Over four years, photographer Subhendu Sen has been shooting various processes that go into creating the perfect Indian wedding. What has emerged from this body of work is an archive of images that move from pre-wedding bridal make-up to the baraat, the stolen moments between rituals and the Saptapadi (seven steps around the holy fire).
These frames are currently on display at Artists’ Centre at Kala Ghoda at the ongoing exhibition, Moods of Wedding. While the wedding photographer has always been a fixture at such events, Sen terms himself a “new age wedding photographer” which implies he stays away from posed images, and believes in capturing spontaneous candid moments, instead.
“It is mostly the younger, Facebook-loving brides and grooms who opt for such photographs. They want people to know the emotions and the behind-the-scenes goings-on at their wedding rather than the impersonal posing for photographs on stage. Usually, post-wedding, couples are tired and in no mood to pose; they are hardly romantic making it the worst time to click photos. While regular wedding photography captures events, we capture the moments that the bride and groom will remember years from now,” he maintains.
Sen admits that there are more couples who prefer candid wedding photography but if parents are calling the shots then they rarely agree for it. “This genre of photography is more expensive than the regular wedding photography so it’s only if the couple are the decision makers do we come into the picture,” he adds.
Sen has shot Bengali, Punjabi, Sindhi and South Indian weddings among others. He finds it tough to select his favourite frames: “I remember shooting a Bengali couple, pre-wedding, where the groom was happy with the shots. He admitted that the timing was right as they were not stressed and could enjoy the moment. Years have passed since that shoot, yet the couple remember the time,” he recalls. Sen hopes to shoot a Catholic wedding as well.
Having worked as a photojournalist for years, Sen admits that it keeps him alert and helps him capture images, spontaneously. During the exhibition, Sen will be conducting live headshot photography for upcoming models, actors and corporate executives. It’s free for all but prior appointment is necessary.