‘SelfieShaadi’ set to be a rage in wedding photography in the country-Vijay Tonk


Selfie is a trend that has taken the world of photography by storm. After taking over all the social media platforms, a good ‘selfie camera’ feature today has become a prerequisite for purchasing a mobile phone today. Going along with the latest trend of selfies, #SelfieShaadi, the first of its kind initiative by Microsoft and the well-known photographer Vijay Tonk, was a whole new concept of making ones wedding even more memorable and exciting by capturing real, fleeting and intense emotions through selfies.

In an exclusive conversation with EE, Vijay Tonkalso known as Think Tonk, discusses the evolution of the concept, the challenges of execution and so much more.

Q-The concept of having a “Seflie-Shadi” is very unconventional and has never been attempted before. How did you come up with the concept?

A-Being a candid photographer attending weddings is a regular part of my routine. During some of the most recent shoots at weddings I observed the culture of people taking Selfies at weddings. When we used to do shoots the families and couples would ask for small intervals as they wanted to take Selfies during shoots and also we used to take photographs of the couples when they used to hold their mobile phones for taking Selfies. So it was during that period when I conceived the idea of taking the concept of Selfies and elevating it up a notch by covering an entire wedding through only Selfies.

The main issue was deciding which phone should I use? Because it was necessary for me to use the one with best features. So after a lot of searching a found Lumia 730 which had a wider screen and 5 Megapixel front camera. We used 8 mobile phones to execute the concept by distributing them with the bride, groom, families and friends.

Q-What was the reaction of the Microsoft Team when they came to know that their products were chosen to execute this one of a kind concept of wedding photography?

A-Though it was an independent idea that I came up with but when I shared this idea with the manufacturers of the phone they were really happy to know about it. We brainstormed a lot on how to implement the concept and then we came up with the idea of an online contest to choose the couple for the selfie wedding. Even the process of the contest going viral online to eventual action of execution was a thorough fun activity for everyone involved.

Q-Wedding memories are something that people want to preserve for a lifetime and capturing these memories only through a mobile phone is actually a big risk. Was there ever a moment of doubt for you or the couple during the execution of the project?

A-As an experienced photographer I through the journey of work realized that people get very particular when someone clicks their pictures. They are also very concerned at the same time about how were they looking because it is someone else who has clicked the picture but with the concept of Selfies the power is in your hands completely. You can take pictures when you want and wherever you want and that is a great choice to have.

When we executed the Selfie-Shadi concept the couple was very sure on when do they wanted to take the pictures and I was there to help them direct the shots and photographs in the perfect angles and directions for the best possible results. There is obviously a little apprehension at times for the concept but then Selfies have become such a common trend today that I am very sure that this innovation is going to catch on really soon.

Q-What were some of the challenges that you faced while executing the concept?

A-well unlike candid photography there are obviously a few requirements that have to be met when you are taking selfies. As an example it is very difficult that when a bride is coming and you have stop her and ask to take a selfie mid-way. So I had to redirect them and tell them that so and so is the perfect angle and direction. Also light is an issue for such concepts because the features of a mobile phone are limited when compared to that of a professional camera used for such projects.

Q- Share with us the responses you received about the Selfie-Shadi?

A-People were very unsure of what the eventual outcome of the concept was going to be but when the pictures finally came out they were also ecstatic and surprised to know that this can be a full-fledged concept for wedding photography now. The best part about the concept was that it managed to thoroughly engage everyone in the process be it the Band people or the family members to even small kids who would come up to me and ask for more Selfies to be clicked. The Microsoft people were amazed to see the how beautifully the concept had turned out.

Q-So after Selfie-Shadi what is going to be the next big photography concept that you look forward to executing?

A-Well for now all the focus is on Selfie-Shadi as I will be participating in more of these projects in the near future. People are obviously admiring the concept now so right now we are all just waiting for the time till the concept becomes a rage for wedding photography in India.

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