How photographer Joseph Radhik creates magic with his camera for celebrity weddings like Rakul Preet Singh-Jackky Bhagnani, Anushka-Virat, Deepika-Ranveer, and others

Framing moments, creating memories.

It takes a keen eye to capture the raw emotion behind photographs, one that this lensman has proved he possesses aplenty. Joseph Radhik, the man who immortalised the magical moments behind many a celebrity wedding—Anushka-Virat, Deepika-Ranveer, Vicky-Katrina, to name a few—shares his love for portraits and using visual narratives to make a couple's special day even more so.

Brides Today: Take us through how you envision bringing a couple’s story to life through your photos and videos. What does “stories” entail to you?

Joseph Radhik: My first goal is to get to know a couple beyond the transaction. What brought them together, what brought this wedding dream to life, what they look forward to and a myriad of other things. This is done through an in-person meeting or a call but is usually a long session. The end goal is to get to know each other, so they can happily ignore my presence during their big day. That grants me the privilege of documenting them through the lens of a friend rather than as a service provider. All my best photos are taken up close and personal when the couple can be real in front of me. The story of a wedding, then is simply the visual narrative of the day, as it unfolds through the tiniest of details and emotions. The people who matter to you should be front and centre in the photos, the décor that means something to the couple should be captured…It’s a personal process customised for each couple.

BT: How do you direct the more camera-shy bride and groom?

JR: There are two parts to documenting a wedding: the portraits and the moments. It’s while capturing the portraits that a camera-shy couple may need some direction, but the moments are completely unplugged and undirected. Portraits—especially of regular folk—are a very relaxed process for me. I don’t get too hung up on technical perfection, but I gun for making the couple feel their most beautiful during this time. This involves a lot of communication, a pinch of tips and tricks to boost their confidence and a healthy amount of positive feedback by showing them their photos to put them at ease.

BT: List the elements that make for the best photographs.

JR: Emotion, emotion, emotion. Light, styling and posing all come later. If an image has emotion in it, the viewer will be moved by it. It’s this evocative response that I constantly seek.

BT: How do you ensure you’re around to capture special moments?

JR: It starts with the conviction that a wedding day isn’t just a few hours, but an entire day. I stick around with the bride throughout the day, and that gives me all the insights I need into what’s going to happen for the rest of the event. A 2012 wedding in Singapore comes to mind; after the makeup was done, the bride was ready to head out when her sister asked her, “What are you going to do if the groom’s friends pick him up during the varmala?” The bride had a simple solution: “I’ll just lasso the varmala onto him as soon as I get on stage. No waiting!” I was the only one, besides her sister, privy to this little piece of information. I remember running to the mandap to get this shot, and the final photo is epic—everyone looks shocked at what happened!

BT: For many, it’s the bride walking to the mandap or the groom’s gaze on her at that moment that’s their favourite. Is there one moment that you look forward to capturing the most?

JR: It’s not one specific moment, but a moment that may happen any time during the wedding. Every wedding has this one moment where the bride realises that this is really happening. This next step of life, this leap of faith, this happy-yet-anxious beginning, this time to let go and accept a new family. It may happen during the pheras, during the first kiss, during her makeup… It’s most often during her haldi or chuda ceremony, but it’s always there. That tiny, imperceptibly small moment is my favourite.

BT: In terms of how the final images turned out, do you have any favourites?

JR: Of course! But that favourite keeps changing depending on the last emotion-filled wedding I’ve photographed. Emotion drives my work, and I’m blessed to see a few of these weddings come to life every year. Going back in time, though, Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli’s wedding images still hold a special place in my heart for their unfiltered, unstaged raw emotion. Since that time though, I’ve had the privilege to photograph a few more favourites, most notably Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal’s wedding, Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan’s wedding, Athiya Shetty, and KL Rahul’s most recently.

BT: What are the most beautiful locations you’ve visited to photograph weddings?

JR: There was this gorgeous location off a cove in Seychelles where we photographed a stunning Tamil wedding. It was a sunrise wedding, and that image of the wedding at dawn is unforgettable. In India, there’s little that can beat the palatial trio of Rajasthan—Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Jaipur!

BT: You take some incredible photos of Mumbai nearly every day. Besides wedding photography, which other kinds of photography do you enjoy?

JR: For me, photography started with sunsets and insects—landscapes and macros! Landscape shots are still special for me, but I gravitate most towards portraits nowadays. It’s simple, everyday photos of the people I love and the people who love my work.

BT: What do you love about being behind the lens?

JR: Getting to know people at their most vulnerable. I’m truly blessed to know some amazing folks being the most honest version of themselves. Photographing weddings means photographing personal events, and it’s a very different profession when compared to all the other genres of photography. Suffice to say, I turned 40 this year, and I continue to make new friends every single year!

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