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We are rob & lauren: two professional photographers who love weddings and travel. This is where all of those things come together for us. Within these pages we hope you discover and sense our deep love for the cultures that we encounter and experience. Our biggest hope is that you come away from this site with a great understanding, respect and love for them and their ways. Enjoy!

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Megha & Chakshu | Portrait Session Monday
Agra, India

So, here we go. I hope you are all excited for this. Because you aren’t going to believe it.

To put it very simply, we just did a portrait session at the Taj Mahal.

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Yes.


Seriously.


Wow, hey? I still can’t even believe it, and the whole entire thing is just a blur. I think half of it is because it’s just such a huge deal, that we can’t believe we did it. And the other half is because we were under a lot of stress and pressure right from the get-go. It wasn’t easy to do at all, and I’m so happy that we managed to get some great shots even under some tough conditions.

You see, we had this little plan in mind for a while. We all packed our bags, and left Delhi early in the morning for a road trip to Agra, the city that is home to the Taj Mahal. We arrived around 1PM, I believe. We checked into our hotel, took a quick trip to see the magnificent structure, grabbed a quick bite, and then it was time to get ready. Megha and Chakshu changed into their gorgeous reception outfits from their wedding. (They got married here in Delhi in December, and we were unfortunately a month too late with our trip to attend). We made our way to the Taj around 5:00PM, hoping to get some great sunset light to work with.

First off, there was no sunset. Well, not one we could see. Agra was covered in a hazy foggy sky, so there was no real colour coming through. Oh well, we had nice light anyway, but it was darker than we would have liked.

So we all walk down an alley to actually get into the Taj. Megha and Chakshu dressed to the nines, walking down a smelly, busy alley. Funny stuff!

Then we get to the gate. 20 Rupees entry for Indians, 750 for foreigners ($0.50 and just about $20 Canadian). Hilarious hey? But that wasn’t the tough part. Apparently they now have rules that forbid you to bring in any bags.

Think about that for a moment. We’re there to do a photo session, and we can’t bring in our camera bags. Major stress out time!

Chakshu managed to convince a guy to let us bring in his tiny backpack, so Rob and I, in a wild flurry, start to decide what we want to bring in. We had brought everything, since this was going to be a portrait session to remember, and now we had to cut out most of what we brought. We stuffed in a few lenses, and some flash cards, and had to leave everything else behind. And this whole process took up a ton of our precious time where we still had some light to work with! Eek!

Then we all finally get through the gates, and walk in to see the Taj. It’s honestly breathtaking, and we started to get to work.

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Namaste!
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Chakshu is a photo buff himself, and he couldn’t resist whipping out his own camera to take some shots! He looks so incredibly cool in this shot, doesn’t he??

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Megha’s incredible chura. She will be wearing these from the time she got married (December, 2007) until she has her reception back in Edmonton in June, 2008! Dedication!

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Just putting on some of her jewelry

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Love, love, love, love, love the feeling of this one.

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We stepped off to the side to this great red colonnade to take some more secluded shots.

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These two really know how to laugh with each other and are always having fun together. We absolutely loved it.

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Plus they know how to work the camera like pros. I’m finding it hard to believe they AREN’T models. Seriously, this had nothing to do with us, and everything to do with them.

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This shot feels like there was no one else around for miles. I love it.

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How about we take a stroll towards the Taj? Ok!

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A reflection in one of the pools.

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I can’t get enough of this one.
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Like a movie.

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We took very very few shots of the Taj itself, lol! But here’s one we liked.
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I still can’t believe this whole thing really happened.

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Romance personified.

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And in the middle of all those romantic, intense and serious shots it was always goofing around and having fun. Our favorite type of couple.

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Self portrait! We look absolutely grungy beside them, it’s ridiculous!

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And can you believe this? At this point we pretty much were the very last people in the place, and it was pitch black. Rob had to set the camera on top of Chakshu’s backpack, since we weren’t allowed our tripods. But all the difficulty was worth it. This is Rob’s favorite shot of the day.

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Shabaam!

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And then a few detail shots when we got back to the hotel.

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Megha’s mangalsutra, the necklace she gets when she is married. It is one of the five things that signify a woman's married status, so it's very important!mangalsutra, agra, india

And her fantastic shoes.
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And that’s all we have done up so far. There are so many to go through that we just can’t do them justice on this laptop, and we’re itching to get home and work on them on our real computers. But now I’m going to get sort of sappy, so hold on to your seats.

Now, just imagine how many people are visiting the Taj each day. And then place a couple who look like models in the middle of it all, dressed up like they are at their wedding while everyone else is wearing t-shirts and shorts, and then have two people with huge cameras taking shots. Trust me, we attracted a LOT of attention. And even more than that, they attracted a sort of paparazzi, as tourists and locals alike were trying to snap a picture of them or just standing there staring. Some people were even jumping down from these huge platforms to sneak up behind Rob to get a shot. I think many of the tourists must have thought they were famous or something. But it was certainly really, extremely tough conditions for anyone to stay relaxed and happy, with all those people staring at you. Megha and Chakshu did a flat out amazing job, and it’s the honest truth that they completely share the credit for this shoot. The amount of work, preparation, dedication and commitment they put into this is astounding, and we honestly can never thank them enough for doing this with us.

I don’t know how we manage to meet such amazing people, who give so much to us (we’ve actually been staying with them in Chakshu’s house for the past 6 days, and they have been the most hospitable hosts imaginable). And then to put so much effort into doing the Taj shoot with us, it’s not just anyone who would do that, and we consider ourselves so very very lucky. So an enormous thank you to both Megha, Chakshu, and Chakshu’s family who have been so kind to us over this past week. And to Megha and Chakshu, without whom these photos would not exist. As far as we all could tell, this is possibly the first time this has been done on this scale. Photo sessions like this don’t really happen for couples in India, and with the amount of work it took to get to the Taj, it certainly wasn’t just a walk in the park. So we’re very glad to have been a part of this. Now we can’t wait to get home and get some of these printed for our house!

Ok, enough sappiness. We’re off to do another shoot with them in Delhi! Wish us luck!

Lauren


Category: Weddings

Tags: agra, architecture, india, mangalsutra, photography, portrait, reflection, taj mahal, travel, weddings