Prash Photography is a team of passionate wedding photojournalists. Prashin Thakker and his business partner Darshan travel around the world to document their client’s weddings, this results in a set of stunning photographs for the bride and groom to cherish for the rest of their lives. Team Prash Photography like to push the boundaries of wedding photography. They capture memorable moments with great expertise and take risks to get that perfect shot. We sat down with Prash to learn more about his profession and his passion for photography. A must read interview!
How did you get into the wedding photography business?
It all started at my cousins wedding, where I had the odd combination of a standard budget Canon 500D camera with a top end flash! That experience then led to me and my business partner Darshan in enrolling and participating in a 5 month photography course at a college, thus resulting in the birth of our business.
Who inspires you on a creative level?
One of the best photographers out there at the moment I believe is a man named Jerry Ghionis, he is someone I have always idolized and I respect what he has achieved. He is constantly pushing creative boundaries, and has always believed in trying to manipulate natural lighting wherever possible, whether he’s shooting in direct sunlight or finding those hidden pockets of light.
Could you tell us more about the entire process of shooting a wedding? How do you set it up?
The process that we follow with the clients can be quite vigorous, starting from the enquiry to the booking stage. Usually we get our enquiries via the website or through the best form of marketing: word of mouth! We ask clients to supply a little more information first, then once we confirm availability they can come and meet us for a one-on-one in depth consultation. This personal meeting is important for us as it gives us a chance to meet the clients face to face, and it allows them to understand what our work is about and the style of shooting we offer. At this stage we also go through a proposal of where I pitch different pricing structures, concepts and requirements and if all goes well, a contract is then drawn up and the dates diarized.
There are different approaches to shoot weddings, what is your advice and preference when it comes to:
– Candid shots or pre-determined poses?
Some people say that you should never interrupt a scene and that you should always let it develop naturally, and that that is the true documentative style of photography, which in the industry we refer to as ‘photojournalism’. However for example we’ve done shots where we’ve told the bride first thing in the morning whilst she’s getting ready, ‘Alright so you sit here, you’re going to have your eyes closed as the make-up artist has told you to do so’, and at the same time we have pre-empted the fact that her parents are going to be nearby, and that on cue they’re going to come in and give her a kiss on both of her cheeks whilst her eyes are still closed. If we had not set that particular scene or shot up, then the bride may not have had that beautiful memory captured, so I feel if you don’t use an element of pre-determination in some of your shots you can lose out on wonderful yet integral moments.
I feel if you don’t use an element of pre-determination in some of your shots you can lose out on wonderful yet integral moments
– Studio or on location?
I’ve always found using a particular location is far better than a studio shoot as you’re able to exploit and use beautiful landscapes as the source of your inspiration. Therefore this can make each shoot unique for every couple.
Who comes up with the concept and/or theme for a pre-wedding shoot?
In some cases the clients already have an idea of a location in mind, one that may have a special meaning in their relationship. If not however, then we will always inspire them with ideas or locations that we have in mind.
Could you give an example of a (pre-) wedding shoot you’ve done and tell us how you came up with this idea?
My favorite would have to be a pre-wedding shoot which we did with a client at Dover Castle. In fact it was an idea that came from both the groom and I, and from the offset we had mutually agreed that we wanted to do something quite unique for them rather than the cliché central London type shoot. Me and Darshan had never actually been there, nor had the bride and groom, but we just ventured out at 9am one morning and didn’t end up coming back till 10pm that night! So intuitively we shot and it resulted in some of the best pre wedding shots we’ve ever done.
Darshan and myself had never actually been there (Dover Castle), nor had the bride and groom, but we just ventured out at 9am one morning and didn’t end up coming back till 10pm that night
What are the key moments for a photographer to pay attention to during a wedding and reception?
Main aspects of the wedding ceremony is always very important to capture, as well as the bride and grooms interaction with each other, parent’s reactions, speeches, guests and mingling between family and friends.
What is your favorite wedding photo moment?
To be really honest it’s quite hard to come up with a specific moment in a wedding ceremony that is more important than any others when it comes to capturing them, however I do have a favorite moment out of all the weddings I have done so far. It was for a clients’ wedding last year that occurred during late autumn. It was dark, raining quite heavily and it was near the end of the whole ceremony, and normally, at any sign of rain, we would usually think twice about taking all our camera crew outdoors to document the final departure shots. However, on this particular occasion, I’m not sure what possessed me, but with the bride in this particular case being the youngest out of five daughters, we all knew that it was bound to be a very emotional send off, so we discerned that we were going to get some amazing imagery of her and her parents. So I went outside into the drive when the couple sat in their Rolls Royce wedding car, and I caught the scene of the bride’s mother’s hand clinging onto that of her daughters. It was a blurry shot and I almost deleted it whilst going through the photos on camera at the time, but when I got back and looked at it on screen I realized how evocative a moment it was; a mother saying goodbye to her daughter, and the bride clinging on, almost in a gesture that said she would never be able to leave. I feel the shot speaks a thousand words.
A mother saying goodbye to her daughter, and the bride clinging on, almost in a gesture that said she would never be able to leave. I feel the shot speaks a thousand words
You shoot weddings in the UK and abroad, is shooting abroad a different challenge?
Absolutely, and we have done quite a few ranging from weddings in Goa, Bali, Mumbai, Uganda and registries in Europe. It comes with great satisfaction itself, but of course it can be both mentally and physically exerting. Travelling itself is one of the big factors in the exhaustion we experience in what usually are quite time pressured shoots. It’s great for our portfolios and the experience we gain from these trips is immeasurable as we get to see the world and meet different people. Another point are the legal issues one can face when photographing on historical or government protected sites, many couples fail to realize that there are existing restrictions, most of which can only be overcome by prior application of consent for us to use the site, and abroad this can lead to issues especially if there are language barriers.
What is the perfect location to shoot a wedding at in your opinion?
There are a lot of factors that can make a great wedding location, the most obvious being the grounds that are incorporated on site, however we’ve taken some beautiful shots in the worst of locations, so I think it is really all about how well you can make use of what you’re given. Weather and time are also integral aspects, so are the bride and groom. For example we may be in a mesmeric location and all we want to do is to spend the whole day with the couple; however their focus may not be on their portraits but actually with spending time with their guests, so you also need the right client at the right location.
Having shot many weddings, how do you envision your own wedding? What would your own preferences be when it comes to location and photography moments?
I feel that a destination wedding would be the route I would most love to go down, and after documenting a handful that have been situated on a beach or a resort, it would be a dream come true if I can emulate something like this but with my own added twist.
And considering photography moments, I feel that the way the team and I shoot for current weddings, would be exactly how I want my own wedding to be captured. Essentially, I feel the photography and cinematography team I would hire, are artists in their own right. They would be present from all the pre-events right through to the big day itself, immortalizing moments of joy and sorrow alike, but ultimately? They will paint history for my wife and myself so that we can leave a legacy for our future generation.
Could you tell us something about the projects you are working on at this moment?
Yes a very exciting period ahead for us! We are actually due to fly out to Sorrento, Italy in the next few days for a civil wedding, and we’re very excited as we haven’t photographed in that part of Europe before. This particular location is a beautiful place called Relais Blu, which is situated on the outskirts of Vesuvius Mountain. By the time this editorial piece has been typed we will be back in the UK and endeavor to show you some highlights from our trip!
I think it is really all about how well you can make use of what you’re given.
It has been a successful year for you and your team, could you take us behind the scenes and tell us some more about your team and the other people who helped you get where you are today?
Year on year we have continued to push ourselves as individuals, but more importantly, collectively as a team. One of our greatest strengths is that we are constantly committed to excellence in everything we do, whether its meeting new clients or shooting their big day. Every successful business needs a foundation, without the support of family and friends we would not be where we are today. So last but by no means least, a few much needed thank-you’s.
To my wonderful parents and brother, you have taught me that optimism is essential to achievement and also the foundation of courage and true progress, thank you for your blessings! Darshan also known as ‘Dee’ by our clients, has played an integral part since the inception of the company in 2010, someone who’s enthusiasm is contagious. Lakshmi who recently joined us in 2012 for her ever willingness to always excel in telling that perfect story, and finally our head editor back at the studio Manpreet for his continued passion and energy that goes into every portrait!
For more information about Prash Photography visit their website: www.prashphotography.com