Indian Wedding Photographers Pick Their Favourite Bride Portraits From 2017 - The Grey Alley

Man, weddings are a tiring affair, and we can get you twenty wedding photographers to justify this statement. If you agree with this affirmation then you are aware that marriages in India are an affair that has a personality of its own—a place where people don’t just eat and drink, but connect with relatives, gossip, dance, get drunk, cry, complain, and that’s just the icing! Why do you think most Indian films are centred in-and-around weddings?

But, for us, the two things that stand out at any wedding are the food and the pictures. Who doesn’t love a great spread and memorable pictures to seal the moment—especially the one that features the bride, because, let’s be honest—it’s her big day.

On that note, we look at portraits of brides by wedding photographers in India, (in no particular order), who tell us more about why these pictures are their favourite.

Mark Swaroop

“Priyanka and Hashim’s wedding was such a treat and honour to shoot because Hashim is an outstanding photographer himself and Priyanka is a senior fashion editor at Vogue. So the things they have shot and been part of have been legendary. This was captured in the midst of some nervous energy, but that all changed once she stepped on the mantap to see her groom. I am a big fan of those moments where there is that wonderful shift in energy,” states Swaroop.

Follow his work here.

Claude Loren

“The bride’s family had visited India after 50 years of living in the UK. So they decided to get married in India as their roots beckoned for an Indian wedding, which made it as ethnic as it can get. It was an intimate wedding and the family was absolutely wonderful, especially the bride. She was calm, beautiful, elegant and most of all a really nice person to work with. It was a treat shooting her and the wedding; hence this is my favourite bridal portrait of 2017,” pinpoints Loren with a smile.

Follow his work here.

Dhanika Choksi

“So picking a favourite is not easy, but this one is special because I had envisioned shooting a Sabyasachi bride, where the bride wore the dress and not the other way around. I wanted my bride and her personality to shine brighter than her designer lehenga and I think I achieved that with this image (smiles). Shanaya was in fact featured on the popular television show Band Baaja Bride too, and she got some beautiful picture of herself there as well, but those were about how the designer saw his bride, while this photograph is about who Shanaya is,” enthuses Choksi with a smile.

Follow her work here.

Monali Mahedia

“Hetvi’s wedding was on a cool, winter afternoon in Ahmedabad. Her energy levels and infectious smile never flagged through the day, making her a photographer’s dream. She was up for as many photos as I wanted, but this is one of my favourites precisely because it was unrehearsed and caught her in an honest, unguarded moment,” remembers Mahedia.

Follow her work here.

Shreya Sen

“This portrait is from one of my favourite weddings shot in Jaisalmer. The bride is a poet and a writer. She was extremely classy and graceful. I knew from the time I met her, I would want to photograph her in a way that almost looks like a painting. In a way that not only captures her elegance but this sense of calm and poise, she carried herself with. I remember entering her room when she was getting ready, she was sitting by the mirror and she was playing this raga by Lakshmi Shankar called Khyal: Raga Dhani and that image just stuck in my head and I hoped I could create a portrait that carried that sense of serenity that room was filled with,” recollects Sen.

Follow her work here.

Praerna and Arjun Kartha

“This has to be one of our favourite portraits from this year. When we shot Nandini’s engagement way back in the summer, things were inevitably delayed, and we only had 30 seconds for her portraits. We both swore that when the wedding came around, she would put her foot down and make the time! And boy, did she! However, as fate would have it the heavens opened up during her winter wedding in Delhi, and it was grey, cold and smoggy outside. All the brilliant ideas we had for her portraits in the lovely farmhouse she was getting married in went down the drain and we had all the time in the world to kill, stuck in her hotel room. We knew we had to pull off something special for her, so we dug into our bag of tricks, and this is what we came up with,” the duo highlights.

Follow their work here.

Sneha Kar

“This photograph is from Monisha and Karthik’s wedding in Bangalore. Two college sweethearts decided to tie the knot and the energy was palpable and the sweet innocence of exuberant youth was all-encompassing, and she wore an honest smile. I particularly like the mood of this photograph,” says Kar.

Follow her work here.

Elvin Jacob

“Indian weddings are tiring affairs, especially for the couple. Things like zero sleep and hundreds of family/friends to greet don’t make things easy for the bride and groom. Svana and Santosh got married over three days of non-stop celebrations. Despite being supremely tired, her face lit up every single time she saw a guest. Guess the happiness within her overpowered the fatigue outside,” reflects Jacob.

Follow his work here.

Manan Upadhyaya

“This picture is from a small affair shot on a cold winter’s day at Corbett, Uttarakhand. This is a wedding close to my heart as it was the first wedding I have shot of someone from my hometown Ranikhet.  The beautiful Aakriti is my favourite, as she pulled off the role of a bride with full life and energy.  What made this wedding more special for us was the love and respect that this family showered on us,” elaborates Upadhyaya.

Follow his work here.

Raj RJ

“This was shot in Udaipur’s, Chunda Palace. The beautiful light and the gorgeous bride Mrugesha helped me get this. Indian weddings are all about chaos, but I love how calm Mru looks here,” Raj points out.

Follow his work here.

Vaijayanti Varma

“I first met Twinkle about seven years ago; we studied in the same college. That is also where she met her husband Rishabh. Over the years, I have shot her sister’s wedding and a few other events for their family, it was almost like I was part of their family by this time and that’s why this one is so special to me. This portrait was clicked just before she walked down the aisle and what I love about it is that twinkle (pun intended) and the almost palpable excitement in her eyes. Twinkle has always been one of the sweetest, most gentle people I’ve known and truly made one of the most graceful brides I have had the pleasure of shooting,” confirms Varma.

Follow her work here.

Roma Ganesh

“Megha Kapoor isn’t just one of my most beautiful brides, but also one of my closest friends for the past 15 years. Her royal seven-day wedding was absolutely breathtaking and extremely personal. Her hair and makeup were done by Anurita Chandrappa (another close friend of Roma) who gave her seven extremely unique and different looks which not only made my work a whole lot easier but also made me enjoy shooting every minute of it,” establishes Ganesh.

Follow her work here.

Manvi Gandotra

“I love this image on so many levels—the way the gorgeous bride leads the eye through the frame, the beautiful muted light that’s falling on her and of course the fact that she is wearing her great grandmother’s jewellery. All translates into what I picked as my most memorable bridal portrait of 2017,” Gandotra nods.

Follow her work here.

Chetana Bhat

“This was a destination intimate wedding for the couple in Goa. Since the rituals were done in a Gurudwara, the bride was up and ready early in the morning. Generally, we barely get time to do bridals; here I had a good 45 minutes before we could rush. The light was just perfect and the bride has so much poise and was photogenic. Further, the good thing was that she was herself, and I kept snapping,” illustrates Bhat was a faint smile.

Follow her work here.

Radhika Pandit

“Priya wanted to win the Miss Universe pageant when she was young, but the universe had other plans for her. Regardless, she got to be one, and get a photo shoot like one. This image is taken one year after she got married. Unfortunately, Priya didn’t get time to take good pictures on her wedding day and hence she decided to relive her wedding day once again just to build fond memories for the future. It’s my favourite image because of the overall feel this image gives. Priya looks calm and content too,” voices Pandit.

Follow her work here.

Anjlika Shekhar

“A bride on her wedding day puts up her best attire, jewellery, shoes, and smile but there is one piece of jewellery without which the Bride looks incomplete and that the Naath or the nose ring. Playing with lights and shadows have always been my favourite thing and creating this look with the bride made it much closer to my heart,” clarifies Shekhar.

Follow her work here.

Sandeep Mohan And Nitin Dangwal

“Nutan got ready ahead of time and we were just waiting for the baraat to join the party. We were having conversations and taking photographs. The light through the window looked absolutely beautiful so we decided to create few images there. This one represented the mood, and the scene pretty well,” the duo tells us.

Follow their work here.

Atul Pratap Chauhan

“This image was shot in Udaipur. This is my favourite for a simple reason that it’s not a pose, the bride was actually waiting for her sister and looking out for her,” speaks Chauhan.

Follow his work here.

Mahima Bhatia

“I’ve done stunning bridal portraits over the years, but this one is absolutely unique and special in my opinion. This was on the morning of the wedding right after the haldi ceremony ended. A friend and a neighbour of Neha’s, I instantly felt that she would want to remember the room that she grew up in after she moved out. So we decided to immortalise it in all its messy glory,” Bhatia retrospects.

Follow her work here.

Sowmya Mense

“This is surely one of our favourite bride pictures from 2017. I would describe her as a shy and classy bride and she looked elegant on her big day. The happiness of getting married to her best friend was evident in her eyes. We had little time before the family headed to church, so we took this beautiful portrait with a stunning lotus bouquet that she was carrying. I think, her sparkling eyes says it all,” states Mense.

Follow her work here.

Nishant Ratnakar

Is serendipity my best friend?

“Not every wedding in India is a destination wedding. We still have a chunk of weddings taking place in conventional wedding halls and sometimes some of the wedding events are held at the couples’ home. Making a wedding portrait or capturing a storytelling moment would be to make the best use of the location context. As a photographer, you don’t get a fairytale venue at every wedding. Instead, the responsibility of being trusted by the couple means that you try to make the best possible photographs out of their wedding,” ideates Ratnakar.

Adding, “This portrait was captured at a wedding event that was held at the bride’s home. I was returning back to this house as I had already photographed the bride’s sister’s wedding couple of years ago. While the bride was getting ready, I strolled to their indoor balcony overlooking the living room where the event was held. I was shooting in an eco-system where there were other photographers and videographers working independently. As I focused the camera down from the balcony, the bride stepped out from her room. I guess she was searching for her preferred photographer—me—amidst the sea of cameras in the living room. Then she suddenly looked up and spotted me. In that decisive moment, this portrait was made. No second takes!”

Indeed, serendipity is my best friend!

Follow his work here.

Lucky Malhotra

“The longer you have to wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it finally arrives. The harder you have to fight for something, the more priceless it will become once you achieve it. And the more pain you have to endure on your journey, the sweeter the arrival at your destination. All good things are worth waiting for and worth fighting for.”

“The above quote frames the story behind this moment. This moment happened after the shoot came to an end and Vinitha the bride was at ease,” utters Malhotra.

“Meanwhile, I was packing my stuff and I noticed her patting the cat, I was like, “Oh fuck, I will kill myself if I miss this shot.” I frantically tried to grab one of my cameras lying somewhere and to my bad luck it had the lens which I did not want to use, but somehow I grabbed the lens I wanted. It was like loading a magazine in the pistol and firing before I lose the target/moment. It was my luck that I managed to capture this.”

Adding, “This was one of the best experiences I had shooting her pictures as she looked like a little girl enjoying her time and it’s all about having a good time, right?”

“Further, I had a deal with them that they would see these pictures only on their wedding day; I don’t like giving away things so easily. It’s fun to tease loved ones, and I am good at it (laughs).”

Follow his work here.

Manie Bhatia

“The image is my favourite because I like the play of light in this. In a small cubicle type of a room, it was a challenge to shoot a portrait which does justice to my beautiful Russian bride, Julie. So I used a snoot to throw the light just in the face, keeping the beauty and ambience of this heritage room of Chomu Palace intact,” summons Bhatia.

Follow his work here.

Sudha Chandani and Mukesh Khatri

“When we were clicking this picture, all the bridesmaids surrounded us and started demanding us to show what we had shot and after seeing the picture on the LCD screen, they all screamed in a single voice ‘Woooooow.’ (Sudha laughs). It made the ambience lighter and fun for all,” the duo cites.

Follow their work here.

Pooja Joseph

“I would any day choose a candid photograph over a posed photograph; hence this would be my favourite bridal portrait from the past year. I wanted to get a picture of her twirling, but I wasn’t getting the perfect shot, till a few friends came over to speak to her, and while she was speaking to them as she twirled, this happened (smiles). Sometimes it helps to have people around whom the bride is comfortable with while clicking portraits, it helps put them at ease if they’re not comfortable posing, and you end up getting a candid image filled with emotion instead of a posed bridal portrait,” ends Joseph.

Follow her work here.

Anupa Shah

“This Jordanian beauty married her American beau in India where the groom’s roots lie. She was apprehensive while preparing for the wedding in a country she was visiting for the first time, where traditions and even the dress she wore was so new to her. But as soon as her wedding day arrived, I saw her blend effortlessly into all things Indian. This portrait signifies her transformation to a beautiful Indian bride. Their intimate wedding and her vivacious personality make this my favourite portrait of 2017,” reckons Shah.

Follow her work here.


What do you think of these portraits? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


You might also like: Indian Wedding Photographers Pick Their Favourite Bride Portraits From 2016


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