If you're an Indian bride, looking to make lifetime memories of your wedding and are on a quest to find the best Indian wedding photographer in the USA, I feel your pain and how difficult it can get.
With so much of information floating around and how easy it is to just make an Instagram page, put some pictures and say that you're a wedding photographer make so much room for error of judgement.
And on top of that, I have seen a lot of American wedding photographers cannot understand the essence of an Indian wedding and what an Indian bride wishes for in her wedding photos.
And that's no fault of theirs.
They just haven't been brought up in our culture, where our parents & elders hold utmost importance. Where it's normal to invite everyone we know with their whole family and friends. Where time just lose its significance (we don't think in number of hours) and just how long and hectic Indian weddings can get (think 4-5 days and sometimes across multiple cities)
After all, to be the best Indian wedding photographer in the USA, you have to understand the following fundamentals of how to photograph and Indian wedding:
Too Many Events
There are just so many events across cultures in an Indian wedding. From baraat to pheras. From jaimala to joota chhupai, there are so many events that are so important to be captured in an Indian wedding that an entire encyclopedia might fell short if one has to start understanding everything. Unless someone is born and brought up in the Indian culture, it's very hard for them to comprehend the value of each and every ritual and the broader reason behind them.
Everyone is important
In no other culture in the world do we have so many guests, where everyone is important. That distant aunt, whom you didn't see after your 5th grade, has to be in the photos. That small kid you never knew existed until now has to be photographed with his family. And naturally, photographers who have had the experience of only photographing American weddings, where with the bride and groom, there are a only handful of people in the family that are there, it's really hard to understand the logic behind this. Maybe there's no logic really, but that's how Indian weddings are :)
Nothing is on time
It is said that there's a world time zone and there's an IST, a.k.a. Indian Standard Time, but actually it means is Indians are Seldom on Time 🤣
And anyone who has ever attended an Indian wedding would wholeheartedly agree with me. In my over a decade long career as a wedding photographer, I haven't seen a single Indian wedding where everything went on as it was planned and on time. Once, in a wedding which I was shooting, the baraat was 6 hours late. In another one, bride and groom planned for months for a sunset wedding, but on the wedding day, nobody was ready, and the sun set at its convenient time. What would you do in such a situation? And only an experienced Indian wedding photographer would be equipped to handle that kind of stress.
The lighting and colours
English or American weddings have primarily two colours—black for the groom and white for the bride. Indian weddings on the other hand start at a minimum of 2 million colours. Just look at this photo below and try to count the number of colours.
The thing with colour is, it really depends on what light is falling on it, that what colour you'd see. So if you, as a bride, have spent months of your time and thousands of your dollars in selecting that perfect colour attire for your wedding, but the colours come out to be all off because the Indian wedding photographer couldn't handle things in tough lighting conditions, how would you feel?
So here's my recommendation on selecting the best Indian wedding photographer in the USA:
Get someone who gets Indian weddings:
This goes without saying. Get someone who specifically has the experience of shooting Indian weddings. AT LEAST 5-6 years of experience. The more, the better. Because that photographer would know how to handle all the stress and unpredictability that comes with an Indian wedding and still deliver amazing wedding photos.
Hire the Indian wedding photographer in the USA who has a full portfolio to show
Not some selected photos. Not an Instagram gallery. You really should see a complete wedding coverage portfolio of a single (and preferably more) Indian weddings. Why? Because that'll show how consistently he/she can shoot great photos.
Have an online / in person meeting before hiring your wedding photographer
This one is crucial. Despite someone having checked all the boxes above, it's possible that when you actually meet that person or team, you really don't get along with the vibe. You'd not be able to put a finger on the why you feel so, but it'll just be there. And you're going to trust that person or the wedding company for the most important day of your life. And conversely, they're also going to spend months of their life in post-processing and editing of your wedding pictures. So it's really crucial that you both like each other to be able to work effectively.
Those are the points I could think of on top of my mind right now. Did I miss anything? Do let me know on Instagram.
Here are some Indian wedding videography done by our award-winning team at Magica:
Meanwhile, if you're looking for an Indian wedding photographer in the USA ideally but not limited to California, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Florida or Washington DC area, be sure to contact us