Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shift Focus


What is the state of mind of a creative photojournalistic wedding photographer when he is asked to do a wedding where a VVIP is the chief guest to conduct the marriage?


It was rather a very different experience for every one of our team when the Chief Minister of a state was invited to solemnize the wedding recently in a five star hotel. Apart from the elaborate security check (every bit of our equipment was put into task by the personnel who suspect everything in our equipment carrying case), we could feel the entire focus on the wedding was shifted from the couple, family, relatives and friends to the VVIPs of the evening.


The host of the wedding, hotel authorities, photographers, decorators, wedding co-ordinators and every other person involved in the wedding services were expected to dance to the tunes of the security officials. All these were for the very brief presence of the VVIP. The evening looked as if it is yet another official function of CM.


The couple was lost in the attention given to herd of VVIPs. Despite of the huge money spent on the event, there is no celebration, no joy, no natural emotions, and no free interactions among the guests. In a nut shell, the event was remembered as a VVIPs meet and not as a wedding.


For the close relatives, it was an event where they could not really participate (most of them came from abroad and the other part of India)


For the couple, it was not an occasion where they can enjoy the togetherness and exchange the secret sign of love.


For the hosts, it was something they did to satisfy the VVIPs and not to their own kith and kins.


For the guests, it was a very long wait (guests where expected to come atleast an hour earlier to avoid last minute rush in security formalities) to see a very brief activity which lasted just little more than ten minutes. There where disparities in the seating and dinning arrangements as well.


For the photographers, it was just an aim and shoot game. Nothing creative worked out (how can you give creativity when your movement is restricted by security officials of many departments and the shooting angle is decided by people who are not photographers?).


Everything looked rich and posh. But it was the real happiness and cheers that was missing. It looked like an event to show off the contacts and influence the host had with the VVIPs.


As the parents of the couple, why cannot we make the events like weddings very personnel and make it unforgettable by our mutual joy and happiness. May be couple can visit the VVIPs after the wedding, if they are very close to the family.


Above all, the VVIPs and celebrities could politely say no to such invitations to keep the ‘life of wedding celebrations’ alive.

40 comments:

Anand said...

Raja Sir,
I agree with your views. But then these weddings cannot stop as they want to see the VVIP guest in there wedding albums and let know the genarations to come that they had invited theses icons and inside there hearts they know they did the mistake of calling them. But here is what I think - inspite of all these issues, your team must have done a wounderful job. How did you do it, what kind of vantage points one should identify in such situations and many more of your experiences, can you write about that as well. Thanks,
Anand

Kat said...

I have attended several such "political" wedding. I felt the same way you do now

I only pitied the wedding couples

Kathiresan

KL.Raja Ponsing said...

Hi Anand,

Thanks for the comment. It was ofcourse a professional challenge. Though we were not allowed to move freely and watched closely by the security personnel, we managed to get few powerful shots.

The new generation zoom lenses with f/2.8 and ISO 400-500 helped us a lot to get some contemporary shots.

-KL.Raja

KL.Raja Ponsing said...

Hi Kathiresan,

It is good to receive a comment from you. Keep working at the challenging
VVIP functions...

Regards.

KL.Raja

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Great post.. I totally agree with your views..

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Ashokan S said...

I totally agree with all you people. Just to show off their power, people invite politicians to head the wedding ceremony. That VVIP always attend / use those weddings to build up their images. I attended a wedding where the VVIP spent nearly an hour to scold the opponent party leader and at the last he blessed the couple wth 5-10 words and went off. As KL Raja sir said, high end lenses will be much useful to capture the occasion

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Unknown said...

Sir,
this is M.S.S.V.Prasad your student. you are 100% right. recently I was in Mumbai to visit my neice who works for Sony TV. She told my that there are some specialist wedding photographers who were hired at a very exorbitant fees very cleary state that they would like to take pictures of only special moments and concentrate only on expressions and the mood. they tell who ever is engaging them that they should engage another photographer for covering rest of the wedding like group photos etc. you are perfectly right what is there to see in a wedding album when the joy and happiness of the occassion are not portrayed

Unknown said...

Sir,
this is M.S.S.V.Prasad your student. you are 100% right. recently I was in Mumbai to visit my neice who works for Sony TV. She told my that there are some specialist wedding photographers who were hired at a very exorbitant fees very cleary state that they would like to take pictures of only special moments and concentrate only on expressions and the mood. they tell who ever is engaging them that they should engage another photographer for covering rest of the wedding like group photos etc. you are perfectly right what is there to see in a wedding album when the joy and happiness of the occassion are not portrayed

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