It doesn’t even matter if you are an Indian wedding photographer or not if you have ever been to any Indian wedding, you would know how gigantic and over the top they can get. It is not a very private affair. There are at least a thousand people involved who are not the bride and groom. There is a huge possibility they haven’t even met the bride and groom before the wedding. Your bride might have happily promised you an hour for her bridal photoshoot once she gets ready. She might have saved another hour for a couple photoshoot before the ceremony. But when the actual show begins, keeping track of time isn’t the easiest thing to do. Congratulations! Your bride might have turned into a bridezilla by now. From the moment the bride starts doing her research for wedding photography, photo studio near me, HD photo, Indian wedding photography, pre-wedding photoshoot and so on, she has a picture in mind about what her wedding will look like and what memories would she love to have for it.
Here is a list of tricks that I use to shoot bridal portraits and couple portraits in the hustle-bustle of Indian weddings.
Plan it out
There are a few things that never work out at Indian weddings. Plans top the list. Which is why you need backup plans too. The bride must have promised you that she will be ready by four in the afternoon but she ends up starting to get dressed at four because of all the festivities going on around her, leaving you with a five-minute bridal portrait session instead of the good half an hour that you were promised. This is where planning works its magic.
Scout multiple locations beforehand
From my experience, wedding photographers are usually called a good couple of hours before they are needed at the venue. We get a lot of time to go around the venue and find out some good locations to shoot. Remember these locations cannot be very far from where the bride and groom are because you do not want to spend all your time walking from place to place. Do not just find a location. Find at least five or six of them and decide your lighting and shot details in advance. Figure out locations with good natural light for the morning and locations where you can shoot in the evening.
Keep poses handy
Always have a few basic poses in mind for both bridal photoshoots and couple photoshoots. Tip: Keep some sample poses saved on your phone and ask the bride and groom to imitate the picture. It makes the job so much easier for both you and the bride and groom. You might have been clicking pictures of couples for a long time now but it might be the first time for the bride and the groom to be posing in front of strangers.
Have a shot list
A shot list is your cheat sheet to getting your process of working be very clear to your bride and groom and also their families. I hand over my shot list to the couple as soon as they book me.
Plan a pre-wedding shoot or an engagement session
A pre-wedding shoot gives you the time to work with the bride and groom before the actual wedding. The biggest plus point of pre-wedding photoshoots is that they are very intimate and you get to know the bride and groom and their story. The couple also gets to know you and your style of working and they will warm up to you very easily during the wedding and they won’t even be camera shy. A pre-wedding session happens without all the hustle-bustle of weddings so you get to talk and make sure your artistic wavelengths match with that of the bride and groom plus, they will know how to pose for you during the wedding.
Keep the pictures candid
This does not apply to everybody. This is just something that I do and I feel it works out great! This involves not making the bride or groom pose both for bridal photoshoots and couple photoshoots. Keep it natural. Capture the events of the day. This process brings out the truest emotions of the bride and the groom. I have made my couples talk, run, twirl, dance, sing, interact while the camera rolls and the results come out just beautiful and so organic. This also makes the shooting process simple and it takes less than half the time as compared to posed couple photoshoot. It also brings out the personality of the couple because they are given the freedom to be themselves.
Have a sibling/cousin/friend in charge
The bridesmaids are the most important point of contact for you. They are the closest to the bride and groom and have some idea about the events of the day. Coordinate with them. Ask them to contact you as soon as the bride and groom are ready.
Hire a good wedding planner
These ninjas will make sure everything is on time even if hell breaks loose. They are the magicians that cover up everything that goes wrong before, during and after the wedding making everyone’s job so much easier.
Go with the flow
This is undoubtedly the most important point in the Indian wedding industry. From last-minute venue changes to last-minute prospective spouse changes, we have seen it all. Just keep your batteries charged and keep yourself awake through it all. Coffee is your best friend.