Wedding photographers Anand Rathi and Abhinav Sah say that rather than picture perfect, they work towards poster perfect
A purple clad girl with red and white bangles gazes intently at a mirror and adjusts the heavy gold necklace around her neck. A mother wipes her eyes as she bids goodbye to her daughter. A young man looks a trifle nervous as he waits for a ceremony to begin. A just-married couple share a secret glance, their faces glowing with newly minted love. Memories that last a lifetime when two people decide to link their dreams. And your wedding album is essentially a treasure trove of those memories.
Knot in Focus, a contemporary wedding and cinematography brand founded by Anand Rathi and Abhinav Sah is all about creating that perfect album.
For Abhinav Sah, a VFX supervisor in films, creating aesthetic and stunning visuals comes naturally, “Photography was something that helped me understand and compliment the processes at my job. I believe people liked what I clicked and one fine day a friend of mine asked me to if I'd like to shoot her wedding. That was the spark and the fire started off, eventually,” he says.
For Anand, on the other hand, it was more serendipitous, “Finding photography was like falling in love for me. You don't plan for it, you don't know when it starts, but when it does hit you, you don't want to be doing anything else. I picked up my first camera just about three years ago so that I could send some nicer pictures of NY for people back home when I was doing my MBA there. Recognition on social media and boost from my classmates kept me going and when I came back to India, professional assignments started to come in. Eventually it reached the stage where I could no longer manage it with my day job.”
Their schedule is hectic — besides clicking the pictures, they also need to meet clients, manage backend work, plan and detail shoots, chose locations, handle inquiries and markets themselves. And that means a lot of work, especially since they end up doing anywhere between 30 to 50 weddings a year, “Extensive communication with our clients is important. We go by the mantra that if the clients (their parents and their close family) are comfortable with us they'll be comfortable with our cameras. We make sure to meet our clients multiple times before the wedding, discuss details of decor, lights, ceremonies etc. That helps us be in control and gives us the edge,” he says.
Anand adds that “Being repetitive is not an option. We have done some very unique stuff across the years, from an underwater trash-the-dress shoot to a dedicated couple shoot in NYC. We are completely in love with using off beat camera technology in wedding be it heli-cams (flying cameras), action-cam for ultra slow motion footage or underwater gear.”
“Our mode of shooting is mostly guerrilla style. The biggest challenge is that there are no retakes! We have to be up on our feet and anticipate what is going to happen to be able to deliver these candid frames,” says Abhinav. “When guests come up to us and say ‘That is such a good picture, where did you take it from’, we know we are doing it right,”
Just being candid however isn’t enough, he adds, “We like to give back larger-than-life pictures, Bollywood-ish as our clients keep telling us. Plain candid is so yesterday, clients want not just picture perfect but poster perfect.”
After all, as Abhinav says, “Indian weddings resemble Bollywood set. On a Bollywood set, there is utmost chaos, there are people running around, costumes, equipments and what not. But if you look closely through the cameraman’s viewfinder there is an immaculately beautiful frame.”