As I sit here today in the office responding to emails and jumping on conference calls it dawns on me that many if not most have no clue of what it means to be a wedding photographer. The chaos in our home on many levels is so real that I often tell others we are the real deal when it comes to reality shows!
Quick note as to our background for those of you just joining us along our journey: Srinu and I are Caucasion South Asian married, meaning all types of fun, excitement and drama are often thrown into our mix with in-laws still living abroad in India I often joke with our clients who are born and raised here in the states that my in-laws are the “real deal in the most authentic” of ways and as an added bonus because they are Telugu (South Indian) it’s just another key interesting element to the mix of being super traditional, but hey that is a whole other story for a whole other day! Our kids range from 3 to almost 23 and yeah that there too a whole other story for a whole other day… perhaps you will have to stay tuned in to get more juicy slivers on that bit but none the less when we met I was a Hospice nurse, Srinu a software engineer and now we are better known as “the Regeti’s!” to most for our work as South Asian wedding photographers. It’s funny that by how someone might reference/refer to us you can easily determine how they know us; friend, acquaintance, colleague, client or family.
But what people don’t often realize is the amount of time that as wedding photographers we sacrifice to the cause – not because it is our job but because it is a profession we have chose to commit ourselves to. The demand to stay relevant in this line of work is extremely high as the market changes, evolves and the turn over is high. Often enough to find a photographer who is still in demand after being in the business 15+ years with an extreme amount of knowledge on the business, marketing, branding, lighting, posing, styling and customer service side of things is essentially unheard of for most. In keeping up with it all and the level of service a specific group of discerning clientele requires its simply got to be a love for it, because of that love it comes first always. For many on the outside looking in it is incomprehensible to most but when we say we would not have it any other way, we truly would not. I often enough find myself in a position where friends and family question why; why give up your weekends aren’t you tired of giving up weekends yet? why commit yourself a year out you are never free for anything? why South Asian Indian weddings?
And I have come to the conclusion that the life of a photographer is not something a “great” photographer chooses to do, but rather the profession tends to find you. It starts out as something that you are intrigued by, interested in and then slowly it morphs into so much more and you find yourself personally consumed in striving to learn more, do more, see more. From all the stories you hear about how other photographers got started the journeys share similarities; but where they wind up truly finds them; weddings, pet portraits, wildlife/nature, lifestyle portraits, baby portraits, each niche finds its way to the perfect person and that is years in the making when a passion becomes a lifestyle and that lifestyle is then the “Life of a Photographer”.