Hi There! I'm Ushna, a wedding photographer based out of the US (Arizona, California, New York are my home bases but don’t you worry, I travel frequently for sessions). I shoot a combination of film and digital photograph...thriving to create images that surpass trends and remind you of, not only what the day looked like, but also how it felt. Even though a bulk of my inspiration comes from fashion editorials, I’m a very nostalgic person. Always observing, and quick to photograph anything I know I’ll miss…even if it’s just with my phone. I think the key to great wedding photos is just that, photographing a collection of these moments that you don’t …want… to… ever… end. So if we ever cross paths, tell me what is important to you, why you’re in love, what do you want your wedding photos to feel like. The more I know of your story the better I can photograph your wedding. And if you’re a fashion buff like me, share your outfits with me and let’s get the creative juices flowing.
I got into photography by complete chance. I never thought I would become a photographer or be in the wedding business. I just always loved taking photos in my daily life, while doing average things with family and friends and it was them that prompted me to take it more seriously. My friends in college pitched in and surprised me with my first camera. Then word of mouth led to shooting events, then weddings. The one thing that holds true about me and is still something I draw inspiration from... my nostalgia. I am deeply aware of how fast life is moving, and throughout the day I'll recognize things that I know I'll miss whether it's something funny my niece is doing or me waking up to the comfort of my mother.
I think as an artist you evolve with your experiences, not just in skill but the life you live. After falling in love myself, I understood the feeling so much more and I think it made me a better photographer. As for style, my work has been through many seasons and I'm always trying new lighting techniques and staying uncomfortable. I think I will spend the rest of my life learning about light. People do say they can recognize a photo done by me, but I couldn't tell you what my style is. I generally try to show my client's personality or the theme of the event.
I do both, I feel like it's absolutely necessary on a wedding day to balance a bit of both because it can be very chaotic and you're trying to tell the story not just the way it is but in a way that you can feel it too. If you can't manage a crowd everyone will be in your way. I don't try to interrupt candid moments to get posed photos, with candids anticipating moments is key. However, sometimes couples aren't as comfortable or there isn't enough time, then I try to do more hand-holding to achieve the type of photos they want.
Once they're signed, I like to be a resource as much as possible, whether it's what to wear, timelines, locations, the more involved I am the better the wedding day flows. I always start all inquiries with a timeline, this always creates a lot more discussion and sets a good foundation for planning photos. In the end, it should feel like your friend is shooting your wedding and you don't have to worry about a thing.
I personally love them as pre-wedding shoots give you an amazing chance to connect and create before the wedding day. I can easily learn what a couple's dynamic is, learn their angles, their likes/dislikes without the stress of an event on them.
I love that grainy imperfect photos are making a comeback, along with direct flash night photos. I think couples are finding the beauty in the raw imagery that makes you feel a certain way without meeting the perfect specs for a photo.
I wouldn't recommend poses per say; that's a much longer topic, I think it's more important that as a couple you try to show your chemistry in front of the camera and tell the photographer more about you before a photoshoot. Wear things that not only are flattering on you but also look flattering on camera (they're not always the same things). I know a lot of photographers don't involve themselves with wardrobe as much as I do but I strongly feel it can make or break a shoot when the scene and fit don't mesh. I don't really do set poses, my focus is more: how do I get this couple to laugh or how do I make this outfit stand out or show this beautiful location, and then poses come to mind.
Do more engagement sessions and find a photographer that your personalities mesh with, that you just forget about the camera altogether. Trust the photographer to get the angles and just live in the moment during the wedding, express what you feel, and the rest will just happen.
I absolutely love first looks; I feel like a lot of South Asian couples can be reserved when all the guests are watching but when it's just isolated, magic happens. Also, plan for your parents/siblings/besties to either help you get ready or have first looks with them even. All this doesn't even have to be orchestrated, it's a natural reaction waiting to happen.
This one is soooo important. The first thing to do is just plan your events so you can get rest, and don't let your family add in extra things that are only going to make you miss out on sleep. Especially if you're a person that doesn't do well on lack of sleep. The second is to get your portraits done before the event so that you just live in the moment. You never want to spend your whole wedding just having a photoshoot. If things run super late, and my couple is super exhausted, I try to knock photos out quickly so they can catch a break. There are moments where I literally show the couple how the photo is turning out and that usually gives them a jolt of excitement. Other times they just want to eat and are fine with taking fewer photos.
I think knowing the couple's dynamic, and just having a conversation going throughout the shoot helps. A lot of times I'll just say outlandish things to get a reaction or give them multiple cues and have them run through it fast to get movement and expression. I love the shot between two poses.
No, but I do love making videos, so maybe one day!
I always go early to scope out where I want to shoot etc, and bounce off what video wants to do, and then it's a tag team all day.
I deliver my photos fully edited; there's no pick the photos you want. You basically get a gallery of finished images, anything peculiar that requires extra editing would be an additional charge, but I don't really get those requests since I try to deliver the best I can.
This varies so much these days with all the date changes and overbooked schedules. But generally pre-covid wedding times my turnaround was 2-3 months and it's mainly because I edit everything myself and don't use a third party.
I try to make my couples as comfortable as possible, showing them how images are turning out, adjusting any distracting elements, or changing things around for the light.
Figure out your non-negotiables, and plan in some downtime and your meals outside of the wedding day. Figure out what photos are important to you and ask your photographers how much time they'll need. There is nothing better than rest, food, and water to prepare you to soak in every minute of this wedding you waited your whole life for. Don't be skipping zzzzz, water, and food out of nerves.