Finding the “Best wedding photographer in India” always seems to be a herculean task. There are plethora of online photography sites claiming to be best wedding photographer in India (including us); there are wedding portals who present their list of “best wedding photographers in India” as well. Online references are in abundance, which could be paid or unpaid (yes that is true); offline references through friends, families, newlyweds, to-be-weds. Long story cut short, pretty much everyone has their list of best wedding photographer in India.
If you are a to-be-wed couple or just interested in knowing the best wedding photographers in India, continue to read on. You may find this post of good use.
Who is the best wedding photographer in India?
Finding the best wedding photographer in India is a process. Let’s start that process with another seemingly unrelated question. Which is the best Indian movie? Andaz apna apna, Mother India, Mughal-e-azam, Taare zameen par, or shall we start dwelling into art movies as well? Different people will have different taste. People evaluate movies on diverse parameters. Some will have interest in rom-com, some will prefer more meaning movie, and some may prefer to go for more artistic aesthetics of framing and cinematography. An unrelated point it may seem, the main topic of discussion is not that distant. Different people like different things. The decision of best food will change across people. The choice of best movie will be different. It is fair to say that the choice for the best wedding photographer in India will different for different people. The things that we like, the choices that we make, defines us. This is what makes every individual unique. One bill may not fit all.
So how do you decide the best wedding photographer in India? There are so many good photographers in India. Frankly, it’s not about the “best wedding photographer in India”. It is about “The best wedding photographer for you” OR the “Right photographer for you”. You are different and unique than the person standing next to you. This is what it is all about, finding a right match for you and to do that you need to first start asking some questions to yourself.
The starting point
Prepare a list of photographers as a starting point. Preparing this list is a difficult task however it is utmost important that this part of selection of photographers is done well so that we have a good base to start with. To prepare a list, you need to get information about photographers from somewhere. That information can come through friends, family, google, known photographer, or may be google. Some of the common and reliable references could be:
Fearless Photographers: Fearless is award based directory of wedding photographers. Fearless is currently rated as the most difficult wedding photography awards to win. The most reputed wedding photography awards across the world as well. If your photographer is a winner of fearless awards then you can be rest assured that photographer is good at its craft. However creating award winning images does not always transcend to creating good work for you, your family and towards a good experience. So you need to consider ‘awards’ as only one of the parameters.
ISPWP: International Society for Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP) is also a photographer directory system.
Offline: By offline reference, we mean friends, family, newly-wed-distant cousin, or offline social network. To get a references from someone who has first hand experience generally proves to be invaluable. Wedding photography is much more than taking good photographs. So keep it in mind that over a period of time, your overall experience with your photographer is going to take precedence over photographs.
Wedding portals: There are a number of wedding planning portals active in India. From time to time these portals generally come up with their favorite list of wedding photographers. Though for these portals, mostly the curation of photographers isn’t done by any acclaimed international photographer. So their list of photographers, can be questionable. Some lists are good, some lists are paid, some portals charge either commission per wedding or lump sum based on their business strategy. Look at the list and if works as per your taste, good.
Once you have a list as a starting point, you can start dwelling into next stage. Finding a right photographer for yourself is more about identifying your preferences and what you like. Once you have done that homework, it will be easier to select a photographer.
What kind of wedding photographs do you like?
Mostly wedding photography can be divided into two parts:
Ask yourself, what kind of wedding photographs have you imagined from your wedding?
What kind of editing style do you like?
Some photographers prefers to create a lot of black and white images. There are photographer who prefer over saturated colors and there are who prefers pastels. Photographer may prefer to have faded look in their photographs and some may like a balanced color and contrast. Some photographer’s style is to go for dark looking images and play a lot with shadows. Some photographers would prefer fairy tale style (everything bright). How do you want your wedding photographs to look like?
How much important customer experience is to you?
Your photographer is going to spend a lot of time with you during the wedding coverage. Sometimes even more than time than the family. Not only that, your photography team is probably going to be the only team who will keep on interacting with you even after 3-6 months of your wedding. Deliverable will finish sometime after the wedding.
So do you want you photographer to interact a lot with you during the coverage OR would you prefer that the photographers quietly keeps on doing his work? Talk to your photographer before hiring them. You will know what kind of personality they have. If not, ask them how they work. Are you really looking for a photographer do just do their job or are you looking for what extra as a person do they bring on the table is important to you?
If you want your photographer to meet his / her commitments with deliverables and timelines, look for their feedback from previous clients. In most of the cases, you would be better off hiring a reputed name in the industry.
We all keep a budget for everything. Let’s just say if you go out for shopping for a dress and you have kept INR 100,000 for it. When you find the dress that you would LOVE to buy, does that generally falls within the budget that you have kept OR is it generally above that? I for one, always buy one level up. For some reason that is something that just always happen. I may feel I have spent more than budget however I am always happy with my decision. How about you?
For your wedding photography budget, let’s start with asking yourself, have budgeted it right?
As a thumb of rule you can start with generalization that your wedding photography budget should be 5%-8% of your overall wedding budget. So if the overall wedding budget is INR 1 CR, your wedding photography budget should be around INR 5L – 8L as a general range (though not limited to).
What is perceived value of your wedding photographs to you?
Some families have big wedding budget but do not prefer to spend a lot on their wedding photographer. For them photographs are just photographs documenting what happened, who came, and who ate what. For some couples photographs hold emotional value. The sad reality of human life is, that it is finite. No matter how much we want, unfortunately our family members are not always going to be with us. How much important it is to you, to get good photograph with them? By good photograph, I don’t necessarily mean a group shot. Do you have a good photograph of you with your mom, which moves you? Which makes you feel how much your mom loves you? Do you have a good photograph of your dad with teary eyes and hugging you tightly? Or maybe your grandparents? How much do you think such photographs are worth now? How much such a photograph will be worth to you 10 years from now and god forbid we lose that family member? For me, they are priceless! If something is priceless tomorrow should you be investing more in that or less?
Your wedding photographs are going to be the only thing that are going to show how wonderful wedding you hosted. How much happy everybody was and how much fun everybody had. This is going to be how you remember your wedding as and how your kids will remember their parents wedding. The history of your wedding is a legacy that you give to your kids. So you need to ask yourself again. What is the perceived value of your wedding photographs to you? If the answer is priceless, then if needed, be open to extend your photography budget if you have found the right photographer for yourself.
As we stated at the beginning of this article finding the best wedding photographer in India is a daunting task because everybody will have their own opinion. Your intent should be to find the right photographer for you as a couple. Something that has worked for your friend, may or may not work for you. So you need to evaluate the photographer based on the parameters that are of priority to you.
Once you have found a photographer whose work and working style you like; who gives priority to the things that are important to you as well then you know that you have found the right photographer. That is when you are also ready with your list of “Best wedding photographer in India”.
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