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from India Insight:

Wedding photographers in India beat economic gloom

Rising costs and a slowing economy haven't darkened the mood of wedding photographers in India. More couples than ever are willing to spend thousands of rupees on photo albums, pre-wedding shoots and videos, allowing photographers to take a bigger slice of India's $30 billion weddings business.

“People are willing to spend more money now compared to what they were spending three years back," said Delhi-based photographer Vijay Tonk, who charges around 100,000 rupees for clicking pictures at a two-day function, 10 times more than what he charged in 2010. "It’s a status symbol now to spend money and have good (pictures).”

Professional photographers, some of whom charge as much as 100,000 to 300,000 rupees ($1,600 - $4,800) for a single day, have not seen any slowdown in client queries. With 20 confirmed wedding assignments in the next three months, 26-year-old Tonk has been forced to say no to some couples.

People increasingly are looking to pay premium prices for photographers who can capture the essence on their subjects through candid shots. Sonal Kalra, who hired Tonk for her December wedding functions, said such pictures “help capture the mood better”.

from India Insight:

Meet Prakash Tilokani, the man who clicks India’s rich and famous

When Prakash Tilokani started taking pictures at the age of 16, he had no clue that one day he would be the man behind the lens at India Inc's weddings.

From selling pictures at 20 rupees (32 cents) each in 1984 to charging at least 300,000 rupees ($4,800) for a day now, it’s been an eventful journey for 47-year-old Tilokani, one of India’s most famous wedding photographers.

from India Insight:

India ponders deficit control after the gold rush

India's central government in January raised the tax on refined gold imports by 50 percent. This increase to 6 percent from 4 percent is the second rise this fiscal year. Why does it keep making gold more expensive, particularly as the nation enters its prime wedding season when brides will be bedecked with the metal from head to toe?

That's part of the problem -- a large part. India's cultural attachment to gold is something that anybody who has been to an Indian wedding could tell you about. For those of you who haven't, consider this report from CBS's "60 Minutes" TV news program:

from Photographers' Blog:

Lives behind the gaudy uniforms and loud music

New Delhi, India

By Mansi Thapliyal

Music bands play an integral part to the big fat Indian wedding, especially in North India.

Weddings in North India are never complete until the family of the bride and groom dance to the tune of popular Bollywood songs. Brass bands are hired for the purpose of playing at the wedding procession in which the groom's family dance all the way to the wedding venue where the bride's family waits to receive them. A procession called "Barat" is usually accompanied by bright lights, fireworks, loud music and dance. The instruments played by these brass bands are a mix of Indian and western musical instruments.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Because you’re worth it, Honey…

royal rings kate 490

It isn't often that one of my posts generates serious economic debate. But a few days ago I explained that we couldn't show a copy-quality photo of a Gaugin painting, because then people at home could paint their own and flood the art market with hundred million dollar paintings.

BRITAIN ROYAL/RINGMy readers were skeptical about whether it really works like that, so I'll try again.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Your bride is quite a ketch…

Blog Guy, I really need some of your famous fashion help to plan my wedding. We're getting married outdoors, at a yacht club, and the area where I wait to enter the ceremony is quite a distance from the altar.

CHINA/

I'm a very slow walker, and I'm worried my fiancé will just marry my trampy bridesmaid if I don't get there fast enough.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Modern Bride? Not really…

Welcome back to a regular feature we like to call "What Year is this Again?,"  in which we offer up news items which make us seriously question which century we're living in.

bridenapping 280Today, we learn about a longstanding tradition in Chechnya called "bride kidnapping," which is just now coming to an end.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Congratulations, you may now wake the bride

KOREA/

Help me, Blog Guy, I think my marriage may be in trouble.

I'm not sure my wife still loves me. She doesn't pay attention, she tunes me out, she frequently falls asleep when I'm talking....

bride crop 240Now, now, young man, there are adjustments to be made in every relationship. How long have you two been married?

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Starting your own Goofy Face Museum?

fishermen and bride 490

Blog Guy, as the curator of the very popular Goofy Face Museum and Doughnut Shop in the nation's capital, can you tell us a little about what makes a truly goofy picture? It all starts with a goofy face, right?

afghan melon goofy 320Not always. The photo above is wonderfully goofy, but nobody's making a face.

It contains the classic elements of a goofy photo. A bride and groom kissing, and weird-looking fishermen drinking nearby.

from Raw Japan:

OT beats date QT

MARKETS-FOREX/The vast majority of newly hired Japanese say overtime is now more important than dating if given a choice, reflecting growing job anxiety in the world's No.2 economy.

A survey by the Japan Productivity Centre, a private think tank, showed over 80 percent of new recruits picking working late over having a date.

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