Joseph Radhik is one of India's most well-known contemporary wedding photographers. Over a career that has spanned 8 years and over 300 weddings, he has crafted a style that is unique, vibrant, and full of joy. Joseph is the winner of IPA New York's global first place for weddings in 2015, a 3-time Fearless Award global winner, one of the top 25 wedding photographers in the world (2017 WPS), and one of the Top 10 Most Influential Photographers in Asia. He's also an active educator and community builder in the portrait and wedding photography scene in Asia, with an initiative called PEP. Speaking on various platforms (TEDx, global conferences, and others), he emphasizes the importance of self-learning and goal-setting.
What keeps you inspired as a wedding photographer?
My journey with wedding photography began with my sister's wedding in 2008. Before that, I was an avid hobbyist photographer shooting sunsets and flowers. As I explored the genre and learned to master it, I was hooked. A year later, I took the plunge and shot a friend's wedding, and things have never been the same since! I love bringing relationships to life in my images, whether it's the love between bride and a groom, or within the family. Also, I see weddings as fantasy events where I get to tell real stories. That paradox is what drives me.
Describe your wedding photography style.
My style can be defined by real moments and timeless portraits. I believe every wedding has to be approached in two ways: as a portrait photographer, creating images that will stand the test of time, and also as a photojournalist, who respects the important moments of a wedding, and always finds the best possible compositions within them.
What are some challenges you face in wedding photography?
I've found that mastering my equipment and actual physical endurance are the two biggest challenges. Indian weddings can span multiple days and it's not uncommon to have 12-hour shoots for 3 continuous days. I need both my body and equipment in top shape to do my best.
What important details are needed for wedding photography?
You need to know the type of ceremony, especially in India where there are more than 20 types of ceremonies! You also need to know the families and the intricacies of the relationships—a typical wedding in India hosts about 500 guests, some can go up to 140,000 guests! In this chaos, knowing what and who to photograph is key. Once this is sorted, I can take a risk or two which will hopefully result in an extraordinary image. That's why it's important to know your equipment inside and out—so that you are not reacting to moments, but seeking them out instead.
Which camera and lenses do you shoot with?
My philosophy is to keep it simple. My kit includes two full-frame bodies, and three to five lenses, which are the Alpha 7R III, Alpha 9, FE 16-35 mm GM, Distagon T* FE 35 mm F1.4 ZA, E 35 mm F1.8 OSS, Zeiss Batis 1.8/85, as well as a tilted Zeiss 50/1.4 planar on an adapter.
How does your equipment support you in your photography?
I love using Sony's Alpha mirrorless cameras because they make the process fun and simple. Whether it's the tilting live view, the fully electronic viewfinder, the magical Eye AF, the silent shutter (for use during emotional moments), or the really lightweight bodies that don't take a toll on my body. These cameras make my job easy for me.