Behind The Lens: A Photographer’s Take on Capturing The Essence of Indian Weddings

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Photographer Shraddha Rathi of Dreamgrapher talks about all that is involved in capturing the nuances of a typical Indian wedding as well as the emotions involved therein…

“Certain moments and memories in life are meant to be evergreen; your wedding is an important one of those. The wedding days just seem to have wings that fly away quickly…. naturally; capturing all those moments in photographs is the only way to revisit them, years later.  These sweet soothing memories reassure you of your love, commitment and togetherness, of how your families rejoiced in your union with the person you value the most in your life today! But it is not just the wedding day: there are the rituals, the bride, the groom, the relatives  ….and so much more…..


The bride – Two days before getting married, the bride is the one who is perhaps the most overwhelmed. Bridal attire, jewellery, makeup, salon visits, managing to eat through it all! Then, there are the emotions playing around in her mind: there is nervousness and  excitement as well as sadness about leaving her parental abode. The show of emotions during ‘Bidai’ and ‘Grihapravesh’ are breathtaking…I simply love capturing those moments as they are an astounding combination of smiles and tears!  Days or even years later, the bride is bound to view those pics and recall how she felt then.




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The over-enthusiastic uncle and the shy aunt – Relatives are so important in every Indian wedding ceremony! There is usually the bride/groom’s father and sometimes an uncle taking care of everything. The latter also loves to get himself clicked often, and that too in the most decorated area of the house or mandap! And there is a shy aunt who just does not want to be clicked! Days after the wedding celebrations, it is priceless viewing  these pictures in the wedding album; and naturally they bring a smile to all those who are viewing them.

The playful games and gup-shup – It seems as if the wedding days have no nights at all! No one wants to sleep and the energy levels are extraordinarily high.  We must not forget to mention the Sangeet night here:  Those pretty girls literally set the dance floor on fire! For a wedding photographer, it is imperative to reel in these priceless moments. For me, after a wedding is over and and although the bed is inviting for much needed rest, I simply have to download and process the images rightaway! They make me recall the high energy levels and all the fun I had when capturing them!


The groom’s lot – A lot of activity also goes on at the groom’s place! (Some of it is actually terribly funny!) My team and I have often clicked a groom in a nervous moment smoking or gulping down vodka to calm himself! It is spontaneous and natural: hastening to the venue, hoping his choice of the sherwani is perfect, managing friends that are pulling his leg; everything has such a different air about it! The baraat is worth capturing too: brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends are dancing on popular Bollywood tracks. The Joota chupayi is a moment that I love to capture: there is so much laughter all around!!

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Words are not enough to express how much an Indian wedding photographer has to take care of. The magic lies in capturing not only the grandest moments but also the simplest ones without differentiating between the two. Often, the bride, the groom and their family members do not realize the plethora of emotions being captured until they view the photographs later. And it is a huge surprise for them when they do! I love seeing that surprise on their faces! After all; these moments are to stay, frozen in those pictures, to enable the future generations to cherish.

All images: Dreamgrapher 

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