Indian weddings are vibrant affairs, visually striking with masses of flowers and extravagant backdrops – making them exciting subjects for photographers such as Sanjay Jogia.
After leaving a successful career in architecture in 2007, Sanjay launched photography business, Eye Jogia, with his wife Roshni, specialising in Indian weddings and high-end destination ceremonies. In a highly competitive market, the award-winning couple have achieved success, in part, thanks to Sanjay's use of print. He's been printing his own photographs since 2016, first on a Canon PIXMA PRO-1 and more recently on a Canon PROGRAF imagePRO-1000 printer, and the luxurious A2 and A3 portraits he creates are displayed in his North London showroom.
Print is a medium that is constantly being devalued by digital, but it has become a vital component in Sanjay's business and helped him to strengthen his relationships with clients. Here he reveals how print can add value to your photography business.
One of the advantages of printing your own images is that it reinstates the value of the printed photograph in a world saturated with digital imagery. As a professional photographer, it is possible to stand out from the masses on social media taking photographs on smartphones by using the printed medium to evoke emotion and create something clients can treasure.
"We try to avoid digital sales," says Sanjay. "Digital is temporary – when something is digital you know it can be replicated quickly and that means it immediately loses its value. If you handed someone a print and then tore it up in front of them, they would be horrified. People don't realise how much they value something until they hold it in their hands."
For Sanjay, it's also a case of educating couples about their options: he wants to encourage them to start thinking about buying photobooks or framed shots, rather than just a USB of files. "Prints are very important to us and we make a point of that early on in the consultation period," he says. "The bride and groom often don't know what they're looking for, but once they realise the importance of printed photographs, they re-evaluate their priorities and are willing to spend more on the finished product."
Sanjay meets each couple before their wedding for what he calls a 'prelude shoot', so they can get to know his style. "We make it part of the experience to have a shoot beforehand so it's easier for them on the day. That always goes well, because it means we can create beautiful images, such as a framed photo, for display in the venue's foyer."
Eye Jogia also produces image slideshows put to music but Sanjay has discovered that couples are more interested in the standalone prints. "When they come into the showroom, they see pictures on the walls and subconsciously begin to imagine themselves in them," he says. "A print is something tangible and they have an immediate reverence for it."
All the prints displayed in Sanjay's showroom have been printed on the Canon PIXMA PRO-1 or the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000, both of which give him the high quality he needs to impress his clients. The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000's 12-ink system prints up to A2 without compromising quality, across all kinds of papers and canvases. Sanjay favours printing on matte fine art paper, rather than a gloss or satin surface. "The lack of reflection means you perceive more detail," he says.
Showcasing a special photograph as a formal print can be an opportunity to make further sales, says Sanjay. When couples fall in love with a photo of their special day, "it's usually the first formal print they have of themselves as a couple; they value that and want more, because they know they're going to get a great reaction from friends and family," he says. "Then they start to imagine what their wedding album will look like."
It's also about knowing your audience, explains Sanjay. Different family members will appreciate certain kinds of photographs more than others. "The formal photographs are very important in Indian weddings – families, and especially the parents, really value those images and tend to have them blown up for wall art. The couples usually prefer the stylised portraits, where they're looking their very best on the biggest day of their lives. They tend to buy multiple framed prints or use them as double-page spreads in an album."
Sanjay is able to produce his own large-scale prints for framing. "The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 prints up to A2, which is great for a framed print," he says. "After the event, when we make the albums, the couple might have found some extra budget for upgrades, and then we can print up to A2 and have a custom frame made. Printing offers plenty of opportunities for upsell."
Sanjay doesn't just print images for clients. "I print a lot of images for competitions as well, because it keeps me on my toes, both creatively and technically," he says. It's vital that the images he creates for competitions are of excellent quality, and Sanjay has enjoyed learning how to perfect his technique. "The Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 is incredibly consistent right across the image," he explains. "It has the ability to handle a large colour gamut [the range of colours a device can produce] and faithfully reproduces the details of your images."
Prints made using Canon's LUCIA PRO inks can last approximately 200 years in a photo album, and up to 60 years exposed to light, making them ideal if you want to exhibit your work.
For Sanjay, the benefits of printing his own images are innumerable and it's a skill he recommends all photographers get to grips with. "Learn how to print and understand colour management and you can tap into the profit that printing provides," he says.