I have photographed numerous couples in the last three years. A majority of them are young couples – about to be married or just married or young parents. It is indeed a very refreshing and delightful experience photographing two people head over heels in love. You can see the eagerness and anticipation they have to dive into the adventure of life that awaits them as a couple! I find a lot of love and admiration in their eyes. It is when couples are in this exciting phase of their lives, they book me!
As years roll by and life’s responsibilities and challenges begin to kick in, the excitement slowly begins to fade. Life no longer is an adventure but an ordeal many are striving to get through.
True love is often put to test in such times.
I have noticed that couples who choose to stand by each other through all of life’s seasons, just as they did in the good times and younger days, are great testaments of true love.
In the few older couples whom I have photographed, this is what I noticed – there is something very unique about their love and relationship. They share a love that has withstood the test of time and life!
Their sense of admiration for each other is on a whole different level. It’s one that goes past appearance. It is admiration that has been built up over the years through various situations and circumstances – for exceeding one’s expectation in moments when least expected, for being selfless, for the sacrifices made for the other, for the many times the person cheered, encouraged and motivated the other to excel and for the unconditional love showered in the most broken moments.
One glance at the way the couple look at each other, this admiration and love can be felt. It’s powerful and intense.
Hence, while capturing older couples, I am extremely cautious to make the most of the 30 to 60 minutes I have in hand to capture their decades of timeless, precious love for each!
Every second of the given time, I strive to create moments, which will result in images that are not just visually appealing, but portrays the timelessness of their bond and their love!
A couple of weeks prior to Valentine’s Day, Sindhu and Snigdha, sisters and my clients who have become good friends of mine, pinged me saying they would like to book a session as a gift to their mom and dad for their 25th wedding anniversary!
I am someone who gets excited for every session that I am booked. The minute I heard its a 25th Wedding Anniversary gift from daughters to parents, my excitement knew no bounds. For weeks, up until the day of the shoot, I kept thinking how I can make it special for both the parents and the daughters.
Sindhu, Snigdha and I formed a WhatsApp group. We discussed the costumes they would be coming in and their parents personalities. I also suggested the sisters to plan a little surprise for their parents towards the end of the shoot to make the day memorable. I left the sisters to decide the surprise!
It was 09:00 am, February 9th, a Saturday. The massive gates of Golconda Fort just opened for the day. As Hyderabad was still under the winter spell, although sun was shining and the fort was well lit by the morning sun, cool, gentle breeze filled the air. There were hardly any tourists. We literally had the entire Golconda Fort to ourselves.
Nirmala aunty and Ramesh uncle walked in so gracefully along with their beautiful daughters and son-in-law.
Aunty looked very elegant in a royal green Kanchipuram silk saree, which in fact was her wedding saree! Uncle Ramesh appeared stately in his kurtha and olive green jacket.
They carried a calm, composed and very cheerful demeanor.
One of the reasons I absolutely enjoy photographing in Golconda Fort is the timeless factor it adds to the photographs!
For the next hour we strolled through the ancient fort creating and capturing some very touching portraits.
As the session neared its close, the daughters surprised their parents with two gorgeous gold rings!
Aunty Nirmala and uncle Ramesh, exchanged the rings recalling their big day twenty fives years ago!
As I quietly stood there behind the camera capturing these moments, happy tears rolled down my eyes. I felt truly honored to be there capturing these priceless moments of this dear couple and their family!
25 years! What a milestone! What a blessing!
There may be numerous kinds of very precious and meaningful gifts that can be given. However, I feel among all those gifts, only photographs have the power to capture and freeze a certain moment in time, life and relationships.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
— Karl Lagerfeld
Sessions and people like the Munipally’s leave my heart overflowing with gratitude and satisfaction for what I get to do as a profession!
It’s past midnight as I am typing this post. I wonder how awesome it would be if I get to photograph the newly wed couples and young families that I have photographed, ten, twenty years from now! It will certainly feel surreal!
Dearest Aunty Nirmala and Uncle Ramesh, you are a blessing and a great example. Although I got to meet you both only very briefly, I could sense what fine and kind-hearted people you are. Having known Sindhu and Snigdha and being a mum of two daughters myself, I really wish I could do a good job in raising them as confident, smart, fearless and passionate women like yours!
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” – Victor Hugo
You two are a living example of how a couple can be committed to their love and nurture a family! Happy anniversary, Uncle & Aunty!
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