Maheshwary, was born into a film family. He started his
career in Bollywood as a controller of films and worked with
directors like Ram Maheshwary, Mahesh Bhatt, Shyam Benegal,
Asit Sen etc. He moved to Massachusetts in the 1980s and set
up a career shooting American, and later Indian weddings.
memories for a lifetime..."
My typical ‘wedding
shoot’ day begins after a sleepless night has ended. A
wedding is a wedding in my definition, be it American or
Indian; a huge affair with 500 guests or a very private one.
I still cannot rest until I see the negatives of the shoot.
After all I am creating a lifetime of memories with a
machine (the camera). The day cannot be played back, and I
will not have a second chance.
I have photographed hundreds of weddings, but each wedding
is preceded with meticulous preparation. My partner of 10
years Greg Vasali and I set up a studio at the venue,
complete with a background, lights and camera. We shoot the
wedding like a documentary. We go click-click from two
different angles, never missing a moment. We take something
like 400-500 pictures each time. We try to capture all the
tender moments of the day—the planned, the unplanned and
the spontaneous—through the lens of our cameras. A lot of
times, the film making skills that I picked up in Bollywood
helps me capture the best moods of the moment.
I have been a photographer in the New England area for the
last 19 years. I started off doing big functions and
American weddings. But the market for Indian wedding
photography has burgeoned in the past 5 years.
There are many differences between an Indian wedding and an
American wedding even from the photographer’s point of
view. At American weddings, they expect you to arrive at a
certain time and leave at the expected hour. A few weeks
ago, I was invited to photograph an American wedding. I was
asked to come in at 10 am. I reached the venue 30 minutes
earlier, and they didn’t like it one bit. They expected me
to arrive on the dot at 10 am and leave on the dot after the
By contrast, at Indian weddings, if they want me to reach
the venue at 9.30 am, they will ask me come in at 7.30 am.
Even after midnight, they insist that I stay back to capture
Indian weddings are diverse too. Punjabi weddings are
different from Tamil weddings in terms of actual rituals.
But I would say that the basic mindset is the same at all
Every wedding is a challenge. But certain weddings are more
challenging than others. Usually at American weddings, I
arrive at the venue for the rehearsal one day before the
actual ceremony because I need to be aware of the
limitations on my movements. At one American wedding I was
asked by the priest not to use my flashgun. My hands went
cold. How could I shoot effectively without a flashgun?
After the ceremony, I went up to the priest and convinced
him of how important the photos were for the bride and the
groom. We did whole wedding again, this time for the camera!
I remember one Indian wedding where the outdoor setting was
so perfect that I gathered all the 500 guests into the
picture frame. I was shouting, begging everybody to lineup
for the photo. But the result was well worth the effort.
That photo is still among my favorites.
Each day is a learning experience for me. I try to improve
my skills with each assignment. I have been lucky. Not
everyone can make a living out of his or her passions. I
have been blessed to live and work with my camera.