Desert Bride

Desert Bride



“Desert Bride” – Fashion Editorial was born of the imagination for a Wedding in a Dessert, Window Blowing , Sand Flying around and Flies buzzing the Bride and Groom. I got all of those elements but in larger doses than I planned for or needed, thanks to the wonders and unpredictability of Mother Nature – Bless her!

desert bride

We started to put everything together and pack the car at about 9pm, meeting models and stylists about the same time to go through each outfit and all details of the shoot, at the Studio. Leaving the Studio about 2300hrs, an hour later than planned, we headed to the H & MUA’s place to do all of the basic hair and makeup. Delayed further, due to more socialising lol, we finally left with the H & MUA in tow to arrive at the Location (a series of Sand Dunes @ Lancellin, Western Australia) at about 0330hrs.

desert bride

Not looking good! The Dunes had moved and access plans, to the set of dunes we wanted to use, had to be changed.  Picking a 3 to 4 story high Dune I climbed there in the Landcruiser to look beyond and to see what other options we had. Unfortunately it peaked to about a 4 inch wide crest at the top of the Dune and so I had to abandon the climb and reverse back down. In the meantime everyone below was trying to be avoid being ‘bitten’ by ‘Sand’ Flies and ‘Horse’ Flies!

Desert Bride

New plans had to be hatched and this involved a lower dune with more of a Plateau area next to it that had exposure to the rising sun. We quickly set up with the Groom doing the final touches / shaping to his beard in the reflection of the side view Mirror of the Landcruiser, with blowing sand & flies, and barely risen Sun for light.

Desert Bride

The Stylist and H & MUA frantically working to get the Groom and Bride ready, knowing we had already missed the Sunrise aspects of the shoots and not wanting to lose more elements.

Desert Bride

Finally we started about 2 hours later than planned and with fine sand blowing so much that it destroyed a Camera Body  (Sand Ingestion) and and we were down to 3 more bodies in total (didn’t want to risk changing lenses in the expected conditions of fine sand blowing around so we took more bodies to pair permanently with lenses).

Desert Bride

We started with the idea of trying to get some of the morning light in a more posed and photographically suited style and to look as though they were a real couple wanting some nice images. Progressing to show the leadership of the Groom, in the couple, with the support of the Bride always being there with her hands on his shoulder and by his side. I also wanted to show the bride as a strong and independent and co-dependent women whose contribution to this ‘wedding’ was going to be more than merely physical.

She brings Wisdom, Strength, Stability, Beauty and Vision to compliment her Groom and his attributes. She is a independent powerhouse, being able to stand alongside her Groom and still command the attention and respect she so richly deserves.

Desert Bride

A little from Wkipedia “…. Wedding Traditions vary across religion, caste, ethnicity, language, region, etc. Traditional Indian weddings are generally structured into pre-wedding ceremonies, wedding day ceremonies (consisting of the Baraat, the Varmala and the Satphere), and the Vidaai. When the marriage has been agreed upon, the father of the bridegroom visits the father of the bride. The day before the expected arrival of the marriage procession, lavish preparations are done by the family to receive the groom (shaadi ki tayaari) in beautiful and decorated venues, typically farmhouses or hotel halls, where a sacrificial fireplace called marhwa is built. Brides decorate themselves with gold and diamond jewellery, apply Mehndi to colour hands and feet, and undergo various bridal rituals, including wearing bridal lehenga or saree. Bridegrooms typically wear a [sherwani] dress or a designer suit. To complete the marriage, the bride and groom walk in a circle (phera) around the sacrificial fire.

Desert Bride

Vidaai is when the bride is formally sent to the groom’s household. Many songs have immortalized this moment when the bride leaves her ‘babul ka ghar’ or father’s house. According to Hindu religious texts, Brahma created man from the right shoulder and woman from his left shoulder. A woman is referred to as Vamangi or one who is on the left side. Throughout the marriage ceremony the bride sits on the right side of the groom. That is the place for strangers and acquaintances. Only after the Saptpadi, when the bride and groom have exchanged marital vows, is the wife seated on the left side of the man. An example of the complexity of an Indian wedding can be seen from the various phases of a wedding in North India. The following events take place in a typical Eastern Uttar Pradesh Hindu Marriage … “

I was very happy with the results that showed the reality of the physical elements at the time of the shoot as well as recognising the beauty and work of the Designers, Stylists, HMUA, Models and the capture by myself.




Photography / Retouching: Bharathan Kangatheran @

Bride: Indian Beaded & Embroidered Bridal Legah Sari Skirt and Beaded & Embroidered Blouse, Bangles, Adawi Lacha (Choker), Karan Phool (Earings), Indian Tikka (In hair at the forehead Centre), Bindi (Spot above nose),  Hathphool (Hand Jewellery, Henna (Melinder B) – Thanks to Hital P

Groom: Sherwani (Coat), Churidar (Pants) and Dupattha (Scarf) then a Conventional Pant with another Sherwani – Thanks to Ken India Creations and Irwin S

Stylist: Hital P

H & MUA: Jigisha P @ Beauty by Jigs

Assisting: Hital P

Model: Irwin S

Female Model: Melinder B


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