Profile

Sanjay Jogia

An Indian woman in silk wedding clothes and opulent gold jewellery turns towards the camera with her eyes closed. Taken by Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia on a Canon EOS R.
This image by Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia was taken in the bride's living room on the morning of her wedding. "I wanted to showcase some of the bridal details; it was one of the first images I captured with a Canon EOS R," says Sanjay. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/800 sec, f/1.6 and ISO1250. © Sanjay Jogia

Sanjay Jogia is one of the world's most decorated wedding photographers, with a clutch of awards from both the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). The Briton is known for capturing a mix of posed and unposed images, all bursting with emotion and charm. He also shares his expertise, travelling the world to deliver lectures and workshops.


Serving the luxury wedding market, Sanjay's company, Eye Jogia Photography, specialises in wedding photography of the most demanding kind: destination weddings all over the world, and Indian weddings, which pose distinct challenges compared to other types of ceremony. "Indian weddings are more intense and much longer: a typical day can be 12 to 16 hours," says Sanjay. "There are many separate rituals on the day of the main ceremony, and all the days tend to be an onslaught of colour, energy, emotion, socialising and fun."

Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia.

Location: UK

Specialist area: Weddings

Favourite kit:

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

Sanjay's response to this challenge emerges through an ethos he calls 'Fantasy & Reality'. Each wedding shoot typically features a series of spectacular, conceptual 'Fantasy' images, with couples posing among carefully lit interiors and exteriors. "These are the most challenging parts of any wedding, because, for various reasons, the time assigned usually gets compressed on the day," he says.

"We are expected to create a range of images that are dramatic, cinematic, and editorial or fashion in feel, under immense time pressure and with people who are not used to posing because they're not models. To add to this, as a competition judge for some of the largest international associations, I tend to be overly critical of my images in situ: I critique the lighting, posing, composition, story and impact there and then in the viewfinder, and do not rely on post-production to 'fix' things. These sessions are usually done twice, or sometimes three times a day, to coincide with each outfit change."

An Indian couple in smart evening dress sit together on steps inside the Palace of Westminster, London. Taken by Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia on a Canon EOS R.
Sanjay captured this image inside the Palace of Westminster, in London, England, using flash to create the soft light. "Once I set up the pose, I used the screen on the back of the camera to frame and compose the image; the Canon EOS R's Face Detection AF locked perfectly on their eyes. The positioning of the couple and the camera was critical to make sure the verticals were all parallel." Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens at 1/200 sec, f/2 and ISO500. © Sanjay Jogia

Alongside these are the 'Reality' images, which focus on small details and the more human moments. "These are the photojournalistic images of the day, and not directed by us in any way," says Jogia. "Somewhere in the middle sit the 30 or 40 formal group photos, which must be crafted with the same care as in a well-balanced studio setup."

Sanjay has recently started shooting with the Canon EOS R, and was the first person to use it to photograph a wedding. It's now a regular feature in his kitbag. "It's a really good all-rounder and my go-to camera for less high-pressure situations and when I'm creating portraits," he says. "It's versatile, and the Vari-angle touchscreen allows me to shoot from very awkward angles. The silent shooting function has been very useful when taking candid images at sensitive and emotional times."

A side profile of a woman in silhouette spraying her décolletage with perfume. Taken by Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia on a Canon EOS 1D-X.
"I spotted the bride adding the finishing touches before leaving her hotel room, which inspired this image," explains Sanjay. "I asked her to stand by the window and give the perfume one more spray. The split of light and dark, with the spray connecting the two halves, helps to lead the eyes around the image." Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X (now succeeded by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/2.8 and ISO4000. © Sanjay Jogia

Sanjay is quick to acknowledge the support required to create this work. "I lean on my team a lot. Initially it was just my wife Roshni and I; I have always been the main photographer with Roshni as my second. She would also do all the social stuff, like the 'grip & grins', usually because they are requested at arbitrary times, even if the main ceremony is still being conducted! Roshni's presence allows me to focus on what I do without distraction. She is the beating heart of the business – she is always networking, even at events.

"We now have at least one assistant with us to take care of many of the technical aspects of the day, which is essential to our approach. Pragmatism aside, I am very proud of my team for the harmony we have achieved and for our ability to respond to extreme pressure – but moreover for their dedication, and how much they understand my thinking, my tastes and my demands."

An Indian groom and his groomsmen pose for a selfie. Taken by Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia on a Canon EOS R.
Sanjay managed to capture this image of the groom and his groomsmen taking a selfie without them realising. "I spotted them in the corner of my eye, knowing that if I turned around they would look towards my camera, which would have destroyed the moment," he explains. "I kept the screen facing me while I flipped out the camera and the Silent Shutter on the Canon EOS R meant they didn't know it was happening." Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens at 1/500 sec, f/5 and ISO320. © Sanjay Jogia

How did your interest in photography develop into a thriving business?
"I was raised with photography because my father worked at the local Kodak factory for 35 years. I practised as an architect, having qualified in 2004, but, having heard about my 'geeky' love of photography, friends – and their friends – would ask me to capture their weddings. That was the catalyst: I was hooked on the emotion, the theatre, the energy, and the technical (and creative) challenges that came with weddings. In 2008 Eye Jogia came to be, and by 2010, Roshni and I had quit our jobs and decided to give our 'baby' the attention it deserved… we've never looked back."

You're a qualified architect. How does your knowledge of architecture influence your photography?
"There are many similarities between architectural design and photography: the understanding and creative grasp of light, space, surface, texture, composition, aesthetics, form, proportions, emotion, concept, and the general appreciation of beauty. The main similarity is the balance of creativity and technicality that is required… it's uncanny. All my couples tell me they can see my architectural side in my work, which I love! It gives my work an identity."

How has your architectural training helped you to master the technical aspects of photography?
"Architecture students at the University of Bath were required to study various engineering subjects, including lighting engineering. This gave me an understanding of the physics of light, be it artificial or daylight. We were taught about the effects that various types of light source have on the scene, as well as on human skin, along with the general colour characteristics of different light sources. Two decades later, I know exactly how to 'clean up' those light sources in my images."

Who have been your biggest photographic influences, and why?
"If I had to name anyone, I'd say Sebastião Salgado – mainly for his intrepid approach to photography and the way in which he sees the world. And, of course, Henri Cartier-Bresson. At the other end of the scale, Irving Penn and Annie Leibovitz – but they are more of an inspiration than an influence. It stands to reason that the approaches here are diametrically opposed; our approach to wedding photography is similar, with its 'Fantasy & Reality' ethos."

What qualities do aspiring photographers need in order to be as successful as you are?
"Consistency in every aspect: your image as a person and as a brand; your behaviour, physical and virtual; and your work and processes. Put simply, it equates to trust. This consistency requires a thorough approach, discipline and self-determination; and I'd like to put the most emphasis on self-determination. Your motivation mustn't be financial, for accolades, due to peer pressure, or to out-do others, because then you're driven by someone else and not by your core values. You must love photography, you must love what you do and understand why you're doing it, otherwise it'll unravel very quickly."

Facebook: @eyejogia
Instagram: @eyejogia
YouTube: @sanjayjogia
Website: www.eyejogia.com

One thing I know
Sanjay Jogia

"The advice I'd love to have had at the start was to have complete faith in my instincts and my vision, which ultimately determined the trajectory of our brand. It was a high-risk strategy for us, so it's natural to have doubts, but our instincts have proven to be reliable. Trusting in my vision from day one meant that I needn't have concerned myself with being accepted by my contemporaries or what they were producing, as this could easily lead one to produce derivative work. The goal is to try to be definitive: this can only happen by looking within, not without."

Sanjay Jogia's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Sanjay Jogia's kitbag.

Cameras

Canon EOS R

A pioneering full-frame mirrorless camera that sets new standards for photographers and filmmakers. "It's a really good all-rounder and my go-to camera for less high-pressure situations and when I'm creating portraits," says Sanjay.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

The flagship pro DSLR. 20.2 megapixel full-frame sensor, with 61-point AF system, up to 14fps and ISO to 409,600. "I love its speed, customisation, accuracy, dynamic range, and the fact that I can write to two cards simultaneously for instant in-situ backup," says Sanjay.

Canon AE-1

Sanjay also uses this classic single-lens reflex SLR to shoot on film.

Lenses

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM

A professional everyday L-series zoom that delivers high image quality with a constant f/2.8 aperture. "A great standard zoom that's very sharp and has a well-resolved image rendition with minimal distortion – and, in my experience, little or no fringing or flares," says Sanjay.

Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

The EF 135mm f/2 L USM is a fast, lightweight, high-quality telephoto lens. It is the ideal tool for capturing indoor sports in low-light conditions and for portrait photography.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

A prime lens for supreme sharpness, plus remarkable low-light performance. "A special lens! It has a wonderful portrait feel to it because of its general lack of distortion," says Sanjay. "This lens really stands out for me for its creamy yet sharp image quality."

Accessories

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