'Capturing the Chaos at Indian Weddings'

March 09, 2024  •  2 Comments

Indian weddings are unlike anything else — a riot of colours, emotions, and traditions, each moment bursting with life and energy. As someone who captures these celebrations through candid photography, let me tell you, it's a rollercoaster ride of emotions and challenges. Being of an older age adds another layer of complexity.

Imagine being surrounded by crowds of excited guests, all clamouring to catch a glimpse of the happy couple. Amid all this excitement, finding that perfect shot becomes a mission requiring focus and physical stamina, especially when you're nursing a serious back issue. However, needs must (and taking a lot of painkillers helps)!

From the wild dancing in the streets ahead of the Baraat procession (the groom moving through the streets on horseback to ultimately reach the wedding venue to meet his new wife), dodging eager guests and not being trampled by them (🤣) searching for that perfect shot to capture the essence of every passing moment required a dance of its own.

The day after (and being on my feet for six hours straight the night before), every muscle screamed in protest, making me feel like I'd run a marathon. Despite the fatigue and discomfort, I had an undeniable sense of fulfilment. Within the 1,000-odd images I captured lay a treasure trove of memories, each frame a testament to the love, laughter, and sheer exuberance that defines Indian weddings.

The weddings I have attended so far have been conducted in the evening, so I have had to push my Fujifilm X-T5 camera to its limits (I don't use external lighting as I find it intrusive, especially for candid work), setting the ISO to 12,800 in the dimly lit venues. Ultimately, the noise at ISO 12,800 may have slightly degraded the details, but it's a compromise worth making.  What matters most is not the technical perfection of each shot but the stories they tell and the moments they preserve for generations to come.

So yes, shooting candid photography at Indian weddings may be physically and mentally exhausting, but still, as I look back on those whirlwind hours, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else. After all, amidst the chaos, beauty is waiting to be immortalised. I, for one, am honoured to be its humble chronicler.

Me in the thick of it at a wedding in Delhi.  Photo courtesy © Keshav Sharma



Chinmaye Jain(non-registered)
That is so beautifully penned. Truly enjoyed reading it. The wedding got a third outlook from you. Enjoyed reading it with giggled laughters.
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