The 30th Wedding Anniversary – A reason for portraits

30th Wedding Anniversary Portrait Shoot
Sandhya & Pratap. Radhanagar Beach at Havelock Island. Andaman & Nicobar Islands. April 2014.

When someone mentions the words ‘portrait shoots’, the most common images that conjure up in our minds is of couple portraits. And in the market of couple shoots, a huge majority of assignments in today’s democratic world of photography business are of youngsters getting their portraits taken just before they get married. Hence, one of the most searched keywords online is of ‘pre-wedding shoots’. Even the assignment queries that I receive from prospective wedding clients often has this additional question of whether I do take up pre-wedding couple portrait assignments and what would its financials be.

Also, in our social media networks which form a support system on which thrive independent and freelance photography businesses like mine, it is a daily affair to see galleries and status updates with photographs from the portrait shoots with subjects as young couples.

Portraiture is one of the oldest forms of Visual Storytelling. Photography is a form of image making. But image making predates photography. Also, portraiture predates photography. Couple portraits might be a recent viable business opportunity in a country like India with a 1 billion market (Wedding is a recession free industry here). But, portraits need not rely on wedding. And it never means that only the young couples getting married have a reason to get their Couple portraits made. You just have to be young at heart and get excited about the idea of having yourself being photographed.

Here is a rare couple shoot, where the subjects are not two people who are soon to be getting married, but are a couple who have already spent 30 years of life together as a married couple. It was their 30th wedding anniversary. What better way to mark the moment, than a holiday in tropical Andaman & Nicobar islands and getting their portraits made there!

The location was the stretch of beautiful Radhanagar Beach (Opposite the Barefoot resort) on Havelock Island. And it was little before sunset when we began to shoot. The couple was Sandhya & Pratap (from Mumbai, India). Also, accompanying them were their daughters Swapna & Shivani (you’ll see them in few images where the couple shoot transforms into a family portrait 🙂 ). Find below, a gallery of some photographs from this shoot.

Long live portraits. Portraits for all reasons and for all seasons.


Notes on the gear:

I used off-camera lighting techniques in this portrait shoot. A LumoPro 180 manual flash fired through a translucent white umbrella was the only off-camera light source. Also, I used a silver reflector for lifting the shadows up during few occasions. I used the Fujifilm x100s camera with a fixed focal length of 23 mm (effective 35 mm focal length on a 35 mm camera). The x100s has an internal leaf-shutter because of which it can be synced to almost any shutter speed. Hence, x100s is a joy to use in off-camera lighting assignments. All the images have been processed on Adobe Lightroom 5.4 . I have used VSCO Film presets while processing these images on Lightroom.

NOTE: For more details about the Portrait photography assignments that I am commissioned to do, please check the link

Nishant Ratnakar
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By Nishant Ratnakar

Nishant is a Bangalore, India based Wedding, Portrait & Editorial Photographer. He is available for assignments across India. He also conducts photography workshops and offers personal photography mentorship.

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