Spotlight on smiles

Candid photography

Spotlight on smiles

Click. Click, click, click. The shutter snaps its teeth endlessly in frustration. The only time it stops is when the food is served, but there’s hardly enough time to rest.

    How can it possibly rest when there is a continuous stream of extravagantly dressed guests flowing onto the stage.

   They strain their ears for the sound of the click, and even the slightest pause brings a frown on their face.

Photographs and videos are an integral part of any wedding (how else would we remember?) but the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ has its very own, specialised formula to capture such moments.

The photographers and videographers are in position long before the bride and groom find their way on stage.

 And the moment they arrive, the tedious work begins — capture every guest, with their fixed smiles, irrespective of who they are; tape every insignificant moment, in hopes that it makes sense later.

But with the entry of creative candid wedding photography and videography, capturing memories has taken on a different avatar — each shot has a story to tell.

Polina Schapova, who co-owns ‘CONFETTIfoto’, has travelled the world capturing unseen moment at weddings.

She says, “Photography is about seeing, noticing and capturing moments. I apply myself using the same skills to capture someone’s wedding day and give a time-travel magic to it. I know that when people look at our images in the years to come, they will be instantly brought back to that moment, place, those sounds and smiles, as if it were yesterday.”

“Creative candid wedding photography is about seeking out and freezing forever, with the help of technology, those special and unguarded moments between people, which are the real essences of a
wedding day,” she adds.
 Mario Jerome, a videographer for ‘WeddingFlicks’, adds, “These days, most people don’t have the time to sit and sift through hours of footage. Our films cater to this and they’re also easily sharable, so our clients share their wedding with friends and family across the globe easily.”

Calling them ‘highlight films’, he says that these videos are no longer than five minutes.
 For Mithun Bhat, a director and cinematographer at ‘A Quiet Affair’, this is a way to narrate stories. “I enjoy the storytelling aspect of it the most. Every couple is unique and their stories require different treatments in order to represent them in the best way possible. I’m not doing as many wedding films at the moment because I’m focussing more on finding couples who have stories that can be told cinematically.”

To get these untold stories on print is a task that not many are up for.
 Mithun explains, “It takes time and experience. We try to get to know the couple and their close friends and family; this helps us weave a story around their lives.”

“This story is heavily influenced by who they are as people and their dynamics as a group. We shoot a lot of interview segments and during these bits, we do our best to make people feel at ease so that we can capture the most honest and authentic moments,” he adds.

Polina adds that positive energy, having and knowing the right gear, quick reactions and comfortable footwear are essential.

Unlike traditional shoots, which have hours of unedited footage and snaps, these are neatly edited and groomed.

According to Polina, a lot more time goes into editing these than one would expect.
“We shoot in RAW format, which means that each image of the 1,000’s we take goes through a post-processing software treatment, where it is adjusted for minor corrections (crop, contrast, colour, etc) before it is converted into a JPEG format. This takes time, as does selecting the final images, editing them down from 3,000 or 5,000 (depending on the scale of the wedding) to 1,000 edited images, which the client finally sees,” she explains.

So the average processing time is anywhere between a month to three.
“Our editing process takes three to four months on average per wedding. The right footage that goes with the flow and theme of the wedding has to be picked painstakingly and stitched together. After the editing, a detailed process of colour grading takes place to give the film a cinematic feel,” adds Mario. 

Talking about their favourite court to play on,  Mario says, “We have shot weddings around India and the world. Every environment comes with its own unique challenges, so we love shooting in all settings. The best setting is one that has a happy, smiling couple and family/friends!” Though it comes with a hefty price tag, it’s worth it because these are stories that usually go untold.

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