I first got my hands on a decent camera just a little over a year ago. I wouldn’t call myself an amateur photographer, not even close actually; but, my camera is kept right next to me even at 6 am during my first cuppa. I love experimenting with it, especially during that time of the day. So, in light of my newly acquired hobby, I was pretty kicked when I got a chance to chat with Anshum Mandore. I’ve been following his work for a while now and even in my highly-inexperienced and humble opinion, he is undoubtedly brilliant with the lens. Here’s some of my conversation with him:
AB: Did you always envision becoming a professional photographer?
AM: Oh no! I am a Management graduate from a marketing background. For me, photography is a hobby turned passion turned profession. And, that’s only thanks to my parents and relatives. One particular turning point for me was when I bought my first DSLR; a Nikon D90. I then joined some local photography clubs and my work started getting recognition. It was extremely encouraging.
AB: What kind of photography interests you the most?
AM: Candid wedding and portrait shoots are my forte and I enjoy them the most. The candid wedding photography trend is no more than five years old in India. We picked it up from the West, where photographers always tried going beyond the usual documentary pictures. I think it’s great that we’re experimenting with various kinds of shots during weddings now. Instead of the usual stage pictures that say “Thank you for attending!”
AB: In a year, how many weddings do you shoot on an average?
AM: Anywhere between 60-90. India has this phenomenon of a ‘wedding season’. I usually shoot 6-10 weddings per month during the November-March period across the country.
AB: Can you tell me about a particularly unforgettable moment you’ve experienced during a wedding shoot?
AM: I was shooting a wedding in Goa. It was an intimate, 50-60 people affair. The bride’s father had recently passed away. It was his dream and last wish for his daughter to get married. His picture was placed where the bride’s father sits during the ceremony. During the Kanyadaan, when the father ‘gives his daughter away’, everyone, including the groom broke down. At that moment, I wasn’t sure whether I should continue clicking pictures. It was one of the most touching moments of my career as a wedding photographer.
AB: Did you continue clicking pictures then?
AM: I took 2-3 shots and stopped. I remember thinking that it was possible that my client wanted those moments captured.
AB: What do you like most about wedding photography?
AM: The sheer number of interesting and fun people I get to meet! It’s important to get to know a client and become their friend first. It’s crucial for me to become a part of the wedding before I become a service provider. Getting to know the people is what guides a wedding photographer towards capturing the most special moments of their biggest day.
AB: Which camera are your hands most comfortable with?
AM: The Nikon D800.
AB: What else are you passionate about?
AM: My pets! I have two Golden Retrievers. My wife, Sarita, has been an animal lover since she was a baby. I immensely love them too. They bring us so much joy!
Image Credits: Anshum Mandore