Photographer, Wedding Photographer

Submitted into Contest #144 in response to: Write a story about a wedding photographer.... view prompt

18 comments

Desi Funny Contemporary

CW: Some crude humor


I sensed that they could no longer stand each other. So, I sent them running and set a drone after them.

You see, I had always wanted to shoot. I grew up watching so many 007 movies, I was confident, by the time I reached a certain age where I could straddle a gun or a lady as the occasion demanded, I would go onto dangerous missions with a 100% success rate, where I and I alone would be humanity’s last hope.

But there were three problems. First of all, in my country, there was no majesty to serve. The second one, by the time I turned 15, I was already straddling spectacles of -5.0 power on my nose. And the third and most important one, I had living parents, who naturally, straddled me with expectations even M wouldn’t dare.

 I wasn’t a smoking gun where studies were concerned either. But a very convincing book I read once made me believe, that if you desire something with all your heart, the universe conspires to give it to you or something like that. So here I am, shooting people and sending drones after them.

I don’t take my assignments lightly at all. I am still on missions that could be humanity’s last hope. Just consider the present case. This boy and girl, who are planning to be man and wife, have what I would say as good a chance of getting along with each other as the spy and his mole of a girlfriend. Clearly, they have been ordered by the great Indian Joint Familia into such an arrangement. I see an earnest desire in them to slip into a compatible mode, but they couldn’t manage to give convincing shots of holding hands, holding lotuses on boats or even sitting with their backs to each other in sunflower fields, so I asked them to run. Now, with a minimal amount of exposure to emotions on their face, the popup of forests in the ghats grabbing the frame, I will be able to produce a charming ‘save a date’ invitation that would gather their friends and relatives to a big fat wedding. Where would they go if I had not skilfully masked their insecurities and given a boost to nascent tenderness that could blossom into something good for humanity?

I have another couple scheduled for a mid-morning shoot. They are my favourite kind. They have earned the money they are about to splurge, and don’t dance to the tune of the throneless monarchs reigning the homes they were born into. Instead, they dance to the tune of the latest chart-topper from either Bollywood or Billboard. They even have an out of frame choreographer cuing them onto their dance moves in the atrium as I shoot. I can see it clear as the daylight flooding through the ceiling that It’s a bond built on ease and grace. And it shows in their moves. I feel confident I have recorded the first dance moves of a couple that will continue, at times Calypso, at times Kuchipudi, but most of the time in step with each other well into their sunset years.

The candid photo and video shoot for another couple is scheduled for the evening. As always, it’s such baloney. It’s like Moneypenny trying to take a clean shot at her target on a moving train. Doomed from the beginning. Thankfully, Q always equips me with a couple of lifesaving lenses. I use my wit and charm to make the couple do away with layers of paint on their face and send them off onto a couple of misdirections to snap on them in their unguarded moments, just like the Jaws- albeit a little lovingly.

Pre-wedding shoots are a breeze that grazes 007’s suave butt as he checks out the hot babe stepping out of the waves in her bikini. The wedding day or days leading to it is when the big guns are brought out and deadly shots are fired. My crew and I check the venue thoroughly and set up the equipment for any situation that may emerge. You never know who you miss out shooting from the best possible angle, only to repent later. But unknown to my crew I leave a few aspects to my spontaneity and resourcefulness. Otherwise, where is the fun in action?

The bride and the groom are always the easiest ones to capture on their big day. They have their set paths and positions and of course expressions. It’s the others, I take pride in presenting at their best. You see, friends, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts are the ones who are mixing up mehndi with mithai, carrying garlands or bouquets with garrulous talk and overseeing the serving of feasts to the guests with snipers for eyes. It may seem impossible to capture them in their charming best but I never say die.

One thing that never fails to amaze me is how a particular moment always brings out the sweetness in people they wouldn’t believe they possessed. It’s a fleeting moment though. It runs on their faces for a shorter screen time than a random local in a colourful turban. The sight of the bridegroom tying the mangal sutra around his bride’s neck with the turmeric rice showered on them, the bride walking down the aisle with her father, or the couple saying Qubool Hai in turns, as the case may be, always seems to make people renew love in their hearts. They seem to float an inch above the ground or project a halo around their head for a few seconds. That is when my team and I dive in for the pre-title sequence. The family group photographs afterwards are okay, but they are just post-credits – endless and boring.

I know there are more missions out there that will test my capabilities to the extreme, as the world becomes besieged by viruses and wars. There may even come a time when people don’t want a Wedding Photographer to intrude into their intimate ceremony and I may lose my contracts. But I’m sure, that is going to neither shake me nor stir me. I will still find a way to lay siege to the lair and throw in my daring stunts to save humanity. If I give up, then who will showcase the best moments of their lives to their grandchildren long after the spotlight has shifted from their prime time?


May 03, 2022 06:29

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18 comments

Deidra Lovegren
19:36 May 07, 2022

Suma - charming and whimsical and smart. Lovely writing. Crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day. Love the MC's tone -- she's someone I'd like a nice long lunch with.

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Suma Jayachandar
05:04 May 08, 2022

Deidra, I'm overjoyed to see such a wonderful comment from you. Coming from you it's high praise. Regarding MC's tone- what can say, I learnt it from the best ( pointing towards you😉) Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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14:01 May 03, 2022

Suma this is such a funny and witty take on this prompt! I love how you make a pun of the photography term "shoot", likening it to a secret agent. The opening paragraph that paralleled the narrator's desired life verses what fate dealt them was delightfully hilarious! Well done!

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Suma Jayachandar
14:31 May 03, 2022

Hey Hannah! I'm glad you found it funny. I surprised myself by writing it in one sitting and minimal editing. And wondered if it worked 😅 Thanks for the read and comment. Looking forward to reading your next story 😊

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Priyanka Chaya
10:41 May 10, 2022

Hah! What a fun look into this wedding photographer's mind. I never would have seen the parallels between being a photographer and a secret agent...until now! Thoroughly enjoyed the Indian setting and wedding customs, too. :) This was a great read.

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Suma Jayachandar
12:11 May 10, 2022

Thank you so much, Priyanka. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. I had great fun writing it. Welcome to Reedsy 😊

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Cindy Strube
16:58 May 09, 2022

Suma, Clever and sly, like a secret agent indeed! I always enjoy your descriptions of cultural happenings, and the blend with Bond theme is great!

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Suma Jayachandar
08:14 May 10, 2022

Thank you Cindy for taking time to read and comment. I really appreciate it😊

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Riel Rosehill
21:19 May 07, 2022

Woah this was creative! I never would have thought of writing a wedding photographer who fancied himself a secret agent. I breezed through this, it was so much fun to read the thoughts of this character. I LOVE the contrast that of the statement how he always wanted to shoot people at the beginning vs the very wholesome reason for it at the end. I think that's brilliant.

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Suma Jayachandar
05:09 May 08, 2022

Thanks Riel, for your generous appreciation. I'm happy to know it was a fun and interesting read for you. Will soon head to reading your story.( Kinda busy this week as relocating to another place- yes... again 🙄😂) Thanks once again for reading and commenting.

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Zack Powell
04:59 May 07, 2022

This is so clever, Suma! I feel like you really, really took the time to choose your language precisely here. There are such clear phrases and word choices to fit the James Bond-style narrative that the story is going for: "snipers for eyes" and the creative use of the verb "shoot." It felt like almost every sentence was had a double meaning, which made reading this a whole lot of fun. Great ending and an especially great opening with this piece. I definitely took the first three sentences at face value the first time (because I thought thi...

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Suma Jayachandar
13:00 May 07, 2022

Thank you so much, Zack. Contrary to what one would like to believe, this story flowed out of me almost effortlessly. Maybe having a spouse who is a die-hard Bond fan had to do something with it :-) (Only he ended up being a physician). For this reason alone this story will remain special to me. I didn't do much editing for this one. Because, hey I'm naturally the lazy one and also I guess I didn't know what to tinker around in this one. Maybe getting some tough feedback would help me improve my skills :-) Thanks again for taking the time to...

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Michał Przywara
20:33 May 06, 2022

Very nice :) Others mentioned it, but the beginning is really fun, very eye catching. For a moment I forgot the prompt and title, and all I saw was a drone chasing runners and "shoot". The Bond tie-in is neat. Everyone has dreams when they're children, but those dreams rarely turn out the way we expected, if at all. The narrator's approach is a great compromise, and it sounds like they have a lot of fun with their job. All the little references, like "neither shake me nor stir me" makes the voice stand out. Overall it's a very positive...

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Suma Jayachandar
02:14 May 07, 2022

Thank you so much, Michal 😊 This story will remain special to me because of the ease with which it came to me and how positive it ended up sounding. I really appreciate you taking time to read and comment. I really liked the story you posted this week.

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Alex Sultan
09:10 May 06, 2022

I really liked your take on the prompt here, Suma. It made me laugh. All the jokes, and cultural references, all hit the mark for me. I think it's great how you can switch up your style like this. 'Clearly, they have been ordered by the great Indian Joint Familia into such an arrangement.' -this line in specific was my favourite I also liked the first line a lot. It caught my attention, and was not what I expected 😅

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Suma Jayachandar
13:05 May 06, 2022

Thank you so much, Alex. I'm glad you found it funny. Switching genres is easy if you are a Jack of all and master of none like me.😂 Next on my list is to try fantasy/historical fiction. Thank you once again for the read and the comment.

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L. Maddison
17:13 May 03, 2022

Hi Suma, What a great opening sentence- it grabbed me. By third paragraph I was loving this character’s dry sense of humour. And this sneaky nod of the head to James Bond: But I’m sure, that is going to neither shake me nor stir me. Brilliant!

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Suma Jayachandar
03:34 May 04, 2022

Hi L, Thank you so much for your generous appreciation. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.😊

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