Vidai - Challenges and Rewards For Photographers
Vidai is a post wedding ceremony, which takes place after the wedding rituals are completed. This means that after the seven pheras and kanyadaan this is the major ritual that takes place. During the vidai ceremony the bride is accompanied by her parents, Family members & friends which lead her outside the doorstep of the house. Before crossing the doorstep, she throws back three handfuls of rice and coins over her head, into the house. This symbolizes that the bride is repaying her parents for all that they have given her so far.
This is my favorite of all ceremonies, an excellent moment for any photographer to capture the extremely high emotion atmosphere all around.
I have had some people who came up to me and said how can you be excited about an event when people are sad and somber
My answer to them was simple, "Today they are sad - tomorrow, next year, and for years to come, when they see this photo, this will bring smile on their faces and may be "Tears of Joy" too."
What do Photographers of iClickWeddings do...
Let us take a quick check on the situation that you are most likely to be in when Vidai happens.
Where does Vidai happen?
It is generally outside the main function hall / wedding location / house - which means its not going to be well lit.
When does Vidai happen?
Very late into the night or very early in the morning, so natural light is not to be expected.
So what should we do...
1. There is no alternate to being alert when this ceremony starts. You can never predict when the bride may get emotional and tears roll down. At times it is someone else who get emotional first, like father, mother or siblings.(Some time they don't too)
2. While its safe to say a tele (70-200) would be a good lens for such an event, to avoid making the bride and other conscious, but most of the times a 24-70 work as just the right lens. You may find it interesting that all photos here whether being shot on 24-70 or 70-200 were actually shot on 70mm focal length.
3. Sometimes you may get situation when the Vidai is a very close-group event with only a few handful of people around. In such cases what can work to your advantage is if you can get to talk to the people who are expected to be there for the session and explain them where you would be positioned and if they can give you some space and not block your view. ( Less chances of such scenarios, but if it does happen this works well )
4. In case you are a 2 photographer team at the event, you may want to place each other in almost opposite directions. this can help you get a shot if the bride turns around to hug her parents. You can check the example below of getting 2 side of the event.
Sample: Vidai 2 - Shot on Tamron 24-70 F2.8 @ 70mm ISO 800 - Bounce Flash
Sample: Vidai 3 - Shot on Tamron 24-70 F2.8 @ 50mm ISO 800 - Bounce Flash
Let check some setting and camera related aspects now. ( Some of you would already know)
A full frame body always a better choice, we use Canon 5D MarkIII and Canon 6D in tandem and they have always been our preferred camera's.
If you are into wedding you would have realized that the work condition for this event demands for better ISO performing camera's.
If there is any minor possibility of adding some bounce flash, do not loose that opportunity, even it that means pointing off the flash sideways to a walk at the venue.
Typical shutter speed that we use is 1/160 or 1/200.
While we all know that Canon Full frames can go up-to ISO 25600, but lets get real, those photos will hardly be useful for prints. What I do however find that many of us do not want to push the ISO beyond "1000", for such friends of mine, I would like to say out of my experience that up to ISO 3200 you should not have any problems getting prints as large as 12X18 inches. At this point it is important to remember that while quality of the image in terms of noise is important, it will always be the emotion first, anything else can come later. Check the below examples.
Sample: Vidai 4 - Shot on Canon 70-200 F2.8 @ 70 mm ISO 3200 - No Scope to use flash
Sample: Vidai 4 - Shot on Canon 70-200 F2.8 @ 70 mm ISO 5000 - No Scope to use Flash
These are inputs that we are sharing out of what we have learned and implemented and not any rules to be followed.
You may have a completely different way to approach this subject and if that is giving you results, then that is also right.
In case anyone wishes to share their workflow, we would love to know / hear from you on firstname.lastname@example.org