Friday, December 09, 2005

Wedding Photography & Jiten

Winter is predictable season for wedding bells to chime here in Nepal. Hindi religion places a great importance on marriage and over 90% of Nepali populations marry. Wedding is once in a lifetime (I can say that on behalf of Hindu religion) and very memorable part of human life, which people certainly don’t afford to miss preserving it in any mean and that's where this Jiten go busy clicking.

Each year I shoot 5 to 6 weddings (mostly of my friends and relatives) and it's an honor to capture people's special moments like weddings or just any memorable moment of their life. I get enormous high when my photography brings happiness to people. This is one reason why I put my zeal on 'Wedding Photography' immensely (....there is a secret reason behind. Make a guess... wild guess, hehe.. of course weddings are great opportunities to see and meet many beautiful girls ;) . Now you know one of my secret reasons. Sssssh.. KEEP IT SECRET otherwise my Sunshine won't allow me to shoot another wedding.)

Few years back I've stopped counting how many weddings photography that I've done so far. My eyes get blur by the colour red (Nepali bride wears Red Sari for wedding ceremony). You know even a well known photo printing service center of Kathmandu 'Photo Concern' get amazed to see me brining them more than 30 rolls of film to develop and print in a week. All lab boys at the center who prints hundreds of rolls each day can distinguish my pictures. They are familiar the way I compose and frame pictures. This amuses me a lot. I've earned a good reputation in wedding photography. Today standing this far on my photography voyage I feel very proud to be a photographer and help people to see world with a different perspective.

BUT this is not to say that wedding photography is all fun trade to do (at least here in Nepal). I've seen countless high and low dramas of Nepali society by doing wedding photography. I sure do have many good and bad experiences, which I love to share someday here in my blog. Anyway, I take all these experiences as opportunities to know about cultural diversity of Nepalis people. I know I can be an anthropologist if it's about weddings ritual of Nepal. But for now let me shed some good advices on wedding photography for single people out there who are going to get married sooner or later.

WHEN SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR AND BOOK PHOTOGRAPHER FOR WEDDING?
As soon as your wedding ceremony and party date has been fixed. I recommend to book photographer 2-3 weeks in advance. The good photographers get booked for popular dates. Booking professional photographer for wedding is not in practice here in Nepal but I highly recommend having one. (If you don't have a friend like Jiten. Haha) To some extend hiring professional photographer is expensive. Thus most people prefer taking photos from autos cameras by relatives and friends. Of course, you will get photographs but quality of picture is not Professional quality as of professional camera (SLR).

WHY SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE RELATIVE DO IT INSTEAD OF A PRO?
Wedding photography is both an art and a science, requiring someone with the proper equipment and the right skills, plus the demeanor to be effective and creative under pressure. Besides it is almost impossible for your relative to be a guest and at the same time, concentrate on the technical details of photographing an entire day. That's why trust your once-in-a-lifetime wedding to a "pro-for-a-day" and you will have bad feelings for a lifetime. It is also my opinion that asking a guest to do the official photographs and no different from asking dinner guests to work for their meal. But you can encourage your close relative to bring cameras, but DO suggest that they enjoy themselves as guests. This certainly is a good idea to cover up some interesting happening around while pro is busy elsewhere but still no substitute for pro coverage. Another contemporary flair is to have disposable cameras handy and involve those fun loving guests in the coverage.

DO YOU NEED BOTH VIDEO AND PHOTOGRAPHY? IF GETTING VIDEO, DO YOU STILL NEED TO HAVE THE PHOTOGRAPHER ALL DAY?
The experience of watching a video is different from going through your wedding photo album. Most I know have no regrets about getting both. Many couples I know regret not getting a good video (one done by a pro, not by a friend). In some instances, couples get full video coverage and limited photography. Video captures the sound and motion of the day in a way that still photos just can't match. It is still not a substitute for professional photographs. If you can I don't miss covering quality video of the event as well. (Who know someday your offspring or may be your granny might wish to see it and you sure don't want to disappoint them.)

SHOULD THE DULAI (BRIDE) AND DULHA (GROOM) SEE EACH OTHER BEFORE THE WEDDING FOR PORTRAITS?
I bet this is yet not a trend for Nepali couple to have their portraits taken before weddings. But I highly suggest to go for it. It's such a beautiful idea and very romantic thing that you two should not miss and many Nepalis have started this new tradition. Moreover it is a wonderful opportunity for spontaneous, expressive pictures that really show your relationship. All you have to do is visit a good photo studio in your town or call your PRO photographer and arrange time to meet. And if you want lots of posed romantic portraits, there's no other way, unless you are willing to take time out from festivities for photos because on that very day of wedding everything go rush rush. In my personal experience many couple have regretted not getting together in advance for nice pictures and some moments alone.

HOW SHOULD YOU PRESERVE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM?
Keep the album closed and flat; don't store it vertically. Keep it in a cool dry place. Don't expose the pictures to excessive UV from sunlight or fluorescents. Avoid abrasion. When kids arrive, store the album till they are old enough to respect it. Follow same rules for preserving negatives as well and be extra careful if weather is damp. Do check them sometime and keep them dry. And yes keep the photographer abreast of address changes so you'll get the negatives before he trashes them.

LASTLY, WHY IS PHOTOGRAPHY SO EXPENSIVE?
Most who ask this question are not aware of the myriad of costs borne by someone doing photography as a business, including equipment, developing films, cost of best quality printing and more. You would be surprised to know at how low the margin is on wedding photography. Besides, it not just photographs that you pay for, but the expertise and experience of a photographer too. Many pros call wedding work the most challenging of all and prefer other genres of the business.

Hope you definitely gain some insights regarding wedding photography going through my blog and yes feel free to ask me more regarding this issue.

3 comments:

srijanablog said...

Jiten dai, you are absolutely right. We are one of them who are still regreting for not having the good video of our wedding day. But for photos no questions:you were there to take care of the photos. We can proudly say "we have a friend like Jiten".

And I was surprised to see my photo in this posting. Hmmm nice wedding photo.

Enjoy!
Srijana

Jiten said...

Dearest Sis, Srijana,
Guess what, the picture of wedding (you and shadowed Pradeep) are one among some of the best wedding shots I ever made and they are very dear to me. I myself feel so proud that I took that shot which is brimming with beauty essence of wedding. And yes don't be surprised, next time you see more pictures of you here in my blog.
Cheers, Jiten dai.

Vinod Parihash said...

I've earned a good reputation in wedding photography. Today standing this far on my photography voyage I feel very proud to be a photographer and help people to see world with a different perspective.

this words touch my heart jiten sir...
this is really happen and my self also proud to be a wedding photographer

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