Indian Wedding Photographer San Francisco, Bay Area
Welcome to our Indian Wedding Photography Website
Custom Bay Area Indian Wedding Photography Packages
To request a custom price quote for Indian wedding photography click on our packages button. We are located in Concord, California and have been a Bay Area wedding photographer for over 20 years. We have photographed Indian weddings in San Jose, Fremont, Hayward, and other locations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please email us if you have questions about how we will cover your multi-day Indian Hindu or Sikh wedding. We have experience with photographing all of the traditional Indian wedding events including the Sangeet, Mehndi, and Garba. The complexity and variety of Indian wedding coverage requires a wedding photographer who will offer flexible packages and adjust it to the needs of the client. Not every Indian wedding client needs photographic coverage for all of the events, just let us know what you need and we will create the best package for you. Due to budget restrictions or personal preference, many of our San Francisco Bay Area couples only want 2 or 3 days coverage. Others want it all! Either way, we are ready and willing to offer you an affordable coverage package that fits your Indian marriage photography needs best. We are happy to offer our perspective clients more than 1 professional quote so they can compare.
Experience With Sikh and Hindu weddings
Our wedding photography experience ranges from Sikh to Hindu and a few other types of Indian weddings. This familiarity helps us recognize the nuances of each type of ceremony and be ready for all the important rituals. We know it's important that we not miss a single detail or tradition and our Indian Wedding photography experience helps with this. During the Baraat, we know how to position ourselves to get some amazing shots despite the challenges of this type of candid photography. There is nothing like capturing the beauty and excitement of the Groom riding in on a horse or walking in while accompanied by all of his friends and relatives. Throughout both Sikh and Hindu wedding ceremonies there are special moments that must be photographed as they occur. Indian weddings are spiritual and full of cultural tradition, but they are also emotional and moving. A quality wedding photographer must be ready and anticipate these moments in order to catch them from the best angle and with professional lighting. Check out our galleries and see how we capture these moments. We try to make you feel like you are there watching the ceremony!
Preliminary Indian Wedding Events - Sangeet and Mehndi
The Sangeet is an evening of celebration, dancing and performances and is typically more elaborate than your average wedding reception. We arrive beforehand to creatively photograph the decorations and wedding party members helping set up. Some of our clients will create a photography backdrop and ask us to take pictures of each group or family as they arrive at the Sangeet. Beyond that, much of the Sangeet coverage is catching candid moments and fun. There are a number of Indian rituals that take place and we are there to capture every detail. At some point during the celebration, we will take the bride and groom out to get some nice formal shots of the 2 of them. They won't want to wander too far off, so this photo session is usually at the same location as the Sangeet, depending upon what's available. Also included in most of our best Bay Area Indian wedding photography coverage is the Mehndi party. This is a great opportunity to spend time with bride's family as this particular celebration is much more about the bride as she gets her Henna applied. This celebration often occurs in the bride's home accompanied by her closest family and friends. A relative of the bride or a Henna artist will usually apply the Henna and the groom's names is often hidden in the bride's design. This event is also marked by colorful celebration and rituals and we enjoy photographing it all! In some cases, the Sangeet and the Mehndi are combined into one evening. For those of you interested in learning more, this Wikipedia page has some great information. We have photographed many such events in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been doing it for years!
Why are Indian Weddings Special?
The Indian culture probably values professional wedding photography more than any other. This is why it is so important as a wedding photographer to make sure we record every moment and detail. It's always a given that we need to capture beautiful formal shots of the bride and groom, but with Indian weddings, there is so much more. As you can see from the above examples there are many other aspects that need to be photographed. The decorations are amazing so it's important to get beautiful detail shots. In addition, many important rituals are included in the Indian wedding ceremony so this needs to be a priority as well. So many fun things occur at Indian weddings whether it be skits put on by the wedding party or the ribbon ceremony shown above. Lastly, the Indian culture values friends and family above all else. It's not uncommon for wedding parties to go well beyond 20 in number! As a Bay Area Indian Wedding Photographer, it is so important to make sure you make plenty of time to photograph all of the group/family portraits needed.
Top 5 Traditional Indian Wedding Events
1. Ganesh Pooja - Indian Weddings usually start with this ritual, but we are not asked to photograph it too often. It's a small ceremony usually performed in the home. Only the engaged couple, wedding party and close family attend. On the rare occasions we are asked to photograph the Ganesh Pooja, we do it in a very unobtrusive way. No flash photography and no posing of the subjects, mostly just candid shots with an emphasis on simply documenting this important event. A few shots of the couple follow with family portraits and wedding party shots. This photography often happens in the backyard of the home.
2. The Mehndi Ceremony - A festive occasion hosted by the bride's family, the Mehndi brings together family and friends to have intricate Henna applied to the lady's hands and feet. The family will celebrate with songs and follow up with a meal. As an Indian wedding photographer, it's important to show the process that takes place during the Henna application. This is a fun and celebratory occasion and our photographs need to display that. We make sure we capture laughter, fun and friendship. Of course, close up photography of the beautiful Henna designs are very important. We have the proper lighting equipment and close up lenses to make sure we create dramatic photos during the Mehndi.
3. Sangeet - The Sangeet is a large event and everyone attending the wedding is usually invited. It's marked by dance, song and special performances. This is truly an Indian wedding celebration at it's best! A light supper is included in this great night of fun. As wedding photographers, we treat the Sangeet pretty much like a wedding reception. We bring light stands and other equipment to help us capture the dancing and festivities. Many couples will set up a backdrop and ask us to do a semi formal photo of each family or group as they arrive. This requires more of our professional lighting equipment including soft boxes or umbrellas. The main goal is to capture the fun of the evening and also make sure we take portraits of as many of the guests as possible! We have covered a very large number of San Francisco, Bay Area Sangeet celebrations and would love to photograph yours.
4. Baraat - This is probably the most important part of the Indian matrimonial ceremony. The groom arrives either on a horse or on foot surrounded by family and friends celebrating his impending marriage. Drums sound, people dance and sing as the groom enters like a King This procession depicts that the groom is coming in to win his bride and be with her for the rest of their lives. We treat this like a sporting event in terms of photographic coverage. We want to capture all of the action so we bring our fastest lenses and cameras. Any lighting we bring, needs to be portable. We always cover this with both wedding photographers to make sure we don't miss a thing!
5. Wedding Day! - The Indian Wedding day needs no special explanation. Our coverage begins with bridal preparation and the groom getting ready as well. On the groom's side there are often other special rituals to be performed. We make sure to cover everything that happens in the best way possible! It's often a long day of wedding photography coverage which includes the ceremony and reception. However, depending upon the wedding, these events can also sometimes occur on separate days. It is not uncommon for our Indian brides and grooms to ask us to cover the days events from morning until night.
City Hall Wedding Photography
We have photographed a large number of Indian Weddings at San Francisco City Hall. Quite a few of our clients choose to have a Civil Ceremony here in San Francisco and then they have a large formal wedding either locally or back in India. San Francisco City Hall is an amazing place to have any type of wedding and we have photographed over 300 of them in the past 10 years. You can either do a small wedding in the Rotunda for only $73 or rent out the Mayor's Balcony for $1,000 and invite up to 50 people. When you choose the reserved ceremony location, city hall ropes off the area and sets up chairs. If you would like to see some samples of our Indian wedding photography please check out our City Hall Wedding Photography website.
Artistic and Creative Upbringing
Your Indian Wedding Photographer, Mike began his interest in photography at the young age of 11. Inheriting his first Nikon at that age, Mike quickly wanted to photograph everything in site. His initial interest was still life photography and scenery, but his passion quickly turned to people photography after he noticed how happy it made people to see good photos themselves. With his mother being an accomplished artist, mike had access to many creative ideas and learned to think "out of the box". He would often bounce ideas off of his mom and they would collaborate on artistic projects. In addition to this exposure, Mike was lucky enough to make friends in grade school would go on to become creative artists in their own right. One of them, John Pugh, became a famous Mural artist. Another of his high school friends one an academy award for animation. These relationships, early in Mike's career helped shape his approach to portrait photography. Mike enjoys all types of wedding photography, but is particularly drawn to Indian marriage photography because of the colors and artistry needed.
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