Leaving a career in finance to pursue candid wedding photography,Chandigarh-based Simran Jagdev Gulati is carving a niche for herself
Simran Jagdev Gulati knows how to follow her instincts. After she took a weekend photography course a few years ago,it did not take much convincing for Gulati to quit her well-paying career in finance,for an unpredictable one in photography. It happened in a flash, says Chandigarg-based Gulati,who now is one of the few women wedding photographers in Chandigarh. From a white wedding in Shimla,traditional Tamil Telugu fare in Vijaywada,at Balaji Temple in Panchkula,at Leisure Valley in city,Sundernagar in Himachal Simran has shot weddings across locations.
In 2009,her then fiancé (now her husband) gifted her a weekend photography course at Delhi-based Photo Sensitive,a company run by professional photographers. Since she was passionate about photography,Simran found it to be a refreshing break from her monotonous finance job in Gurgaon. Anyone can click on auto mode. Real photography is all about mastering it manually,knowing your camera,the techniques,and thats what I did first, she adds.
For Simran,taking pictures was all about enjoying the landscape,the moment and the light. It was never about capturing a wedding. However,things turned for her when a friend invited her to shoot at her wedding. That was in 2009,and I was very nervous. It was awkward for a single girl walking in with a camera,getting stares from everyone. I felt conscious, says Simran,who bagged another wedding assignment by word-of-mouth in 2010. It was only candid shots,and I was paid Rs 15,000 for three functions, she tells us. Four more weddings,and Simran left her job for good,and shifted base to Chandigarh in 2012,post her own wedding.
No matter how glamourous or glitzy it sounds,wedding photography is a challenging field. Back to back functions,emotional moments,long hours,no fixed time,system crash,tough clients,rejection and criticism. One is running like a headless chicken at Indian weddings. And this is one profession you cannot afford to be fussy,as it helps being flexible,and not by the number of days or hours or work, she explains.
Simran is mostly a one woman show but is slowly expanding her team and regularly updates her Facebook page (Simran Jagdev Fotography),customises shoots for clients. She is also learning photography softwares and investing in new equipment. She has even started experimenting with baby shoots,coffee table book albums,outdoor couple shoots,and is hiring more photographers and designers.
Being a woman photographer requires her to be cautious at all times,but she is able to bag more projects by capturing intimate moments with brides. They are more comfortable with a girl shooting the candid moments,like make up sessions,which is my favourite or walks in the park with their better halves.
Posed shots,rehearsed pictures,family portraits some elements are a given in a wedding. Although I refrain from any work which is not candid,I feel people should respect their photographer for they know the best. This is one occupation,she feels,is isolated from the economic slump too. So,I feel secure, laughs Simran who hardly gets a break. One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its shot well, she signs off.