KARACHI: When 31-year-old Uzma married Atif, 34, five years ago, “it was a big day and not just another day when you don’t feel like posing in front of the camera.” The couple posed for photographs “to give a personal feeling of warmth and affection that could be captured by a camera”
As far as Hareem is concerned, when she married Zulfiqar, who works in the insurance business, three years ago, she did pose for photographs, “because one can’t do without it.”
“The wedding portraits must give a mutual feeling of affection between couples,” she says. “But I have seen couples who act out as ‘desperados’ and that looks really cheap.”
Wedding photography has evolved over the years and couples tend to view portfolios of photographers before deciding on one who will capture images of their big day.
According to photographer Kohi Marri, “It is difficult to say what couples look for in bridal photography. It’s subjective and so different for everyone. Simply put, it is a few memorable portraits for their family and themselves and key moments of the event, the location and certain people.”
Marri says people have not really moved away from basic portraits to mood photography. “There are still hundreds of thousands of people who want and like basic photography. Wedding photography is still a niche with only a few photographers and few clients. People still don’t really know what they’re getting. They do know that it is slightly different, but they most likely have little understanding of how different it is. Wedding photography is just beginning to grow and has yet to find a strong footing for itself along with photographers who provide the service.”
However photographer Ali Khurshid believes that trends are changing. “Couples want a natural look to their wedding portraits and most of them don’t want poses with artificial landscapes as the background.” Khurshid, says his photographs bear a cinematic appeal because, “There has been a move from portraits to mood photography since couples are inspired by movies.”
Amean J says most of his clientele comments on how “cheesy and posed wedding portraits generally look.”
“They come to me for my simple natural expressions and spontaneity while capturing happy moments on their special day. Couples who come to my studio want elegant lighting.”
But does the change in trends also lead to outlandish requests?
Kohi Marri says, “There aren’t any outlandish requests that I can recall. The only thing I can think of is when people want to be in the spotlight for a week or even a month. It makes me wonder what happens when the attention fades and how pedestrian the rest of life may seem after such a hyperactive experience.”
Amean J says, “Some couples really want to have fun at the shoot, they jump in the air in their ghararas and sherwanis and do all sorts of fun things. Such couples are the most fun to shoot and results are also playful.”
Ali Khurshid says he made a request of his own once – “A wedding portrait at the Wazir Khan mosque in Lahore, with the couple draped in white outfits!”
Looking good in wedding photographs
“Couples have to have a good posture and be comfortable in their own skin. No matter how they feel or how they think they look, if they enjoy themselves, it will show up in the pictures.” – Kohi Marri
“I highly recommend wearing clothes and make-up that you can carry off. Brides with heavy dupattas are in pain and it shows in the photos. Fake eye lashes are not normal either; wear outfits that are elegant yet practical to move around.” – Amean J
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2010.