The world is filled with thousands of languages to communicate, yet a picture can speak volumes without uttering a word. The beauty of speaking without words is subliminal. Imagine the power a photographer has! Also, imagine a photographer losing out on opportunity to capture a picture just because he/she did not have the (right) equipment. Read more
A quote doing the rounds recently was ‘female photographer is not its own genre’. Is the term ‘female photographer’ redundant? Is there even a need for this term?
Wedding photography as a niche under photography is growing with leaps and bounds here in India. However, for the most part it still remains a male-dominated industry. This is slowly and gradually changing, and organizations are beginning to realize that they can no longer ignore talent that comes from women photographers. Read more
Being a wedding photographer, or any photographer for that matter, comes with its share of burdens. You find yourself doing the dance between staying inspired, earning a living and making sure that you meet client expectations… after all, you have been hired to photograph a wedding because of your expertise. These burdens are no stranger to Juya Gentil, who gave one of the most insightful talks at SILK INSPIRE 2017. How do you keep going without running the risk of getting bored? How do you deal with the inevitable fears that go with the creatively challenging profession that photography is? These are questions that go through any photographer’s mind at some stage or the other. Read more
Since the past several months, I have been in two minds on the place of conversation within photography. And every time I attend a photography festival, I realise why my thoughts tend to veer in two opposite directions.
The pioneering colourist William Eggleston had once said, “Whatever it is about pictures, photographs, it’s just about impossible to follow up with words. They don’t have anything to do with each other.” There is, of course, great irony in the fact that I subscribe to Eggleston’s distrust for words. Having written on the medium for the greater part of a decade, I have indulged in precisely what he warns against. And yet it was six months ago at Silk Inspire 2017, that I reassessed my thoughts, and realised why there is a conflict in the first place. What is it about photo festivals and conferences that speak to each one of us? And what is it about them that we should be wary of? Read more
The word success has always bothered me. It was a goal, an elusive one, and no matter how much I tried, I always felt that I wasn’t anywhere close to it. What I considered ‘success’ or ‘successful’ had a lot to do with status and money. I was brought up to think this way, and I am going to assume that many of you reading this will agree with me. For my parents, at least, money was the singular marker for whether they had succeeded or not. And that became my definition too, for a long time, that is, until I got my first job. Read more
I remember being absolutely mesmerized when I saw Jen Huang’s photographs for the first time, and the fact that she almost exclusively shoots on film. Using a medium format camera, today, in a genre like wedding photography, is quite unheard of. Here is someone who uses film, not for its novelty aspect, but because she understands what shooting with it stands for and has imbibed its qualities in her line of work.
Jen’s presentation at SILK Inspire last year, was one of the most interactive and fun talks. As she walked amongst the crowd, and handed out props (several velvet ring boxes), she mentioned a few things that we can all stand to gain from. Read more
As a wedding photographer, you owe it to your clients to deliver the best possible results of their big day. How you photograph their wedding, is how they will remember it, making it a tremendous responsibility. One way of ensuring that you live up to your craft and produce the best work possible, is to always keep evolving as a photographer.
SILK INSPIRE 2017 brought together an assortment of photographers from around the world. Each brought their unique view on how to photograph weddings. While their methods and vision may have been different, their goal was the same. They all were there to share their vast experience to help attendees better understand the language of photography. Among these masters, was the incredible Andrea Corsi, from Tuscany, Italy. Read more
Here is something to ponder on for us this Women’s Day. Are there enough female wedding photographers, and who defines ‘enough’? If not, are we doing enough to make aspiring female photographers want to get into the field, and should we even bother?
Is wedding photography primarily a male-dominated industry? In a previous blog post we discussed closing the gender gap in the wedding photography industry , and whether women make better wedding photographers. This time we’d like to take that a step further. If women offer a fresh, different perspective into photography, why is it that they are so underrepresented? Read more
If you’re serious about your photography, then you know that attending a photo conferences will do wonders for your work. You find yourself exposed to different ways of thinking and seeing, which you can take and apply to your voice in photography.
What did you miss at SILK Inspire 2017? Three days of artist talks, an exchange of ideas and thoughts in an atmosphere filled with love for photography, creative, emotional, stunning visuals from weddings and so much more! The festival brought together an eclectic mix of talent which included, among others, the Ukraine born artist, Sergey Ivanov. Read more
Every year, hundreds of photography conferences and conventions take place all over the world. Both amateur and expert photographers travel the globe to attend these educational events where they can learn new skills and connect with some of the best in their field.
With gatherings this diverse, and of such a large scale, questions inevitably arise. How do you decide whether you should even attend a conference? Does it really help? What should you bring to a conference? How will you decide whose talks or master class to attend? Attending a photography conference can be not only a great way of experiencing different kinds of photography, but an opening to approach your photography and philosophy with a fresh new outlook. You can get to hear about the inner workings of a photographer, and how they approach their craft and business. The inspiration and motivation that you gain can be game changing for your photography.
With the fast approaching SILK INSPIRE 2017 wedding photography festival, we turned to some of the biggest names in the world of photography expos for advice. We wanted to know why they believe photographers should invest in such a structured education, in a time where online resources are vast and easily available. Read more
Is it possible to have a unique style as a wedding cinematographer? Today, with so many people owning cameras and cellphones, thus making photography and videography a truly democratic platform, why is it that there are only a handful who have made a name for themselves? The answer is simple. Their work has something extra that others don’t. They’re able to see things or do things with the camera that others can’t. They’re able to tell stories in a manner that no one else has.
But does this change when you’re a wedding cinematographer? Is it possible to have a style when making short films on the couples that you document, especially since every wedding is so different? We placed the question in front of a few accomplished wedding filmmakers in the industry, and this is what they revealed. Read more
It is possible to have an unplugged wedding in India? “Welcome, dear family and friends, Siddharth and Neha invite you to be truly present at this auspicious moment. Please turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks with great pictures and share them with you! We invite you to truly experience the wedding and capture the emotion with your minds and hearts.” Would that ever be possible at an Indian wedding? Can you imagine the pundit announcing this before the ceremony? Read more
When my parents got married, there was no ‘candid’ photography, there was no ‘couple shoot’ and I’m pretty sure they don’t know what any of those terms really mean. My mother’s mehendi and haldi ceremony was not documented, nor was there a cinematic video created around my parent’s big day. When they attend the weddings of my generation, they are usually stunned at the attending team of photographers. All they had, was a photographer, his assistant and
a simple, straightforward documentation of their wedding. While their wedding album is a passable documentation of their day, I remember one image, shot right after my father had whispered something into my mother’s ear, causing them both to break out into big smiles of happiness. This makes me wonder, are these photo shoots truly representative of two people’s love or is it just a set of pictures to put on Facebook? More often than not, couple shoots ape a Bollywoodesque, fantastical representation as opposed to more ‘real’, natural photographs. Read more
A few years ago I published a post on photography movies that inspired me. I find that watching a film on a photographer’s work is somewhat of a compensation for my inability to meet them in person. I cannot stress enough on the importance of meeting other artists and photographers. I feel that actaully meeting other artists is perhaps the biggest influence on an artist’s career. More than following someone’s work on a website, meeting a photographer who’s work inspires me, enables me to make the connection between the way his or her images look like, and who the photographer is as a human being. There is nothing more inspiring than this great tool on the path to understand your own identity as an artist. Read more
Amongst the eight panelists who will be speaking at SILK INSPIRE 2017, only one photographer is a woman. This fact raised several comments criticizing the decision for not consciously creating a gender-equal panel. But should festivals like SILK INSPIRE pay special attention to ensure equal representation of men and women panelists, or should the panel be decided based on other criteria and disregard any gender issues? Read more
A photographer is hired for a wedding and delivers an amazing collection of images. Is this what it is all about? Is the job only about the ability to produce well composed images that tell a good story? That goes without saying, of course, but is that all?
The other day I took a walk on the beach not far from my house, and saw this text written in blue on the rocks. It reminded me of a story. Imagine it is New Year’s Eve in New York City. It’s almost midnight, and the temperature outside is close to freezing, and windy. You are at Greenwich village, inside a local bar, packed with people and smoke. Music is loud. Something from the 80’s. The Joshua Tree perhaps. All the seats at the bar are taken, with two lines of people pushing to get a drink before midnight. You are the bartender tonight. A girl manages to squeeze close to the bar and shouts; “DO YOU HAVE SEX ON THE BEACH?” You know it is a drink, but you just started tending bar and you don’t know what’s in it. What do you do? Read more
Good morning wedding photographer! It is this time of the year again. We are approaching the wedding season in India, at least the north of India, as the weddings in the south are also during monsoon, and the emails start coming in. “I am writing you from ‘XYZ’ magazine. For our upcoming special issue we are doing a feature on Indian weddings and would love to feature your work. Can you please send at least 10-15 photographs, so we can select according to our spread? I will revert on the selected photographs, and you can provide the text accordingly. Can you send in the photos by tomorrow?” When asked if the magazine has allotted a budget for usage rights, the answer would usually be something like; “It is an honor to be published in our magazine. We will give credit of course”. This kind of request comes from journalists, TV companies, magazine editors – you name it. All are shamelessly trying to exploit you! Read more
Jeff Newsom went from being a young artist, to a competitive gamer, to a travelling musician, to aspiring physicist. Today, in his thirteenth year as a wedding photographer, his photographs are an unending video game, with the play of visuality much like an improvised musical performance, his work, seeking to understand the physicality of the various atoms that come together, to form a story. Read more
Many of us have had the doubtful pleasure of shooting alongside a video team using hot halogen lamps at an Indian wedding. Gladly, this trend is quickly fading away as both photographers and videographers adopt the usage of the more advanced, and easy to use lights. Some photographers find flash, be it on-camera or off-camera, to be the best light solution, while others find them a bit intimidating. I am not a technical writer, but I’ve been using both flash, as well as LED lights, and although I love working with off-camera-flash, I think LED lights are under appreciated. I believe that young photographers, but not only, can extract an incredible value from LED lights as an alternative option for flash.
Photographers continue to find themselves in this predicament… It is not the lack of ideas or the passion fueling these ideas. They are in abundance. But it is the process involved in realizing them, turning these ideas into reality. It requires resources. Expensive ones. That’s where a lot of photographers falter, at least those who are in the initial phase of their photography careers. And eventually, even when there is a steady flow of money, it somehow always feels like there is a dearth of it. It’s unfortunate that most photographers don’t usually make for good businessmen. It’s a skill, no doubt, to be able to manage the creative and the business side of the art form. But a handful have managed to do well in both. One of them is Zack Arias, an established and well-known name in the industry. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that he always had it all figured out. There were lessons, distressing and harrowing ones, that taught him how to navigate the complex and sometimes, the cut-throat world of commercial photography. Read more
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