Featuring Gurvir Johal
When dealing with luxury weddings at a certain price point, clients can sometimes feel like they can call all the shots. Even when it comes to how the shots are taken. Gurvir Johal is based in the UK and specializes in Luxury Asian Wedding Photography. And while he travels all over the world to shoot weddings, he often meets clients in his office in London. That’s where he’s often met with what he describes as internet-planted questions from couples.
“They come in with a list of questions they think they are supposed to ask that they must have read on a forum or in a magazine.” Gurvir humors the couples, answering even the silliest queries. But there was one increasingly common one that forced the photographer to create a special album.
“The couples come in and they look around my studio and they’ve seen my website and my portfolio, and they love the photos, but then they ask what equipment I use.” Gurvir chuckled as he replayed the numerous conversations in his head. “If you love the images, does it really matter?”
In an effort to save time and eliminate the need to explain his gear bag to non-photographers, Gurvir took a page from legendary wedding photographer Jerry Ghionis. “I got the idea from Jerry to create a special album that isn’t on display.”
It’s Not About the Tools…
Gurvir says the album is only about 40 pages and when a client starts asking about his gear he digs it out. “I can sit clients down and ask if they like the album, and they always do, and then I tell them I took all of the photos on my phone. That’s when they get the message that the gear that I use shouldn’t make a difference.”
Gurvir assured me that he didn’t actually shoot someone’s wedding just on his phone. He says he took his normal photos first and then just snapped a few with his phone to make the point that the equipment only gets you so far. “I believe good equipment, good lighting, some of the gadgets out in the market right now are good tools that can help you deliver your message. But I don’t think it’s necessary or fundamental.”
Cutting Your Teeth in the Judging Room
Gurvir has been a print competition judge at WPPI for several years, so he knows it’s raw talent that creates award-winning impact, not fancy gear.
“When I see something that’s a little bit different and it kind of makes you think, ‘I wish I took that.’ When I feel jealous when I look at an image, my score will always reflect that and will always be high.”
Long before Gurvir was a judge, he found himself in the judging room as much as possible. “I think it’s one of the best educations that you’re going to get because you have a panel of five judges who are renowned in the world, in their chosen field and they’re all talking about what’s slightly negative and the positive things about an image and it will actually improve whether you submit your images or not.”
Written by Sabrina Sabbagh