This week, we’re in conversation with Photo Tantra – a team of Indian wedding photographers. Photo Tantra was started by Vinayak and Snigdha in 2009. There’s been no looking back for them since. Today, they’re counted amongst India’s top five dream wedding photographers.
Being a wedded couple themselves, Vinayak and Snigdha understand the enormity and diversity of the emotions behind a wedding ceremony. Photo Tantra provides vividly customised and personalised deliverables with a contemporary touch. Widely travelled as well, they’ve covered about two hundred and fifty weddings in many different countries. With the wedding season round the corner, we got a chance a catch up with Photo Tantra and know more about their journey.
( Check out their profile at Phototantra.com)
1. When did you both plan to become professional wedding photographers? Was it already planned out when you both got married or was it a recent professional choice?
It all happened by chance. Vinayak was already into photography and I was still learning the art. One fine day someone just mailed asking us to photograph his wedding. We were reluctant initially because we had never shot a wedding before. But when we realized that this person had so much trust in us we decided to give it our best shot. We enjoyed the shoot and loved being a part someone’s celebration and happiness that we never looked back after that day.
2. Being wedded and wedding photographers, what are the things that you wish to alter in your own wedding?
If we can ever go back in time, we would hire a professional photographer rather than depend on our friends for photographs. Though we had lots of photographer friends who had come to attend our wedding but looks like they were more interested in the wedding food. One of our photographer friends was more interested in taking photos of Snigdha’s cousin.
3. We enjoy the candid approach you take and the natural feel of each series. How do you avoid going down the path of staging photos and continuously providing authentic looks?
In a wedding it is important to take staged photos also especially family portraits, couple portraits etc but we keep it to a minimum. We try to be as invisible, as unobtrusive as possible. We also try to make sure that the bride and the groom are very comfortable around us so that even if they see us around with cameras they don’t get too conscious. Timing is very important when it comes to taking natural moments. The ability to predict the next possible moment also comes with experience and involvement with the process.
4. If you could only use a few words to describe your style what would they be?
Spontaneous, unobtrusive, staying in sync with the flow, with the process and with the people involved.
5. You both seem to have mastered the new-emerging genre of Wedding Photojournalism. What is it about weddings and this particular genre that inspired you so much?
Weddings are a mixture of many genres. It involves documentary style, glamorous fashion genres, candid like street photography and one also needs to wait for the right moment like in nature or wild life photography. So weddings and wedding photojournalism lets you explore and use so many different styles of making a photograph.
6. Beginning 2009 and spanning about 250 weddings, what is the one wedding experience that stands out in your mind?
Each wedding comes with its own uniqueness because people involved in it are different and unique. It will be very unfair if we pick one. There are wedding though which are funnier, crazier than others and it is always these weddings which keep coming back to our memory. Be it a drunk bride dancing on the latest Hindi item song, or a bride driving her groom like a maniac to reach the venue on time, or the bride asking us to help her zip her gown or blouse. Most funny incidents happen in the makeup room or on the dance floor after a few pegs. Sometimes, the bride, bride’s mother and bride’s sister end up looking the same and we get confused who is who.
7. What would be the top 3 elements new photographers breaking into wedding photography should prioritize?
Practice, develop your own style, experiment.
8. What do you feel is the most challenging aspect about photographing weddings?
Indian weddings are very long and never start or finish on time. The biggest challenge is to keep your energy levels high all the time even at 3 am on a December night and off course manage to take photos in a crowded stage where everyone is jostling for space.
9. Finally, tell us about your experience with Pixpa.
Pixpa has been one of our best decisions. It’s simple yet elegant to look at and has been hassle free which is a great thing because it like your show window where potential clients come to stop by to take a look at your work. It’s the 1st point of contact for any client. So far our clients have only complimented us on how our website looks. The clarity is great, the display and speed is great and service is prompt.