Over an evening tea party a family sat together to go into those memory lanes of the young days of courtship, love and marriage. They laughed at the funny expressions of people, got amused after the secret stories, re-lived the moments of togetherness. Wondering about the family’s craziness? Well the children were becoming a part of their parents’ wedding with the amazing wedding photographs that had a story to listen.
Who better to understand your emotions for your wedding photographs? Who better to shoot your wedding than a married couple? Working as a husband-wife team, Arjun Kartha and Praerna Kartha are candid wedding photographers in Delhi – and veterans of the fledgling wedding photography genre in India. With a penchant for making “fun” photos, they love creating behind-the-scenes memories that will last a lifetime. From their home base of New Delhi, India, they have traveled all over the country and abroad shooting weddings with their own personal and distinctive brand of exquisite, timeless and off-beat approach to wedding photography. With their own wedding on a cold, winter night a couple of years ago behind them, Arjun and Praerna understand what it takes to get married – and are able to integrate as part of your family to be able to shoot behind-the-scenes memories like no one else ever can!
Arjun Kartha is also a category winner of the Kodak Wedding Photographer of the Year 2011 award.
What was that one moment you thought you should move from advertising to photography?
I realized being behind the camera was really all I wanted to do, and here I am!
The short answer was that it was gradual – there wasn’t a sudden light bulb moment when it all became clear. I never really thought I’d become a photographer, much less a wedding photographer. With graduation in Computer Engineering, Advertising as a career happened quite by chance. I got to work with a bunch of super talented photographers as part of client assignments, and that’s what sparked what I now think was a latent interest in photography. The rest was history: I started freelancing, juggling various interests and careers together – until I reached a point where I realized being behind the camera was really all I wanted to do, and here I am!
What interests you more in wedding photography than that of food, lifestyle or product?
I think I’m a bit of a generalist. Having said that, there are certain genres that I enjoy more than others. Weddings certainly are on top of that list – here are some reasons:
Weddings are this riot of colour, fun and crazy partying.
The images that you can walk away with can NEVER be replicated in a studio
It satisfies my wanderlust.
Praerna and I travel all over the country and abroad meeting wonderful people in wonderful places. Rolling stones gather no moss!
I get to meet some really wonderful people and be a part of the most special day in their lives.
And it’s my job to get them wonderful pictures to remember it by. It’s a good feeling!
I love shooting people – and a soon-to-be-married couple is as real as it gets.
Shooting models who emote on cue is one thing – shooting a couple who have the hots for one another is clearly another.
Does a pre-wedding shoot help the couple bring out best of pictures on their big day?
It’s useful for the photographer to know the couple better.
Well, yes but only in one way. A pre-wedding shoot is important, and gets you some great pictures – but it doesn’t in itself really contribute towards the big day in anyway apart from the fact that the couple gets to know their photographer a little better. Having spent a couple of hours with the photographer in relative peace and quiet makes you know the person so much better. Conversely, it’s useful for the photographer to know the couple better. How camera friendly are they? Do they prefer pictures being taken in a certain way? Do they have a “good” side?
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
My own advice to new wedding photographers would be to subscribe to every single wedding and photography magazine.
Oh wow – constant reading! Wedding photography – like any genre of photography – can never be mastered. The moment you, as a photographer, decide that you know everything there is know about photography, that’s the day you’re sunk. I have an insatiable appetite for all sorts of photography related reading material. I nearly died when they sunset Google Reader, but thankfully there are now a bunch of alternates for you to get your reading complete. I always have my iPad handy, and it’s my favorite way of catching up with my must-follow list of magazines and blogs. My own advice to new wedding photographers would be to subscribe to every single wedding and photography magazine you can get your hands on. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and most often than not when you least expect it: read, digest – and compartmentalize. It will ALWAYS come in handy!
How important is for you to build a rapport with the wedding couple before you start capturing their wedding?
There are a million things I always love to know about the couple.
Really important! This is an interesting question – because globally amongst wedding photographers there are two schools of thought here. Some believe that by having NO information about the couple, the wedding photographer walks in with a clean slate and no baggage from prior experience. On the other hand, there are photographers – me included – who would much rather know everything there is to know about the couple. There are a million things I always love to know: How did they meet? How long they’ve been dating? What kind of chemistry they share? What brings them together? What’s their thing?
Better informed is better prepared. At least, that’s how I see it.
What are the top 5 tips for the wedding couples to bring out the best pictures on their wedding.
Well that’s easy, just get me to shoot your wedding! But seriously – looking good for your wedding day pictures really depends on how much you’ve prepared for it.
First and foremost, dress for the camera. Choose outfits, accessories and make up that bring out your favourite features of yourself.
Ensure that you can move freely and comfortably because feeling stuck and weighed down can put a real damper on your mood – and that shows in the pictures.
Ensure that all the arrangements for all the proceedings are perfect or delegate them to someone else you trust so that YOU don’t worry about what time the dinner is laid or whether the flowers have been arranged on time etc. It’s your wedding day and you should enjoy it rather than worrying about arrangements.
Be particular about making some dedicated time (even if it’s just a few minutes) to get some couple portraits together – the photographers can’t help you if you don’t prioritise the photography as well. And however much you appreciate all the candid and documentary photos, a few tasteful portraits are always important. On every function, in every outfit.
Most importantly, enjoy your day(s). Cherish the gravity and sanctity of the ceremony, appreciate the jokes made by your friends and family, make the most of the sumptuous meal your family has arranged, absorb the fact that your wedding day marks the end of a way of life and the beginning of another – with the person you love. Every emotion that you feel will reflect in your wedding story.
Platforms like SayShaadi will help the industry immensely – by providing a neutral platform for couples to find whatever they’re looking for – at the right price.
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