A few months ago I tried blogging, but soon after I realised that writing is not my forte. After writing two articles I called it quits and decided to proceed doing what I do best, photography. As I was uploading pictures, I found myself wanting to write more about a specific serie or event but didn’t consider Instagram or Facebook appropriate channels to do so. Instagram is an app mostly used to post pictures and Facebook wasn’t meant for long ass boring messages, so ironically, I found myself on WordPress again. Normally, I am known to write long boring philosophical messages (which probably no one actually reads so I’ll try to keep this one a little less philosophical and boring).
This blog is all about my experience doing my first international wedding in Mexico. When doing event photography, you end up meeting a lot of people. You go to an event, take a picture of a totally random person, that person asks for your contact information and there you go, a new person that knows you take pictures. Something more or less like this happened to me when I met Manish (The Groom). One day a friend of mine invited me to a soccer event where I met Manish, and like every other person you meet for the first time, one of the first questions that usually come up is “what do you do?”. In most cases my response would be “Oh, I’m a student at the University of Curacao” which I think is partially related to a subconscious fear of growing up and not wanting to be classified as a working adult, but I threw caution into the wind and added “…and I do photography as a side job“.
A few months after this initial interaction, I remember Manish asking me if I do couple photoshoots because he’s getting married soon and wants to have some pictures with his now current wife, Tanisha. For me it was nothing more than another client or friend’s photoshoot. Just an ordinary afternoon, driving around our little paradise, exchanging a few ideas, a couple, and my camera. A few weeks later, I sent him the pictures and he asked me “Do you want to come to Mexico with us?”. I think my smile went from one ear to the other when I heard this and I replied with “Mexico, of course!”. He told me to send him an offer and I did. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, he told me he got a good deal from a media company in Panama that he couldn’t refuse. Even though I was dying to go and do my first international Indian wedding, I had to come to terms with the fact that where I come from, people say and promise a lot, but in the end they don’t come through because of certain circumstances. In Manish’s case, I thought I hadn’t offered a good enough price or maybe he didn’t really like my photography. Basically hundreds of thoughts were going through my mind at that moment.
On New Years Eve, I bumped into him at a party (I have to say we weren’t in a proper state to make promises or a deal) and immediately started talking about his wedding that would take place in February. He told me “Dude, I want you to be at the party and would also like to give you the opportunity to experience your first international Indian wedding, so send me your passport information tomorrow”. I literally laughed at him and told him “Okay Manish, we’ll talk tomorrow when we’re both in a better state” and thought nothing of it. I went back home and pretty much forgot about that conversation. The next day, sitting at home, I decided to message him jokingly about our conversation to see how we would react. To my surprise he remembered everything he had said the night before and was planning to stick to his word. In two weeks he called me back and told me to pass by his office and pick up my tickets because everything was settled. In less than a month I was on a plane flying to Mexico and preparing for my first Indian wedding. I literally went to every Indian I knew in Curacao and asked them to tell me more about their wedding rituals and traditions. These were so complicated that I forgot it all when I got to Mexico…
The three days I spent in Mexico shooting this wedding will always be one of the most memorable wedding experiences I’ve had. All I can say is: Sindhi-Indian weddings are one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. Till this day, I wish I could do it all over again even though it was stressful, hectic and very confusing for me. Imagine trying to understand a language you’ve never heard before in your life and predicting what’s going to happen, which moments you need to capture based upon what the priest is saying (in that language you don’t understand). All in all, it was an amazing experience which I will forever be grateful for. Throughout my years doing photography I’ve had people believe in me to an extent that I didn’t understand what they saw in me. Today, I am grateful for those people. This couple and this wedding are one of those.