Wedding season is fast approaching in India. To help you get ready, well in advance we are bringing you an exclusive talk with one of the best wedding photographers in the country. Richa Kashelkar is one of the finest photographers in the wedding genre. She is most famous for capturing emotions and has an amazing eye for detail. Each and every picture she takes, tells a story on its own.While she currently lives in Mumbai, she is always traveling clicking . Read and enjoy!
BV: Tell us a little bit about yourself, What did you do before being a photographer?
Richa: I studied Architecture and worked for about half a year. Almost all of my creative thinking has roots in those years!
BV: How did your love for photography begin? When did you think this is a possible career path?
Richa: I didn’t own a camera until quite recently, but phones started having cameras and that’s when I realised how much fun I had taking pictures. The fact that this could be a possible career path didn’t really strike me; it was a happy accident for me.
BV: What should one know before contacting you? What should be the expectation? (other than the pricing of course)
Richa: It’s wonderful when someone contacts me because they have seen my work and specifically like the style. Apart from that, there’s nothing you really need to know.
BV: A photographer friend once told me “He prefers to capture nature because he is afraid to meet the expectations of the people as they want to look a certain way”. How do you keep up with that? Especially when you are capturing most important day of ones life?
Richa: It’s a trick to know when to shoot and when specifically not to! Also, I am of the firm opinion that everybody is photogenic, if you photograph them right. It also tremendously helps that people look their most stunning selves in weddings!
BV: Have you ever had an unhappy client? How did you deal with them?
Richa: I did, and it was the second wedding I’d ever photographed. I missed a couple of moments and lacked expertise with the camera. It ended with me in tears thinking if I’m even supposed to be doing this. Looking at in retrospect, it was a bit mean on the client’s part because they knew I was an amateur and paid me next to nothing (laughs)
I still try every time to not let that happen again though, and it feel less dreaded wexperience.
BV: When you are doing couple shoots, most people are nervous in front of the camera. They should be comfortable with the photographer before they can pose. How do you make sure your clients are comfortable?
Richa: I was an infamous introvert at one point, to the extent of making people think of me as rude and/or lame, only because I was too shy to talk. Learning to open up and talk to people was one of the biggest personal changes I went through (a lot of credit for this goes to Joseph Radhik for pointing this out and egging me on to do something about it). I say flaw because when you are in such a profession, you need to be able to put people at ease; talk to them about absolutely irrelevant things and just have fun. You also need to be able to empathise with this inherent fear people have of the camera. If you know why and what it is that people fear in it, it is surprisingly easy to trick them into ignoring the camera.
BV: Indian wedding are bold and busy color and theme wise. When you are choosing a decoration/theme should one try and stick to certain things to enhance the picture? Do you usually help picking these?
Richa: If a client asks, I’m more than happy to help out, and I hope more clients start doing that. Photographers have a pretty good idea about what will eventually look good, from shooting so many weddings- like mellow and even lighting, good colour schemes, simplistic backdrops- there’s so much!
BV: what about makeup? Less (or) more ? Do you share your suggestions with makeup artists or bride?
Richa: As a rule, I only comment on the make up when asked for, because I believe it is the make up artist’s area of expertise, or if it is something drastically bad. Almost all the times though, the brides look flawless with whatever make up they do. I think the days of horrendous wedding make up are a thing of the past now.
BV: With so many emerging wedding photographers in the country, what do you think is unique about your photography style? How do you stay authentic to your capturing style?
Richa: It took me quite some time to understand what a personal style is, and if I could ever have one. I still am not experienced enough, but I believe I am inclined towards focusing on people’s emotions and important fragments of time, rather than the glamour of a wedding.
For example, you can say it is a small flaw in me that while shooting portraits, I cannot take a picture, no matter how stunning the frame, if the personalities of the people in it are not shining through. I don’t care that there’s Taj Mahal behind you. I value that picture more where they’re laughing silly. Sure I take pictures of the places, to build a mood in the series, and as a reminder of that day, but I believe that the people who have hired me to document their happiest time only really wish to go back and eat that slice of time once again when they see a picture which has their smiles and stolen glances. Or so it is with most.
BV: Three most favorite captures of yours?
Richa: That was such an unfair and impossible question. Couldn’t put my finger on what my favourites were, but came up with three for you anyway.
Check out Richa Kashelkar’s webpage here to know more about her work
Image Source : Richa Kashelkar
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