Wedding Photographer Bedford Sukhi Chandi Photography shoots a wedding at Whittlebury Hotel & Spa, United Kingdom

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Wedding Photographer : Sukhi Chandi Photography  
Couple : Elisa + Jay
Wedding Photographer Bedford
Ceremony Location : Whittlebury Hotel & Spa
Reception : Whittlebury Hotel & Spa
Wedding Date : 8th November 2014

Tell us a little about yourself??

Fascinated by lines, shapes and distortions, combined with a real love for clean aesthetics I find myself inherently looking for these in my photography.

I've always been fascinated by minimalism and simple aesthetics, such as clean backgrounds and symmetry. And this feeds much of what I look for when I'm shooting a wedding.

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How do you think or would like people to describe you?

People would describe me as an obsessive, my mantra in most things is 'go big, or go home'. If I'm working on something, mediocre doesn't cut it for me perhaps this doesn't always make business sense, but I think in the long-run this is more profitable than a short term monetary gains.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

So the wedding of Elisa and Jay was set in Whittlebury Hotel & Spa, just outside Northampton. I’ve actually been there as a customer to the Spa so was familiar with the grounds, and the venue too. Elisa’s background originates from Mauritius, Ive heard about the way Mauritians party. And needless to say they did not disappoint! The party was completely nuts!!

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How did you get into wedding photography?

Most people tend to stumble into wedding photography, I've heard countless stories of, 'I had a camera, and my friend asked me to shoot their wedding', however for me this wasn't the case. I purposefully wanted to get into wedding photography, I approached a shed load of wedding photographers who were looking for an assistant, traveled far and wide to get experience with different photographers and put myself into a position where I had lots of practical experience as an assistant and a second shooter.

From there I put an add in Gumtree and charged £50 for my first wedding, can you believe that, £50! And off the back of that wedding an enquiry came in, then another one, and things began to snowball from there.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I’ve been a wedding photographer for 3 years now.

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Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?

I feel as though my success has really come from stepping outside of the bubble of wedding photography and really looking at my brand, brand perception, the way I provide a service, and how to make it a pleasant experience.

As photographers, potential clients come to us because they like our images, and the way I try to stand out is by providing a service rather than just a price & photographs.

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What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?

I think its important to look the complete body of a photographers work, I’ve heard a lot of stories where couples have been dis-satisfied because the complete set of images is inconsistent, it’s important to be aware of what your end product will look like.

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How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?

My main forms of advertising are through SEO and also word of mouth, never underestimate the power of word of mouth! We are a generation whereby we like to buy tried and tested products, and there is nothing more viable than a big recommendation from a trusted friend or family member.

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Why do you think people hire you?

The feedback I often get is that my potential clients like that my website is not full of couple shots and group shots. I do shoot couples, and do engagement sessions etc, but for my style of photography these are low priority, and the type of clients that book me understand that.

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How many weddings do you average per year?

I cap myself to 10 weddings per year, this allows me to tweak each image without being forced to work over hours or compromising on the quality of my finished product.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

Cant say there would be a particular couple I would like to shoot, just any couple who lets their hair down and really enjoys their day wholeheartedly, thats the type of dream couple for me.

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If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?

Asia for sure, love the far east and Asia in general.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

Bodies: Canon 5D2 & 5D3

Lenses: Canon 35mm f/1.4, Canon 85mm f/1.8 & Canon 16-35 f/2.8 II

Flashes / Triggers: Canon & Yongnuo 600's

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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

The part I still find challenging is the first dance, I like to look for something epic, the first dance deserves to be an awesome capture so I put a lot of pressure on myself to get a killer shot on the first dance.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

Not really, because my shooting style is very much documentary and a cooker cutter approach to a wedding just wouldn't work for me, as I'm letting events and emotions unfold rather than forcing everything.

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Who or what inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from the people around me, my parents, nieces, nephews, & friends. Feeling the relationships I have with them makes me look for moments which define the relationships of my couples and their family & friends too.

And most of my compositional ideas come to me subconsciously, I’m a total film nut, and get through films for fun, and seeing them feeds me compositions so that when I'm shooting I just see something that I've probably come across in a film and shoot it.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best marketing idea has been to over deliver to my customers, so give a gift that they have not expected, usually a framed print of one of my favourite shots from the day.

Worst marketing idea has been magazine advertisements, they cost a lot of money but the cost to conversion ratio was terrible.

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If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?

Prior to photography I had a lucrative career in Finance, so if photography didn't exist, I would certainly still be working in that field.

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

My favourite image from the day is probably one of my shots from Elisa & Jay’s first dance. I didn't like the look of the DJ setup, it wasn't totally symmetrical and that disturbs me (OCD - Yes!) So I decided to shoot it with my back to the DJ booth where I saw a clean composition and worked it to death. This photograph just has warmth, love, interesting lighting and is a clean composition.

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Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?

My personal goals are to keep pushing myself to be the best that I can be, My focus is really around doing what I enjoy, and doing it to the absolute best I can.

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What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?

I think the key to being successful is to do something different, if everyone has the same style of photography, then all the client will be picking their photographer on will be price. However, if you can produce unique images, or a unique style that means there is no alternative, as clients cant get your images from anyone else.

This sounds easy in practice, however its much harder to actually do it. I spent months and months developing presets and working on processing that will be unique. This is a bit of a moving line, as when I find I'm adjusting a preset on a regular basis then I will incorporate it into my primary preset.

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Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?

I found a total gem of a photographer on line recently who goes by the name of Denis Cherim, he ties in architectural foregrounds and backgrounds and it wows me every time, mindblown He’s really inspired me to look at tying layers together to create a seamless images.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

I was recently given a lifetime membership at Cambridge University in the Photographic Society there, and have spent time with photographers in the university. It has been a great experience to have an association with such a world renowned institution.

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Visit Sukhi Chandi Photography's Website  

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