The selfie craze that all of us are subjected to has managed to spill over to weddings as well and chances are that your social media page will have evidence of the moment you say “I do,” possibly as soon as you utter those words. Does that make the role of the photographer obsolete then? Quite the opposite in fact. Now, more than ever, when everyone’s a budding amateur photographer, couples know the importance of getting these special moments captured professionally so that every heart-warming detail of their big day is there for posterity, and a beautifully put-together wedding album becomes the most treasured coffee table book a couple will possess. Wedding photographers Samantha da Cunha and Lawrence de Souza of StudioGrey tell you how to ensure that your once-in-a-lifetime day is captured flawlessly.

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Tell us how you both started out and what drew you to photographing weddings?

After graduating from Shari Academy of Photography, we initially started off with commercial photography; shooting interiors for hotels, catalogues for jewellery companies, fashion portfolios and so on. Work was limited as we had just started off. We then started shooting weddings for friends so that we could make some use of our skills that we learnt in college and it was always fun doing something that we both love so much. To our surprise, we got a fabulous response and started getting bookings from friends of friends and other people who heard of us; and all of this through word of mouth. People loved our style and our eye for capturing the right candid moments at weddings. Gradually, the number of booking started increasing and we realised that this was a space we could excel in. We came up with the concept of StudioGrey so that people would find it easier to place bookings. This was a huge hit and well, the rest is, as they say, history. We do about 100 - 120 weddings in a year.

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How long have you been in this line and how would you describe your style?

We’ve been photographers for seven years so far and shooting weddings for the past five years. We focus on capturing candid moments during the wedding. In most cases, the couples don’t even realise what moments were captured until they see the photographs. And they’re always pleasantly surprised.

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What are the trends in wedding photography currently?

Pre-wedding shoots are very popular, because they allow couples to have a bit of fun and creativity with their photos without being interrupted by guests. At the actual wedding, the photo booth is the current ruling trend.

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What should a couple keep in mind when picking a photographer?

It’s important for the couple to understand the style of the photographer. Some photographers have a candid photo-journalistic approach while others prefer a more formal method. Finding a style that complements your idea of the perfect wedding will help you make stunning memories.

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What are the top 3 things a couple should do when it comes to their wedding photography?

Start with briefing the photographer on the “must-have” shots – the people who mean the most to you so that they’re not missing from the wedding album.

If the couple has a few references in mind, it’s always better to discuss it with the photographer beforehand. That way, they can be prepared and incorporate them into the schedule.

And most importantly, be on time!

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And what are the things a couple should avoid doing?

They should definitely not expect the photographer to shoot the exact photograph they have seen on a website or a friend’s wedding. One must understand that the right resources and environment are needed to replicate a photograph. It’s almost impossible to do this, as the environment and mood are never constant at a wedding.

Please do not have the designated person guiding the photographer with respect to who needs to be captured during the wedding. Trust that the photographer is doing his/her job and is capturing the right moments. Constantly hovering around can lead to distractions and again precious moments could be lost.

Finally, couples should refrain from calling the photographer to the venue and making him/her wait endlessly. Trust your photographer to be punctual. This unnecessary waiting tires the photographer and he/she is left with little energy while shooting the actual important moments.

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What should the bride be aware of or do on her big day to ensure that her pictures come out well?

When the bride is getting ready, she should have details like her wedding ensemble, shoes, perfume, jewellery, flowers or anything special ready so the photographer can start the day well and not disturb her hair and makeup.

Whether slender or curvy, all brides are very conscious of looking like they have double chins. To avoid this, elongate your neck by moving your head out slightly and lifting your chin up.

Lastly, don’t forget to smile.

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Is they any particular kind of makeup that works better than others?

Brides who wear makeup that is as close to their natural skin tone as possible always make the job easier. The more complicated the hair and makeup, the more uncomfortable you will be, which will translate into the photograph.

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What is the biggest mistake that a bride can make on her big day?

It starts with not arriving on time, which means that the whole schedule is rushed. Light is very important to get the perfect shot and even a little natural light makes a huge difference.

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Are there any particular locations that work best? How important is it to pick the right venue?

A great wedding photographer should be able to be put in any environment and make that environment sparkle no matter what. You have to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary and memorable.

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What kind of wedding photography works best in India?

With Indian weddings, there is so much happening that you require a mix: Candid photography to capture those beautiful serendipitous memories and a designated formal photographer to document the rituals and take the all-important guest photos.

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What has been your most unique wedding till date?

While all weddings are unique in some way or the other, one of our favourite assignments was shooting a destination wedding in Goa. The couple kept things simple, but very intimate. When they said beach wedding, they took it seriously: the groom was barefoot and wore a linen suit, while the only ornaments on the bride were flowers in her hair.

A more recent event that made for stunning photos was a destination wedding, again in Goa. It was the first time the couple planned for a sunset wedding and actually reached on time. The photos pretty much say it all.

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What is your favourite part of a wedding to capture?

What always amazes us is how loving and happy couples look on their wedding day. Capturing those stolen glances is our favourite part.

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How far in advance should a couple book a photographer?

If you’re getting married on a weekend, you’d rather book a photographer a year in advance because these dates get blocked quickly.

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What happens in case of an emergency and your photographer is unable to shoot on the big day?

It’s always better to have a contingency plan, just to minimise the damage in the event of an emergency.

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In case the photographer hasn’t seen the location, should the couple insist that they do see it before the big day?

If the photographer is an experienced professional, an hour or so before the actual wedding begins is more than enough time to get acquainted with the venue. And chances are, they’ve already shot there before.

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What would you tell couples who feel that spending huge amounts on a creative photographer is an unnecessary expense for a wedding album that you simply store away after the day?

Your wedding is a very special event. And even if you don’t look at the album every day, no selfie or quirky group photo will do it justice the way a professional candid photographer can. These memories are for a lifetime, you’d rather have the best ones.

You can view Samantha and Lawrence’s work or get in touch with them at – Website: www.studiogrey.in; Email: photos@studiogrey.in; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StudioGrey or call on 9819502299 / 9819558283.

Photos Credit: StudioGrey