From 02.02.14-10.02.14 I went to India, specifically Bangalore and Chennai. I went because I was asked to take photographs of a couple renewing their vows. It was a two day ceremony, the other days I spent with the family and looking around the area and taking some other photos they wanted me to get. The final photos of the ceremony can be found here. I am very pleased with the photos especially because the family didn’t give me much direction to what they wanted. They wanted an outsider’s perspective, but what I wanted was guidance on what was important because there wasn’t much information on the internet. For example in a Christian wedding the kiss and the exchanging of the rings is the “one to get” shots whereas I had no clue if there was that kind of shot or if there was what it was.
At first I hated having no direction but it did allow me to be free and creative in my approach.In some ways it allowed me to take a step back and see what was going on and what would make a good photograph. As far as I am aware the couple and their son’s really like the photographs they really like this photo:
I checked with some of my friends who come from an Hindu background and they said they were good.
I really enjoyed experiencing a new culture and religion, which is a particular interest of mine. This could also mean in the future Indian couples in England might want me to photograph their weddings or vow renewals. Also this experience has lead me to make connections in India and they have made comments that they would like me back, whether or not that will happen is a different matter.
I am getting into wedding photography so this experience allowed me to gain more experience in the field and in a different culture. I recently met a couple who were looking for a student photographer and they were impressed with the work but also that I went to India. So this experience has given me more credibility.
Besides the wedding I also photographed a two week year old baby and an office which the family runs. Both experiences I hadn’t done before.
The baby was a pleasure to work with because it barely moved the only issue was the lighting because the room wasn’t particularly well lit and I didn’t want to use a flash to wake her.
Photographing the office was a challenge because some rooms were more well lit than others so I had to keep checking the camera settings. For a first try I felt I did quite well in photographing rooms of buildings.
I don’t feel like I learnt an awful lot from the experience but what it did give me was a lot of experience. I don’t feel like I learnt anything because no one told me how to take photos of an Indian wedding or a newborn baby, I just did it myself. This isn’t a problem per say but it is definitely something I can use in my portfolio because sometimes the technically right way isn’t always the way to go.