India is one of those bucket-list wedding destination for photographers, but for this four-day series of celebrations, captured by Danelle Bohane (a 30 Rising Star in 2015), this wasn’t a destination wedding; the couple had grown up in India. And for Bohane, this subtle alteration in technicality made all the difference.
“Along with their family and friends, Nicole and Jordan hosted us so well in India,” Bohane says, “and we had the most magical time there being a part of the whole wedding experience, rather than feeling like we were just a service. The bond that we created with people and the memories we made will be treasured for life.”
After flying in from New Zealand to Delhi, Bohane spent a few days sightseeing while she recovered from jet lag, then headed to the wedding festivities in Jaisalmer, a former medieval trading center in the western Indian state of Rajasthan; it’s known as the “Golden City,” with the gorgeous sunsets, sandstone architecture and intricately carved temples, you can see why. Bohane captured it beautifully.
“Being in such a different culture and setting than I am used to photographing definitely made this wedding so memorable for me,” she says, “but also the connection that was made. Since I had events over four days to photograph, which made for such a beautiful visual story, being able to get to know the key members of the wedding also created input in the way I photographed. The trust builds between photographer and subject, so I felt I could get really intimate and people were at ease when I photographed them.”
Despite all of the beauty, Bohane says the heat was her main challenge, though, she concedes, that was more of a personal preference. “Anyone who knows me knows I am a winter girl and can get a little flustered in hot climates,” she says. “I managed to keep my cool, though. Also, because we were there for a week and the wedding was on the last day, we had to be very aware of what we were eating to avoid getting sick over there—the good news is we didn’t!”
All said and done, Bohane says this wedding was one of best experiences of her life. “I am forever grateful to these two and their beautiful families. I love that we got to experience something so unique and to be emerged into a really incredible culture that I hadn’t experienced before.”
GEAR FOR THE DAY
Cameras: Canon 5D Mark III (x2)
Lenses: Canon 24mm f/1.4, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.2, 135mm f/2
Lighting: Canon speed lights (x2)