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Ramya and Rohith’s wedding was the best wedding shoot + vacation till date!
These guys just Rock! You’ll know why at the end of this post.
It was a love + arranged marriage. So everbody knew everybody on either side.
They really make a cute couple. Ramya can smile for 24 hrs straight given a chance. Have you heard of ‘Brownian Motion’ in Physics; Yes, that would explain Rohith’s state of restlessness. He is extremely helpful, you would’ve never guessed that he was the bridegroom looking at the way he was running around.
We reached Kochi a day early this time. Wanted to get acquainted with this wonderful city.
Many people ask me, What is that I love about Kochi? Well, the people, the greenery, the smell of rain (heavy down pour), the spirit of entrepreneurship, FOOD, the super wide auto-rickshaws, MG road, FOOD, the beach, beautiful churches, boats, bakeries (falls under food), extremely clean hotels and the language (this is just to make all my Mal friends happy and get me more customers).
We had a new member in our team, his name is Rampulla Reddy. He has worked in many Kannada and Telugu films as a camera man. You can see that style in the footage that he has captured. Learnt a lot from him.
We took the Ernakulam Express, was a pleasant journey; but was a day train, next time I should book the tickets at least 45 days before. Checked into Hotel Excellency; they welcomed us with the same warmth as last time. We freshened up and went out in search of good food for the evening, went to a coffee shop in this sexy hotel called ‘Avenue Regent’ and then went window shopping. We came back to ‘Avenue Regent’ for the dinner buffet. Man! It was awesome! (Except for the live band; had never heard such a version of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful tonight”)
We slept pretty early that day because we were anticipating a lot of things for the next day.
I dropped Pia and Ram at Ramya’s place, where we were received with a big smile from Ramya’s brother. And headed to Rohith’s house. Now, check this out… Rohith lives on an island around 40mins away from the city center. The drive to that place at 6.30am was fantastic. I forced myself not to switch on the camera and instead just enjoyed the view. I can never forget this particular sight; the golden light from the sun rise, 5 boats at a hanger each one of a different colour and their reflections in the water. Yes, some of you might be thinking that would be an awesome shot! I know, I know; sigh!
I was kinda lost, but how lost can you be on an island. Finally Rohith guided the taxi driver and found the place. Was a bit shocked to meet Rohith. When we dropped these guys off at Ramya’s, Ramya told us that she was just getting ready and the beautician had arrived. And this dude is in his t-shirt and jeans! I was like WHA!
Rohith’s family is extremely friendly and his house is beautiful. Very cool with painted stripes on the outside wall (we did something like that in Shwetha’s room). His dad was getting his kurta ready for his son. Rohith got ready in a millisecond and I started off with my job. We took a break in the middle for some yummy breakfast which reminded me of mom’s ‘Akki rotti’.
I don't know why, I just like this photo. I think it's the light, the mood, the wall…
(Count of Rohith’s change of clothes = 2)
Everything was nice until my nemesis turned up. Yup! The cameraman with his assistants and all the heavy artillery. I actually had fun at Rohith’s expense. It was really hilarious watching them make this guy pose.
Here is an illustration of their light setup and my imagination (couldn’t stop laughing and was constantly asked to leave the scene by Rohith; sorry dude).
His mom lit a fancy lamp and had a jug of water right next to it (thought it would be to extinguish the fire). Then there were a few group shots.
I was fascinated to see a big bag full of jasmine flowers tied together. Was wondering what that was for and then there was this ritual of Rohith’s mom giving a piece of it to all the girls/women/ladies in the house. And finally we all started to the hall.
The hall was already packed even before the bride and the groom arrived, that’s something I’ve never seen at a wedding.
Had a rendezvous with the team, quickly changed the lens and were all set.
Pia had taken some fantastic shots of Ramya getting ready using just naturally available ambient light.
There was this line of girls holding a plate with flowers and an oil lamp in the center. They welcomed the groom and accompanied him to the stage and then the bride. Wow! It was extremely graceful.
And then another battalion arrived, this was meaner than the other army. It was seriously like a battlefield. For some reason they were very offended when Rohith’s mom asked us to click a snap of her’s. Well, honestly we didn’t mean any harm. (Om!)
Anyways, instantly they made a wall like the one the Spartans made to battle the Arab army in 300. I felt like Abhimanyu trying to get through that wall.
The wedding lasted for 10 minutes, I think. It must’ve been the shortest wedding ever, I was extremely jealous.
The team was trying its best to defend itself and try to get a sneak peek at the couple. We got some decent shots but none of them were amazing yet. And then while I was scouting around that hall (inside and outside), I saw a fantastic passage perfect for a shoot. I ran down and begged Ramya and Rohith to dedicate 10 minutes for us.
At one point of time there were 14 cameras pointed at them.
Right after the family/group shots, there were three rounds of portrait sessions; was again really funny. We were eagerly waiting for our turn. And Alas! We stole them away and escaped at the speed of light. We got some great shots.
Loved the inscriptions on the wall!
We headed back to Rohith’s house and the house warming ritual was really nice. I couldn’t believe that Ramya had never ever stepped into Rohith’s house before that, though they know each other for so long. Amazing!
(Count of Rohith’s change of clothes = 5)
Ramya had disappeared for a long time to change into the saree that her mom-in-law gave her. In the mean time round #9 of portrait sessions started and my guffawing as well.
Ramya stepped out and was looking wonderful.
Both of them met each other’s family and was followed by dinner (there was fish, mutton and chicken; was smelling so good.), Rohith’s dad had also filled a plate for me just when I saw Rohith in a fresh set of clothes and a big smile.
(Count of Rohith’s change of clothes = 7)
We were going to the beach for a shoot during the sunset. Wow!
The turn of events was super!
Pia, Ram and I were kinda worried, confused and happy at the same time. Worried about what the relatives would think because Ramya just changed into a major outfit, confused because the whole family was suggesting which beach to go to and happy that we were actually going to the beach for a shoot.
Generally we like to surprise the couple and this time it was the other way round. Nice!
Rohith drove us to this section of the beach which was special to both of them. It’s their favourite hangout. Even the drive to that place was so beautiful.
This was the true definition of freedom. Was peaceful and we were free to do whatever we want.
The beach was so beautiful. This is the first time I’ve seen so many sea shells in the sand and the best ever sunset that I’ve witnessed in my life. Now I was jealous that Rohith lives so close to that place. We got some fantastic shots and everybody were thrilled!
Ram had captured some excellent footage. It was like a movie. We went home and connected the camcorder to the 47” Samsung HDTV showed it to everybody. Well, we had to; to explain why we were absconding. The family loved it and asked to play it once more. Also, I think it's the first time they were seeing something in HD. This was the best ‘instant’ feedback we have ever got. Felt great!
[Background score: Nitin Sawhney – Beyond Skin 'Tides']
Click here to watch it in HD.
It was time to go to the bus stand and time to leave this wonderful place. With fantastic memories and fascinating stories to tell.
All I could dream of throughout the ride was the beach scene.
Thanks for the awesome time guys! Looking forward to meeting you again in the near future.
Hope you all enjoy the pictures.
PS. This was just my experience and might have missed out some interesting things that happened at Ramya's place. Continue reading Pia's experience below.
'PLOG' Post – Extended
Out of town weddings are always fun. Travelling to a new destination is exciting, even if I have been there before. New food, smells, languages and weather creates the sense of a mini adventure. I won’t lie, there is some anxiety as well. Getting around in an unfamiliar place can be a pain, especially since auto drivers( and locals in general) can smell a tourist from a mile away.
Ramya and Rohith made us feel so at home that the initial anxiety evaporated in a flash.
We gave ourselves an evening to recover from the long train journey, and I had no trouble waking up at 5 in the morning to get to Ramya’s house. This is my favourite part of the day. I have the bride all to myself(almost) and the morning light is beautiful. Ramya was up earlier than me, ready to start one of the most important days of her life. She was calm and settled in the eye of the storm that was everyone else hurrying to get everything done on time.
The makeup artist was completely unperturbed by the presence of the camera in the room. She worked meticulously and ignored me completely, which made my work so much easier. It was a refreshing change from an earlier wedding where the makeup artist was so uncomfortable with photographs being taken while she was working, that she asked me to wait until she was done.
Ramya found the natural light in almost every photograph without me having to ask her to change her position even once. She was a dream subject.
About 3 hours later, Ramya was done, and you will agree with me when I say that every minute spent was worth it.
The rest of the day was a blur… once the other videographer and photographer arrived, it turned into a bit of a circus with people crowded and cramped around the bride.
Malayalee Hindu weddings are literally 10 minutes long. That’s it! It’s brilliant! While all the other hired traditional photo and video guys were hogging the front row seats, Phalgun and I walked around and took candid photographs of Rohith and Ramya from ‘unconventional’ angles.
We were able to steal the newly married couple away from the chaos for a few minutes and photograph them in a beautiful, slightly grungy corridor Phalgun found while scouting the place out. This was definitely one of the highlights of my day. I LOVE textured backgrounds, and this space was perfect.
The other highlight of my day (as a photographer) was the GORGEOUS green and yellow sari Ramya changed into once she got to Rohith’s family home. She looked SO BEAUTIFUL.
Unfortunately for the sari, the couple had other plans, and it’s time in the centre of attention was cut short. We raced to the beach for a small impromptu outdoor shoot. We were there only for a short while, but I think it was a precious amount of time for Ramya and Rohith, who had not spent even 5 minutes alone (ish) together all day. I’m glad we were able to give them the excuse to get out of the house!
Ramya, you are beautiful, and I wish you and Rohith all the happiness in the world. It was such a pleasure being able to be there on your wedding day. And your cousin even wanted to know how long you and I had known each other, because we were chatting like old friends. This really is the ultimate compliment to me!