Society

Women photographers and the lens of empathy

It’s all about memories and precious moments. Even in this digital age, long after an important event, say a wedding, those moments are relived and cherished through the photographs of the occasion.

So imagine when the make up pales, the blush fades, the glitter from the designer clothes weakens and the jewellery loses its sheen, so much so that even the detox and the diet would fail to make an impression. And all because the photographers failed to catch the coy moment where you might have stealthily looked at your groom.

Or the groom looked at you from across the room and smiled. Tales could be many, opportunities aplenty and emotions boundless when weddings are on. And this why wedding photography is more than just taking photographs of the couple exchanging garlands, taking vows or saying ‘Q ubool hai.’

Perhaps it needs a sensitive, perceptive eye behind that lens to capture those precious moments. Which is why choosing the right photographer is one of the most crucial decisions in planning a wedding. Wedding photographers are aplenty but how would it be if the photographer were to be a woman? To make sure the memories are captured well for posterity, brides to be are increasingly searching for women photographers. Why? “The comfort level is immense. It’s a girl to girl thing, so all inhibitions are thrown in the air. As women, they will know what would be flattering,” says Pinky Chawla, a bride-to-be.

But are there many women who are doing wedding albums? They may be few but the breed is definitely on the rise. Bur how tough is it for these women to squeeze between wedding crowds to capture special moments? “It is a fun thing to do. But honestly had it not been for that one photography workshop I wouldn’t have been taking photos. I had no inclination to take photos or become a wedding photographer. It is the DSLR camera that made me attend a workshop and the workshop organisers realised the potential I have. Since then I have fallen in love with it and love the idea of spending time in a celebratory mood capturing emotions of the family,” says Keerthana Reddy.

Keerthana recalls beginning with taking photos of her nephew’s special moments. “The feeling is special,” she says.

Is it rewarding to step into an uncommon profession? “Oh, yes, it is rewarding to do what you like and then be treated with respect and love. In most weddings we are accepted as one amongst the family and they shed all inhibitions. When I started photography as a hobby nine years ago, people would ask me to shoot their family portfolios. But I wasn’t looking at getting into it commercially back then as I was a consultant at a corporate hospital. Then four and half years ago I decided to take the plunge as my love for photography was only growing,” says Namrata Rupani, a leading woman photographer in the city.



Do many people prefer female to male photographers? Namrata says they have had a lot of takers and that encouraged them . “The dynamics, the activity and the vibrance along with the variety that one gets to shoot is very attractive,” she says.

Pooja Dattani who derives great pleasure in capturing candid moments during weddings says, “The comfort we render to brides when they get ready in their personal spaces is huge. We get asked for make up advice. Having women around must be comforting. At times we also engage in looking for missing small objects, help with a tuck here or a pin there; we just make the bride forget we have cameras. We also believe in working with ambience light, so we are less messy. When more lights are needed, we use LED lights attached to cameras.”

So empathy is the trump card that women photographers hold.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 5:45:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/women-photographers-and-the-lens-of-empathy/article7668313.ece

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