to hear that more Indian females are joining the traditionally male-dominated profession: “In 2011, I hope Kodak and Better Photography institute a special award to recognise female photographers, and I’d love to be a part of it.”
Photograph by Dina Douglass
And while they are fascinated by the Indian Wedding, there are other passions and interests that make their India sojourn more enjoyable or meaningful. Annie Heslop spends time teaching photography to children in a school in Orissa, where she lives. She says: “I’m happiest when I’m shopping for Indian spices, music and essential oils, and I love eating out—Bhel Puri and all street food are my favorite.” Cory takes up freelance acting assignments and enjoys seeing music and theatre performances and travelling. He adds: “I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade, so I prefer eating out in India. When I’m back home I’m always on the look-out for good Indian restaurants and when I find a South Indian thali, I couldn’t be happier.”
Tags: American Photo, Andrena Photography, Annie Heslop, Baraat, Better Photography, Cory Goldberg, Dina Douglass, india, Josh Komanappali, Kodak, Photographs, Prakash Tilokani, Top 10 Wedding Photographers, wedding, Wedding Photographer of the Year, Wedding Photographers, Women Photographers
Apr 18, 2011 Celeb Weddings to Watch out for
Much before India became obsessed with the Big Fat Indian Wedding, there was a whole generation who were fascinated with the fairy-tale Charles-Di wedding. WeddingSutra gets well-known Wedding Planners to talk about their love affair with the most beautiful white wedding.
“In between class breaks we’d see photos of the fairy tale wedding”
Gurleen Puri, Mumbai
Gurleen excitedly recalls all the conversations and picture-sharing in her class, at Modern School in Vasant Vihar, Delhi: “We would chat at length about Diana, imagining what it must be like to lead the royal life; who can forget her beautiful hand bouquet, it was so heavy I’m sure she experienced much pain, yet she looked super-graceful! We couldn’t stop looking at the pictures of so many stylish royals in elegant gowns accessorised with beautiful pearls. One classmate brought the Vogue special that featured the wedding, and what a nice feeling it was to touch Vogue.”
At that time, Gurleen had no idea that there existed a profession called wedding planner, but flowers always fascinated her most: “I would look at the floral decor and all the little details at the functions and sit-down dinners first, and only after that I’d notice the clothes and jewellery.”
“Diana’s gorgeous oval blue sapphire ring with diamonds, I got an identical ring.”
Rimjhim Bhagchandani, Dubai:
I was so excited about the upcoming Charles-Diana wedding, a little apprehensive too since I was not sure if it would be telecast live in Dubai. Fortunately, our local TV Channel 33 did not disappoint. I can’t forget the day, it was like a fantasy– Diana looked so innocent, she smiled a lot but her Prince looked grumpy and unhappy (I didn’t think too much of it then, presuming protocol expected him to behave that way). I couldn’t stop admiring Diana’s iconic 18-carat sapphire surrounded by 14 brilliant-cut diamonds. I got an identical one made (though it was nowhere as gorgeous as hers). I still have a picture of her hand bouquet and I’ve designed similar bouquets for many brides.”
“Diana was the Queen of Style”
Vithika Agarwal, Bangalore
I was very young when Charles-Di wed, but some of the images are etched clearly in my mind. I think it was the first white wedding I witnessed and as I grew older, thanks to Hollywood films, my love and fascination for white weddings grew. There was something about white weddings—they seemed more romantic, perfect and intimate. But no other bride in white caught my attention like Diana—she was truly the Queen of Style!
Ironically, my British husband was fascinated by Indian weddings. So we didn’t have a church wedding but a fun, colourful and traditional Indian shaadi!
“London looked most beautiful on 29th July, 1981”
Dinaz Noria, Hyderabad
Dinaz worked with British Airways as a stewardess before she embarked on her career in decor & wedding planning, and she was in London on the landmark date. She says: “There was magic in the air, like all hotels, even the hotel where I was staying was specially decorated and on the menu was a sumptuous wedding feast. While I was glued to the TV I would keep looking out of the window, to see the happy crowds on the street. I bought the famous ceramic plates with the couple’s image as memorabilia for my little sister and cousins, and for many months I preserved my favourite photographs in a special file—the one I liked best is of Prince Charles kissing his bride on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.”
Tags: Charles Diana Wedding, Childhood, Dinaz Noria, Fascination, Favorite Photographs, Gurleen Puri, Hand Bouquet, india, Memories, Pictures, Rimjhim Bhagchandani, Ring, Royal family, Vithika Agarwal, Wedding Planners, White Weddings
Apr 15, 2011 Wedding Photographers
Congratulations to Vivek Sequeira, Winner of the Wedding Photographer of the Year Award 2010 and all category winners of the Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards 2010.
Bridal Portraiture- Vivek Sequeira (Mangalore)
Couple Portraiture-Mahesh Shantaram (Bangalore)
Family & Friends- P Vijay Kumar (Nellore)
Emotions- Ankit Singh (Bangalore)
Behind the Scenes-Abhinav Sah (Mumbai)
Photo Series on a single wedding- Dinesh Madhavan (Mumbai)
Tags: 2010, Abhinav Sah, Ankit Singh, Awards, Behind the Scenes, Best Wedding Photographers, Better Photography, Dinesh Madhavan, Emotions, Family and Friends, india, Kodak, Mahesh Shantaram, Portraiture, Vijay Kumar, Vivek Sequeira, Wedding Photographer of the Year, Wedding Photographs
Apr 13, 2011 Wedding Photographers
Baroda-based Prakash Tilokani, a titan in the wedding photo industry, is a role-model for thousands of wedding photographers. The self-taught photographer runs his 40 people strong organisation on the lines of a highly professional corporate house; his office building is aptly named ‘Memories House’ and his clients include business, bollywood and political heavy-weights like Laxmi Mittal and Shilpa Shetty. Tilokani is revered not just for his talent and business acumen but for his people management and inter-personal skills too. He spoke to WeddingSutra, a day before the awards ceremony of Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2010, for which he is the Judge.
Traditional Indian elements and fairy-tale glamour
My wedding photographs combine traditional elements and fairy-tale glamour to tell a beautiful story. While designing the wedding album I keep a simple philosophy in mind: ‘the wedding album should be interesting for a four year old child too’. Each of the colourful pictures showcasing love and unique moments should entertain a child.
Simple, stylish albums and Photo books
My albums are simple yet stylish in design, where the focus is on the picture, printed on the best-quality paper. I don’t believe in rich edges or borders, which take away from the beauty of the pictures. Nor do I pay much importance to captions, because the picture speaks a thousand words! If photo albums have a lot of sentimental value, photobooks are treasured. I introduced the concept of Photobooks in India, and I’m so happy that they are so popular today.
Favorite Wedding locales
In India, my favourite destinations include Neemrana Fort and Devi Garh in Rajasthan. Amby Valley is another awesome destination wedding venue. Though I must add, the charm of a beautiful destination shows up in the pictures, only if it’s a day wedding, and at night most exotic venues look the same. I also look forward to shooting weddings in Europe- the great climate and pollution-free environment contribute to much better photographs.
Pool Party and Portraits
At Destination Weddings I enjoy photographing the pool parties—its one event, where all adults act like kids. In our hot, sweaty climate, water lifts everyone’s spirits so they are on a high! I also enjoy the portrait sessions with the bride and groom—it’s interesting to observe how much they’re silently communicating on the most important day of their lives.
Funny incident @ a Shaadi
Once at a Gujarati wedding, as is the tradition in some families, the bride and groom were lifted by friends and family members to garland each other. There was this funny competition, where each side kept trying to lift higher, they went so high, both the bride and groom couldn’t keep the balance; they fell on the ground, embracing each other.
Advice for budding wedding photographers
Think big and change with the times. Being a successful photographer has two elements to it—your skill at photography and your business acumen, and both contribute equally to your success. With creativity and talent, you also need to improve your attitude, observation skills and patience. Thanks to Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards, there’s a new excitement among the Photographer fraternity. They look forward to participating and winning the most prestigious awards—and it pushes them to explore the new.
Apr 12, 2011 Wedding Photographers
Wedding photography, traditionally a male bastion is now seeing more women. This year, Kodak presents Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year (WPOY) 2010, received many entries from women photographers. Not surprising, since a wedding is a lot about the bride, the emotions, minute details and so many candid moments!
Suchita Sitani, Naina Redhu
Richa Kashelkar, Deepa Netto
‘Easier Access to the Bride’
Says Gurgaon-based Naina Redhu who participated in WPOY 2010: “Difficult to generalise what advantages or disadvantages women photographers have but sometimes it’s easier when the other photographers don’t come in your way.” When Redhu has a free moment between the shots, she loves observing the flowers and decor, and jewellery that everyone is wearing. “And mingling with the guests is great fun”, she quips. Richa Kashelkar, a qualified architect who started photographing weddings by a chance event, and now pursues it as a full-time career says: “As a woman you have easier access to the bride and women guests, so you can click some really nice ‘getting ready’ moments.” Navi Mumbai based Deepa Netto, states: “At the end of the day it makes no difference whether you’re a man or woman—because every client requires quality work for the money they have spent.”
Financially Rewarding and Emotionally Satisfying
Suchita Sitani who graduated from Ooty Light and Life Academy last year, participated in the Bridal Portraiture category for WPOY 2010. “I specialised in Fashion Photography, and while initially I was interested in Portraitures only, I’m now keen to capture the wedding ceremony too” says Sitani. “Of course there are a host of challenges there—different and sometimes tough lighting conditions, the need to be perfect with timing and not miss a single opportunity. But from what I hear, it’s financially rewarding and emotionally satisfying.”
Photographs by Deepa Netto
“At a wedding—in wet and mud stained jeans”.
Says Naina Redhu: “I love dressing up for weddings, so if I’m going as a guest, I enjoy figuring out the what-to wear bit and spend an hour at the salon. But on the job, I have to run around, and kneel and lie down quite a bit, so my dress is highly functional. I try to put on minimal makeup so I don’t stick out like an eye-sore. Deepa Netto adds: “I ensure I wear comfortable footwear since I have to stand upto 10 hours. At one weddng I fell down on a mucky football ground and then I had shoot the entire wedding in wet and mud stained jeans– since then I always carry an extra set of clothes.”
And then there’s the new decision-maker on wedding photography—the bride. Web evangelist and gadget geek Madhulika Mathur explains: “Unlike earlier, when families chose the wedding photographer, today the bride plays an important role in deciding who should click the wedding ceremonies; and she wants to be photographed by someone she is comfortable with. I’m not a professional photographer but interestingly, at some family and friends weddings, I’ve had the bride tell me to get click-happy since she’s confident I’ll do a good job with capturing those candid and ‘getting ready’ moments.”
Tags: Better Photography, Deepa Netto, Getting Ready Moments, india, Kodak, Naina Redhu, Photography, Richa Kashelkar, Suchita Sitani, Wedding Photographer, Wedding Photographer of the Year, Women, WPOY
Apr 4, 2011 Celebrity Wedding Pictures
Sakshi Rawat and Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Anjali and Sachin Tendulkar
Yoshini and Ajantha Mendis
Rushma and Ashish Nehra
Tamara and Chamara Kapugedara
Tanya Perera and Lasith Malinga
Madhimalar and Muttiah Muralitharan
Aarti and Virendra Sehwag
Christina and Mahela Jayawardene, Manjula and Tillakaratne Dilshan
Tags: Aarti, Ajantha Mendis, Anjali Mehta, Ashish Nehra, Chamara Kapugedara, Christina and Mahela Jayawardene, Cricketers, india, Lasith Malinga, Madhimalar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Manjula, marriage, Muttiah Muralitharan, Photos, Pictures, Rushma, Sachin Tendulkar, Sakshi Rawat, Sri Lanka, Tamara, Tanya Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Virendra Sehwag, Wedding Photographs, Yoshini
Delhi’s Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, not very long ago compared preparing for the games as preparing for a great Indian wedding. Replying to a question about projects running late, she stated that it is like weddings in India where everything in the beginning is chaotic and unorganized but later everything ends well; the baraatis go satisfied and happy with all the arrangements. Is that really the way Big or Small Weddings typically happen in India? WeddingSutra spoke to UK and India based Wedding Planner Anita Patel on how Wedding Planning in India is different from Wedding Planning in the West.
Huge Creative Talent, but different Efficiency Levels
Having worked in the international circuit in weddings for some time there is a vast difference in the styles of the East and the West. There is an enormous amount of creative talent in India; however the on-ground vendors lack the organisational and efficiency levels of the West. The actual working processes are harder in India due to the internet not being as fully utilised as much as in the UK. In India if I send an email to a vendor, I have to telephone and tell them check their email, defeating the purpose of email. The exact opposite is in UK- in most instances vendors respond within an hour.
The Written Word
There are many key differences in the planning process between two countries. Brides in UK want to see everything in writing. Contracts are prevalent for all venues and vendors, and clients like to see what is included and what is not, so it is easier for them to identify what else they need to get organised in addition to what the venue will provide.
Both in India and abroad, venues have a much friendlier approach with a wedding client as it is not like a corporate client where there is no emotional tie to the occasion.
Unfortunately, even the most professional Hotels in India, lack personal attention to enquiries—so typically proposals for weddings are all standard ‘templates’. This is not the case in UK, where more time is spent in the proposal preparation stage, and this ensures a higher success rate of conversions.
WeddingSutra Editor’s view
Anita Patel’s view on the high creative levels and lower efficiency of Indian vendors makes for an insightful comment. But we believe wedding venues and vendors in India are forced to behave differently— because Indian clients are very different too; they often call up twenty different venues or vendors to get the best possible deal. Sometimes they spend a lot of time and get loads of information from one party, and in case they aren’t hiring their services, they don’t even bother to inform them about their final decision.
‘Idea shopping’- Many clients spend a lot of time with vendors, knowing well that they can’t afford their services. This forces vendors to look at clients with ‘suspicion’ and not part with the best samples of their work.
‘We can do it better’: Clients typically prefer to outsource creative work only—like decor and design, but don’t want to pay too much money for organising or communication kinda work—like RSVP ing, Vendor Checklists, Travel and Transport Coordination and Help Desks. People in the West will be surprised to learn that the logistics/ coordination aspects in the Weddings hosted by big business or corporate head honchos are not managed by Wedding Planners but by the hosts office staff; for a fortnight or upto a few months, the staff ignore important business work and concentrate all their time and energies on the Big Boss’ wards wedding.
All ‘Last-minute’: As most clients are busy getting quotes from other vendors, the chosen one is informed in the last-minute, when there is little time for detailed proposals or written documentation.
As Delhi’s Chief Minister so rightly described it, “all is well’ in the last minute at Weddings. We pray the same is the case with the Commonwealth Games too!
Sep 16, 2010 Bridal Shows & Wedding Exhibitions
A one-of-its-kind fashion week dedicated solely to bridal couture! The Aamby Valley India Bridal Week will be held from 29th October to 2nd November 2010 and will focus on wedding & special occasion clothing, jewellery and accessories. The participating designers include Manish Arora, Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla, Ashima Leena, Falguni and Shane Peacock, Rocky S, Shantanu & Nikhil, Anjali and Arjun Kapor.
The event will be held at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai and will feature a consumer driven exhibition during the day, and ‘By Invitation only’ fashion shows in the evening. Vijay Singh, CMD VCI Hospitality and Secretary General of FDPC under whose aegis the event is being organised states: “The Aamby Valley India Bridal Week will showcase all the needs of a conventional or contemporary bride. Bridal Wear is the most profitable segment in fashion; we aim to tap this segment and become the best fashion week in the country.”
Left, Falguni Peacock. Right, Shantanu & Nikhil
Left, Neeta Lulla. Right, Leena of Ashima Leena
Mar 19, 2010 Wedding People & Planners
Parthip Thyagarajan, Co-founder, WeddingSutra.com writes,
Ten years ago, Madhulika Mathur, my B-School classmate, shared with me the idea of a ‘Wedding’ portal borne out of her personal experience of planning a wedding. My instant reaction was ‘wow’. It didn’t take too much convincing on her part to get me to quit my secure ‘9 to 5’ job with India’s leading media and entertainment firm to co-found www.weddingsutra.com.
It’s been ten years of fun and excitement, tensions and challenges. Each day has been a phenomenal learning experience. In no other industry, do you get a chance to meet and work with people and organisations of such varied profiles. Creative professionals like fashion and accessories designers, jewellers, makeup and mehendi artists, photographers. Business/ Marketing Heads of beauty, lifestyle, fashion, travel and luxury brands, Web career enthusiasts like content writers, web programmers and graphic designers, Celebrities, models and socialites.
To celebrate our first decade in business, over the next ten days, we’ll feature a host of editorials and exciting polls. We’re also excited to announce the launch of a new-look WeddingSutra. We love the fact that the new-look design has the modern, stylish essence that our brand is about. Here’s a sneak preview– let us know what you think….
We’d also like to feature Ten responses from readers on ‘Why WeddingSutra is your favourite Website’. So write in (5-10 lines) with your photograph and tell us why.
Enough with the self-congratulations and now we raise our glasses to our readers who have made us a very important part of their lives.
Looking forward to Ten more exciting, challenging and fun-filled years!