Indian weddings are notoriously some of the most difficult events to photograph successfully, although they are among the most rewarding too. When done right, the results can be spectacular. Capturing the intricacies of a Hindu marriage ceremony is a particularly difficult task, and a great outcome for the couple looking to document their memories relies on the knowledge and experience level of the photographer in large part. Fortunately there are a few main steps a prospective wedding photographer can take in order to maximise their chances of success.
1) Start with a consultation – Meeting the bride and groom in person shouldn’t be left until the last minute, but you might be surprised how often this happens. A face-to-face meeting well in advance, however, is certainly the best way of ensuring you’re all in agreement about how the photography should be approached based on the order of the day, especially with a complex traditional ceremony. Building a good relationship and letting the couple get comfortable with their photographer is essential for the best results.
2) Vary your shots – It’s important to factor in some time to take what you might consider the most important pictures on the day, namely those featuring the happy couple and their close family both during and after the marriage ceremony. However, aside from this time (which will likely be under half an hour at most) you will be spending your time capturing moments on camera without much planning or staging. It’s important to get plenty of candid shots throughout the day and try not to miss any special moments. The bride and groom might miss some of them, but thanks to you they will be able to relive them later through the pictures!
3) Get family involved – You will usually need the couple to enlist a close family member to assist you as the official photographer at any wedding, but with a large Hindu celebration this may be particularly important. There will usually be a lot of guests and a lot of complicated traditions to follow, so a co-ordinator within the family will be able to keep you on track and introduce you to key people who should make it into the photos.
4) Consider the location – This is another important element of the pre-planning process. You need to make sure you can keep up with the action at the venue, so check what you’re dealing with in advance. Try to get an idea of where people will be, potential places to get great shots, and what the lighting will be like so you can pre-configure your camera settings or plan what equipment you’ll need to supply yourself.