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Woman Wedding Photographer – Being the Anomaly

Shreya Sen of www.shreyasenphotography.com  shares thoughts and experiences about wedding photography as a candid woman photographer in India…couple portrait 3wm

There has been a sudden surge of photographers in the recent times in the field of wedding photography and well educated professionals have taken a leap of faith to follow their passion for photography. To be a candid wedding photographer in India is a unique experience, but to be a candid woman photographer in India which was quite unheard of until recently is an even more unique experience.

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With studio photographers and their teams being the unspoken norm for wedding photography, the field has always been a fairly male dominated arena and continues to be so. However, with the onset of the digital age and the current ‘facebook’ ‘twitter’ generation, clients wants more than ‘generic’ photos – not just the ‘varmala’ being put on, they want to see the bride’s reactions captured, her mother’s silent tears during the bidaai, the nervous fiddle of the groom, the infectious energy of the baraat, detailed photos of the trousseau that the bride has taken months to decide on.

Basically, people do not want their wedding to be remembered just as a sequence of ‘events’ or seen in outdated, posted images.  They want the essence of their wedding day captured in a way that will create memories as emotions often pass by too quickly for one to even realize.

There has been a shift in wedding photography whereby the skill set of photographer has moved from mere technical knowledge in handling the camera to more of an individual experiencing celebration, love and life and the ability to capture it  at the right moment and more so, doing it aesthetically.

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Women, have always been known to be more attuned to emotions and details.  Therefore, with this shift in wedding photography skill, and in this age of choice and need for following what makes you happy, it is no surprise that women have entered into this exciting field!

Being a woman photographer, I can say that wedding photography in India is immensely rewarding but at the same time not without it’s challenges. To give you an idea, I carry two cameras on me during a wedding shoot along with a bag with lenses. I do not have an assistant and as far as my knowledge goes lot of candid women photographers are still working alone and do not have assistants. So after carrying such a heavy load and running around, back and shoulder aches and numb thumbs are some things that I have had to accept as a part of the job. It is physically taxing even for men so you can imagine how it is for women – not that a woman is less strong. But apart from it being a creative job, it is an extremely physical back breaking job. Also food patterns go out of the window, you end up missing meals or eating at odd hours as you do not want to miss out on any minute.

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What makes Indian weddings unique is the chaos of it all.  We are a collectivistic society where families are always all over the bride and groom and there is a crowd at every point. So in between the chaos of events, the family and not to mention other studio photographers who come in teams of 5 or 10 at times, one has to run, twist, bend, squat, push, and while doing all that, compose and create beautiful photos and at the same time be constantly aware of what is going on around you to capture the moment.  At some times that can be very challenging, and especially when you are petite!!

I have experienced some funny instances in smaller cities, where some guests were extremely thrilled and insisted on being photographed by me as they had never been photographed by a woman photographer before. Having said that, you can see there are a lot more advantages too being a woman wedding photographer.  In fact, most brides feel a lot more comfortable with a woman photographer for their ‘getting-ready’ photos.  I generally tend to compliment guests or friends of the bride on their clothing or jewellery and that tends to make people feel comfortable around me, which results in beautiful and happier photos.

To conclude I do believe there will be a lot more women who will enter the field of wedding photography.  Since you get to pick your schedules, it can be a great profession for women with families too as financially, it is extremely rewarding and you get to work at your convenience. Most of all you get to travel, make people smile, be around beautifully dressed guests and  be a part of the celebration of love, and if you love photography you get to live your dream.

Shreya Sen

Shreya Sen was our guest blogger this week.  If you would like to know more about Shreya Sen Wedding Photography visit  www.shreyasenphotography.com  or  www.facebook.com/shreyasenphotography

 

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