Colourful and dramatic pre-wedding photoshoots and ‘Save the date’ pictures have become an intrinsic part of weddings. Recently, a couple in Mysuru drowned during a pre-wedding shoot, when they were trying to get an exciting shot, while in a moving coracle in river Cauvery.
Questions about safety measures during such photoshoots and precautions, have popped up since. Metrolife spoke to some city-based photographers to understand the risk factor during such shoots.
Freelance photographer Shruthi Raghunanda prefers shooting outdoors at nature spots in the outskirts of Bengaluru, as most city-based spots like Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park, are closed for photography. “Places like Thottikallu falls, Kanakapura road, Benki Falls, near Bilakel forest, Nandi hills, Sakleshpur, Turahalli forest, and resorts with open spaces around the city, are usual spots. Whenever I am outside, for leisure or at an assignment, I’m on the hunt for new spots to shoot at. Social media also leads us to beautiful places. A lot of research goes into selecting a location,” she adds.
Before a photoshoot, Shruthi suggests possible places to couples. Sometimes, clients have suggestions.
“We head to the space and discuss different locations where good pictures can be shot at. From the clothing they wear to hiking up or climbing boulders for a good picture, nothing is forced on a client. Some couples insist on risky shots and we continuously tell about the possibility of accidents,” she says.
There is no written agreement signed by clients, for such shoots. “Everything is discussed on phone calls and verbally explained to them. We avoid all foreseeable factors like rain, attack by animals or snakes, and other threats. A buffer day is planned, in case of weather changes,” Shruthi says.
Madhukar S G, a freelance photographer, has captured pre-wedding shoot at lakes near Nandi hills, Kalasa in Chikmagalur, Melkote in Mandya, forest areas near Bannerghatta National Park, Bandipur and Bangalore University, Mysore road, and hills like Sakleshpur and Madikeri.
Madhukar has created a list of terms and conditions that will be followed during photoshoots.
“After the Mysuru tragedy, our shoots will be restricted at shallow water areas. We will insist that the couple wear safety jackets wherever it is necessary. The presence of the family will be a must for pre-wedding photoshoots from now on,” he adds.
Nithish Ayyod, founder of Wedding Theory, a photography company, says that the trend of pre-wedding photos is fading.
“From lack of city spots to extra charges at good locations, many factors have played up. Locations out of Bengaluru are most chosen for this. Of the clients we get, 10 per cent opt for such photoshoots,” he says.
Nithish has shot engagement and wedding photographs at Nandi hills and Vembanad lake, Allapuzha. He says, “Risk always exists, even on empty roads. We scout for locations, check them out, inform clients that different locations have different risks and prepare them for the photoshoot.”
Safety and precautionary measures include talking to locals and understanding the area better, collecting information about the nearest police station, hospitals and other emergency services.
“We check on recent accidents, to ascertain the safety of the spot. If a client suggests a place, especially in another state, we research and ask other photographers,” he says.
When Nithish heads outdoors for an assignment, often a guide is hired for a few hours.
“This way, we would know about immediate solutions for an emergency,” he adds.
Due to the pandemic, pre-wedding photoshoots are less in demand, observes Srikanth S K, who works with WeddingStoryBird and Srikanth SK Photography. He has done pre-wedding photoshoots in the outskirts of Bengaluru. He says, “We did a photoshoot at the Manchanabele dam, where we followed safety measures and made sure the group didn’t create any ruckus. We informed the client well in advance about safety factors involved and they were happy to oblige with all the details.”
From permissions required to enter nature spots to ensuring safety measures, there are a lot of nuances to an outdoor photoshoot.
“It takes a lot of planning. Time is always a constraint. When such a photoshoot comes by, we make sure to do a lot of research to avoid any last minute confusions or accidents,” he adds.