Supplier Spotlight: Meet Your Wedding Photographer Darshan Ambre

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“I have been privileged to be a part of many weddings and each one is an incredible experience. I endeavor to capture them creatively and provide a beautiful story of your most precious moments”, says ace wedding photographer Darshan Ambre. Read his complete interview below and to book him for your big day or to see his complete portfolio, click here.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

Darshan Ambre Photography is a team of Contemporary wedding photography and Cinematic wedding films, which is slightly over 5years old. In this short period, besides wedding and associated events, we have successfully handled and contributed our vast expertise to varied genres of photography, including corporate events, architecture, maternity shoots and family portraits. We have even enjoyed documenting the work and events of few environmental NGOs and we are always willing to explore more and deliver well, with the help of our closely knit and dedicated team!

Although I Graduated in Advertising, my lessons in photography began way early during my childhood thanks to my father, who is an Ace photographer himself. So I have handled a wide range of manual and non-digital cameras and am also familiar with film processing.

Wedding photography has been my forte and I have photographed over 150 weddings in different traditions and cultures across the country. I have travelled to remote corners of the country including states like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, and Chhattisgarh for wedding shoots.

Our company consists of a co-ed team of highly motivated and skilled guys and girls, who ensure a qualitative output but with a personal touch. In short, we strive for our customers smile and work tirelessly to make their moments immortal.

2) What made you get into wedding photography?

Back during college days I had shot a wedding in our family and the results got me a lot of praise and appreciation. The general feedback was that I had managed to capture the emotions well. And the genre stuck… Wedding is a once-in-a life time experience for the couple and their families and everyone expects that to be immortalized via photos. The high of being a part of this experience is what attracted me to wedding photography. The thrill of capturing something where there is no retake excited me.

 3) Can you walk us through the procedure of how you get to know a couple before you agree to be their photographer?

Before agreeing to be their photographer, I usually meet the couple in person. These meetings help us understand their taste and expectations. Also, these days, before the wedding day most couples opt for a pre wedding shoot. In this pre-wedding shoot I try and understand their personal story and journey. This gives them greater comfort and ease with me and my team way before the wedding day. Another plus point for us is that most of my clients approach me through social media and personal interactions occur much later. Thus, the pre-wedding shoot tends to be an ice-breaker and when we weave in their personal stories and the difficulties in their path, in their photographs or films, the couple warms up to me and my team. The actual wedding then is a breeze…

 4) What is the best part of capturing Indian weddings?

India is a multi-cultural county and each culture/religion has so many variations, right from rituals, to dressing, cuisines and even timings of the shoot. Sometimes weddings are even shot at their respective places of worship. The ambience of the venue adds to the flavour and mood of the wedding shoot.

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That being said, all Indian weddings are vibrant, colourful and full of action. They are a stark contrast to European weddings or those in other countries, where rehearsal shoots and dinners bring in a certain sense of planning. The vibrancy and unexpectedness of events, locations, familial, regional and cross-cultural customs allows Indian wedding photographers to explore much higher levels of creativity. Most Indian weddings tend to span over a few days, as they include events such as Haldi, Mehendi, Sangeet, among others and the photographer thus becomes an integral part of the family and the wedding.

 5) Have you experienced any awkward moments while shooting a wedding?

A wedding has many personal moments and as a photographer it is difficult to resist the temptations to capture those moments without infringing on their personal space and boundaries.  Bidai (send-off) is one such emotional and fragile moment. It needs deep restrain to capture those intimate moments of a bride and groom with their family members. I usually make sure that me and my team shoots this from a distance without disturbing that special moment. Sometimes it’s awkward to get senior family members to pose as they are uncomfortable being shot. In both these cases, one needs a lot of tact and patience and yet deliver the desired results.

 6) Can you recall the most interesting wedding you have shot so far and what made it different/special?

For me, each wedding I shoot has something special or is a different experience. But one wedding I would like to highlight was that of a senior couple, well past their 40s. For both of them, this was their second marriage. It was a wedding located in a South Indian temple and there was a guest list of only five persons. The temple’s ambience and its aura added to the simplicity and beauty of this wedding. The thread bareness of this wedding made it a challenge to portray and the client and I personally were very happy with the outcome. This shoot helped me grow as a creative photographer.

Darshan Ambre wedding photography Supplier spotlight

In a total contrast to the five-guest wedding, is my other favourite wedding, which was a lavish princely affair I shot at Ayush Resort, Panvel. The wedding venue was massive and designed on a palatial theme. As the groom was an Englishman marrying an Indian girl, the guest list consisted of over a 1000 persons of varied nationalities. The wedding rituals involved mega-entertainment events for the guests, photo booths, live Shehnai performers. The sprawling palace ambience was delectably decorated with the choicest flowers and for each of these events, we got to use a huge variety of photographic equipment and accessories including cranes and drones. The highlight was the bride and groom’s procession, which was a royal entry with a cavalcade of horses. Shooting this wedding was challenging yet interesting and exciting at various levels.

Darshan Ambre wedding photography Supplier spotlight

 7) Share three of your favourite images with our readers.

Darshan Ambre wedding photography Supplier spotlight

8) Your favourite venue in or around Mumbai and why?

Among all the venues we’ve shot in, the Alibaug beach destination wedding was one of my personal favourites. The ambience, open air setup, beach frontage, shooting in the evening light, followed by a lovely sunset, leading into the most elegant night for reception, lit with Chinese paper lanterns. It was a photographer’s dream set-up. It was the kind of wedding people gush and get romantic about in Hollywood films.

Darshan Ambre wedding photography Supplier spotlight

An equally elegant and sophisticated venue I’ve shot three weddings at is this Club in the Navy Nagar. The Navy atmosphere and the smart officers in uniform, their brass band, a sprawling lawn at the end of which the sea begins, it is a delightful venue. This rare venue however is a restricted area and allocated to only navy personnel. However, what made the venue so perfect for the shoots was the discipline of the entire gathering of hosts, guests and the Naval staff. It goes without saying; it was a picture perfect venue.

9) Biggest lesson you have learned while in this business and advice you’d pass on to other aspiring photographers.

Wedding photography is about patience and understanding your client; once you have that under control, then the output is magical. Also learn to balance between the expectations of the parents or family and the couple, who both are your clients. Marriages are as much about the family and relatives as much as the couple, so dedicate time and personnel to capture their expressions and involvement for a holistic coverage. Wedding photography has long hours to endure but it is critical that you are present at the right moment to capture those special moments on the event.

Also aspiring photographers shouldn’t rush into setting up independent practices. It is always advisable to first assist a few senior and established photographers and learn some tricks of the trade as well as observe varied styles and methods of handling difficult shoots. After a few years of hands-on learning, one should gradually move to private practice.

10) Any advice for clients-to-be?

Always meet and discuss the wedding shoot in advance. Economics do matter, but do assess a photographer from his/her output. So study their work and select your photographer wisely. Give sufficient time to your photographer both for the couple and to click family members. Sometimes listening to the creative ideas of the photographer can bring out a very different output, but do let them know any specific expectations as well as don’ts. And finally have faith in your photographer and his/her team.

Clients have to realize that an ideal photographer will help you etch out your happiest and most personal moments in a style that most closely resembles your own thought process. So do realize that while you spend lavishly on clothing, venue, décor and catering, your photographer is the channel to capture all this for permanency. So don’t cut corners when selecting your photographer, and allocate a suitable budget towards the final out, be it photo albums, films!

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