September 26, 2023  •  7min read

How to Shoot an Indian-Themed Wedding Photography

How to shoot indian wedding photo

Indian weddings are all vibrant, extravagant, and rich in traditions. However, they can also be complicated to shoot, especially if you aren’t familiar with Indian traditions and culture. We will show how you can take your Indian wedding photography to the next level in this article. But first, you must find out the different kinds of Indian weddings you will shoot.

Get to Know the Many Kinds of Indian Wedding 

There isn’t only one kind of Indian wedding. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to make a list of things you can expect before the big day.

A few examples include Hindu, Gujarati, Islamic, and Punjabi weddings. Every one of these comes with unique traditions. Couples from different countries may even have a mixed wedding. 

A good example is from Priyanka Chopra, an Indian actress, and Nick Jonas’s wedding. They combined Western and Indian traditions and created a ceremony that respected both of their cultures. We strongly recommend watching videos of Indian ceremonies and weddings. Even though you might think they feel like your past clients’ wedding, the videos will offer a clear picture of what you can expect.

Get to Know the Couples

Many Indian couples don’t know who will be taking pictures of their wedding until the actual wedding day. This might add extra difficulty to connect with them properly. 

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Indian weddings are usually busy and grand, with plenty of guests. You won’t have time to have proper conversations or take pictures with the couple during the ceremony. 

This is why it’s important to get to know them before the ceremony. You can do this by skimping with them and having dinner together or talking with their families. This will make them more confident on the artistic side of their special day and offer you a great idea of what to expect. 

If the couple has no specific ideas, try giving them a checklist or an idea board for inspiration. Let them check off the kind of pictures they want to see in their family album, along with the rituals and ceremonies that matter most.

Get Comfortable with a Pre-Wedding Shoot

If the client’s budget allows and you have spare time, have a pre-wedding photo shoot. The average pre-wedding for an Indian wedding usually costs between USD400 to USD2000, and that’s only the starting price. 

A pre-wedding shoot offers the opportunity and space for taking a proper wedding photo without rushing. But make sure to ask your clients if they are comfortable doing it, as in some Indian cultures, couples aren’t allowed to see each other in their indian wedding outfits before the ceremony. 

Depending on the couple’s preferences, you can have an extravagant, humorous, or casual photoshoot. These pre-wedding photos will loosen up both ends and make you feel relaxed once the wedding day comes. They might also let you focus on more than just the couple on the wedding day. 

Take Pictures of the Rituals

Indian weddings usually have some kind of pre and post-wedding ceremonies. It’s important to take photos of all of them to please your clients. This also lets you gain experience in Indian wedding photography. 

The most common pre-wedding rituals include:

  • Mehendi – henna pastę drawn on both the bride and groom’s hands. The bride usually has intricate designs. These are perfect for close-ups and conceptual shots.
  • Sangeet – This rehearsal consists of plenty of fun activities and dancing. This is the perfect chance to test your dance photography skills and capture candid moments.
  • Haldi – Turmeric paste is put on the couple’s bodies during this ceremony by their female elders from their families. It’s later washed off with holy water. This intimate process is the perfect chance for you to take pictures of the couple’s families and how they bond together. 

Use Natural Light Often

Indian wedding venues, like other venues, aren’t always ideal for professional photography. This makes it harder to take natural and flattering pictures of the Indian couple. Therefore, to ensure all your photos look amazing, make sure to take pictures outdoors as much as possible. 

Indian weddings usually take place after midnight due to specific horoscope-related beliefs, which makes it even more difficult to shoot with natural lights. So, if you need to use artificial light, pay attention to the angles. Make sure to use soft lights and come from multiple angles. Avoid using harsh lights of any kind unless you can adjust their intensity. 

You can use a reflector in case of too many shadows and add those beautiful sparkles to your models’ eyes. 

Hire a Second Photographer if Needed

An Indian wedding usually has hundreds of guests with multiple events. It’s a large event that can’t be photographed alone. Therefore, the couple’s family will likely have hired several photographers to document the same ceremonies from multiple angles. 

Get in touch with the other photographers chosen by the couples so you can discuss what to shoot and avoid any misunderstandings. Indian weddings usually come with a traditional photographer tasked to take up to hundreds of posed photos. They have to take photos of the couple with all of the guests. 

If there aren’t any photographers available, ensure that you ask the couple and their family to hire one. You don’t want to be the one standing for hours and only take the same kind of pictures. If the wedding is so large that you might need a personal assistant, hire one. You do not need to hire a professional, as they can be someone with less experience.

Final thoughts

Indian weddings are excellent for having fantastic photos that don’t only look good but are also rich in tradition. By enriching your knowledge of Indian wedding rituals and beliefs, you’ll take better pictures of the couples. Their families, the ceremonies, and the venue.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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