An Inspiring Story and the First SILK AWARDS | Best Wedding Photographer in India
As wedding photographers, we get to be with and photograph families up close. Some of the stories we get to cover are very inspirational - like this one.
I recently submitted this photo story to the first SILK AWARDS - which coincided with SILK INSPIRE, India's first wedding photography 'festival'. The panel of judges chose this story as the 4th position winner - among more than 300 entries. The award will always mean so much to me as the panel of judges had amongst the leading documentary wedding photographers in the world.
So, what was the story? We are sharing the full series and also what the photos meant to us.
We had met Mr. Sushil Pachisia, the groom's (Aditya) father for the first time when we met the family to showcase our work and discuss the financials. This was during our first proper season as full time wedding photographers. We had covered Mr.Pachisia's younger son Anant's friend's Engagement just a few weeks ago and he had loved the photos and had suggested us to his family.
It was one of those meetings in those early days in our career where there wasn't much negotiations (such meetings were rare for us at that time). Mr.Pachisia met us and in the first meeting itself things were pretty much finalized. We loved him for his jolly nature and the way he spoke with humour.
When we went to cover Aditya's wedding, we found Mr.Pachisia to be seriously ill. In fact, he was having to use oxygen cylinders and was mostly confined to his hotel room. He occasionally stepped out to attend a few of the major ceremonies, but I am sure it must have been difficult for him.
His smile, however, had not left him.
Soon, we were inspired by how the entire family came together at this time and did not let his illness overpower them. Whatever might have been their inner feelings and emotions, we always saw smiling faces around us. Aditya's mother was ever busy with the rituals and carried on with her smiles and laughter, although we knew that it must have been difficult for her.
This photo below might seem very normal, but is one of our favourite photos. Anant, here, is standing between the groom's ride and the car in which his father was travelling to the wedding venue. His posture signifies perfectly the role he had been playing in the marriage - creating a perfect balance between the merriment, the tasks he was doing for the wedding as well as taking care of his father.
As Mr.Pachisia's car overtook the groom's baraat procession, he kept watching the procession. One could at times feel that, if he could have his way, he would have wanted to step out of the car and join the procession right at that moment.
This photo, with the reflection of one of the decorative lights being carried in the procession, is from one such moment.
Mr.Pachisia passed away a couple of months after Aditya's wedding.
The family photo below, would be one of the most meaningful ones we had probably ever taken. When we look back at this photo now, it seems to show a glimpse of what must have been going through everyone's mind at that point in time - probably an anticipation of the impending loss? If not, at least the feeling that had Mr.Pachisia was not being able to fully take part in one of the happiest moments of his life.
I would specifically want to mention that for us, this story is not about Mr.Pachisia's illness. It was and still remains an inspiring story for us on how the family stood up during a difficult time and celebrated their son's marriage.