A professional wedding photographer doesn’t just snap pictures of the couple and their families. He should know how to immerse his photos with the culture and ambience of the ceremony. When choosing a photographer, be sure to pick one who knows how to capture the spirit of the day.
This is even more true for Asian weddings, which have more of a flourish to them than simple Western ones. Their pomp and detail, whether in South Asian or Chinese ceremonies, can be confusing for amateur photographers to showcase properly. Professionals, however, are expected to have familiarised themselves with them.
For Indian weddings, for instance, your photographer should know about certain elements such as:
Barat – The moment when the groom, decked up in fine clothes and accessories, is brought to the heavily-decorated wedding venue, with the groom riding a horse, an elephant or a four wheeler.
VarMala – This is when the bride and groom exchange garlands on a decorated stage or “Mandap”.
Pheras – The exchange of vows in front of the holy fire, going around it holding hands seven times.
Additionally, there are the Kanya Daan and the Bidaai, or when the bride's family hands her over to her groom, and she formally leaves her parents' house and moves in with him. Professional photographers would know what to take pictures of and how to best frame the shot so it would have the maximum emotional effect. They also bring with them professional experience and the best equipment.