Tell us a bit about yourself and your company
Playful by nature, and yet very serious about what I do, I’ve found my voice in photography. I create images that sing. I am one of the pioneers of the candid wedding photography movement in India. I’m known for my approach to telling wedding stories driven by moments of surprise, drama, and intrigue.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
My wife and I stumbled upon our wedding album when we were moving to a new house. It was a volume of unpalatable, posed pictures. Candid photography was unheard of at that time. So I got into wedding photography to fix what I saw was a problem.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
Leaving the house and heading for the venue with the bride or groom. This time is the quietest part of an Indian wedding, but imagine the swirl of thoughts going on in their minds.
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
There was that time I rushed to an early morning wedding and forgot to brush my teeth. I wasn’t taking any questions that day.
What is your favorite venue and why?
I’ve been focusing a lot on small-town weddings in the past couple of years. I like that there’s still the cultural innocence that one doesn’t find in the big city. These weddings happen in rustic locations not because it’s someone’s idea of cool, but because at least one of the couple traces their roots there.
Nikon or Canon?
Nikon or Fuji, actually.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
Mars. Or aboard a spaceship heading there. OK, I’ll settle for a wedding on a plane… or at least at an airport.
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Malala Yousufzai. I’d love to explore the whole Birmingham-Pakistani scene.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Everything you learnt about the business of wedding photography – throw it out the window. You are not a photographer. You are an active participant. A friend. Part of the family. At the end of the day, you will go home with a story to tell. That story is about why the world must care about these two people. Contracts don’t matter. How much you’re getting paid doesn’t matter. People matter. Stories matter. Make it personal.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
The checklist of questions you’re told you should ask a wedding photographer (typical stuff of inflight magazines) doesn’t matter. Have a free-wheeling conversation with your photographer. See if he has stories to tell you. If he does and if you feel the passion in those stories, go right ahead.
Thanks Mahesh! For more information about Mahesh Shantaram, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to his website.
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