Pradeep Mahajan

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International Award Winning Photographer** ...

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Lifestyle photo shoot for Verve Fashion Magazine

I did a  photo shoot for Louise Vuitton and  a fashion and lifestyle magazine Verve for their November 2012 issue. The feature was about Louise Vuitton bags and their proud owners. There were five gorgeous ladies of the region and I had to shoot them in the comfort of there abodes. The idea was to show there living spaces and connect them with their prized possession the LV. You can check out the feature here 

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Avni+Anuj Wedding

Wedding venue of Avni and Anuj was  Hotel Galaxy Gurgaon. The wedding was according to the Arya Samaj traditions.

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Things to consider while hiring a wedding photographer

 

Few things you must consider while hiring a wedding photographer

Your wedding day is fast approaching and there are a lot of things, which have not been touched upon yet, and you are overwhelmed with the list of pending things. Somewhere on this list is wedding photographer. “Oh that’s easy, I will fix this in a moment and get rid of one item from this list”. Hang on, before you proceed in getting rid of this “item” from the pending list, take a look at what you must consider before hiring a photographer for your Big day.

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When assigning a photographer for your wedding, you should never be skimpy about the price. Having said that, I don’t mean that you should spend loads and loads of money, but you should also be wary about the, so called “packages”. The reason being that when you deal in packages (all inclusive; stills, videos, albums etc.etc.), you don’t get best of anything. Generally the concept of package has been developed by the studio guys, the ones who run “photography business”. Their business model revolves around maximizing profits, and when it comes to that, the quality takes a back seat. There is a very old saying which goes like this, “ Quality comes at a price” and I am sure you would not like any mediocre stuff for your most precious day.

You have hired the best of designers for your wedding dress, you have selected finest pieces of jewelry, you have hired the best makeup artist of the town, you have arranged the most exotic venues and got it decorated with the choicest of orchids imported from Thailand, you have arranged the most sumptuous menu for your guests but, all this comes to a naught if your choice of wedding photographer is compromised. The only thing that is going to remain with you for your entire life, are the pictures!

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Another important aspect is the personality of the photographer. Why? You may ask. Shouldn’t the talent of the photographer be the most important aspect? Well a big YES but it is equally important that you get along well with the photographer because you are going to be with this fellow for quite some time and if you are not comfortable with your photographer that is always going to reflect in your photographs. Should you want to work with some one who is going to forcibly take you out of your comfort zone and make you feel awkward all day? So getting to know your photographer well, is the key and I can guarantee you that you may never know till the last moment who the photographer is going to be in case you have availed the services of the photography business house.  You have to hire some one who loves what he does and want you to love what he does. You want some one who is not burnt out on doing weddings, some one who is passionate about his craft and is not just trying to make both ends meet. Should you be in a mood for charity, keep that for some other time and not your wedding.

And not to forget another important thing; always sign a contract for this will make you more secure.  All the things between you and the photographer have been  agreed upon should be written down in the form of a contract, like what are you going to get from the photographer, the agreed sum, final out put,number of days of work, what are the ceremonies etc. etc.

Please don’t forget to remind your self to enjoy the most important day of your life! It passes by very fast if you don’t stop to take it all in. Good luck.

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Avni’s Mehandi, haldi & choora ceremony

Avni’s traditional ceremonies were held at her Vasant kunj  residence. The rituals were performed as per the true traditions.

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Avni+Anuj Chunni & Sangeet

Avni is a dentist from Delhi and Anuj is a doctor in Dallas U.S.A. The wedding happened in New Delhi but they  got engaged in the U.S. The wedding was a grand affair with lot of ceremonies like sangeet, chunni, mehandi, choora etc. Avni took special care in arranging all these traditional ceremonies. All through the wedding the atmosphere was of celebration and fun.

 

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Kamal+Uttam Wedding day

The day of kamal’s wedding started early with a tradition called nai dhoi at about 5:30 AM. I had to rush to the makeup studio for her getting ready shots. That was nearly 30 Kms from the wedding venue. kamal wes accompanied by her sisters who were also supposed to get ready there. I made a few shots of them getting ready. By the time it was 9:30 and I had to reach back to the venue which was Thunder zone an amusement park which has also recently been converted in to a wedding venue, in Landran. All the events then on were very fast paced. The gathereing was huge. Anand Karaj were to be performed in a Gurudwara about 3Kms away. The day ended with vidaai in the evening.

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kamal+Uttam Sangeet

The sangeet of Kamal happened at Moga, her native place on the 2nd of April’ 13  . It started at about 7.30 PM with a traditional ritual called Jago  followed by gidda.   This was a typical punjabi affair, with free flowing “spirit” and bhangra. There was a lot of currency  flying in the air. Punjabis are known fore their high energy celebration and this was no less.

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Kamal+Uttam Engagement

The day both got engaged was 5th of April this year in Chandigarh at Hotel Altius. It was a small function in a relatively small hall with a gathering of about 100-125 people. The problem was  that there were about four still photographers and three videographers and a few helpers from the boys side. All were carrying entry level DSLRs with kit lenses and they were surrounding the area where the action was happening. I always work with two pro cameras one with 24-105 lens and other with 70 -200 f2.8 lens. it was quite a job excluding the camera persons from the frames because there was a flood of them. I could not understand the need for so many photographers covering a small event. Whether this was to impress the client and the gathering or was it to be sure of getting at least a few acceptable shots from each one. Later I tried to get to bottom the of truth and came to know that three of them were novices and were hired by the   “contractor photographer” for  peanuts and even lure of good food. I had a hard time all through this wedding dealing with this gang. I think I should do a separate post  on this. More of kamal and Uttam to follow.

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Kamal and Uttam Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot

April this year this couple got married at Chandigarh. I was contacted by Kamal Preet in January this year, who is a punjabi girl settled in Australia, working in the HR department of a company. When I got a call from her I was traveling in the Himalayas for my landscape photography. She wanted me to be her wedding photographer. We discussed the entire thing on whatsapp. She came to India in March and we met at my place over lunch. Uttampreet, her fiancé who was working as an engineer in U.A.E. was to came a few days later. I had a preliminary round of discussion with Kamal as to how I shall go about photographing her wedding. We agree to meet once more at my place when Uttam arrives. So a few days later we were again together and we finally decided for a pre wedding shoot. Kamal wanted to wear Punjabi suit for the first session so I suggested Uttam to wear a bandgala and salwar with punjabi jutti. Befor the shoot i scouted for the locations and drove around hundred kilometers for it and finally decided to shoot them in a village and an archeological site near Rajpura Punjab. This was an ancient sarai of Sher Shah Suri. For the other sessions I decided other locations in side the city. It was a lot of fun doing the shoot with this couple. Here are their picture in random order.

 

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Will post their engagement & wedding Pictures soon.

 

Wedding photography, an important consideration

What should be the most important consideration when choosing a photographer for the most important event of your life? This indeed is one of the most important decisions you have to take as you start planning your wedding as no matter who your wedding planner is, who is designing your wedding dress, how royal your wedding venues are going to look, and how lavish the party is going to be, the only thing that will stay with you to show to your coming generations are the photographs, so this area should be least compromised.

Wedding photojournalism and how it makes things exciting?

The first thing for you to decide while considering a photographer for your wedding should be his style of photography. Basically a choice between two very different styles, the traditional (the posed stuff) and the contemporary (more natural more real looking pictures) with candid shots in which the subject may not even be aware that he or she is being photographed.

A lot of people who approach me for wedding are either not happy with their earlier encounters with “wedding photographers” in their family or they have seen the pictures of their friends and relatives and didn’t quite like them.

Wedding Photojournalism in essence is documenting the wedding as it happened. The whole idea of wedding photojournalism is to tell story through pictures. The photographer instead of stopping the flow of the wedding every now and then in order to take or more aptly “manufacture” pictures (traditional wedding photography), rather let the pictures happen naturally and spontaneously without directing the subjects on what to do. The approach is to go with the flow and weave a story with images. In photojournalistic style of wedding photography, the photographer does not or very minimally interact with the subject. He will not ask you or your guests to look in to the camera and say “cheese”! Instead wedding photojournalist would be constantly observing the proceedings and be always ready to capture those candid expressions which makes the picture all the more endearing.

Wedding photojournalism is not easy. It takes a great deal on the part of the photographer to be alert throughout and constantly working physically and mentally, finding the angles, working the light, composing the frames, getting the exposure right, and capturing the moment just at the right instance. All this comes with years of training and experience, in depth knowledge of the subject and mastery over the craft and command over the tools

The difference in both the styles is too stark. While with traditional photography the resultant pictures are stereotyped. If you look at the pictures of different weddings, you will find similar type of shots with different faces in every wedding and in certain situations look very funny. There is hardly any uniqueness. Whereas in contemporary style, each wedding is photographed differently with a unique approach. The images are not made on an assembly line. The images are vibrant, much more pleasing, natural looking, and tells a story and that’s the way it should be.

More to follow:

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Rami and Matt photo shoot

A few days back I did a photo shoot for this amazing couple from Austin, USA. Rami contacted me on email and cell phone and explained to me the kind of shoot she wanted me to do for them. They came to India and we met up for the pre shoot discussion. I found Rami an Indian born American an extremely charming, bubbly, beautiful girl full of life and Matt an attractive young American who initially was little reserved but soon opened up and we all mixed up well and were comfortable with each other. This warming up was very important for the shoot. I explained to them the kind of locations I would be shooting them on and we discussed the outfits they were going to wear for the shoot.For first session Rami had selected white and maroon lehnga choli with lot embellishments for her and for Matt she chose the off white sherwani with maroon stole. Since this was an Indian outfit and totally new for Matt, I was not sure weather he would be able to carry it well but he eventually carried it well. I had advised a very light subtle make up for Rami cos she really did not required much as her complexion was very nice and her skin looked perfect. I chose to shoot them In Yadvendra gardens for the first session. Yadvendra gardens also known as Pinjor garden is situated in Harayana some 22Kms from Chandigarh on Ambala-Shimla road. It has beautiful Mughal Garden styled terraced gardens built by the Patiala Dynasty Rulers. The garden was designed by architect Nawab Fidal Khan. Now this place is managed by Haryana Tourism.( I had been on the panel of Haryana Tourism as photographer and have done many assignments for them.) The shoot went on nicely as they followed my directions very well. For the next change we had decided for white Tee and blue denims for both and the location I chose was Museum and art gallery and the ground in front of it and the leisure valley And for the final change the location was rock garden and Rami chose to wear an orangish western out fit and I suggested Matt to wear White shirt and khaki trouser to complement her out fit. While the first session was shot in such a way to give it a formal,royal classy feel and the second session was relaxed, casual, and fun. The third session was shot in semi formal setting. One main aspect of the shoot was to bring out a lot of romance in the shoot. Both of them love each other so much and my endeavor was to capture that chemistry in my images. Here are some of the images , hope you like them.

 

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Ruchika and Monish’s Engagement

Ruchika and Monish, is a young couple living in USA. Ruchika is working with ebay and Monish with Symantec. They came to India for their wedding and hired me for shooting the important event of their life. I was hired to make candid and mood shots of their wedding as  parents of Ruchika had hired other photographer for the regular shots.  Ruchika and Monish were very enthusiastic about having their wedding photos shot in photojournalistic style. Ruchika amd I were in regular touch over chat and when they both landed in India, we met at a cafe to discuss the details and for signing the agreement.The engagement was a very small affair without much of a fanfare and with a very small gathering of both the families.  later both requested for some directed shots as well.

Here I am presenting a few shots from their engagement ceremony. Their wedding pictures would posted later.

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