This wedding was one for the books. 18hrs from start-to-finish, and not a dull moment in any sense. This wedding had everything: beauty, emotion, crazy weather, amazing food, and crazy good dancing! This was my first time being hired to photograph a traditional Indian Wedding – something I’ve always really, really wanted to do. The challenge with breaking into this market is that the customs and ceremonies are so entirely different from any other culture, that it’s kind of risky to hire an Indian Wedding “rookie”. Not to mention the scale of Swati and Akhil’s wedding. Somewhere around 450 guests, in two of Ottawa’s most beautiful venues – The Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau.
Thankfully (for me), Swati attended a wedding that I photographed last summer, and she and Akhil liked my work enough that they were interested in hiring me for their wedding…and asked if I had any experience with Indian Weddings. Nope…I wish! My solution? Beg and plead my good friend Ryan Chan to come to Ottawa to shoot it alongside me, since he has photographed Hindu Weddings in the past. You know it’s a good photographer friend when they will keep a prime Saturday free in June (almost a year in advance), drive back-and-forth from Toronto, and sweat it out for 18hrs in June heat…for about 1/4 of the money he could have made shooting a wedding on his own in Toronto that weekend. Let’s just say I owe him one. I never thought that my Chinese friend would end up helping give me “Indian street cred”. Who knew?
Regardless…we both had an amazing time, and I think we got some killer photos!
Congratulations to Swati & Akhil – you are both amazing people, and both of your families are warm & wonderful people. It has been great getting to know you – thanks for believing in me. Here are some of my favorites from the day.
Also, special thanks to Seema Haider, for doing such an incredible job with Swati’s hair and makeup. It doesn’t need to be said, but she looked absolutely stunning all day.
Side note: The photo of Swati peering out of the window of the room at Chateau Laurier is kind of funny. It’s actually a pretty frequently (read:over) done photo, usually staged by the photographer. Interestingly, Swati was genuinely looking outside onto MacKenzie Ave. to see if the Baraat had begun (Akhil arriving by horse amid a huge celebration), when I got this photo.