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.
Today, with offices in Delhi and Baroda in Gujarat, Tilokani has a team of 40, including his son Rahul, who specialises in video editing. Other than India, the team travels around the globe to shoot the weddings of the rich and influential. Their client list includes families of the billionaire Ambani brothers, Essar’s Ruias, Hero MotoCorp’s Munjals, Videocon’s Dhoots and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.
Tilokani started his career in 1979, working as a full-time photographer in a studio in Baroda, and opened his first studio in 1984.
“(I) didn’t have any money to open a big studio … it was a 44 square-feet office,” Tilokani said in an interview at his Delhi office. In those years, he recalls charging 2,000 rupees for video and around 20 rupees for a photograph.