Choosing a wedding photographer? Look beyond the camera lens.
If your wedding day was a film and you could hit pause for the perfect photo, where you’d pause would reflect you as a person. Will it be the moment an army of aunties are draping your saree on, the moment you’re twirling around the dance floor like a princess, or the moment you’re sharing a laugh with your groom-to-be?
Photography isn’t only about pretty pictures. If that was the case, then all you’d need is a standard formula (good camera lenses, the right angle, and sufficient lighting) to churn out stunning images. But photography is also about perspectives. It’s about evoking a particular emotional response from those raw and intimate moments.
We sat down with Kirty Khanijou, creative director here at KKSTUDIO, to see how she feels emotion comes into play in wedding photography and what you should consider when choosing a wedding photographer.
What role does emotion play in wedding photography?
“Weddings are undeniably one of the most significant milestones in a couple’s life. Across many cultures, and especially in Indian culture, a lot importance is given to this rite of passage. Whether you’re having ‘big fat wedding’ or a ‘small intimate affair’, you’re going to want to look back and cherish these moments forever.
Good photos should not just be visually pleasing but should have the capability to transport you back to your wedding day. And that’s where emotions come into play- it makes the difference between still images and memories. With Indian weddings being so colourful and chaotic, not capturing the emotions would truly be a shame.”
Do you think your background helps you in capturing the emotions in a wedding?
“Every photographer has a unique perspective, in part influenced by their background and interests, which would give them an advantage in certain scenarios. I’d never make a good war or conflict photographer, for instance! It’s all about tapping into your areas of strength and adding your own flair to the photos.
I personally feel comfortable capturing the emotions of joy in a wedding or in those big moments in a couple’s life like when they welcome their bundle of joy. I’m humbled to be let in into their lives and to be a part of their celebrations. And yes, being a Thai-Indian female definitely helps when shooting Indian weddings and Indian destination weddings in Thailand.”
Any specific examples?
“You know wedding photography isn’t just about taking photos but there’s a lot of coordinating involved. I once had to ask hotel staff to readjust the ‘mandap’ as per the requirements of my clients. Being a Thai-Indian, I understand Indian culture and wedding rituals. At the same time, I am able to communicate in Thai with hotel staff or vendors.
I also feel that being a female is an advantage as I am often in and out of the bride’s dressing room. It makes the bride and the women much more comfortable when we’re filming them getting ready. I once even assisted the bride out with her ‘chunni’ as her makeup artist was Hong-Kong Chinese and wasn’t able to do so.”
If you had to give one piece of advice to couples choosing a wedding photographer, what would it be?
“If I had to give couples one advice when choosing a wedding photographer, it is this: look beyond the camera lens. And by that I mean, yes make sure your photographer and/or team has technical skills and are able to deliver stunning photos. But beyond that, make sure you’re comfortable with the photographer and they understand your needs.
For instance, I always personally meet the bride & groom before the wedding. Even if they’re from abroad and have appointed someone on their behalf, I make time to have a chat with them. It’s important to establish a level of familiarity, understand their personality, and create a custom plan of action.”