“Your everyday is like your pre-wedding”, talk to Sanit Nitigultanon, the natural feeling collector through photographing
At the time of pre-wedding shoot becoming the trend for all couples before their actual weddings, the street photography is concurrently becoming popular among photographers. With the combination of both, street pre-wedding photography is what couples keen on owning. One inevitable problem that always occurs is being natural in front of the camera like a professional model. Every of their acts even smiling seem so awkward and unnatural putting some of them into fear of such shoot. So, this leaves to the photographers’ duty to solve such problem.
One of the busiest pre-wedding photographers is no one else but Sanit Nitigultanon, the owner of Sanit.portfolio page. His identity is to perfectly bring out the best in natural acts of each couple using the divisible combination of pre-wedding and street photography.
Plus, his concept in each set of the shoot is being able to tell the fun stories which make people happy at just one glance. It is definitely no need to tell by words but the feeling of how happy the couple in the pictures might have felt. At last, he is here with us to talk about the story behind his awesome pre-wedding works and the importance of the equipment that help create the perfect works he wants. More importantly, the rules for each couple as a preparation for the best pre-wedding shoot.
The start of photography path
The first time I held the camera in my hands was in high school. I started of with taking pictures at graduation ceremonies; for friends and relatives. When I started university, I eventually continued accepting a job as a photographer. Once, I graduated from university, I went to apply for a normal job like anybody else but, asking for day off for photos shoot. Then, they told me to leave the job and become the actual photographer. At that time, there was also a pet magazine hiring a phtographer so, I took a try. I was there for a couple of yeras until I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t wokring. That was why I turned to fashion shoot and production works.
Then I became more well-known among people because of more jobs. There was a wedding I got introduced to. I remember it was my brother’s friend wedding. I was so overwhelmed. As a photographer, I was trying to figure out my angles; still with a little clumsiness not knowing how to make the couple relax. Since taking pictures is what I love, I put a lot of effort into it because I wanted the best in my works.
Decision to become pre-wedding photography
At first, I though pre-wedding photography was quite difficult to do. I hated to make the couple kissing each other all day. I had a feeling of not wanting to do it like putting a pressure to myself. Plus, I had no idea about the style. At that time, the popular trend was using flash. Even though I was trying to, I didn’t feel successful. It was like I hadn,t found myself yet.
Until one day, I ran into the situation that changed my mind forever. It was my vacation with my friends that we came across the group of people shooting a pre-wedding. One foreigner came to ask me what was going on and I told him it was a pre-wedding shoot. Then, he kept wondering why that couple looked unhappy and everything seemed tense. It was that sentence from him that kicked my head; “that’s right! Why do they look so stressful?”. It made me rethink about the whole thing that the day of pre-wedding shoot should be relaxing; just let the couple be their own self. After that, I started to take pictures using my feeling as priority; trying to make them as relaxing as I could. I’ve changed from shooting pew-wedding for money to shooting them out of fun. My work has been enjoyable since and I have found my way of pre-wedding photography.
Effective techniques that have been regularly used in his field job
when I am at the shoot, I would rather film as I want them to have movement. If I want this angle, I will ask them to move; if I want them to hug, I will have them squeeze or fling or do some other activities at the same time. Let’s say if we want somebody to hold hands in front of the camera, they will definitely feel awkward. That is why I won’t let them just hold hands but swing them while talking to each other. I will let the groom rub the bride’s hand so, his attention is at rubbing and eventually they will not care or forget about the shoot. Plus, I might suddenly say something funny to make them laugh then, I can snap that particular moments. These are the techniques I have regularly use.
I think kissing and hugging are what we usually do in private. so, doing that in front of others will turn to something non-erotic but fun to do. In case of deeply in-love couple, the feeling will be shown obviously. There are many types of kiss so, we are trying our best to bring out the most suitable one for the couple.
What if there is one problem for the couple that is they desire for beautiful pictures but, they don’t have enough confidence. As a photographer, what is your way to tell them?
No matter how bad the pictures can be, we have to confirm that they are fine. First thing is I have to be the one who feel relaxed. If I am under pressure and unrelaxed, everything will turn out exactly like me. If I feel tense, the model will feel the same. It is because everything is the reflection from us and the couple need to follow our lead. Therefore, I have picked my team members to be fun and good at teasing people in order to loosen the atmosphere. I never try to set what I want and let them manage on their own. When people notice that they are given the permission to do things they wish, they will feel no pressure and bring out the best pictures. However, everything must be within the prepared frame; the direction of light, silhouette or light. We have to figure out the right angle then, we can let them do whatever relaxingly.
The heart of your pre-wedding photography?
Sometimes, people don’t really like their own nature. On the other hand, we love others pictures. So, I ask them who you would want to show your pictures to when you post them in Facebook; yourself or others. If the answer is for others, you are successful if those pictures can make others smile or laugh. Smiling with one side of your mouth distorted doesn’t matter if it can make people sense the happiness from that sincere smile. Some people are afraid of showing their teeth so they are not showing their real smiles. This way I’ve tried to tell them to show their own smiles because I want the most natural smiles they can get me.
Another problem is with the groom himself not wanting anything to do with the shoot. I’ve always looked back at myself when I was getting married; I didn’t want that shoot either. So, I try to talk to the groom of how unserious this can be and tell him to make things relaxing just like they are on vacation. I try not to give an order so, they are not under pressure like they are on vacation and leave the rest of the work to us.
The pre-wedding shoot is to work with various kinds of people, have you ever come across any difficult situations to deal with?
The most shocking situation was the couple broke up right in front of me at the end of the day. I felt terrible because pre-wedding was supposed to bring the couple together. It was like the groom wasn’t into the shoot at all as he was a very shy person. For the first time I met him I’d known that he wouldn’t be enjoying this for sure. So, I told him how I understood him and realized how hard this could do to him. I tried to use psychology of being on his side would make thing better. He was more natural after that.
The first three hours almost reached his limit. There was a walking along the street, him being shy and a crazy bride pushed him to the end. I told him to sit down and kept on shooting. I felt this is the reflection of his real characters. Until it was up to the highest point of his limit; not to shoot anymore. I also realized the standard of my work that we had had enough pictures for the whole day so, I called it off. However, the bride still wanted more so, they were arguing and finally asking for a break up. I tried to calm them down and didn’t ask for any money if I was the reason of their break-up. I tried hard to make peace between them and asked them to collect the pictures which tuned out to be nice. A month went on and the groom called me to let me know the wedding went fine. I felt so relieved.
Concept of each photo shoot
I always come up with something different and new. If there is anything that tickles and tells me to keep going, then I can move on with it or if there is anything from the couple that can reflect my own self, I will chose to play around with that. For example, Pee Kleua Pentor (Kitti Chiawwongkul)’s shoot was the start for my liking towards street photography because he wanted something relaxing and natural. There was also another couple. They actually wanted to go to Japan and something extraordinary. I told them that Japan couldn’t give you the extraordinary but, India will take you to the real street arts. They were totally incited. They were actually wealthy couple but still, I wanted them to experience something new and original. India is the place of perfect combination for street stories. It was long time ago but I still miss it.
What do you think of pre-wedding photography nowadays?
It much more opening now. Back then, it maybe just Bounce Flash and a focus on posts. The pictures were actually beautiful and valuable. I wanted to do but I couldn’t because I couldn’t use White lenses that well. In the market nowadays, however, people don’t focus on that alone. In y opinion, pre-wedding can be anything according to the couple’s wishes. All they want is the creative pictures that can give people happiness. Once this market is opening more and not focusing on just one type of shoot, pre-wedding shoot is getting more fun.
Finding the identity seems to be the problem for new photographers, what are your suggestions on that?
I had no clue when I was a newcomer. I found out things for myself after working for 10 years. I think that work is supposed to come from who you are or your characteristics. For example, I am not that serious with my work, so I create quite informal ones. Besides, I like to think things differently, so I create extraordinary works. The thing is you should not resist your own nature; what kind of person you are should be reflected in the pictures you shoot. However, it is not that you are lazy so, you can take pictures like you are lazy. To find the identity in work, you need to start with looking at yourself or what makes you happy. If you are trying hard and still being unhappy, it is not your way.
What do you have to tell the couple who are about to do the pre-wedding shoot?
I want to say that there is no need to prepare anything much. All you need is your belongings, clothes and yourself. If you are thinking of hiring a photographer, all you need to give him is a trust. You don’t have to figure out what to do for him. As a professional photographer, he basically knows what to do. If you are a thinker, the feeling will comes out on your face and there will be no good photos in the end. You have to trust them and let the man do his best on his job. Pre-wedding is like your everyday life; it is just you may dress a little better. How to smile or walk is still you.
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