Learn from the Masters: Prakash Tilokani
On the occasion of our thirteenth anniversary in 2010, 13 great masters drew from a lifetime of experience to give you over 150 carefully selected tips on photography and ways of seeing. They debated the idea of ‘the perfect moment’ and share their personal practices. In this edition, Great Master Prakash Tilokani shares his tips for better photography.
Scout the Location
Visit the location in advance so that you can figure out the best places to shoot from and understand any restrictions. However, remember that the lighting at the venue may be extremely different on the day of the actual wedding.
The Challenge of Shooting Anytime
The mahurat may be early in the morning, at high noon or even late in the night. You cannot complain about the quality of the light. You need to take it in your stride and use it to your advantage.
Add Light to the Scene
If the light is too low, use strobe lights to illuminate your scene. Place the light slightly away from the scene so that it provides just enough light.
Explore Faceless Portraits
Capture only the hands or shoot a moment in which the bride is overwhelmed with emotion and is covering her face.
Do Not Instruct Poses
Shoot candid moments at the wedding. Make sure that your presence does not affect the actions of those around you.
Respect Your Subjects
I have noticed many wedding photographers making the mistake of getting too close to the bride or groom. This not only makes them uncomfortable, but also makes it difficult for the guests to witness the rituals. An important etiquette that I always maintain is to keep my distance. The wedding is the couple’s special day, not yours. Use appropriate lenses so that you can be discreet and get your shots.
Make the Couple Comfortable
Newlyweds tend to be shy and can get embarrassed by other guests around them. The long, extended ceremonies can also tire them out. Talk to them before the wedding and tell them that you would want to capture some pictures only of theirs. Tell them to call you at their convenience.
Create a Rapport
Go out of your way to create a rapport not just with the couple but also with the family and friends. This will make your assignment easier and also generate a sense of comfort for both parties.
Befriend the Videographer
Befriend the videographer so that the two of you do not get into each other’s way. The light that is directed on the subject while shooting video can be used by you for some additional illumination too.
Shoot in a Group
Weddings in India have many things going on at the same time. Ask your friends to shoot along with you, and if you are a pro, hire some assistants. Decide each person’s shooting responsibilities—the most important rituals can be shot by all of you from different angles!
Capture the Unpredictability
Anything can happen at weddings. People can be late, food can be spilt and guests can get too drunk. You need to capture the best moments and not focus on disasters. However, remember that even something that goes wrong can be a funny memory for the family at a later stage.
My Interpretation of the Moment
Anything that takes place during a wedding can be a great moment. The idea is to not just capture the traditional moments, but also the quieter ones, and the behind-the-scenes activity that gives the wedding some life.
Undoubtedly the most poplar wedding photographer in India, Prakash Tilokani captures beautiful moments of lasting expressions and the rich culture and traditions of ‘the great Indian wedding’.