As a bride to be you spend a lot of time flicking through the lush bridal photography in wedding magazines and sites. So when it comes to your big day you expect nothing but the best. But what happens if your photographer doesn't end up having the same vision as you? This is what happened at My Big Fat Punjabi Wedding. This is by no means any disrespect to my family who absolutely adore the photos. Moreover I am not detracting from the significance of my wedding day, which will always be a treasured memory to me. Although I did have expectations which fell dramatically short leaving me wishing I could do it again. Many of you may think I am overlooking the significance of a wedding which I am certainly not. A wedding day to a bride is treasured forever - not only for the significance of love, but it is also the one day where she can be the most glamorous version of herself. A photographer should be able to capture both of those very essences in a photograph, creating a story for the viewer to empathise with.
I have previously blogged about how professionals in India are few and far between with any person being able to obtain a qualification. You can read more about that in my post 10 Things To Expect At Your Punjabi Wedding. Therefore I had no choice but to agree with whom my family hired. He was known as the best of the best in our district. With the language barrier and my husband not understanding my creative vision, it was next to impossible to relay my expectations to the photographer. A Big Fat Punjabi Wedding means that there will be thousands upon thousands of photos. Which mean thousands upon thousands of memories that will be on display for the rest of your life. Who wants to have their wedding photo hanging point and centre in their living room, of which was taken at the wrong angle displaying all three chins that normally would only be one; Has your drunk uncle who happened to photobomb you at the time; With your father who just happened to blink at the wrong time. Now does that sound like a memory you want to have hanging point and centre in your living room?
Typically you would expect a photographer to be able to take photos with depth of field, changing the aperture and shutter speed to create different moods or even know which angle to take a photo from. Alas our photographer simply took every single photo from below and didn't once change the camera settings. Who needs to when you simply use the auto function on your DSLR camera? When it came to creating a vision for the photos all he could manage was zooming in. If you have a look at all the beautiful Punjabi Wedding photography online you will see what I mean by creativity. There are endless ideas for creative vision if he simply took the time to do some research. Unfortunately I was not able to take many photos myself on our wedding day as the day itself is more about our family and friends. So I couldn't just sneak off and take a few photos with my selfie stick.
Below are photographs by the amazingly talented Cosmin Danila, who shoots destination weddings. This is what I had envisioned for our Wedding Day and attempted to relay to our photographer to no avail.
You would also expect a photographer to have stage props such as a backdrop or ornate wedding lounge. The wedding lounge that we were seated on had seen better days. It also lacked any intricacy. Sure it is usually the Wedding Palace that hires the wedding lounge however a photographer who specialises in weddings should offer this service. There simply was no backdrop to take professional photos without the noise in the background.
Receiving our photo album was an even bigger disappointment for me. Should you wish to have your photos edited, such as cropping out the unsightly power point looming in the background, than that costs more money. I am unsure if this is standard practice though I would expect editing free if photos aren't up to expectations. Albeit the album belongs to my in laws, it is customary to show this to all your relatives. If a guest visits, the wedding album is pulled out and each photo scrutinised over a cup of cha. This is not an experience that I enjoy - to cringe at the lack of originality and imagination being an artist at heart myself. The album itself is mammoth sized with a holographic photo of us plastered on the cover. Upon opening the album on the front page you are greeted with the Photography Studio's logo where you would normally expect to see the bride & grooms details. There are hundreds of pages with thousands of photos splayed throughout with no real coherence. Word Art like of that you would find in Microsoft Word, are bombarded amongst the clutter of photos. There are no captions or reference to who attended or any specifics of the day itself. Our wedding date that was in small print after the Studio's Logo, wasn't even correct. I say this again, by no means am I disrespecting those who do appreciate this form of photography.
So what do you do if your photographer ruins your day? I have decided to recreate the moment between my husband and I by holding another photo shoot. You may think this is conceited though once your wedding is over all that you have left are photographs and an ever growing distant memory. So I pose this to any photographer who is willing to come to Punjab - can you help us to recreate the moment?
What do you think - am I being conceited or am I in my rights to have expectations?