Namrita and Preetesh first heard about me on a website that I frequent called Reddit. A little over a year ago, I was depressed and could barely get out of bed on days. I was sad with my job in science and what I did everyday, and craving for a way to get out and do something different. I loved photography, and it had always been a bit of an obsession and never something that could be a life for me. Out of desperation, I did something that I now recognise was a little silly, I asked the Internet for advice. I went on a section of Reddit called AskReddit and people came from far and wide and offered me ways that I could make my business successful. They also shared how I could make my love for photography into a career and way of life. Some of the advice was great, some of it not so great and there was a lot of discouragement in there as well saying I’d never make a living out of it. Regardless, I took it all on board and kept a little document where I summarised all the useful bits of information and looked back upon it every now and then, just to make sure I was headed down the right track.
Part of me really wanted to cut out my own path and not just be a guy who takes photographs for money so I vowed to myself that I would always stay true to myself and work within a niche consistent with my values and morals. This means, I wanted to only work with people who believed in equality (gender, ethnicity, sexuality) and fairness. It also meant that I’d need to find people who had weddings consistent with their relationships and personalities. And finally, it meant that I had to work with people that were good people; people that I wanted to be friends with. I know, not a very good model to run a business with…
This all sounds like a bit of a pipe dream to someone who’s just starting but I can honestly say that it’s been quiet the path I’ve traveled in the last year. I’m still in a bit of shock actually realising that this is how things are for me. I’ve stayed in touch with an exceedingly large percentage of the couples I’ve worked for. I’m friends with most of them on Facebook, and we interact quiet frequently. Sure, we’re different people, but they’re all good people. They actually make the world a better place and I like to think I do too.
To me, what all of that means is that I’m doing something right. I set a goal for myself (which wasn’t simply based on financial success), and I am part of the way there to achieve it and that makes me pretty damn happy. But I also need to acknowledge the role Kristen played in this. She’s the brains and strategy, I’m just the guy that takes pretty photos. Without her advice and support (both emotionally and financially!), this really wouldn’t have been possible and it’s something that too many people take for granted in their partners.
Anyway, back to Namrita and Preetesh. A few months ago, I wrote another post and updated Reddit with where I was. A year or so had passed since my first post and my life had shifted dramatically. I had moved cities, married my wonderful partner and started a career that I never had in my life expected to follow. My tiny little business was thriving and I was happy that I’d made the decision to put aside my years of academic training and do something I loved doing. And then, 2 days after my Reddit update, I got asked to fly to Chennai and Visakhapatnam in India to photograph two weddings for Namrita and Preetesh. The rest, as they say, is history.
Wedding #1 is here.
I’ve been down and out with a chest infection and the 4 removed wisdom teeth so work seems to have come to a standstill. But my excitement to edit this wedding brought me back.
Three months into my full time photography career, who would have thought that I would be hired to photograph a wedding in India? But it was true and I’m still a little in shock at how it all happened.
This is part 1, a traditional Marwari ceremony in Chennai spread out over 2 days. There is no point tarnishing this visual experience with my words of how amazing the trip was, how wonderful the families were to me or how refreshing it was meeting new people with beautiful hearts on the other side of the planet. I’ll just let you try and absorb some of the culture, tradition, colour and ceremony in the next 130 images or so.