Everyone dreams about having a beautiful wedding. Especially when you see any of those Christian weddings as shown on TV (or watch my wife’s favourite movie ‘Father of the Bride’).
When you think of a Christian wedding, I bet you would typically visualise these – pretty flowers all over the place, a pretty bride, flower girls dressed in matching dresses in pink and white, the bridesmaid also dressed in a similar fashion, the groom in a neat black suit, a priest in a fancy outfit, a lot of happy people, chaos and confusion. Well, Remya’s wedding had all of the above!
Our team, comprising of Pia – The main photographer, Viswanath – The first time wedding videographer but with 15 years of experience shooting documentaries for NGOs, Giri – A lighting assistant who typically worked with film directors, Shwetha – My wife, just there for support since it was our first wedding shoot and myself; left Bangalore at 7.30am on Sunday 22nd Aug in a Toyota Qualis which arrived 2 hrs late but with a fantastic driver. We had a lot of fun during the journey, stopping at these Reliance sponsored hotels on the highway, crossing two borders, estimating and re-estimating our arrival time based on the average speed, getting stuck in a huge traffic jam 60kms from Kochi (after which we ditched our estimating logic all together), all that anxiety of reaching Kochi at least by 5.00pm.
We reached the venue for Remya’s evening function with James Bond timing. When we finally reached Cochin, we were just in time for shooting the occasion. Imagine us in our travel specific clothing and 12hrs of travel fatigue.
We entered the IMA house and we saw Remya’s eldest brother, Roney waiting for us outside, with a smiling face, probably happy to see us after Remya telling him so much about us. It completely wiped out the fatigue in us and we were all set with the equipment for shooting the occasion.
By that time, we already had fallen in love with Kochi.
We ran into the hall to see a person dressed in a beautiful red saree with a ‘HUH!’ look on the face; we said ‘HELLO’ and she said ‘WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?!’
From a creative perspective we had planned a few things, here is an overview; for photography we had a camera with a portrait lens and another with a zoom lens, that way we don’t miss any moment or expression, as much as possible we used the available light and wherever required we used a bounce flash gun. For the lighting, Viswanath had a particular setup in mind for which we had to rent the lighting equipment which is typically used while shooting movies, aptly called ‘CineLights’. This lighting setup was a bit complex, one light with a blue filter, the other with a yellow filter, which combined to give the same light characteristics as day light. I LOVED IT!
Honestly, we didn’t expect the evening function to be so grand. We had a lot of fun shooting, esp. with her family singing songs in Malayalam to Remya, with the funny speeches and the best part of it all, the family photos. Relatives of Remya and the million cousins of Remya’s were running around posing for the group shots like they would never get that chance again once Remya got married.
Here is a small clip taken by Shwetha, was really funny to look at Shwetha with the professional camera, coz she was looking like she was holding a missile launcher.
The function got over at 10.30pm and we checked into our hotel for the night. Fully recommend ‘Hotel Excellency’ near Jos Junction. It’s supposedly a 2 star hotel but we thought it was fit to be a 3 star at least.
Pia was going to capture a few candid shots of Remya getting ready at the parlour at 5.30am in the morning, yup at 5.30am. My task was to put all the batteries to charge and make the backup of the photos on to my laptop before I slept and it was 2.30am when I finally slept. Got to sleep for just 3 hrs since Pia wanted the fully charged camera with a fully empty memory card. And after that all I was doing was planning the shots that I would take during the wedding.
We had an awesome breakfast at the hotel, have never seen an egg omelette that big! Yummmm!
We reached Remya’s house just in time to shoot a very happy bride and took over from Pia who was with her all that while. She was not at all dressed like the typical mallus I’ve seen, she had very little make up, not too much of jewellery (GOLD) and was wearing a very simple saree. But had a nice white orchid on the side, which both me and Shwetha loved a lot. While we were taking the pictures, Viswanath would go into ‘Stealth’ mode capturing all the candid moments.
We got some nice shots of Remya and her family and within no time were set to leave to the church.
Remya has a very nice family with two loving brothers, adorable nieces and a nephew, wonderful parents and millions of friendly cousins, who would be missing Remya badly starting today.
We reached the church St. Gregorios Orthodox Church, nestled in this cozy place in Vytilla. Remya had told me that her wedding ceremony would be carried out by a Bishop and not a priest. And warned us of the ‘Dos and Donts’ inside the church, sadly my plans of shooting pictures hanging from the cross in the altar had to be dropped.
The Bride and Groom arrived at the church in super sexy sedans, which I’m still jealous of Pia for going in them accompanying Remya everywhere. We had met Dheeraj before, he is a super dude, esp. because he is into animation and stuff. Check his Facebook profile and you can see that he is super creative and was the lead guitarist of a popular rock band called ‘Swarathma’.
We checked out the whole place and quickly planned what we needed, what shots we can take and suddenly our excitement was shot down by the wedding photographer and videographer from the groom’s side. They were setting up these bright flood lights all over the place which then overrode the warnings from Remya in my mind. We decided to go with the flow and try to do our best capturing Remya’s wedding.
Both the bride and the groom got off their sedans and got ready to enter the church. All this was mighty planned. Our team took their positions and camera triggers went off!
The introduction to the bishop was in pure Hollywood style. Imagine this, all you could see till then at the altar was a red curtain with a huge cross in the middle. And that curtain slid off to reveal a beautiful altar with the Bishop facing a huge cross in front of him. All we could see was the back of his fancy red hooded dress, which had a big white dove and a cute sheep at the bottom.
The bishop became our subject by default. All of us started capturing every bit of his dress, his staff with a serpant mouth, his big locket with a picture of Jesus Christ and the fancy golden cross with fancy gems studded on it that he was waving like a magic wand.
The groom and bride walked the aisle and stood put in front of the holy men (for the next 1 hour), the church choir started singing the songs and then the prayers started. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole ceremony.
Because of the flood lights (I still don’t know why that photographer and videographer needed them) Remya’s face was always covered in shadow. Me and Pia would wait for Dheeraj to swing back to get a clear shot of Remya, it was honestly like waiting for the frog to leap off the leaf.
We got some great shots and as usual Viswanath was in Stealth mode so we would see him Swoosh by time to time.
Remya and Dheeraj looked great and it was very easy to capture good shots.
In the mean time, my friends Jithin and Nibesh had arrived dressed like twin brothers for some reason. So was showing off my team and my equipment to them. At this time Shwetha was happily standing with the guys on the guys side of the church.
We started checking off the shots from our checklist which comprised of shots of Remya, Dheeraj, profile shots of Remya, creative shots of Remya, Remya, Remya and more Remya, the Bishop putting the rings and shots of Dheeraj while tying the Thali. At the same time the wedding ceremony also ended and the chatter between the couples just started.
Now, Remya was Mrs. Remya D and probably need Dheeraj’s permission to take Remya’s portraits in the future.
Special Note: The food at the reception was just AWESOME!!!
Hope to have a casual outdoor shoot of the couple sometime this month. Sure would be fun.
Thank you Remya for choosing us to capture your perfect wedding!
Hope you enjoy the photos.
A sneak peek at some photos of the beautiful bride and friend, Remya!
We had an awesome time shooting! Loved Kochi!
Lot more photos to come!
This is our favorite photo from the wedding shoot.