Where are you based and do you travel for weddings? How long have you been in business?
I am based just outside New York City in Jersey City, NJ. I do a lot of portrait sessions in my neighborhood which has a lot of charm and is a popular spot because of its unobstructed waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline.
I travel both domestically and internationally for weddings. I've been shooting professionally for over 10 years.When did you shoot your first Indian wedding? Describe the experience.
My first Indian wedding was in 2004. I was nervous, but preparation helped make it a success. I knew what to expect because I worked closely with the bride and groom who were very helpful in answering my questions and providing information on the meaning of the ceremonies. The wedding itself was a beautiful ritual of colors and exchanges and the reception was one of the best dance parties I had ever attended.
Because the duration of weddings can last up to five days, the physical demands on the Indian wedding photographer are great. I maintain a healthy lifestyle so I can be “on” for the duration of the events. In the end, I had a great time and the family loved the photos. This was my first chapter, of many, as an Indian Wedding PhotographerHow many Indian weddings have you covered since then?
I have covered almost 100 Indian weddings and functions consisting of the many geographic cultures of India since 2004.Describe a memorable South Asian wedding that you covered.
I'd have to say that all of the Indian weddings I shoot are memorable. The hospitality I experience is remarkably warm and sincere. I am treated like a family member who is an intricate part of this very special time in the family’s life, rather than a vendor in passing.
The most memorable South Asian wedding I have covered was also one of the most elegant and beautiful in terms of the venue and decorations. It was a home wedding, with property large enough to accommodate more than 500 guests from around the world. A tent was erected on the front lawn of the estate for the Sangeet and Reception. There was a Gazebo made of marble which is where the ceremonies and Pooja took place. Because of the layout of the house and grounds, my assistant and I were able to get rare and dramatic angles of the ceremony and events that made our coverage extremely unique.Describe your photographic style.
My style can be described as fluid. I never stop, intrude upon, or color the days' events with my presence... with a few exceptions (I sometimes have to turn what appear to be walk-a-thons into lively Baraats by showing the crowd my Bhangra skills!) My main goal when shooting any wedding is for the bride, groom, their friends and family to forget that I am there... this allows them to get caught up in true emotion. It is in these fractions of a second that I work to fluidly weave together their many laughs and tears... this is what I do best.What advice would you offer Indian couples to ensure they get the best photographic coverage of their wedding?
1. When visiting studios, make sure the work they show you is the work of the photographer who they assign to shoot your wedding There are so many couples who come in and tell me that someone else showed up and the work didn't meet their expectations.
2. Meet the photographer personally to ensure your personalities are compatible and that s/he understands your needs. Don't forget that this person has to work with your family and friends for about 15-18 hours on your wedding day. Bad memories will last as long as (and maybe longer than) the good ones.
3. Find someone experienced in shooting Indian weddings (having Raj Uncle shoot your wedding may be cheap but usually not worth it in the end).
4. Think about the pictures you are going to want to keep for a lifetime. Do you really want your photographer to spend precious time on table pictures?Why should an Indian couple hire you for their wedding?
I bring a unique way of capturing weddings because my style combines artistic vision with technical expertise, such as consistency in various lighting situations. As a non-Indian wedding photographer, the biggest concern I get from parents is that I am not Indian. After they leave my office, they are confident that I will be able to capture the wedding beautifully because I understand the customs and very intricate parts of the ceremonies. Equally important is the fact that I am respectful to the guests and give 110% the entire day.Most importantly, how good are your bhangra skills?
My wife is Indian and we had a Hindu wedding with one of the longest Baraats I've seen, and I danced the entire time. I attended many a Bhangra nights to develop my skills as a precondition to getting a "yes."
For more information, visit Damion Edwards' website