Kirthana Devdas hails from the vibrancy and love of art that characterise the country of India, and indeed, as a wedding photographer by profession, she aims to bring to the fore the emotion of the occasion through her trusty camera. Thought-evoking portraits, deep, resonating landscapes and a plethora of images that serve as evidence of many a happy occasion, Kirthana turns most of life’s special moments into an evergreen story that lasts generations. Gifted, humble and quintessentially pure at her work, this inspiring personality met with us over some coffee, and yes, interview her we did! Read on to catch a glimpse of what makes Kirthana stand in a league of her own, and her take on what makes wedding photography the most rewarding profession of all.
Tell us about yourself. What made you enter photography as a profession?
I walked straight into it. I studied photography during my course in Visual Communication and specialized in advertising photography through college. My father is a serious enthusiast and my first photographs are from his OM 10. I later did my post-graduation in professional photography.
Today, I photograph weddings and also work on fashion and travel assignments. My line of work explores people, places and different cultures and brings along a new experience every single time. Last February I was at an artist residency in Iceland in the peak of winter and got a chance to experience and photograph the northern lights. Photography keeps life exciting for me, I can’t imagine doing anything else!
The excitement of photographing a wedding must be something else! How do you prepare for weddings?
I speak to the client to understand what they have in mind and what needs to be focused on. It is important to understand each person’s requirement and involve them in the process, while making suggestions for better results wherever necessary. Since the dynamics of each wedding differ, it definitely helps to enjoy meeting new people. The couple and family needs to be at complete ease in your presence before you pick up the camera.
How do you handle family interference?
Each of my clients have been welcoming and included us completely in the festivities. The team and I coordinate with one person to avoid any confusion. We make sure we are introduced to the immediate family prior to the wedding so that everyone is familiar with the team and comfortable.
Tell us about your pre-wedding shoots.
Pre wedding shoots give you time to warm up to the couple and understand their chemistry. The vibe is usually casual and fun, and is shot in a scenic venue at the wedding
destination or in a place that the couple most likely shared a memory at. The mood, venue and outfits are planned along with the couple. This is your canvas to recreating the couple’s chemistry.
As a photographer, how do you avoid interfering in the ceremony while taking pictures?
It is important to strike a balance and manage a great shot without being invasive. There are vantage points to shoot from and with a smart choice of lenses, everything is well documented.
What wedding shoot would you say was your most memorable?
No wedding happens without a little excitement and a pinch of chaos. Sometimes we’re up at 3AM to start shooting the bride’s wedding prep and make up; some weddings run through the night right to the next morning. There’s no knowing what the next wedding could bring. Sometimes there are disagreements; sometimes we’re dragged into the festivities. At one wedding ritual, a water fight broke out as part of the celebration and an excited uncle nearly doused us, and our cameras with a bucket of water! Lucky for us, we had waterproofed our equipment and our cameras survived. We had to get a change of clothes!
Any advice to upcoming wedding photographers?
Be prepared to work long hours, and work hard. Initially it is important to take on as much work as you can to understand the nuances of a wedding and improve your skills in this specific area. Weddings always juggle a lot of emotions; whichever way it goes, your only job is to bring back evidence and the most beautiful evidence possible from that day because once it’s over, all they have are memories and photographs.
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