Click below to see the final installment of Aditi and Mick’s wedding at The Hyatt Hotel in Morristown.
Tag: ‘radhika chalasani’
I met Meg and Drew at the Brooklyn Wedding Crashers event early in the year. They seemed to like my low key approach to weddings and when it came time to start planning their wedding Meg contacted me. They made it very clear that they weren’t into posed photos and “forced groupings”. Though my emphasis is always on catching the natural, candid moments I’m very into doing great portraits as well and I think we had some lovely ones with such a beautiful setting at the Yale Club and Grand Central Station. I’ve shared a couple of them here. I think my favorite moment of the day was Drew serenading Meg at the reception…putting all his time with the Yale Whiffenpoofs to good use. My second favorite was Meg’s dance with her father that they took lessons for. I was told to make sure I had great photos of that moment.
Getting Ready: InterContinental, New York Barclay Hotel
Venue: Yale Club of New York
Portraits: Yale Club and Grand Central Station
Vijay called me two weeks before his daughter Harika’s sari ceremony to photograph the day for his family. I was intrigued since I’m a latecomer to wearing a sari and only did so for the first time a few years ago for my sister’s engagement party (with much help from an aunt). What would we do without the aunties helping to keep up the traditions? For a parent that first time their daughter wears a sari is a big coming of age moment. My favorite photos of the day are of Harika’s mother, Latha, and the aunties helping to dress her for her party. I’m sure Harika probably loved watching the Bollywood-style dancers and having all her friends around her.
I’ve never actually tried to explain what happens in an Indian wedding on this blog since I’ve grown up with them, but whenever I talk to friends who aren’t Indian I realize that many of the rituals could probably use some explanation. Each part of India has slightly different rituals or ways of performing the same rituals which is what makes photographing Indian wedding so interesting.
I remember that at one wedding the non-Indian groomsmen didn’t realize they were supposed to let the bridesmaids steal the groom’s shoes. One groomsman was holding onto them for dear life until a bridesmaid explained he was only supposed to put up token resistance so later on the groom could buy back his shoes from the bridesmaids.
There’s almost always a horse (though sometimes an elephant) with or without a carriage for the bharat. This is a procession of the groom’s family, traditionally, to the bride’s residence. Here it’s often once around the wedding venue and plenty of dancing by the groom’s family. As the photos below show getting put on someone’s shoulders can get a little tricky, but Amil took the whole thing in stride. I’m guessing he was much more comfortable, though, in the horse-drawn carriage.
Aditi and Mick’s wedding was July 4th weekend. They had all the traditional elements of an Indian wedding and managed to have the wedding day reflect their personalities as well. I have countless photos of Aditi, in particular, laughing like crazy so I know they enjoyed the day thoroughly. There were plenty of people to share the happiness with too, with 8 bridesmaids and groomsmen and hundreds of guests. It was a long, long day…15 hours in total and lots of fun.
The couples I’ve worked with probably have a good idea that I’m a bit irreverent about things and like to look for the details that show the humorous and unique things about each wedding along with capturing the beauty and emotions of the day. A few of the photos below are perfect examples of that: Both Aditi and Mick had the same tattoo (below). Aditi came up with the ingenious idea of using suspenders to keep up her very heavy beaded skirt in place, which I thought was a brilliant idea. It’s the first time I’ve seen a plastic bag used to help slide bracelets onto a bride’s arm. And for some reason, I really liked the fact that the garlands were carefully laid to rest on the tv in the bridal suite at the end of the ceremony.
I can’t speak highly enough about the staff at the Hyatt Hotel in Morristown or the wonderful iced tea in the lobby which really helped with the heat!
I also had the pleasure of working with Anoli, her husband, and the rest of their crew from Shaadi Story for the first time. They were great about coordinating the video with my photography. I’m looking forward to seeing their video of the wedding.
Reception: Hyatt Hotel, Morristown, NJ
I’ve been neglecting the blog this summer and my only excuse is that it’s been busy between the weddings, editorial work…and squeezing in as much sailing as I can. I’m trying to make up for it now. I had a favorite photo I wanted to share of Stacey and Adam practicing their first dance at sunset on the roof of the Terminal Stores, a 19th century building in Chelsea housing the loft event space the Xchange, after our portrait session. It was a sweet, quiet time for them (except for my presence of course) just before the Katuba signing and ceremony. What a beautiful night sky.
Wedding & Reception: The Xchange
I posted the multimedia story I photographed for Time Magazine last summer about the great work Remote Area Medical is doing providing free health care across the country to uninsured Americans. Mother Jones recently published some of the photos so I thought I’d share them with you.
Lara and Mike’s wedding December 5th in New York City encountered the first real winter weather of the season which posed a few challenges for the day. Lara’s concession to the wet, slushy weather was to trade her high heels for yellow galoshes for our outdoor portrait session at Lincoln Center. We decided to go ahead with the outdoor shoot despite the ‘interesting’ conditions. What we didn’t count on was a rather eager and unromantic rentacop who decided that my camera looked ‘professional’ therefore I shouldn’t be taking photos without a permit. Never mind that the real police congratulated the couple and just reminded us that as long as we weren’t using a tripod we were ok to do what we liked. I decided that since we had a reception downtown in Greenwich Village in less than 40 minutes that we didn’t have time to try talk to the supervisor and I’d just ignore the security guy and go for the shots we wanted. Lara, Mike, and the bridal party with umbrellas in tow were all game and my assistant managed to keep my flash dry and lighting steady in windy weather in front of the fountain at Lincoln Center. All the while I was trying very hard to ignore the security guy yelling at me to stop taking photos and demanding my business card. We got some great shots very fast and we high-tailed it to the car before he got over his confusion and I got into more serious trouble. By the time we all got into the cars and headed downtown everyone was pretty jazzed by the fun of getting away with doing the photos. It made for a great story at the reception which the best man (Mike’s brother) dutifully told and retold and embellished along the way. I think I won major points with the bridal party for getting the shots as planned. Too bad we didn’t get any photos of the security guard and the whole scene!
The number one lesson I’ve learned in my years as a photojournalist is keep going until you are absolutely forced to stop doing what you need to do to in order to get the photos.