Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Raj and Bhavita's Destination Wedding in Goa

By the time I got to shoot Raj and Bhavita’s wedding, Goa has become kind of home for me. Should I say, I am used to beach photography as no one? This one is a classic western destination wedding in Goa, where white dress had been played with waves, and pink evening sky kissed water…and where Raj kisses his love …

Just a couple of days before we were out for an extremely lovely couple shooting, with coffee and the story of love in between. Bhavita and Raj have known each other for 15 years and been together for the last 12 years. “We are opposites of each other, whilst I like fine dining, exotic holidays and have a fiery nature, Raj loves the outdoors, cars and is the calm chilled one. – says Bhavita. – Being opposites is what has made us into such a good team and we keep each other grounded.”

“We both met in the summer of 2000 at a youth programme and even though we were friends, to begin with, we knew that there was something special between us. We were friends for a couple of years and then our relationship blossomed. We have been childhood sweethearts and together we grew into the people we are today.”

“After attending my cousin's wedding reception the idea of having a destination wedding popped up in my head. I had been to Goa in 2003 and loved it there so I felt it would be lovely to marry next to the sea, sand and beautiful weather. We still argue about who did the proposing, I initially brought the idea up but Raj had the ring. So I’d say it was 50:50”.

5 Qualities To Look For In A Candid Wedding Photographer

From where we come, it's called  ‘The Big Fat Indian Wedding’, not just a wedding.  The words ‘Big’ and ‘Fat’ have almost nothing to do with the size of your wedding hall or the people attending your ceremony anymore. The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife, not the people who attend the ceremony. There is a fine line between creating a great wedding experience and making great memories. Today’s generation has stepped over, crossed lines and has been walking faster towards the latter.


A wedding is not the time to run out of memory, or dead batteries or technical problems. At a bare minimum, you should have spare batteries (for both camera and flash) and plenty of memory. Crisis control calls for a spare camera body, spare flash unit and more memory than you could possibly shoot. Also, some backup method is recommended, such as a notebook computer or dedicated hard drive. The saying is very true, ‘Once bitten, twice shy’. We learned this the hard way too. Remember, this is not just a non-repeatable event, it is the most important day in the lives of your client and they’ve decided to trust you with it


We humans do not remember days, we remember moments. We at Knots and Vows have learned to refuse to just accept what’s in front of us as the only answer, the only photo. Sometimes it’s hard to keep the camera in front of your face and also constantly look around you and be aware of your surroundings. So when we see that one great shot of emotion, we get it. The trick it to not stop there—there’s something going on around it, besides it; a bigger emotion coming up around that moment. Don’t put your camera down without intuitive agreements with the heart.


As a wedding photographer, it is difficult to judge when is it appropriate to document a moment and when should you walk away, this is mainly because most clients draw their boundaries very differently. We’re storytellers, not voyeurs and private access to changing rooms is an awkward moment perhaps, but certainly not one that gets in the way if you clarify your needs to your client. Would it be easier if the bridal suite photographer were female? We are not so sure. We strongly believe that It’s not so much who’s in the room but what’s taken out of that room that makes the difference. But don’t forget to leave the room if the client insists.


We are not the type of photographers that can grab a great moment from across the room only with a pair of long lenses. Anyone who’s been to a wedding knows there’s nothing simple about the pictures. This is doubly true for a wedding photographer, whose goal is not to just photograph the bride, the groom, and the family and friends present, but to capture the energy and the variety of emotion that surround the event. After all, it’s called a milestone for a reason.
One of the best compositional strategies for a great photographer is to focus on images with depth. Deep photos, like any good wedding cake, are made up of multiple layers of people, objects, and emotions that make for compelling photographs and, for those involved, memories that will last. A photograph with depth is complex–it shows and it tells the story. And as with many great images, it takes a little bit of luck and a lot of skill.



Oh, to be a fly on the wall at a wedding—with a camera. Maybe then you could get a wedding party to be 100 percent candid 100 percent of the time. To capture spontaneous, truthful moments throughout a client’s nuptial day, wedding photojournalists have a few tricks up their sleeves, including disappearing in plain sight.
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Wrapd: A Sensational Inception In The Wedding Rental Market

An Indian wedding involves a series of ceremonies and it really gets painful to get a perfect dress for each ceremony as most of the time you only have to wear it once for maybe twice. Started from home, Wrapd is offering a simple solution to the persistent problem of what to wear. They rent out formal occasion wear, wedding wear, cocktails, interview suits etc. The idea is to provide a platform where customers can rent what they’d buy for 50 to 60,000/- for a fraction of the cost, saving not only money but storage space too. Some of the added benefits include no tailoring hassle, no dry-cleaning costs and maintenance issues and of course the advantage of having yet not owned an unlimited wardrobe that too of latest styles and cuts 🙂

According to Wrapd, the value is in the renting model. They don't think people should have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to look great, especially if it's only for one occasion. It is a common problem and Wrapd is offering a very simple yet effective solution.



The Soul is God –  His work is to send the right people and create the right opportunities for Wrapd 🙂 Sometimes he gets lazy and doesn’t submit his work on time. Sometimes he gets confused and sends wrong people and then sits down to correct his mistakes.
Heart – Neeraj Wadhera and Ritu Malhotra, the person through whom largely the ideas ( both brilliant and stupid) flow.
Head is Anubhav Goel, the person who processes the ideas and puts systems in place to execute those ideas.


Neeraj had a wedding in her family and so had to get clothes ready. She got them stitched for bothher daughters. The wedding wardrobe was great,  a huge success got a lot of compliments and then…….it was over!. Then came the problem of storage and maintenance. It was then realized it was all actually a waste of money.
That is when Neeraj decided to start a place which rents out clothes for such occasions and that's howWrapd started. It was started from a small room in her house in Patel Nagar, Delhi and has now reached three cities in India. Hoping for many more to join soon.


They offer a wide range of wedding and party wear on rent for both men and women including women’s ethnic and western wear and men’s ethnic and western wear, designer lehengas, sarees, anarkalis and gowns for women. For men, we have a wide range of Sherwanis, Kurta pyjamas, Suits, Coats, Tuxedos, Indo-westerns and Nehru jackets.



The difference lies in the fact that they have gone from offline to online and not vice-versa. Their offline stores help the customers to have a proper quality check and get fully satisfied before they rent out clothes. The piece is altered and dry-cleaned before their function, and they finally get it for 48 hours spread over three days.


They have bootstrapped and self-funded their business.


Their typical rental cycle for all the outfits is 48 hours which spans between 3 days. Customers can opt for more than 3 days also but then they have to pay extra charges for every extra day.
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Monday, 27 February 2017

A Cup Of Coffee With Sahyujyah Shrinivas At Liberent

Running an enterprise needs efforts but nothing as compared to starting it. With the throat cutting competition in the contemporary market, Innovation is a pre-requisite for anything to taste the fruit of success! Tackling along the hurdles on the way is another story. Today, we have such a personality with us who not only had a brilliant and inventive idea, but the courage and determination to materialize it in the finest way possible. Sahyujyah Shrinivas, the founder of LibeRentmeasured a long way from being the girl with a dream to an inspirational lady in the ever competitive world. We got an opportunity to share a cup of coffee with her and converse about how she came up with the idea and weaved her path around it.


LibeRent is a ‘Fashion on Rent’ service in India. For a country like India, it’s rather something unconventional and not so heard of a concept. So, we asked what inspired Sahyujyah to make her career choice in the segment and how Liberent came into being. During the interaction, we learnt that she is a metallurgical engineer by profession and managed to get into a big company, Tata Steel right after she completed her engineering in 2013. Within a year she left her job and started with LibeRent.
Abhishek More joined her in 2016 after working with companies like CA technologies and Turvo.



So, after knowing about the people behind the venture, we moved on to the inspiration part and it’s as unique as the concept itself.
Sahyujyah extracted the idea from a Hollywood movie right during her college days. In the movie, the actress buys clothes, wears them with the tag and returns it the next day. Inquisitive engineer in the making, Sahyujyah didn’t leave it there. She researched about it and found out that it’s becoming a trend in the west. She was already placed by then but the idea never left her.


A year later a typical nine to five job, she secured her finances and started working to get in touch with designers and other relevant people. Soon enough, she went back home and started off renting clothes on a small level through Facebook. She was a one ‘woman’ army then. The delivery and everything was managed by her single-handedly. She proudly announces that LibeRent has come a long way since.



Since the concept is new for Indian customers, we were keen to know what services LibeRent exactly offers and how it deviates from its competitors. With her poised smile, she tells us about LibeRent, “LibeRent is an online fashion rental start-up for women. Any party or event, women no more have to worry about “what to wear”. They can just come to Liberentfilter outfits based on city, date and bust measurement, choose what they like, book it by giving their measurements. We will custom fit the outfits and deliver one day prior to their event. We pick it up a day after the event.”

Moreover, the rental period can be extended with a bit of extra charges where everything else including fitting, delivery, and pickups remain free of cost. Explaining the unique selling points (USPs) of the store, she mentions that the sizes are custom made according to given measurements and not just go by S, M, L on the site, no deposits are taken, and they are available on chat 24*7 to answer any queries.
When we asked the kind of dresses they offer, we got quite an extensive list including dresses, lehengas,anarkalis, sarees, skirts, ethnic gowns, western gowns, accessories, etc.  



We were quite surprised to see a young entrepreneur managing everything with so much determination and inquisitiveness, we posed a question on why she decided to leave her job and start with an entirely new and unique concept?
Her passion for entrepreneurship instantly reflected on her face as she explained it to us. Her constant feeling of being constrained and limited, thanks to our society, made her realize the need to break free and she found LibeRent to be a powerful source to do so. Further, she adds, “I’m a big believer in freedom. I believe renting gives freedom while owning bogs us down. So rental market fit my philosophy too. LibeRent means Liberation + Rent since we believe renting gives freedom. Also, our onsite chat is called Liri, meaning Freedom in Hebrew”.


To know more about the working of the store, we showed interest in knowing the typical rental cycle for a particular garment. Explaining the mechanism, she told us that in Bangalore, women can place ordersfor events the same day or the next day. In Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, women can place orders for events the next day night or anytime post that. In other cities, the enterprise needs a 2 days heads up before the event.
The dress is delivered on the event date by noon if the order was placed too close to the event, but in general, it is delivered one day before the event date. Every outfit is steamed before shipping and after the event, it is collected back and sent to their organic dry cleaning partners.


After discussing a lot about the business we moved to the other important perspective behind the existence and survival of the venture. Undeniably, India is a male dominated country and rising up of a women entrepreneur takes some courage along with all other things. We asked Sahyujyah Shrinivas about the struggles and challenges she faced while setting up and running the business. She chuckled and said she can go on and on about this. After a nostalgic throwback for a moment she got back to us and told us about the issues she had to face as an ambitious woman in the country.
She explained the three chief problems she faced during the journey. The first was to break free from themiddle-class conservative family environment and convincing her parents to quit a well-paying job and start something like this. Second, raising funds and meeting all the wrong people before the right ones. She also had to come across male egos that challenged and doubted her will and determination. Lastly,she mentioned her ongoing battle for establishing a place as a leader within the team and to others who are in some way related to LibeRent. 
As a woman, she says, “We will have to go through a lot of issues, fights, sleepless nights, etc. before we figure out how to handle ourselves in a very condescending and male dominated world when our goal is to be on top.

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All You Need To Know About Candid Wedding Photography


Candid or Photojournalistic Wedding Photography is the buzzword in the Wedding photography industry today. Everyone who wants to book a wedding photographer wants to go beyond what a traditional photographer gives. Earlier no one had an option since there was only one type of Wedding Photographer. But since the advent of Candid Wedding photographers, the older category of wedding photographers who do not shoot in the Candid style are known as traditional Wedding Photographers. (You can read Difference between Candid & Traditional Photographers for further info on differences between the two.) We will try and explain candid photography by describing Candid Wedding Photographers & The Art of Candid Wedding Photography together.

A candid shot of the bride getting her hands adorned with henna


By definition, Candid wedding photography is that style of Wedding Photography that has the photographer photographing his subjects without them posing for shots, ie. clicking pictures of events as they happen. A candid photographer moves around in the crowd looking for emotions, smiles, happenings, memories or whatever you may call them. In short, they hunt & capture moments that happen in the wedding without interfering and making the guests/family/bride & groom pose.


Unlike a traditional photographer who will call out to the guests, guide them and will have a vocal presence at the wedding, the secret strength of a candid wedding photographer lies in his ability to remain inconspicuous. Guests by default have an allergy to photographers. The presence of a photographer can make them conscious, uptight and artificial. They will not let their guards down,lest the photographer get them in an odd un-poised moment that they later regret. This is a natural tendency of all human beings. Skilled candid photographers understand this and work around guests with stealth, such that they don’t interfere with the natural emotions of the event. 

The bride weeps as her mom consoles her. An example of a true Candid Photograph!



This is in a way an extension of the previous point. We believe that interference by a photographer adulterates the true emotions of a subject. Ask a weeping bride to pose for the camera & you have ruined a brilliant picture. But capture her as she looks at her parents & weeps and you have a winning shot!

Using off camera light in a way that makes pictures look totally natural, like a no artificial light was used at all!


Another aspect of Candid photographers is they take artistic photographs using as much natural lighting as possible in contrast to the traditional photographers. Wedding Photography using ambient light is tricky since it might result in high noise blurry pictures if not done right. Where possible, photographers try and take pictures with off-camera light sources. Where the lighting is good, they avoid using artificial lights completely. This helps in giving more depth to the pictures rather than flat pictures that lack depth when the on the camera mounted flash is used.

This kind of picture can only be taken by a photographer lying flat on the ground, a product of passion!


Almost most of the top candid photographers who are our contemporaries whom we interact with on a regular basis through networks, events and working together are into this because they have been passionate about photography as an art and science. We ourselves had careers in Information technology that was overwhelmed by our passion for photography & art. 7 years later, this strong passion & an artistic sense has kept us going from strength to strength. This brings us to our next point, the artistic bent & eye.
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Knots & Vows And Their Spectacular Journey In The Indian Wedding Market

Weddings are celebrated as festivals in India with extensive colors, music, dance, costumes, rituals and decorations depending on the religion of the bride, groom, as well as their preferences. Hence, the photographers have a special role to play in capturing those precious moments for the couple as the memories will be cherished all their life. So today, we got a chance to interview the force behind Knots & Vows which is a wedding media company based in Mumbai and born in the late monsoon of 2009 and since then have captured plenty of special moments for many couples. Here goes the interview:

Wedamor – Great to have you at Wedamor, let’s start the interview by knowing a little about the force behind Knots & Vows and how it came into existence?
Knots & Vows  Jake & Alistair are the Co-Founders of  Knots & Vows. We come from a strong IT background with 14+ years of collective IT experience amongst us. Knots & Vows started off way back in 2009, when we were still working in corporate offices. What started off as a hobby soon turned into a passion when we were requested to shoot concerts on weekends. It was there that we fell in love with low light photography and got introduced to photojournalism. Soon one event led to the other and somebody asked us to shoot a friend's wedding. From there on, we never looked back and here we are 8 years later!

 Wedamor – As they say, better late than never, but being from a technical background, what inspired you to try professional photography and make it a profession?
Knots & Vows – Being from a technical background, getting to know the camera always piqued our interest. We would always try to push the boundaries to know what more we could do with it. The idea of‘Candid Photography’ was just about catching up in the Indian wedding industry. There were only a handful of people who truly believed in the idea of photojournalism. There was a clear gap in the industry for this niche skill. People were seeking this form of photography for their wedding and we fit it in comfortably. Like any new business, it was difficult initially with a steep learning curve. It was easy being a photographer, but difficult being an entrepreneur along with it. Making it a profession was a big decision for us but we knew it was the right time to take the plunge. You can’t have your feet in two different boats.

Wedamor – Indeed, moving ahead we would like to know about the services you are offering and what makes you different from your competitors?
Knots & Vows – We started off only with Photography and soon learned that the industry was looking for teams which provide all services under one roof. We then quickly expanded our team to include a lot more services.
Currently, we offer the following services:-
–          Candid Photography
–          Cinematic Wedding Films
–          Wedding Trailers
–          Pre-Wedding Photoshoots
–          Pre-Wedding Video shoots
–          Wedding Albums
–          One Day on site film Edits
–          Lip-Dub Videos
–          Photobooths / Polaroid Booths
–          Song Composition / Custom background music score
Having covered 300+ weddings, we passionately bring with us years of knowledge and experience. We use the best equipment in the industry to make sure that we capture moments and memories rather than just photographs.

Wedamor – You have covered a number of weddings from different parts and culture. Which one remains your favorite and why?
Knots & Vows – It is very difficult for us to select a single image as our favorite, simply because there are so many types of photographs taken at weddings, and in addition, there are the stories behind every image that make the picture special or not. Here are a few pictures we love.
1.      Mehrangarh Night Shot (Vikas + Shilpa)

The fact that we hiked up a hill in the darkness of the night in Jodhpur, just to get a few shots with the majestic Mehrangarh fort in the background is a testimony to why we love this picture.
2. Suhani + Gyanesh Stairs Pic

This picture was clicked at the fag end of the Sangeet function at Suhani & Gyanesh wedding at the Wankhade Stadium Garware club. We had to make it do with just the stairs that were available for us to come up with this picture.

3. Ahuti & Rocco, reflection

This picture is from the adorable wedding of Ahuti & Rocco, which represents love across cultures, Germany & India in this case.

Wedamor – Those are absolute gems. One question that keeps coming back is how wedding photography is different from photography in general and how difficult it is to show the chemistry between the couple on camera, especially in the case of arranged marriages?
Knots & Vows – With other forms of Photography, you take your time to compose, style the subject, background, check for light and then shoot. Wedding Photojournalism as we like to call it as more run and gun style of shooting. You do not have the time to do any of the above unless you are doing a couple portrait shoot. You need to know what happens next and where it happens and position yourself before it happens, and still come up with brilliant pictures. It takes a lot of practice to gauge the light and change the camera settings without even looking at the camera many-a-times. You need to know your equipment in and out. You need to know when to use the right lens and the working distance of each lens.
Couple chemistry is a different ball game altogether. It rarely matters if it is an arranged marriage or a lovemarriage because people are always conscious in front of the camera. It is very important to talk to the couple, get to know them and build a good rapport with them. This takes the awkwardness out of the equation and the shoot becomes easier.

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