There are several things about India that has been fascinating people from around the world. Despite globalisation and influence of the west, we still have our culture intact and most of which can be seen in how we conduct our weddings and ceremonies. Arranged marriages still exist in India and with the increase in dating and ‘find your partner’ websites – there is one thing that people struggle the most to start with.
A perfect portrait – also referred to an alliance proposal portraits. We have a rather intriguing term for marriage proposals in South India, especially Tamil Nadu, where it is referred to Alliance instead of a Marriage proposal. Hence a portrait that is taken for this purpose is referred to an alliance proposal portrait.
Here are tips straight from our decades of experience on how to go about with such photography.
Keep it real
Know that most families hit their first blockage when it comes to alliance portraits. Once it is decided to get a photograph done, it takes a lot of time to decide (among family) on what kind of photographs they need. Out of love and excitement, the families tend to go overboard with such photography. Example: Overdoing make up. While there is nothing wrong in this and it comes from good intentions, it is best to show the person as is. Hence start off by making clear rules with respect to how ‘close to reality’ you want the photograph to be. Firstly, such portraits are shared on dating sites or sent to known people for matchmaking. This means that it should capture the person for who he/ she is. If the photograph is quite a tangent and if the first step between families is taken based on the ‘sheer looks,’ it would certainly be very disappointing.
Hence as a thumb rule, ensure to stick the belief that first impression should be the best impression. Suggest the person go easy on the makeup and ensure to work less on post-production.
Give what you would ideally like to see
Put yourself in the position of the family taking a decision. What would you like to see in the person? A full-length portrait of the man/ woman who is looking for a partner, a close up perhaps and in the recent trend they are also asking for some candid shots. Full length photography gives a clear indication of there person’s shape and while arranged marriages are not done based on the looks, it certainly starts with the looks. Ensure to give few angles and when you are doing a full portrait shot, ensure to get some candid ones as well.
We have to keep it simple. That’s for sure. At the same time, we have to ensure that the lighting is appropriate. Go for a studio that has a good light set up. At FotoZone we ensure to use state-of-the-art lighting set up to get those perfect photographs. Avoid shadows on the face because that is certainly not going to help you in this process. The photograph should not have any drama attached to it. Just a simple portrait. The background that you choose must be in solid colours and should also be classy enough so that it doesn’t make the photograph look otherwise. Using solid colours will only compliment the personality of the man/woman.
Above all, ensure to have a brief talk with your client so that the tightness on their face and the nervousness come down. They have taken the first step to a big decision on their lives (to get married). Portrait photography is the first step – so make it the best!