Wedding photography is the rage these days and couples are spending more time, effort and money to have their precious day documented and covered in the finest possible way. While weddings have always been a significant part in the life of any Indian family, the celebrations have started to become grander over the last decade, and subsequently, the photography and videography have also stepped up to the next level to match the celebrations.
Technological advances and increased exposure to the western style of documenting weddings have meant that customer is now more aware of high quality work. They are keen on hiring better photographers who can capture their important moments in a contemporary and candid style. With a rising market in wedding photography, many people are starting to consider it as a full time career option.
Digital SLR cameras are now becoming more affordable, and it is easier to convert a part time hobby into a serious profession. But before you decide to take a leap of faith, it would be wise to note the following points.
Get your basics and equipment right
While the advance of technology has made it significantly easier to take excellent photos these days, the camera is only as good as the user and you should make sure you have your technical skills right.
Once you get your basics right (either through a class or online articles), you should do plenty of practice so that your camera becomes like an extension of your hand. Make sure you have the right camera and lenses to achieve the ideal output. And if you can’t invest the few lakhs for professional cameras and lenses, you can rent equipment for the initial shoots. Most major cities have a camera equipment rental company.
Practice before you charge
Start by shooting the weddings of close family and friends for free. Then work under another wedding photographer to understand the workflow and difficulties of the trade. And once you feel you have enough experience in the industry, you can start charging clients.
And when you do start to charge clients, keep in mind all your expenses and overhead costs when quoting rather than just the time of the shoot. You are now a self-employed business person, not just an employee and there many hidden costs that you need to take into account to keep your business sustainable in the long run.
Understand the client and rituals
Spending time with the client is important so that you can understand their requirements and needs. Additionally, Indian wedding styles can vary vastly from one part of the country to another so it is vital that you make yourself familiar with the rituals and sequence of events.
Being prepared is half the job and managing your time effectively, both before, during, and after the wedding will really help to ensure that you aren’t underprepared for the event and/or the editing work afterwards.
There are many sources of inspiration on all the social media channels these days but it is important that you to find the gems among the rubble. Look up the giants of photography who can set a standard for you to aim for. Be open to inspiration from all types of photography, not just weddings.
Additionally, SILK Inspire and PEP Asia are 2 excellent wedding photography conferences that happen in India where you will be exposed to international speakers and a wide range of excellent seminars and workshops.
Finally, remember that you have been given a huge responsibility to accurately capture the most important day of someone’s life and it is not fair for you to risk their memories simply because you haven’t done your research well.
Understand what is required from you as a photographer/videographer, ensure you give an accurate quote and have a written contract that is acceptable to both parties. Be transparent with your delivery timeline and stick to it. A happy client is the best marketing you will ever get.
Kishor Krishnamoorthi is a photographer based in Hyderabad. He is organising a one-day workshop about the art and business of wedding photography at the Indian Photo Festival in September at Hyderabad. You can register