Atul Pratap Chauhan-Wedding Photographer
Atul’s experiments in photography happened quite by chance. After eight years in hospitality, a shoot at a restaurant by another photographer proved to be a turning point in his career, and inspired him to try his hand at photography. Wedding Photographer
Subsequently, at, another photo shoot(the Olive Beach, Bangalore) where Atul assisted purely for fun, his passion was ignited enough to indulge in buying a professional camera. Soon, he decided to take a huge gamble and chucked his career to venture into unknown territory fuelled by a passion that had blurred prospects financially.
He learnt the art of photography under the guidance of one of Bangalore’s well known photographers—and in 2009, ventured into commercial photography –mostly food and architecture.
It was only a couple of years ago that the very idea of wedding photography as photo-essays acquired a whole new dimension. It changed his perception of this field of photography and he decided to explore his innate talent. Atul hasn’t looked back since.
Twenty weddings down the line, Atul finds that this particular segment gives him a lot of creative freedom and has become a full time feature of his professional enterprise. Food and architecture remained his mainstay, but it was the excitement of weddings that gave him a lot of pleasure.
Privileged to be a part of the ceremonies as an insider, enjoying the colours, drama and emotions that are part and parcel of every ceremony, in addition to exploring the medium of photojournalism allowed him to express the ‘soul’ in his photography. In less than a year he had an impressive portfolio.
“This particular segment gave me a lot of creative freedom.”
Vasudha and Ayush’s wedding was the first project of the year for Atul. Vasudha-the bride-and a good friend , had asked him to photograph the wedding. She discussed it with him last year, but the wedding took place in January this year.
It was a Marwari wedding. After taking a brief from Vasudha and her family, Atul set off to Jaipur to the romantic setting of Shiv Vilas and Gold Palace. Like many Indian weddings the major ceremonies would take place over 3-4 days.
There are several functions which take place well before the wedding ceremonies, but those are generally restricted to family and close friends.
Most of the festivities where guests are invited usually start with the Mehendi ceremony. In Vasudha and Ayush’s wedding, the Mehendi ceremony was at the Gold Palace. The colourful tents and a general atmosphere of fun and festivity marked the onset of a spectacular wedding. Later that night, the party at Le Meriden set the celebrations in motion as all the guests had arrived.
The following morning, there was Elephant Polo at Shiv Vilas which was greatly enjoyed by the guests and was something of a novelty for many.
As Indian weddings rarely give you time to sit back and put your feet up, that evening, there was another function to keep everyone entertained –a Qawaali night .This added to the rising crescendo of anticipation as the wedding was two days away. Dressed in their finery it all seemed so magical to everyone who was there that tiredness and exertion seemed to melt away.
The day before the wedding, a Sangeet ceremony was held which brings with it a lot of dancing and singing—but also the Dulha ka Tika. The Tika ceremony is an important one in Hindu ritual. It is an engagement ceremony where the father of the bride applies the Tilak (vermilion) on the groom’s forehead.
Finally, the wedding day had arrived and it was an early evening affair—as the ceremony was conducted at 6 pm. The location was at the Gold Palace which is where it all started.
The groom arrived in a vintage car and was then seated in a palanquin much like a Maharaja! The Jaimala function preceded the actual wedding ceremony.
At this point the main ceremonies conclude. There are a few that take place later on, mostly attended by close family and friends. The Bidai (bidding farewell), GrihaPravesh (entering the new home) and Pagelagani (bride being blessed by the family) are the main ones.
Atul loved this wedding for all the pomp and ceremony, and enjoyed capturing all the various nuances of the festivities.
He plans to go back to film photography which fascinates him.