If you have been following my Facebook page or profile for the last few days, you know that I attended the Silk Inspire Wedding photography Festival in Goa this year. There are few places which suck you in their own world making you forget where you come from. Silk Festival is one such event where photography is celebrated, talked and explored into.
One of the big reasons of going to the fest was to meet my guru the ZACK ARIAS through whom I have learned most of the technical aspect of photography, he is one of the most generous and honest photographers who believe in spreading the knowledge with the next generation. I just had to meet him in person and thank him for all that he helped me with.
The festival opened with DJ Pete playing, "I've got the Power" and Sephi and all the panelists dancing on the stage setting up the overall mood of the fest.
Sephi Bergerson opened the session by sharing his documentary work on Polio eradicament in India by UNICEF and showing how his approach for documentary photography translates into his wedding work. He clearly drove home the point that you need to be a good photographer first to be a good wedding photographer.
Sergei Ivanov, a Russion photographer who creates fairytale inspired photos for his couples shared his reaasons for his approach and how it helps him stand out from the crowd.
The one photographer who got everyone in awe was the awesome Jeff Newsome who shared his family photos with us to let us in in his mind space, to empasise how it's important the create images which matter to you and not just what follow the trend or just look pretty. He is in my list of most favorite photographers now on and garnered a standing ovation for his work.
Jen Huang, an elegant analogue photographer who approaches her work from the space of a creative director rather than a spectator of the event brings her own accessories and decorative items to add on to the photos that she already has a list of before reaching the wedding venue.
Another of the photographers who had the delegates by their sleeve was Andre Corsi, who has ethics and honesty as one of his primary driving factors to run his business. Not the one to take up any wedding coming his way, his pictures, perfectly presented with narrative soundtrack got us emotional about the weddings we don't know anything about. He shared that he approaches to shoot a wedding from the eyes of a kid.
Juya Jentil, a Columbian photographers who already commits the oft heard sin of shooting in JPEGs and not knowing how to use a flash, is a prime example of sticking to your guns and not fretting by comparing oneself to other photographers. His bold imagery and use of available lights brought a fresh perspective to my approach to see and observe a location before looking into the viewfinder. (In a personal chat with me he admitted to start shooting in RAW and learn Flash next year :D)
Also, there are funny people in this world and then there is Brian Callaway. If you ever feel low about your photography, you should see his early work, you'll wonder why you haven't won any awards till now considering this guy is still in business. We often come across many tips and tricks in photography, but looking at them as a performer and keeping those hack in your bag of tricks is what I primarily learned from his presentation, the way he has implemented them leads you to try them yourself. I have always felt and good art is that which makes you want to create yourself. It's the same with his work.
I can't say enough Zack Arias and still express what I felt for Zack Arias's journey up till now. I will save it for some another day and hope....
I am the sort of person who doesn't like to talk about gear and instantly get put off with these conversation. It's the philosophy and expression through it is what I am most interested in, not the ISO performance of the new camera or the color saturation level of the edit. Thankfully Silk Inspire was the one that I had missed discussing for quite sometime since I started shooting professionally. I hope this culture grows rapidly in India and we are not copying each other's style but rather creating our own deep personal way of shooting the same project and let the clients choose which one they want to go for.
Thanks to Sephi Bergerson and his team to offer a slice of this culture. Festivals like these recenter you from all the chaos that happens because of running a photography business, meeting deadlines, following trends, managing team and dealing with clients, most of these people don't come from the same vision as yours and invariably pull you away from your own sense of vision. Meeting like minded artists keeps you on the track and bring more confidence to keep going on it.