5 Essential Tips for Indian Wedding Photography

More and more spectacular and complex, Indian wedding photography has become over the years a niche in itself. You might be surprised by the popularity of this wedding theme as not only native-Indians want to add something eye-catching to their once-in-a-lifetime event. Many people all over the world choose the Indian style for their wedding. Wonder why? Well, who has watched at least one Bollywood movie, could see how sophisticated and luxurious everything is.

Whether they are made traditionally or according to a more contemporary fashion, Indian weddings will charm you. If you are to add an Indian wedding for the first time to your portofolio as a photographer, get ready to break the conventional. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the experience and push some boundaries.

indian wedding photography tips / holding hands

1. Do your Homework

Before planning your day, make sure you do a bit of research in relation to what you can expect from an Indian wedding. Did you know that there are many great award-winning Indian photographers specialized in wedding photography willing to travel the world for their clients? You can check their profile and learn more about the ‘industry’. Here is a useful list that will take you through a variety of styles and skills.

You should know that common Indian wedding photography requirements used to be quite old-fashioned. What was expected from the photographer was that he simply take snaps of all the guests, which, honestly, can be exhausting and less satisfying than anything.

indian wedding photography tips / wedding ceremony

Now, young Indian couples are more open. This means that you, as a creative professional photographer, can add depth and a sense of story to the wedding photographic album. Get your homework done first, and then be as imaginative as possible in accordance to their wishes.

2. Find the Ideal Photographic Technique

Indian weddings are very colorful. If you are a black-and-white-photography pro, you might want to think again! I have never heard of Indian brides wishing to go all black and white for their wedding photography. For this type of weddings, bridal portraiture and candid photography are the ideal photographic techniques to take into consideration.

indian wedding photography 2

Indian Bride Portrait

Be bold and transform the bride’s portraits into art.

Candid photos are the best choice for Indian weddings if you know how to capture special moments. Timing is really essential! It is all about capturing the emotions that the bride, the groom and the families feel and express during the event. These ‘paparazzi style’ shots require skill, special equipment and versatility.

For everything to look as natural as possible, you have to be everywhere and try to interact with everybody at the ceremony and party. Candid photography is of a special kind in terms of techniques as well. In order to get the most of it, you have to try not to use the flash, for instance, and always mix the perspective.

3. Get in touch with the couple and with the wedding planner

indian wedding photography / couple hugging

Try to get in touch as much as you can with the bride and the groom, and even with the family, but especially with the wedding planner if there is any. It is important to get familiar with how things generally work and also acknowledge their particular needs. It will be a lot easier for you as well to know them better. Their organization might seem to you a bit hectic as there may be events planned during several days and will need you to be there and capture every significant moment.

Depending on the budget, Indian weddings have teams of people hired to make everything run smoothly. Some Indian families even hire an astrologer to decide on the auspicious moment for performing the marriage ceremony. Speaking of which, ceremonies can take a long time. The average Indian wedding ceremony lasts around two hours, but some of them even have pre-wedding arrangements, so it might take three to four hours until the party starts.

4. Find the Perfect Venue for the Photo Album

You might wonder why you need to find a venue when there is already one the couple has paid for. If you wish to make the wedding photo album a memoir it takes more than comprising fine snaps from the ceremony. Be creative. Make something new and exciting. If you master nature photography, for instance, you can plan in advance a mini-photo session outdoors after the ceremony or even on a different day.

indian wedding photography / photo album example

For more inspiration you can have a look at South Asian bride magazines or check the photos of this fabulous Indian wedding in Chicago. Try to include the city as a character into the story if the couple agrees. Be it Houston, Dallas or New Jersey, there are some surprising venues to discover and artistically explore.

If the wedding is more traditional in style you can choose a temple. These may be the perfect locations for an after-wedding photo shooting session. One of the most impressive places for Indian wedding photography is Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta. ‘Mandir’ is a place of worship and spirituality for the Hindu, but it is also a social and cultural space where people can gather and hold different activities.

5. Keep Calm and Enjoy Every Moment!

A lot of unexpected things can happen during an Indian wedding. First, they are known to be not very punctual. So, don’t stress out if you get there on time and start your work after a few hours. Have a glass of something and enjoy the experience.

indian wedding photography / choosing the venue

Second, there’s the food. Do you fancy Indian cuisine? What you should know is that during Indian weddings, dinner might be served around midnight as they are accustomed to eat very late. However, if the couple is not that traditional, everything can run according to common wedding planning.

Even if you are a beginner don’t miss an ultimate Indian wedding experience. The secret ingredient that will make you stand out of the crowd is your mood and attitude, not your experience. Let the magic fill your soul and your photography.  Enjoy every moment and bring life and color to every snap.

We hope that these Indian photography tips will help you further expand your  portfolio.

Picture source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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About Amanda Jones

Professional photographer and freelance writer, Amanda is specialized in wedding and travel photography. Every day she enjoys taking long walks around the city, from where she takes inspiration for her day-to-day work. She always hunts magical locations to astonish her subjects.