Since your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, you need to ensure you have the perfect photographer to capture every special moment. Specialising in Indian weddings, the dynamic duo, Hema and Mitesh from Designer Photo took a moment out of their busy schedule to give us a little information about what it’s like being behind the camera and a few tips for soon-to-be wed couples when looking for the right photographer.
What drew you to wedding photography?
We didn’t plan to be wedding photographers, but after shooting a family member’s wedding, we realised we loved the rituals, emotions and the colours of weddings.
Are you self-taught or did you take a course or two for photography? Where did you study?
I’m a qualified graphic designer and photography was part of my course; I completed a four-year course in visual communication at the University of Johannesburg. Mitesh is self-taught and has found a passion for preserving moments.
Tell us about your camera – all the specs and details. Why this specific camera?
We started out shooting our first wedding on a Nikon D40, which back then was an entry-level camera but we still managed to get some amazing images for our couples. Since then we have upgraded twice, from Nikon D300s to Nikon D800. Our first lens was a 50mm 1.4 which, to this day, is still one of our favourites. We’ve also invested in most of the prime lenses Nikon has in its range: 24-70mm, 70-200mm 85mm and 105mm macro lens.
A new addition to our bag is the Sony A7 R ii; we love its digital view finder, excellent image quality and great low light capability. We adore the vibrant colours and sharp images these brands offer us.
What would you say is your ‘signature shot’?
Our signature Designer Photo shot would have to be our ‘couples shoot’ in the most beautiful locations.
What has been one of the biggest highlights of your career and what do you enjoy most about being a wedding photographer?
The biggest highlights of our career would be when we were both selected as the “Top 20 Photographers in Africa” by Admired in Africa (a website dedicated to the leaders in image and filmmaking in Africa) and being interviewed by The Hindu Bridal Mantra, an international publication. We love being able to create memories and preserve moments that couples will cherish and look back on for years to come.
Where is/are the most beautiful place/s you’ve photographed for a wedding?
Some of the most beautiful locations we’ve shot at would be the longtail boats on beaches in Thailand, streets of India, spring blossoms in Franschhoek, Table Mountain in Cape Town and shooting on the edge of the Victoria Falls.
What five shots should every bride have done on her special day?
- An amazing bridal portrait that showcases the bride’s style.
- A family photo to preserve a moment in time with those nearest and dearest.
- An in-the-moment couple’s photo.
- Dance floor, decor, gown, groom portrait.
- Rings (just in case they get lost).
Who is your inspiration when it comes to photography?
As wedding photographers, we try not to follow a lot of wedding photography. So, we find our inspiration from various other types of photography like travel, landscape, fashion and street photography. We also draw inspiration from our couples and their unique stories. We love finding out who the person in front of our camera is before we photograph them.
Do you have any tips and words of advice for aspiring photographers?
Find your unique style as a photographer and you will start getting the type of client who values your particular style and the look of your images.
Any advice to soon-to-be-wed couples when it comes to their wedding photos/finding a photographer?
Choose a photographer that you are comfortable with and one whose work already reflects your style and personality. Remember that your wedding photography and cinematography will be the only thing you have left after the day has passed, so it might be a bad idea to choose the cheapest company.
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