Joseph Radhik Interview | Lessons In Humility And Wedding Photography | In Frame With Gorky M. Episode 1
Wedding Photography has witnessed a massive revival all over the world. These days, wedding photographers can charge as much as they like. This can partly be credited to photographers like Joseph Radhik who’ve taken a different approach to photographing weddings by bringing out a previously unseen art to them. Joseph has won countless awards for his work and is the founder of Stories by Joseph Radhik, a wedding photography firm that’s been featured in magazines like Grazia, Harpers’ and People Magazine. A photographer with an entrepreneurial spirit, Joseph has managed to blow up his craft into a thriving business whilst retaining all of the creativity and passion.
Joseph is the first guest in our latest series, ‘In Frame with Gorky M’ - a half hour tete-a-tete with some of the world’s best photographers. In the video, Joseph talks about how he got into wedding photography, his personal gear and more. The full episode is embedded at the bottom of the post, you can get right to it if you like.
It’s this attitude and commitment that’s made Joseph the one of the prized photographers in the industry.
And there’s lots we’ve learned about the man these past few months, bumping into him at the Sony A7III launch in Mumbai (He’s also Sony’s Global Imaging Ambassador) and from the time he came over to talk about his passion project PEPx Photocon. He was coming straight from a photo-shoot, so he came with suitcase and all, very much, as we like to call it - in the zone. We were going to be filming our conversation in one hour, and he was going live simultaneously on his PEP Professionals app; his technicians setting up a live-stream that looked technical as hell. In those days we’d go live every Saturday, so we could understand the immense pressure. But Joseph was cool like you’d be on a Sunday morning. He was quick to figure out a solution when a problem arose, answering and hanging up calls at the pace of a stockbroker, at times, on his haunches like a camera assistant.
After seeing what Joseph’s schedule looked like, (putting together a 3-day global photography event, photographing a wedding, giving an interview and going live at the same time on his app) we learned that it’s no more just you and the camera. Photography is a big part of your life but it’s a relatively small part of your business. Most of your time’s eaten up by phone calls, production meetings, preparation and social media. It’s how you fare in those departments that determines if you’ll be remembered for picking up the camera or not.
In return for creating awareness on PEPx Photocon on our channel GMax Studios, Joseph had invited us to the event. He let us film the entire event, gave us the best seats in the house and also threw in twenty PEPx passes for our subscribers. It was because of this wonderful opportunity that we were able to chat with accomplished and globally renowned photographers such as Ira Block, Dinesh Kumble, Yuvraj Gurjar and Auditya Venkatesh.
PEPx was an unbelievable experience for a photographer. People were practicing photography the halls, students were chatting up their favorite photographers; ambassadors, acclaimed photographers, gearheads, camera companies, vloggers, motivational speakers - everybody was present. It was kind of like an Apple event, but for photographers. Joseph was speaking on all three days, and during the course of the event, we learned just how good an orator he is. His speeches are motivational and he also likes to laugh at some of his own jokes, but he kept the audiences engaged through all of it.
When asked about the best camera settings for wedding photography, (we know, it sounds absurd) Joseph said that the best setting is getting to the location with your camera. The theater erupted with laughter. While there were other renowned photographers speaking at the event, seeing Joseph get up on stage was always exciting, his jokes and insights being met with much laughter and applause. He was able to harvest every colloquial sentiment to make the people feel at home.
Wedding photography came to Joseph when he was looking for a photographer to shoot his sister’s wedding. At the time, he was photographing flowers and sunsets like every rookie with a D-SLR. (Scroll through some of his older photos on flickr, we’re not lying) “I chanced upon a genre that I never knew existed”, says the the three-time fearless photographer of the year, his eyes lighting up from visualizing the moment. He ended up photographing his sister's wedding, and naturally, he got good at it as he shot more and more. He even began to dress the part. In fact, his photography gear also comprises of waistcoats just so he can blend in better. “I’m working, but it’s still a wedding.” It’s a statement that’s profound because of its simplicity. It can only come from a guy who truly loves to photograph weddings.
As an effort to enjoy himself more, Joseph carries only a handful of equipment - his favorite lenses, a double-camera strap (so he looks like a badass cop) and has a relatively small team helping him out with the lighting and managing of data. While his world is fairly complex, his photography is simple. It’s how he’s able to still love doing what he does despite his phone ringing off the hook. As a photographer, he’s not above shooting group photographs of the couple’s friends and family he says. The truth of that statement hits your chest. It’s a lesson in humility from the guy who shot India’s most talked-about wedding.
Watch the entire conversation between Gorky M and Joseph Radhik below. He talks about his inspirations, shares some valuable trade secrets and even lets us take a peek inside his camera bag.