2015 is panning out to be quite the wedding year. With another two more to go before the year ends, I’m rethinking my mantra that “I don’t do weddings”. I tend to be selective with projects I take on. This of course can be good and bad. But when I do get involved, I’m always on the lookout for that one image that makes me come away with the feeling that “this is it, I got the shot I was waiting for”. If I had to tell the story for an entire event, sometimes one photo is more than enough to sum it all up. These moments are few and far between but when they do happen, I feel gratified.
Hats off to the professionals at Tishal & Sunil’s wedding who virtually covered the event 360° over the last 5 days, you had me dodging and ducking most of the time. Judging by the number of cameras on scene, I would estimate anywhere from 8K to 12K photos taken easy. I don’t envy the post event selection process at all.
So how many photos are ever enough for those 15 minutes of fame on Facebook? Are 50 going to do it, a 100, or even a 1,000? I prefer the old film roll method, 12, 24 or 36. Things were a lot more civilized in the old days. Anything more and its just fluff. It’s a proven fact that no one looks at more than 5 or 6 photos before they lose interest and move on to the next post. Publishing 150 images is pointless.
As a general rule, I throw out 80% of everything I shoot. The 20% that does make the cut are not necessarily picked for their technical excellence but rather for the mood, emotions and expressions I managed to capture. My style has never been about group shots or getting people to drop everything they’re doing to pose for the camera.
These 6 images summed up an awesome wedding ceremony for me.
1. The bride’s girlfriends having a free-for-all slobbering the bride with oil at the Miyan ceremony. It’s payback time.
2. After the Miyan ceremony, the bride, family and friends have a lighter moment when they sing songs and crack jokes. The atmosphere is light hearted and jovial with everyone getting in on the singing. I’m sure these ladies are less than happy with me exposing their dentition to the world but this was a cute moment and they were all bursting with laughter and happiness.
3. At the Sangeet, no one expected Sunil to plant a wet one on Tishal and caught most of us off guard. He did however do it with class and like the true gentleman that he is. This one is super high ISO and grainy as everything happened so quickly and my flash was off.
4. Twirling their dresses on the dancefloor. The expressions on their faces say it all. The music was loud and they did the “balle balle” as only the Punjabi’s know how. I’m shooting this with camera high over my head so I really can’t see what I’m capturing. With a slow shutter the effect of movement is what makes this image pop for me.
5. Exchanging rings and exchanging glances. I waited a long while for this shot. The photographers on either side were getting the couple to look at them for their respective shots. When they were done posing, the couple looked at each other and had what I would call, their personal moment. Priceless!
6. Last but not least, the radiant bride. With a hint of redness in her eyes, she’d gotten emotional and shed a few tears just moments earlier during the wedding ceremony. She had no idea I was next to her as she looked up and gave me this wonderful smile. I just love the way the focus blurs away from her face all the way to the edges of the frame. If I had a signature shot, this is it.
So It’s a wrap. I still don’t do weddings. If I did, I’d be fired for presenting only a hand full of images. What can I say, I’m a minimalist.