1. First rule of photography, don’t let anything come between you and your shot. The Shot you have got to frame, and hence if you claim to be a photographer, claim your space and don’t budge. Yes and I am unscrupulous about this one. Of course I do tone it down with a “Oops, so sorry. Didn’t know I was in your way”. Sulking away in a corner won’t help the cause of your album later ;)
2. Out there to photograph an event for a cultural capture, it is of utmost importance that you get the celebratory essence in your pictures. Yes hence colour and balancing of colour are a very important deal here. Settings matter, please go back to your manual.
3. Bad exposure shots, when converted to black and white will reveal lack of skills. For example, ashen faces. Photoshop is a ready tool to a certain extent. Use it :D
4. Holding a big camera and lens is not enough; you must have the ability to capture the best in it. As a photographer and one who is trying to take portrait shots, it is very important to have flattering shots of your “free model”. If you haven’t managed to do that, scrap the idea of making it available on social media as it only shows you have no idea how to angle your shots.
5. Study the environment and also your models, even a candid shot has to be done in a way that it brings the essence of being candid and yet tells a story. Framing a candid is fun and permissible, but make sure it is then telling a beautiful story. Learn the art of bokeh, it makes your shots look like photography.
I guess it is important to be seen with a camera in hand than actually pay attention to what is being clicked. For these novices I suggest a phone camera is good enough a tool. Personally, photography is a very important tool of expression. It must be given its due respect as a form of art.
You might argue that it’s the photographer’s perspective to show the worst angels of these happy campers. Well a slight deviation in posture would get a much better shot, and lack of expertise is what makes me cringe in these. While I was in those group shots, my eyes were constantly roving to see what I could click next. In fact it is more fun being behind the lens than in front. I love observing the world from there. It’s a beautiful space to be in, and my personal favourite was shooting the little Kumari’s. Their blissful ignorance to the camera and the rituals, made for such lovely memories; not just for the parents but for everybody who views them. That is what covering of a cultural scenario means, people should be happy to be captured in them and proudly display them. If they have hidden them from their wall, or worse still untagged themselves, you have failed as a photographer.