How to Photograph the Baraat in an Indian Wedding
The Baraat is the groom’s procession during an Indian or Pakistani wedding that takes place prior to the marriage ceremony. During a traditional Baraat, the groom and his family travel to the bride’s home, accompanied by a boisterous band or DJ playing music ranging from traditional to modern music. Since many weddings these days are at hotels and traveling to the bride’s home is not often not feasible, the Baraat often occurs in roads and driveways leading up to wedding venues.
During the Baraat, the groom often arrives on a decorated horse, elephant, or other mode of transportation such as a sports car or carriage. The event is full of laughter, dancing, and anticipation. In the following article, we’ll provide tips for photographers and videographers on how to capture the Baraat and then provide examples from our award-winning photographers.
Tips for Photographing the Baraat
- Use a Wide Angle Lens – For photographers, a wider angle lens, such as a 16-35mm or a 25-70mm is an absolute must to capture the entire baraatis, the groom, and the environment in one shot. In addition, it’s great for dance scenes, as the distortion creates the unique effect of exaggerating the movements at the edges of the image.
- Get into the Action – Don’t be afraid to get into the action. For example, if you see a circle of people dancing, be a part of the circle rather than standing far away and zooming in. These up close, action-packed shots will be much more dynamic and interesting.
- Understand the Flow – In most baraats, the groom will start on the horse (or other vehicle) near the back of the procession. Near the end, he will join the dance party in the front of the procession. Understanding this flow will let you plan out your shots and positioning so you don’t miss critical moments.
- Understand the Event – The Baraat is the groom’s processional. Rather than simply walking down the aisle, however, the groom will be accompanied by family and friends and can cover a range of distances, say from the hotel parking lot down to the wedding ceremony site. During the Baraat, the groom will usually travel to the site on a horse, or camel, or even in a car. Music and dancing play a big part of this processional, which transpires to announce the groom’s arrival to the ceremony. Brides are not present for the Baraat, but they often watch from a discreet location. At some point, the groom will dismount from his transportation, and dance alongside his friends and family. The dancing is not usually choreographed. Consider using a wide angle zoom lens, like a 24-70mm f/2.8, if possible, to get a range of perspectives with minimal time and effort. Baraats are usually very crowded, so maneuverability is minimal when getting into the action and covering this event
Baraat Images for Your Inspiration
Here are some of our favorite images of the Baraat.
For more information and inspiration on the Baraat, be sure to check out this article from Lin and Jirsa and this article from Wedding Maps.