Monday, April 5, 2010

The wedding photography business

Where there is a human need; there will be a business. Welcome to the highly specialized world of wedding photography.

Not the Indian variety. The Indian wedding has now become a video occasion of the silliest sort. Bright lights are shone at all and sundry, and in the hot Indian clime, it is a virtual torture. Most people are unused to being videoed ; so they put on their most solemn expression and look fairly miserable – a smile is not to be seen within a million miles. I wonder who watches these videos ; I bet certainly not the bride and the groom.

The market leaders, by far, in wedding photography are the Chinese. The whole wedding photography business is a fine art, unlike any other. Firstly wedding photography has been completely separated from the wedding itself – it could take place weeks before. These photos are always shot in fancy places – parks, beaches, gardens, whatever , depending on how much you can afford. Both the bride and groom are dressed in elaborate western costumes ; she in flowing white looking like a princess and he in dapper male finery looking suitably love struck. The shoot can take hours and is exactly like a model shoot. They are clicked in all sorts of poses, carefully choreographed , including the obligatory groom lifting the bride – it helps that most Chinese women are amazingly slim. Hard to imagine that happening in India !!

The capital of the wedding photography business is Taiwan, where its apparently a $200m business. Because they are the best, couples from Hong Kong, Singapore and further afield go there for their wedding shots –the sets, the locales, etc are , I am told, the best there. Average prices are some $10,000. Mainlanders don’t find it easy to travel to China ; so the Taiwanese companies set up shop in mainland China. But now there is fierce competition from the local companies who have learnt the tricks of the business and prices have crashed. The Taiwanese are venturing further abroad – in Europe and in the US, all targeting ethnic Chinese.

Might be an interesting line of business to get into. Its one of the few workspots, I suppose, where you are surrounded by happiness. Not bad for a career choice.

This is a creative field and perhaps not very different from model photography. Creative types may be keen. Now there is one blogger we know whose blog has the most amazing photographs. He had some familiarity with the Chinese diaspora and has recently entered the creative field. Seems to be a good career choice for him !