How to maximise your investment in Indian Wedding Photography
You’re getting married. You know that apart from having a beautiful wedding, you need lovely memories to help you remember your special day for the rest of your life. You recognise that you need to invest in quality wedding photography – and you’ve searched high and low for your perfect photographer. In this article, let’s review some of the things you should think of AFTER you’ve made your wedding photography decision. It’s important to get the most out of your wedding photography—and with a few simple tips, you and your photographer will get exquisite pictures that you will cherish forever.
Step 1: Talk. Question. Answer.
This is the most important step. Have an extensive discussion with your photographer regarding your (hi)story as a couple, your ideas on style and content.
- Sharing reference photos is a good starting point for this discussion and will ensure that you and the photographer understand each other. Most brides have very spefic ideas on what they like and what they don’t like.
- We photographers in general are fairly patient folk, and are generally quite happy answering a lot of questions. Find out what process your photographer follows – and will be most comfortable doing. For instance, find out if your photographer will come by earlier in the day on your wedding day, and take behind-the-scenes photos of the wedding prep, the getting ready shots and fun shots of you leaving your house.
- As a matter of fact, we appreciate a bride who knows what she wants. Let your photographer know if there are a few pictures you’ve seen on the internet, of of someone else’s wedding – that you would like to try. In addition, try and be as clear as possible about the proceedings and ceremonies involved in the wedding so that he or she can be better prepared.
- The converse also applies: is there a style that you DON’T like? Chances are your wedding photographer doesn’t have that style – else you wouldn’t have picked him or her in the first place! However, make it clear. It’ll help avoid future misunderstandings.
Step 2: Ensure you get a traditional photographer too
I typically cover this on most of my posts on this subject! Indian weddings are very different from weddings in the west (or anywhere else for that matter). Our weddings go on for days on end, and some weddings can have literally hundreds of guests running amok while you’re getting married. Remember, most candid wedding photographers don’t do the stage shots. This is because his (or her) talent and vision would be wasted on posed shots, and you’d much rather they walk around behind the scenes doing what they do best. It’s best to have a traditional photographer document the more mechanical aspects of the wedding, like the long meet-and-greet sessions on stage – because arranging people for group photos can be an art by iteself! Either arrange a traditional photographer yourself or ask the pro to bring one along (most pro photographers have backup photographers for this kind of thing), so that each can do justice to their own styles.
Step 3: Extras and Value Additions
Pre and post weddings shoots are becoming increasingly common nowadays. It’s a really good idea to get a photo-essay done of your story as a couple before you took the plunge. This gives you fun memories to look at years later, or for your children to get a glimpse of how their parents were. Some photographers include this as part of your package, and some have a nominal separate cost to it. It’s worth it to try to wrangle an extra couple portraiture shoot– just before or after the wedding – or a “Save-the-Date” shoot as an add-on if you have purchased a substantial package. You can also look into chargeable extras like special coffee-table-albums, honeymoon photography, merchandise, special frames etc. Many photographers offer the production of certain collaterals using the images.
Step 4: Deliverables and Timelines
Many photographers do not restrict the number of photos they will give you while others do. It’s in your best interest to have at least an idea of how many photos to expect per day or function. These need not be strict numbers but more like a ballpark figure. Pay attention to the format offered by the photographer – finished images would mostly be given as hi-res JPGs in a DVD/ Pen Drive or file sharing software like sendspace or dropbox, but it’s best to clarify in advance and agree upon something convenient. Albums are usually charged over and above the package. Delivery timelines should also be decided, with a little wiggle room for unexpected circumstances.
Step 5: Make Time
Irrespective of the extra couple portraiture shoot, try and be conscious of the odd, unexpected windows of free time in between the ceremonies. The photographer must be encouraged to keep hanging around you so that any unexpected free time can be utilised for some portraiture. Bear in mind that even the best photographer can’t get fantastic portraits of a couple who is disinterested or unenthusiastic. The commitment and enthusiasm of the couple and the photographer should be on the same plane. Even though weddings are endless and tiring, the difference between great and average portraiture is most often the ability to prioritise and make time by the couple.
Step 6: Assign a Coordinator
Be sure to assign a cousin or friend as the co-ordinator for the photographer. The co-ordinator will be responsible to help the photographer with any extra logistics, pointing out important family members and with a million small things that is needed during a wedding. Make sure the person you assign takes the job seriously, and is always available to pick up the phone! It’s normally best to assign the co-ordinator well in advance, so that the photographer knows the person well. Additionally, it’s best to assign one co-ordinator each from the boy’s family and the girl’s family. This will help in cases when both familities don’t know each other too well and have separate functions going on. You have to remember that your wedding day is YOUR big day and that you may not be available to sort out logistic troubles.
Keep the communication lines open. At any point, if a new idea or direction comes to you, or if you don’t like a particular approach, or you’re not too happy with the finishing style, feel free to talk to the photographer. With so much time, effort and money already in the project, there’s nothing a frank and reasonable conversation can’t solve.
Most importantly, remember to relax and have fun. Your mood and body language are a big part of the final outcome and it’s important that your excitement and happiness reflect in your photos.
Questions or comments? Feel free to ask below!