shutterstock_121838944Whether you are planning a wedding in India, you are planning a traditional Indian ceremony in another country, or you are looking to plan a modern wedding with a few traditional Indian elements, you have a lot of things to keep in mind. One thing that many people overlook when planning a wedding is how the photography for an Indian wedding may vary due to these differing wedding traditions. Of course, knowing the basics of wedding photography is still important, so be sure to sign up for one of our great Udemy courses to get started.

When Will You Need a Photographer? 

One of the first things to keep in mind is that the traditional Indian ceremony may include several different special events, some of which may take place days before the wedding. Among the first major ceremonies of an Indian wedding takes place several days before. The Misri, or ring ceremony, is a beautiful and solemn occasion that cements the vow that the bride and groom have made to one another to be united in matrimony. For many Indian brides, the real wedding celebration begins with the traditional Mehndi ceremony, in which the hands and feet of the bride (and those of female friends and family members) are decorated with elaborate henna designs. This celebration is a moment that you will certainly want to capture. If you don’t want to pay the additional money to have a professional photographer on hand for this event, consider bringing a camera along – or even a few cameras – and allowing everybody to take photographs at their leisure. This can be a great way to preserve this special moment, as well as to get some up-close shots of the henna so you will remember the exact design for years to come. As for the day of the wedding, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Various traditional events take place throughout the wedding day, beginning early in the morning and continuing on until evening. If you are not working with a professional photographer who is intimately familiar with the traditions of Indian weddings, be sure that you inform them of the various customs, and ensure that they have a clear schedule so they know where they will be needed throughout the day. Also remember that it may be prudent to hire more than one photographer so that you can easily capture both the bride’s and groom’s side of events.

Tips for Great Photography 

One of the first things to keep in mind is that you will want to ensure the photographer you use has a lot of experience with close-up photography. From the intricate details of the bride’s mehndi to things such as jewelry, the embroidery on traditional tapestries, and other details, there are plenty of images that you will want to capture. Lighting is incredibly important to any wedding photography. Whether the ceremony is taking place in India or in any other country, it will be crucial to ensure that you have good, quality lighting in order to take the best possible photographs. The individual that is taking the photographs – whether they are a professional or not – needs to get a good look at the venue prior to the ceremony to find out how much additional lighting equipment will be needed, as well as what type. This will ensure that the photos turn out great. Unlike traditional Western weddings, Indian weddings are vibrant and full of color, so it is unlikely that you will want to do much black and white photography. That being said, black and white photographs can be wonderful for capturing intimate moments between the newlyweds. Check out Udemy’s course on the art of Black and White Photography for tips on taking great monochromatic photographs without losing the vibrancy of the beautiful setting. You may also choose to either hire someone who is skilled with computer programs such as Photoshop or make an attempt to learn some Photoshop basics in order to play with the colors in the photographs that you have taken. You can even create great black and white photos while pulling out single colors (such as the traditional red) in order to create beautiful and vivid photos. Also remember that an essential part of taking photographs of a wedding is getting great portraits of the bride and groom, as well as other members of the wedding party and close family members. Udemy’s Family Portrait Photography course is a great option for those who want to ensure they get a good picture of their entire family to keep as a reminder of this wonderful occasion.

Bridal Photography

Along with her groom, the bride is at the front and center of any Indian wedding. However much an Indian bride is like those of any other country, there are many differences to keep in mind as well. The Indian bride will likely be much more richly adorned than her Western counterparts, with numerous pieces of jewelry. This jewelry is an incredibly important part of her bridal outfit, so the photographer in charge of capturing her big day should be sure to get good close-up pictures of all the jewelry items that she is wearing. Photographers working at Indian weddings will also quickly learn that the Indian bride may change her clothing at a few points during the day. While the clothing that she wears for the main ceremony is undoubtedly the most important, that doesn’t diminish the importance of the other outfits that she wears – from the day of the ring ceremony to the moment the wedding is officially over and she is sent away with her new husband.

Ceremonies With Mixed Traditions 

Another thing to keep in mind is that many Indian weddings will contain mixed traditions, especially if either the bride or the groom is not Indian by birth, or if they have spent much time in another country. Very often, couples may choose to have a ceremony that mixes traditional Indian elements with Western elements. Some may even choose to have two different ceremonies altogether. Those who choose to have separate ceremonies will undoubtedly want to have pictures of both. However, there are some tips that you can keep in mind to ensure that the photographs of both ceremonies are even more special and meaningful. Try and get photographs of the ceremonies that mirror one another. While they are quite different in the way that they are performed, there are some moments that can easily reflect on each other, making the shared ceremonies even more special.

The Finishing Touch 

As mentioned before, the finishing touch of any batch of wedding photos is editing. You can learn great retouching techniques with this Udemy course, which will ensure that every single photograph from your Indian wedding is beautiful, artistic, and as magical and memorable as your wedding day was for you. With just a few tweaks an ordinary photograph can become truly extraordinary, and you will have incredible reminders of your wedding day to look at with your family for years to come.

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Wedding Photography: Build a Referral Generating Machine

Last Updated March 2020

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A step-by-step system to get a continuous stream of referrals for your wedding photography business. | By Laurence Kim

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