Gone are the days when tired faces smiled weakly into cameras. Welcome to new-age wedding albums that revolve around themes and capture happy couples and fun moments. ARUNA V. IYER presents a few picture-perfect stories

Indian weddings are anything but personal, with intimacy being merely an expected consequence rather than the causative. First captured in monochromatic elegance, then in sepia's dominance and finally in a rainbow burst of full colour, the wedding albums have never been just about the two people getting married. Caught between customs and multitudes of relatives and friends, the couple is often too overwhelmed to tell its story.

But not anymore, say some newlyweds and their photographers. With outdoor shoots that are often themed to show and tell their story, the couples are the focus in these special albums. Within its pages, they become heroes and heroines, who are in love and whose stories always end in marriage.

Real borrows from reel

Kalyan and Santhoshi

You work on visual effects for Hollywood and so does your girlfriend-cum-fiancé. And you have a bunch of friends that can do the other cool things. Well, then why not create a super-technical wedding invite complete with a countdown timer? That's exactly what Kalyan and Santhoshi did!

“Kalyan is from Andhra Pradesh and I'm from Tamil Nadu. So, when we were brainstorming for our wedding website, we decided to combine elements from Tollywood and Kollywood in our pictures,” says Santhoshi. They hired the light box, used a few cameras available and designed the clothes and accessories mostly from their own wardrobes for the shoot. “Kalyan sported a bigger moustache, worekhadi kurtaswhile I dressed up in wedding jewels and the traditionalmadisaar.”

The wedding invite was hosted online to mimic yet-to-release movie websites that have an opening page, the cast and crew page and the wallpapers page. “We left an open invite to our friends asking them to help around. So, at a time we had three or four photographers working on a single shot,” says Kalyan. We wrapped up the entire shoot (both indoors and outdoors) within a day, while it took about 10 days to host the website, he adds.

Whirlwind wedding

Sanjay and Aamani

“Our wedding reception was to be held at Vishakapattanam, and we didn't have much time before our flight from Hyderabad (where the wedding had just got over). So the two of us flew in our wedding attire, accompanied by our friend and wedding photographer Amar Ramesh,” says Aamani. Being NRIs, Sanjay and Aamani had a quick wedding in between, which became the centre of attention at the Hyderabad airport.

“I had taken pictures of Sanjay pushing Aamani around on an airport trolley and the two of them at a café there, even before we boarded the plane. While boarding, I decided to try and get shots of them within the aircraft, and began thinking of possible poses,” says Amar Ramesh. On landing, he asked them to stay put within the aircraft while everyone left.

“With some real fast direction, Amar took a few pictures of us within the flight, and it helped we were in a playful mood. We could hear the airhostess calling out to us, asking us to get off the plane, but we still managed to sneak in a couple of shots,” says Sanjay for whom this flight was the most memorable part of their wedding. Not only did they make a lot of people curious, they apparently also got suggestions for poses from onlookers. “So many people congratulated us and wished us good luck, making our day so much more special!”

Going back in time

Joseph Radhik's story

Joseph Radhik, an IIM graduate-turned-wedding photographer believes the idea of having outdoor shoots (pre- or post-wedding) is fast catching on among young couples. “Recently, I did an outdoor shoot with a couple who had fallen in love on their college bus. We used the bus as the theme to try and recreate moments from their past,” he says. “These days, even in arranged marriages, the couple is given enough time to get to know each other. I'm mostly contacted by the couples themselves.”

One of the first wedding photographers based out of Chennai, Amar Ramesh feels that this gives the artist in him a chance to control the frame, in an otherwise chaotic Indian wedding. “Weddings are so chaotic that the couple is worn out by the end of it, having hardly enjoyed their special day. The outdoor shoot is an opportunity to get them alone and involved in the moment, besides taking control of the specifics such as light, background and interaction between the subjects,” he says.

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012