- Raghu Lakshminaarayanan
Challenges of Wedding Photographers in India
Challenges of Wedding Photographers in India, are too many to say the least .
It is often said that a person who drives in India can drive anywhere in the world but not vice versa – for obvious reasons.
This perhaps is the perfect example here.
Without doubt photographing Indian weddings is perhaps the toughest challenge any photographer can face. It is sad that hardly any Indian finds a place in the top ten rating of photographers around the globe by international forums – this is not due to lack of them but purely because we have not bothered to promote our work or talent in such forums.
It could be due to various reasons – –lack of awareness & initiative — having your hands full here in terms of work does not tempt you to look for work outside — lack of time to pursue on the conditions laid down by these forums where membership entails a subscription– — lackadaisical attitude that mocks the need for validation by other forums.
The truth is that we have plenty of talented photographers in India who can given any acclaimed wedding photographer in the world a run for their money. This statement is not borne out of contempt but purely based on the fact that wedding photography in India is the ultimate challenge that tests more than your artistic / technical skills.
India weddings = music, dance, pomp, sound, crowds, fanfare, colours.
Time is the most important and taxing factor in Indian weddings. Weddings are performed over a minimum of 2 sections – Muhurtham & Reception. This could stretch to well over 3 to 5 sections too. That is almost 48 hours on your feet all the time amidst various ambiance and stage decor. You have no such thing abroad.
The fear factor here is the crowd in India. It could range anywhere between a few hundreds to a few thousands visiting the couple within a span of 24 hours. Based on fun, music and dance, our weddings have no code of conduct or set patterns for guest behaviour.
Abroad, in the West, we have highly organised weddings where each one is seated in their proper places and the entire event is rehearsed to ensure each one’s role is perfect and nothing is amiss. In short every one is expected to be on their best behavior till its party time. So photographers have no huge crowds to jostle and navigate through to get their shots
With its varied religious and cultural background Indian weddings are rituals galore, with every community or even villages having variations in its execution. Western weddings are minimalist in rituals and devoid of numerous dress changes and clutter free. The focus is only on the couple at the time of the wedding vows and exchange of rings. Event the parents have their designated places to be seated.
In Indian weddings can you imagine a stage devoid of the uncles, aunts & cousins when the Mangalsutra is tied?
We have too many elements involved in the performance of weddings here and it is no way going to be clutter free. One has to retain one’s creative / imaginative skills in the midst of all the mayhem and overcome difficult situations and people to get the lighting right to give a fantastic output.
Abroad you the couples planning their weddings except for select help from the parents.’ Here in India it is two sets of families that plan everything and the consultation could run up to four generations – almost to say that every one but the couple get to plan their wedding.
Our weddings are unique and fabulous. But that increases the difficulty factor multi fold as well.
The reason perhaps why the westerners are more successful in getting their work recognised is because they are treated and respected as professionals and not just as mere service providers!
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