WOW | Coffee Break

LENSMEN BEHIND THE PICTURES THAT MAKE YOU SMILE

Get to know your wedding photographer up close!

A wedding is one of the most important days in a person’s life, and capturing the magic of all the special moments and rituals is the wedding photographer. In this edition of Coffee Break, WOW talks with three self taught and in demand wedding photographers: Shahnawaz Mohammad, Supran Shrestha and Shaisab Kishor Shrestha.

What made you decide to get into wedding photography?

Shahnawaz: I am very proud to say that I am a self-taught photographer. I remember and have admired my parents capturing all my little moments. I have also always loved the technical part of photography. When I got married I was not pleased with my wedding photographs. Hence, I knew this had to change. I first ventured into photography as a fashion photographer. Then I slowly tried my hands at wedding photography. With experience, I mastered the skills. The best part is that I get to meet people from different cultures.

Supran: I was always intrigued by photography. After finishing my high school, I took up a few basic classes. I happened to know a few senior wedding photographers. This gave me a chance to witness their work process and it was a huge boost for me. Ever since I have fallen in love with the whole logistics of photography. I have learned by observing, listening and then experimenting. I call myself a self-taught photographer. I have gotten into this profession with honesty and this has allowed me to grow as a person and in the business as well.

Shaisab: Photography has always been one of my most favourite things to do. I got more serious and passionate about it with time. But I never knew back then that this fun activity would change my career goals in life. I joined a national daily as an intern photographer in 2014. A year later, I decided to become a wedding photographer and build my own business. I am a self-taught photographer. Occasionally, I take online tutorials. I also used to participate in intra-college photo contests for which I received positive feedback and a couple of winning titles. This boosted my self-confidence.

How would you describe your style?

Shahnawaz: I capture not only the moments of the wedding but also the emotions of the bride and groom and their families.

Supran: I don’t think I have any one style when it comes to wedding photography, and I don’t complicate too much in my mind either. Rather I am focused on never missing a touching moment and my ability to share in the joy by capturing those moments.

Shaisab: I usually make my clients comfortable first. I believe they should be comfortable and relaxed which brings the best outing them and makes my work a lot easier. Mostly I prefer natural shots rather than posed images.

How have client preferences changed in recent times?

Shahnawaz: We have now witnessed a lot of new twists in wedding photography and videography. Although the traditional elements are kept alive, people are experimenting with new concepts and contemporary settings.

Supran: There are a lot of changes. Different clients have different mindsets so there’s always something or the other that changes with the assignment. However, one key change is that people are now more open to the idea of having proper wedding photographers. They just do not pick anyone randomly to do the job.

Shaisab: Marriage is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event and everyone wants to make it memorable. Young generation photographers are experimental in nature and clients nowadays do not want to compromise on the most important day of their lives.

What is the biggest misconception about wedding photography?

Shahnawaz: People need to be more patient. One should not expect to receive a collection of best wedding photographs overnight.

Supran: Beginner photographers only value financial benefits. They fail to realise the importance of tiny details which actually matter a lot in a wedding. You have to always be in ready-to-go mode and be proactive. As for clients, a lot of people bargain on prices. They don’t realise the importance and hard work that goes into wedding photography even after the shoot.

Shaishab: A few misconceptions would be…

A good photographer and a good wedding photographer are the same. It’s not!
Wedding photography is easy, it is all about taking pictures all day. No, it requires more than that.
Wedding photographers work for few hours and earn a lot of money. This is definitely not true.
A friend who is also a professional photographer will cover my wedding for free. One should really get over this.

What should people consider before booking a wedding photographer?

Shahnawaz: Quality, trust factor, the experience of the photographer and her/his ability to capture candid moments. It’s always best to do a test shoot before booking a wedding photographer.

Supran:

1. They should ask for past work and go through it thoroughly.
2. They should always check for availability.
3. They should know how much they want to pay and search accordingly.
4. Communicate with photographers and let them know your preferences.
5. Meet the photographer and create a comfortable working atmosphere.

Shaisab:

1. The wedding photographer’s portfolio and his previous works
2. Personality and attitude of the photographer
3. A sample of final outputs i.e. the videos or pictures after the completion of work
4. Check reviews from one of their former clients about their services.

How far in advance does a client need to book with you?

Shahnawaz: Three to four months before the wedding.

Supran: Approximately 15-30 days in advance.

Shaisab:   They can book me at their earliest convenience. Most of the clients book me three months prior to the main event. We get more time to discuss the event if it’s earlier.