Is Wedding Photography “The Soul of your Wedding Day Documented”? Behind the Lens with Rahul Khona
11 May 2015
Could photography be your most important investment? We go behind the lens with Asian wedding photographer Rahul to find out
“I wish I could see more than the 4 photographs I have of my parents’ wedding, it would be amazing to see images of all my family on that day,” says London-based wedding photographer, Rahul Khona.
When all is said and done, he says, is it not the photographs that you look back on, or that future generations will look back on? It’s capturing those passing special moments, the emotions of the day that are important to Rahul. And perhaps there’s a lesson to be learnt in that for all brides and grooms-to-be caught-up in the details – is it not the emotions, not the colour scheme, that you and your guests will remember?
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style of photography is all about moments, I wouldn't say my style fits in with documentary or photojournalism, or any other terminology used nowadays. I love to capture moments, that remind you of how you felt at that time, how your family and loved ones around you felt, moments that fly by in an instant. I love to create gorgeous portraits too, sometimes with an editorial, fashion feel.
How did you start out in wedding photography?
I used to be a graphic designer, but I started to notice how wedding photography was becoming more documentary and natural, something that I connected with, and I loved looking at some of my friends’ wedding albums. So I started off assisting an established photographer for over a year, shooting weddings alongside him every weekend, before finally forming my own path.
Who are your ideal clients?
Fun, relaxed couples are my ideal clients. People that connect with me and I connect with them. In the beginning it was hard to find my 'ideal' clients, but as time went on, I found clients that I connected with and vice versa. Now so many of my clients are good friends, we still stay in touch, and even go out for a drink together.
Can you choose a picture that encapsulates everything you want to achieve in a wedding photograph? Tell us what it is about this image that you love.
This image of the groom and his 85+ yr old grandmother hugging is one of my favourite images to date. I know the groom has a canvas of this image in his home too. It captures everything about how they were both feeling, and everyone around them. For me this image depicts what my wedding photography is all about. This is a moment, moments I strive to capture every time I shoot a wedding.
Photographers seem to inject a lot of their personality into their work… what are your inspirations?
I love watching TV series and films, I always look out for how they lit a scene, or why they chose to include all the information they did in that scene. I've learnt a lot about light through watching television and film, and I think that shows in my work too. I’m also influenced by fashion portraits, in magazines or books, or posters for designers.
How far in advance should those interested look to book you? Do couples stand a chance of booking you last minute?
Most people book around 8 months in advance of their wedding date. I book around 10% of my weddings last minute. I don't take bookings more than 10 months in advance from their wedding date.
What’s the most challenging part of photographing a wedding?
Staying focussed for the whole day, I mainly shoot Asian weddings, which can be 15 hour days – it can be hard to stay mentally focussed throughout, but I always give it my best too.
What’s your opinion on the controversial ‘group shots’ – can you give us an example of yours?
I think group shots are important. I don't mind doing them – I actually find it relaxing, in some strange way. It's awesome to have images with your family and friends. I always tell my couples to allocate enough time for their group photographs, and make sure someone such as the best man or maid of honour, is there to round the relevant people up.
What’s been your most memorable wedding to photograph, and why?
One of my very first destination weddings was in Mexico. When I got the enquiry, I thought, ‘yeah right, they want me,’ but after speaking to the groom on the phone he booked me 20 minutes into our conversation. Inside I was jumping up and down, I couldn’t believe that I had booked a wedding in Mexico – I was so happy. When I documented their wedding it was truly special, although the weather elements went against the bride and groom, their family and friends around them really made up for it all. It was just an amazing celebration, one that I will never forget. I felt truly blessed to be a part of their wedding.
Can you tell us why you think wedding photography is worth the investment?
It's worth the investment because after all is said and done, it will be one of the few ways in which you can recollect your day. A way in which you can remember how you felt on the day, how your family and friends felt around you, the very soul of your wedding day documented. Even for future generations, you're documenting your life, a part of your history and that’s something I truly believe is worth investing in. I wish I could see more than the 4 photographs I have of my parents’ wedding, it would be amazing to see images of all my family on that day.