Blog2

Shweta and Parth's Wedding - II

During the last meeting I had with Shweta’s family before the wedding, Shweta’s father suggested her to go with Vicco turmeric rather than real haldi for her Haldi ceremony as no one knows what kind of reactions she ends up getting on the wedding day. I took it to be his dark humour while everybody reprimanded him to not go overhand infront of guests(me) . I immediately took a liking for him as that’s the kind of humor that runs in our family. Little did I know they will go ahead with that idea.

20180204-853A0027.JPG
20180204-853A9998.JPG
20180204-853A9993.JPG
20180204-853A9934.JPG
20180204-853A9950.JPG
20180204-IMG_0035.JPG
20180204-IMG_9949.JPG
20180204-IMG_9920.JPG
20180204-IMG_0191.JPG
20180204-IMG_0244.JPG
20180204-IMG_0480.JPG
20180204-853A9920.JPG

While Shweta was having fun at her Haldi, Parth was getting ready for his Janeyu before the wedding.

20180204-DSC_5758.JPG
20180204-DSC_5527.JPG
20180204-DSC_5538.JPG
20180204-DSC_5695.JPG
20180204-DSC_5706.JPG

Both Parth and Shweta got ready at Taj Vivanta, while the lovely decor was being done by Naina Garg of Heavenly Marriages Inc.

20180204-853A1150.JPG
20180204-853A1151.JPG
20180204-853A1154.JPG
20180204-853A1161.JPG
20180204-853A0322.JPG
20180204-853A0361.JPG
20180204-DSC_5802.jpg
20180204-DSC_5816-2.jpg
20180204-IMG_0617.JPG
20180204-853A0722.JPG
20180204-853A0484.JPG
20180204-853A0526.JPG
20180204-853A0647.JPG
20180204-853A0946.JPG
20180204-853A0442.JPG
20180204-853A0931.JPG
20180204-853A1061.jpg
20180204-853A1097-2.JPG
20180204-853A1099-3.JPG
20180204-853A1102-2.JPG
20180204-853A1137.JPG
20180204-853A1218.JPG
20180204-IMG_0528-2.JPG
20180204-IMG_0590-2.JPG
20180204-IMG_0478-2.JPG
20180204-IMG_0564-2.JPG
20180204-IMG_0789.JPG
20180204-IMG_0792.JPG
20180205-853A1473.JPG

Weddings are too hectic and there’s a lot of things going on the couple’s mind, when I suggested Parth and Shwetato sneak sometime out for the portraits, they flat out refused as they were around their family and friends who had come from all over the world and that’s what mattered to them. Even during their consultation, Shweta wanted me to be just capturing whatever is happening and nothing fabricated, but I had found this lovely paitning at the venue and couldn’t miss the chance. Also since the couple is so occupied with other things, it becomes ourjob to ease out things for them and take over the responsibilities sometimes, I did a mock shoot with my assistant , came back down to them and convinced them for 5 mins after they liked the photo. Still I got that chance after all the ceremonies had finished off. But looking at the result it was all worth it and I am happy that I became pushy for a change.

20180204-IMG_0923.JPG
20180205-853A1598-2.JPG

The vidai had to take place from Shweta’s house and one could sense the gloomy somberness in the environment.

20180205-853A1624.JPG
20180205-853A1591-2.JPG
20180205-853A1764.JPG
20180205-853A1803.JPG
20180205-853A1867.JPG
20180205-853A1874.JPG

Why I also shoot for free.

Photography is one of the best jobs that I have stumbled upon. It's less of a job and more of something that I love and can buy food with it too without getting grumpy doing it. You can believe me because I have switched many jobs over the years. It has not been very long that I started photography professionally but once I did it started with some documentary assignments for NGOs, one for Star Plus on which the tele serial Durga is based on, and some events. I never really planned where it will take me. The first wedding I did was bang opposite my house in a park and was a 'Saamuhik Vivah', a group wedding of several couples facilitated by a charity organization. the article on it used to be on my older website, sometime I'll upload it here. It was one of the most unique and beautiful thing I had experienced photography wise, it was funny at times too.

Over the time I have infused more energy into understanding the genre and look for different and unique weddings to come by. There haven't been many but heck, it's just a start. I want to be known for my wedding work seriously like the recognition I have got for my street photography. But it also comes with its own perils. Shooting commercially brings a pressure onto you and a rough shot list which you have to cover anyhow. That spoils the opportunity to look beyond what's happening at the forefront. I do have a second shooter for that but still it was a while since I shot a wedding just for myself. I wanted to have fun, photograph only when I found something picturesque, to be relaxed, and not shoot if I didn't feel like or didn't find anything of interest. I required this excercise to confirm if my instincts are still sharp or not.

The opportunity came by quickly. An old friend, Rahul whose hostel room in FTII I have sprawled in for days to download their movie database for days and shared stage with in one of the plays while holding my toughest not to laugh during the rehersals because of the disdain look he gives to my character, invited me to his wedding.

I was told that a special folk dance will be performed at the Baraat which is known as called "Chhaliya"  and I planned to meet up with this team of folk dancers. Since I was there I took my camera along, a very simple setup, with just one lens and no lights. The intention was more to move around, observe, meet people, experience a wedding after a long time and shoot only when I felt like it.  It wasn't a job you see.

So here is Rahul Bora, beautiful and goofy as hell. But he'll be quite sober here all the time.
 

And here are his feet. :D

The pretty Daadi.

The customary tilaks for all the ladies.

Those lovely noserings.

A groom that brooms at his own wedding is uber cool.

A groom that brooms at his own wedding is uber cool.

The group of Chhaliya dancers getting ready to lead the Baraat.

20170206-853A4011.JPG
20170206-853A4072-2.JPG
20170206-853A4085.JPG
20170206-853A4088.JPG

There's a little back story that the leader of the Chaliya dance group shared with me, in the olden times the folk dancers used to accompany the war parties and lead them with a white flag and would be tailed by a dancer with the red flag. After winning the war, they would lead the procession with a red flag and tail it with white one. In current scenario, there's no civil war here, thankfully, and Chaliya dancers have been adapted into weddings where the Baraat is similarly led by these flags. The white flag here is a signal of the Baraat reaching the bride's place and while returning with her the flags would swapped in a similar fashion. Not politically correct now, but that's the way it is and the tradition is preserved this way.

 

20170206-853A4097.JPG

A slightly different version of the story can be read here on Wikipedia.

20170206-853A4113.JPG
20170206-853A4132.JPG
20170206-853A4104.JPG
20170206-853A4148.JPG
20170206-853A4167-4.JPG
20170206-853A4184.JPG
20170206-853A4190-2.JPG

Unfortunately I couldn't shoot till the end but I thinnk I achieved more than what I had expected to. I got to shoot a wedding without a checkllist in mind, or the usual set of lenses and flashlights that I carry on assignments and still could manange to follow a picture story of all the proceedings. Next time when I do this I intend to do this with a film camera, about which i do have a story to tell. Till then, please spread the word and help me shoot more weddings. :)

Highpoints of 2016

2016 for me brought some mixed feelings. By far it has been the year which greatly brought my work to the forefront but also made me rue on the fact that I didn't take up as many projects as I had intended to I was fretting more on managing my finances while I work on my art. But the year has been great in terms of the recognition that it has brought me. I want to share all of that with you guys and a few of my personal favorite pictures .

 

One of the highest point for me this year was getting nominated for the EyeEm international photography awards in photojournalism (Click here to know more about it) . It was totally unreal so early in my photographic career. For a person like me who always questions himself and his craft, it was reassuring in a way to keep working at it. Here is the picture that got into the nomination.

 

This year I really got started into wedding photography and loved every bit of it. It wasn’t much of a challenge considering I already shoot a lot of street but lighting the scenarios is a new realm of world compared to that. This is the shot that really kickstarted that journey and gave me confidence to go about it. I am really proud of this one.

 

One of the most enjoyable projects was shooting for the Repertwahr theater and music fest. It was such a hedonic experience listening to the music of Parvaaz and Namit Das among others and meeting so many awesome artists. Here are some of the pictures taken during the music fest.

Wilson Kenneth on the bass with Namit Das and Anurag Shanker

Wilson Kenneth on the bass with Namit Das and Anurag Shanker

Namit Das & Wilson Kenneth

Namit Das & Wilson Kenneth

Parvaaz, in sync.

Parvaaz, in sync.

While shooting and recording the interviews of all these artists I managed to start a personal project of shooting portraits of these artists, always short of time, we managed to click these portraits under 30 secs each.

The ever cute Kalki Koechlin.

The ever cute Kalki Koechlin.

Anurag Tewari & Mynah Marie.

Anurag Tewari & Mynah Marie.

Prateek Kuhad.

Prateek Kuhad.

The goofy Jim Sarbh.

The goofy Jim Sarbh.

One of the most special events was getting my image exhibited at the prestigious International center of Photography New York.(Click here)

 

In conjunction to that School of visual arts, New York selected five winning images for Night photography as a human selection counterpart to the EyeEm's Virtual images selection algorithm, my image was one of those 5 photos selected by the SVA. (More details)

NIghtcrawler.

NIghtcrawler.

 

This is one of my favorite pictures, also it was taken just outside Sangeet Natak Academy where my theater journey began and kind of let me to this point in life. 

This month EyeEm has come out with their year book and four of my different images are a part of it. You can view the e-version of their collection of images from 2016 here.Below are those four pictures from the collection.

 

 

One of the very enriching experiences was to travel the length and breadth of Haryana and Punjab understanding lives and and stories of the female athletes of these two states as a team member of a research project for the new television series named, Meri Durga' on Star plus. It got me close to people who are like minded with the same attitude towards sports and athletics.

 

Finishing off, I look back at the past 12 months and it makes me realise that these exprience have helped me a lot in understanding my craft and the industry much better than I knew before. It also gave me much more than I had expected so early in my career but it also made me realise that true contentment comes from generating new ideas, images and projects, the recognition, the appreciation makes it all worthwhile but the real motivation to do better has to come from within.

 

Parshvi & Tushar's Wedding story.

Weddings are an awesome affair, exciting as it gets a photographer on his toes because of the music, lights and revelry all around and a slight nervousness to not miss any special moments nearby or afar( also when he's clicking another one). This season I didn't take many assignments, primarily because I injured my ankle on an early morning run which will keep me at home for good 2-3 months and also because the types of weddings I want to shoot are little far and apart to come by. That will be discussed later but I wanted to share one which I could manage because ofVimal, my go to second shooter with whom by my side I didn't have to get into foot stomping baraat and high up ladders. Though I did learn very important lessons this time regarding shooting a wedding.

The wedding day started with the bridal portraits, we could only meet the bride after she got ready at the venue, the makeup artist has a strong policy of not allowing a wedding photographer to shoot in her studio. As soon as I met Parshvi. the bride, she told me there would hardly be any place for the shoot so we decided to use the corridor to the stage for the same.

Instead of making the subject 'pose' I prefer to give them some directions in terms of what the situation is, what they are feeling and why to get a more emotive picture rather than just a body pose and angle.. Here I told her that the baraat was getting a little late in reaching the venue and she is supposed to be waiting to see Tushar for long.
 

And as the faint sound of drums and dance approached us, she lit in a half smile.

 

The baraar arrived and that's Tushar at helm of it. But the most energetic award of the night goes to his father.

The bride looks on as the 'baraat' enters the gate.

And then they finally meet....

20161127-853A7046.JPG

The sindoor ceremony.

I like how coyly Parshvi is holding her saree which reminds me of 70s Bollywood village belles.

Just don't get misled by this picture, this bride will not cry profusely at the Vidai, the proof follows.

In all I had fun shooting this wedding, I will be coming up with a post soon regarding wedding photography which will help future wedding photography clients clear some myths and doubts regarding it so that it helps us in creating in better pictures for them..

For more pictures you can visit the Khicchik facebook page and for my non commercial work you can always visit my Instagram feed. Would like to know what you liked, didn't like what you would like me to post next or just a 'Hi' , it will be highly appreciated. :D

2016 EyeEm photography awards result.

Can Dagarslani, 31, from Istanbul, Turkey. Winner of the 'Portraitist of the year' category for 2016.

Can Dagarslani, 31, from Istanbul, Turkey. Winner of the 'Portraitist of the year' category for 2016.

The results of 2016 EyeEm photography awards have been announced and I must say I really like the winning images in most of the categories. To check them out click here.

One of my friends called up in the middle of night to say sorry that I didn't win as she had been up to wait for the results but I didn't feel bad at all. It just felt like a kick in the butt to do better, the winner of photographer of the year, Zacharie Rabehi is a friend of mine from Facebook and seeing his video feature reminded me what it's all about, to just go out there and shoot, the exploration and not to worry if the images will come out good or not, just acting on the instincts. It reconnected me to the feeling which I had when I started out, to just have fun and risking to sound too modest, some things shouldn't come too soon, it would just make you complacent.

Checkout the 100 finalists from different categories that were selected out of 2,70,000 applicants. I was nominated in the photojournalist section for the photo below, you can checkout the other nominees of the category by clicking here.

My nominated entry in the photojournalism category.

My nominated entry in the photojournalism category.

All in all it was a great collection of images from the 100 nominees. below are my favorites across the categories. It thrills me to the bones that I have been placed among these amazing artists and a brilliant collection of images and that my work was selected and exhibited by some top notch people of the industry..

 

Chris Layton, 30, from Carmel, NY, United States

Chris Layton, 30, from Carmel, NY, United States

Mankichi Shinshi, 32, from Nagoya, Japan

Mankichi Shinshi, 32, from Nagoya, Japan

Dmitri Popov, 46, from Aarhus, Denmark

Dmitri Popov, 46, from Aarhus, Denmark

By Ihar Paulau

By Ihar Paulau

Isara Pittayasiri, 28, from Bangkok, Thailand

Isara Pittayasiri, 28, from Bangkok, Thailand

By Dennis kwong

By Dennis kwong

By Dasha

By Dasha

Image by 1000Worte

Image by 1000Worte

Debbie Fortes

Debbie Fortes

Image by Christina Taylor.

Image by Christina Taylor.