Canon BP WPOY 2016-17: The Category Winners

 

 

Here’s a look at the top six contenders who will be pitted against one another, to win the title of Canon Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2016-17.

This year, the six category winners of the Canon Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2016-17 contest represented the best of Indian wedding photography. Every image spoke volumes of the photographer’s storytelling skills and technical prowess. Each of the winners will be title holders of their respective categories.

What the Judging Process was Like…
All the entries went through a three-step judging process, based on a voting system, and was carried out via a specially developed online module. It was designed in a way where the selected pictures were progressively narrowed down from the top 50 in each category to the top 10, and finally, to the main category winner. This particular system necessitates the panelists to be absolutely certain of their selections, before proceeding to every successive stage. To enable this, judges can see thumbnails, fullscreen views of every image for fine details. This also ensured that judges took extra care, and put in thought while selecting the top scoring images in each category. After the completion of the judging process, all the winning photographs were verified to ensure the authenticity and validity of the entries.

Wedding Stories from Across the Country
This year, we saw a lot of photographs where the emphasis was on storytelling, and these were the pictures that were also selected by the judges, which made it to the top 50 and top six nominees listing. “I had a great experience judging the entries this year, as I felt they were much stronger. There is far more emphasis on storytelling and narrative which makes the images a joy to view…” mentioned veteran photographer, Hari Mahidhar, who was one of the judges. The contest also brought out another aspect, that now, more than ever, the best photographs don’t necessarily come from elaborate or expensive weddings. In fact, we received several entries from weddings shot in tiny villages across India. The contest does not end here though. All the six category winners will now proceed to the face-off round, where they will battle it out for the crown of Canon Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year 2016-17 award.

BRIDE & GROOM PORTRAITURE

Winner

Sombit Dey In 2011, after a friend requested him to photograph his wedding, Sombit discovered his true calling. A self-taught photographer, he credits his father for instilling the curiosity and love for the medium.

Sombit Dey—In 2011, after a friend requested him to photograph his wedding, Sombit discovered his true calling. A self-taught photographer, he credits his father for instilling the curiosity and love for the medium.

“When I shot the image, the bride and the groom were completely unaware that I was standing on the opposite side of the street. They were in fact waiting for me to come and photograph them. I think I was extremely lucky with the picture because it’s not easy shooting with a 80–200mm lens, that too, without a tripod. I don’t think I could ever recreate the image with the same sense of fleetingness that it currently possesses.”

Photograph/Sombit Dey

Photograph/Sombit Dey


Runner Up

Rishika Das For the last five years that she has been photographing weddings, the ‘looking’ has never stopped for Rishika, and has only gotten better. She combines her love for street photography with the pictures she shoots at weddings.

Rishika Das—
For the last five years
that she has been
photographing weddings,
the ‘looking’ has never
stopped for Rishika, and
has only gotten better.
She combines her love
for street photography
with the pictures she
shoots at weddings.

“We were shooting at Prinsep Ghat when the bride informed me of her ancestral home and its beautiful rustic pillars. So we decided to go there and the first room of the house had these two huge mirrors on either side of the wall. Immediately I knew what my frame was going to look like.”

Photograph/Rishika Das

Photograph/Rishika Das

 

EMOTIONS

Winner

Prakash Parmar To maintain a constant visual aesthetic, Prakash mostly prefers to be a one-man show when photographing weddings. He also enjoys making abstract paintings and charcoal drawings, and event shoots fundraising documentaries for NGOs.

Prakash Parmar—To maintain a constant visual aesthetic, Prakash mostly prefers to be a one-man show when photographing weddings. He also enjoys making abstract paintings and charcoal drawings, and event shoots fundraising documentaries for NGOs.

“At the time of her bidaai, it is not unusual to find the bride’s entire family, especially her parents, around her car, tearing up at her departure. However, at this particular wedding, I noticed the bride’s parents on the other side of the car, looking forlorn and dejected. The silence was heartbreaking, and spoke volumes of the difficulty in letting go of a part of yourself.”

Photograph/Prakash Parmar

Photograph/Prakash Parmar


Runner Up

Karan Sidhu He considers wedding photography as one of the most enriching genres, as it gives photographers the opportunity to shoot multiple styles— documentary, fashion, portraiture... Karan has been shooting weddings for the last five years.

Karan Sidhu—
He considers wedding
photography as one of the
most enriching genres,
as it gives photographers
the opportunity to
shoot multiple styles—
documentary, fashion,
portraiture… Karan has
been shooting weddings
for the last five years.

“The bride’s send-off is filled with such fleeting moments of sentimental value that the photographer has to be ready to capture them at the right second. This too was one such moment, made possible due to the exceptional bond shared between the bride and her father. The photograph encapsulates that.”

Photograph/Karan Sidhu

Photograph/Karan Sidhu

 

FAMILY & FRIENDS

Winner

Nitin Dangwal If it wasn’t for his wife gifting him a camera on his birthday, Nitin would have probably never discovered photography. After receiving an incredible response for his first assignment, Nitin’s wedding photography career took off in 2013.

Nitin Dangwal—
If it wasn’t for his wife
gifting him a camera on
his birthday, Nitin would
have probably never
discovered photography.
After receiving an
incredible response for
his first assignment, Nitin’s
wedding photography
career took off in 2013.

“Lately, I have been practicing when to get closer to the subject, and when to take a step back to tell the story. Although they are two opposites, I believe that one can also find a balance between the two, which this particular photograph is all about. I observed that the groom’s cousins were closing in on him and sensed the possibility of something wonderful happening. So I immediately positioned myself, and the moment followed soon after.”

Photograph/Nitin Dangwal

Photograph/Nitin Dangwal


Runner Up

Sri Mutnuri In a little over three years, Sri has photographed more than 150 weddings. He also actively shoots fashion, jewellery, architecture, and corporate and commercial ad films.

Sri Mutnuri—
In a little over three
years, Sri has
photographed more than
150 weddings. He also
actively shoots fashion,
jewellery, architecture,
and corporate and
commercial ad films.

“It was uplifting to see the bride’s father’s childhood friends, come down from different corners of the world, to attend his daughter’s wedding. They were his strong pillars of support throughout the course of the ceremony, and even after. This photograph is a reminder of that.”

Photograph/Sri Mutnuri

Photograph/Sri Mutnuri

 

BEHIND THE SCENES/OFFBEAT

Winner

Kaustav Sarkar With a keen eye and interest for street photography, Kaustav incorporates elements from the genre into his wedding pictures. He holds a full time job in an IT firm.

Kaustav Sarkar— With a keen eye and interest for street photography, Kaustav incorporates elements from the genre into his wedding pictures. He holds a full time job in an IT firm.

“Bengali wedding traditions dictate that the bride and groom be placed in separate rooms before the main ceremony. The couple here were left with their side of friends and family. I was hanging around, walking in and out of the rooms, hoping to shoot something interesting. But it was only when I stepped back and looked at the rooms from a distance, did I notice the unique duality of the scene. In a way, this image was inspired by Mahesh Shantaram’s offbeat images of weddings.”

Photograph/Kaustav Sarkar

Photograph/Kaustav Sarkar


Runner Up

Chetna Sarin Two years ago, she left her corporate job to pursue wedding photography. She also enjoys shooting fashion and portraits.

Chetna Sarin—
Two years ago, she
left her corporate job
to pursue wedding
photography. She also
enjoys shooting fashion
and portraits.

“Weddings are filled with contradictions. In the midst of people running around, some frantic and some just for fun, there are also those who remain perfectly motionless. Like in the case of these two lamp trolley assistants, who seemed unbothered by the hustle and bustle around them.”

Photograph/Chetna Sarin

Photograph/Chetna Sarin

 

FINER WEDDING DETAILS/STILL LIFE

Winner

Anill Patil After a nine year career freelancing as a press photographer, Anil decided to branch out into wedding photography. He was the Finer Wedding Details/Still Life category winner, in the first edition of Better Photography’s Wedding Photographer of the Year contest (2009).

Anill Patil— After a nine year career freelancing as a press photographer, Anil decided to branch out into wedding photography. He was the Finer Wedding Details/Still Life category winner, in the first edition of Better Photography’s Wedding Photographer of the Year contest (2009).

“Before entering her new home, the bride usually kicks a bowl of rice and then steps into a dish of kumkum. Very rarely does the dish contain her footprints. In this case, it did, and I made the image to symbolise the beginning of her new journey.”

Photograph/Anill Patil

Photograph/Anill Patil


Runner Up

Praveen Padmanabhan With a long career in video production and direction, Praveen uses his aesthetics from then in his wedding work. He has been shooting weddings for the past four years.

Praveen
Padmanabhan—
With a long career in video
production and direction,
Praveen uses his aesthetics
from then in his wedding
work. He has been shooting
weddings for the past
four years.

“I had just completed photographing the couple in the temple, when I realised that I needed to make pictures of the rings. Fortunately, there were fresh flowers in the area. This was a quick five minute shot.”

Photograph/Praveen Padmanabhan

Photograph/Praveen Padmanabhan

 

PHOTOESSAY ON A SINGLE WEDDING

Winner

Abhishek Scariya His first job in an advertising production house gave Abhishek access to several photobooks and discussions on photography. It was here that he discovered Sebastião Salgado, which convinced him of the power and influence of images. Documentary and street photography are two of his main interests, and he considers wedding photography as an extension of these two genres. He has been shooting weddings professionally, since 2009.

Abhishek Scariya—
His first job in an
advertising production
house gave Abhishek
access to several
photobooks and
discussions on
photography. It was
here that he discovered
Sebastião Salgado, which
convinced him of the
power and influence of
images. Documentary and
street photography are
two of his main interests,
and he considers
wedding photography
as an extension of these
two genres. He has
been shooting weddings
professionally, since 2009.

“When I received the opportunity to photograph a close friend and fellow photographer’s wedding in Guwahati, I knew that adhering to any sort of preconceived ideas wouldn’t be required. A naturally forming narrative is important to me and this particular wedding opened up to me without any reservations.”

Photograph/Abhishek Scariya

Photograph/Abhishek Scariya


Runner Up

Praveen Padmanabhan With a long career in video production and direction, Praveen uses his aesthetics from then in his wedding work. He has been shooting weddings for the past four years.

Praveen
Padmanabhan—
With a long career in
video production and
direction, Praveen uses
his aesthetics from then in
his wedding work. He has
been shooting weddings
for the past four years.

“Very rarely do we get to shoot weddings in an informal space. And over time, hotel interiors can sometimes feel uninspiring. This particular wedding was refreshing in that sense. As I followed the family to the temple, I found several interesting characters to photograph along the way.”

Photograph/Praveen Padmanabhan

Photograph/Praveen Padmanabhan

 

Tags: Abhishek Scariya, Anill Patil, Behind the Scenes/Pffbeat, Bride and Groom Portraiture, Canon BP WPOY 2016, Category winners, Chetna Sarin, Emotions, Family & Friends, Finer Wedding Details/Still Life, Kaustav Sarkar, Nitin Dangwal, Photoessay on a Single Wedding, Prakash Parmar, Praveen Padmanabhan, Rishika Das, Sombit Dey, Sri Mutnuri