Sumdarash Kanwal & Sudeep Kanwal started the studio back in 2006. As a premiere South Asian event & wedding photography studio, House of Talent has captured thousands of weddings all over New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Connecticut. Apart from the tri-state area and other states in the United States, the company has also covered some of the most exotic locations across the globe, including, Cayman Islands, Cancun Mexico, Panama, Jaipur India and Ireland.
What sets you apart?
Other than weddings, we also work on projects such as short films, feature films, music videos & fashion photography. Most of our staff comes from film background. We apply the same principles to our wedding shoots. This results in a really nice blend of journalistic coverage of the events along with the fashion style portrait shoots. We are members of both PPA (Professional Photographers of America). Unlike many of the home run studios, we are a corporation with proper locations in New York & New Jersey. We spend a lot of time researching & updating our equipment every year. We use the latest cameras & state of the art lenses. All photographers & cinematographers carry back-up equipment including cameras.
What services do you offer?
House of Talent provides wedding photography & cinematography services. We primarily specialize in South Asian weddings. We provide our clients with complete service from shooting the event to the making of the album. We also have in house video & photo editors. Features such as portrait photography, family sessions, video proofing, downloadable digital image galleries & design proofing are standard in almost all our packages.
Please explain the three styles of wedding photography: editorial, journalistic and portrait?
We use a photojournalistic shooting style, along with fashion themed portrait photo shoots. We focus on capturing the moments & details. We believe photographers & videographers should capture the candid moments instead of interfering & drawing attention towards themselves during the ceremony or the reception. This is the reason why we have a planned photo shoot either before or after the wedding. When it comes to weddings there is no difference between editorial and journalistic styles.
How can a bride make sure to get all three during the wedding? What is a typical timeline that you recommend?
For almost all the brides we start with the getting ready shots. We start taking pictures towards the end when the bride's hair & makeup are almost done. Most of the couples don't have an issue with seeing each other before the wedding, so the portrait session is the next thing on the list. This is followed by a few journalistic and portrait style shots with the bridal party. We end the planned photo shoot with the immediate family pictures. The next thing on the list usually is the baraat. From this point onwards till the second portrait shoot (couple & immediate family) in the reception outfit, everything is captured in the moment. Unless, the couple wants some posed photos with the extended family after the ceremony. After the reception photo shoot, candid coverage is done for the rest of the night. At any point bride and groom can request pictures with their friends, colleagues or extended family members.
What style choices can be done in post photography, i.e. retouching, photoshop, enhancements, etc.?
All the images that the clients choose for the album are carefully retouched by our photo editors. Depending on the type of image, various kinds of enhancements are made to the selected pictures. We do custom design storybook albums. Our albums are made in USA. Our staff works closely with the brides to make sure their vision is integrated in the design of the album layouts. We have a super talented album design staff.
What are average price packages.... low end, mid range, high end. What determines which photographer falls in which range/or what should a bride look out for?
All weddings are unique. Especially, South Asian weddings vary in the number of service hours & sometimes days. Therefore, we customize packages. We recommend that you give us a call (zoom or regular phone call) & go over your day in detail. If for some reason you can’t make it, then send us as much information via email. Here at H.O.T. we don’t have different levels of packages as all clients & all weddings get equal care & quality of service. We don't believe in shoot and burn as a printed image always looks better than something on a computer screen. For this reason, all our wedding packages come with at least one coffee table album. Brides should make sure that they are getting at least one album in the package as these books get expensive to add a la carte. Most photographers push for quantity & promise thousands of digital images. Very few talk about the quality of the photos that go in to the album. In a few years you would revisit your day by looking at your wedding album instead of browsing through those thousands of images on a computer. At House of Talent you get plenty of coverage as the shooting style primarily is photojournalistic, but you also get guaranteed wow shots that will make your album look awesome forever.
How is the best way to communicate your needs as a bride to your photographer?
It’s always great to meet in person. But considering the current situation with the pandemic a conference call or a zoom call is the best way to do this. Look at it more as a consultation and just have a friendly chat with our wedding experts. As couples talk to one of the photographers, they pick up a lot of new ideas & also go over the things that may or may not work on their wedding day. This is also a good time to discuss the kind of photography style or styles the bride is looking for.
What’s your take on E-shoots?
Pre-wedding shoots, also known as engagement shoots, help a couple go through the photography process prior to their wedding. This makes it very easy for the bride & the groom to take pictures on the wedding day. Not only they can share these photos on their personal websites & social networking sites, these can also be used to make printed displays for the wedding. We also offer high quality guest signing books made using your engagement shoot pictures.
Any other tips/advice can you offer from your experience?
There are no retakes when it comes to weddings. We highly recommend having two photographers & two cinematographers for all your events. An additional photographer/cinematographer offers not only another perspective, but a more comprehensive coverage. This gives you more options when it comes to selecting the images for your wedding album. Same goes for the video as the editor has more options to play with while putting everything together.