Better Photography gives away Wedding Photographer of the Year Award 2011

Sanika Jahagirdar becomes the First Female to win the title

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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Better Photography gives away Wedding Photographer of the Year Award 2011

Sanika Jahagirdar becomes the First Female to win India's Most Coveted Title in Wedding Photography

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | June 13, 2012


After a record breaking 20,954 entries from all over India, Sanika Jahagirdar from Mumbai wins the third edition of Kodak Better Photography Wedding Photographer Of the Year. A professional photographer, Sanika is the first female to win this title since the awards were first started in 2009

Better Photography, a photography magazine declared the winners at a grand awards ceremony hosted at The Westin Mumbai Garden City. Sanika Jahagirdar who was also the category winner for Photo Series on a Single Wedding, was judged the title winner by the final judge, the renowned wedding photojournalist and documentary photographer Sephi Bergerson.

A freelance professional photographer, Sanika Jahagirdar was extremely excited after the win. “I am highly thankful to Better Photography for providing such a platform and opportunity to the wedding photographers of the country. To be able to win the most stringent of competitions is an extremely humbling experience; the final face-off in Malaysia was very unique, the competition was highly intense and we also had a great amount of fun. Achieving a title as the 'wedding photographer of the year' is completely priceless. It is difficult to explain in words how excited and honoured I am feeling.”

Apart from earning the title of Kodak-Better Photography Photographer of the Year 2011 on a national platform, she has won a grand cash prize of one lakh rupees, including a D-LITE IT One standard kit from Associate Partner Photoquip and two photobook from Associate Partner which were also given to each of the other category winners. As a special surprise announced by Sephi Bergerson at the awards ceremony, Sanika also wins a photography workshop by Sephi Bergerson that costs sixty thousand rupees.

Every year Better Photography Wedding Photographer of the Year invites entries from India under six different categories. These entries are judged by eminent photographers to select the six category winners who compete at the final face-off which decides the title winner for the year. This year a special leg on album making was included as part of the evaluation criteria, the six finalists were given six hours each to design their albums on the designing stations provided to them at the Kodak Designing Center.

The third edition became all the more special with an international face-off in Malaysia where the six finalists stayed for a period of five days to shoot for nine different themes including pre-wedding, honeymoon, traditional Indian Wedding & traditional Malay Wedding at different locales in Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, courtesy Wedding Destination Partner - Malaysia Tourism & LADA, Airlines Partner – Malaysia Airlines, Face-Off Venue Partner – The Westin & Sheraton, Yatch Partner – NAAM, Face-off Décor Partner – Darling Florist. The Styling Partners for the face-off were Shyamal & Bhumik, Christine Valmy, Adamis & Tip Top

The six finalists who were felicitated at the awards ceremony were Anand SL – Bridal Portraiture, Tarun Chawla - Emotions, Edric George - Couple Portraiture, Vivek Sequeira - Behind the Scenes, Arjun Kartha - Family & Friends, Sanika Jahagirdar - Photo Series on a Single Wedding. The face-off pictures as well as the top six entries under each nomination categories were put up as part of a photo gallery at the awards venue along with the photo albums designed by them.

The competition was organized by Better Photography, in sponsorship with title partner Kodak along with Associate Partner Photoquip and, Television Partner CNBC TV18, online Partner Wedding and Blogging Partner Miss Malini. The awards night saw a large presence from both sides of the photography fraternity, the photographers as well as the manufacturers, including Bipin Mistry, Fawzan Hussain, Prakash Tilokani, Girish Mistry, Amit Ashar , Sunil Raju, Indraneel Mukherjee , Swapan Mukherjee , Milind Ketkar; Manoharan al Periaswamy, Director, Tourism Malaysia; Dhananjay Saliankar, Regional Director - International Business, India & South Asia at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; Mr. S. Srinivasu, Country Business Manager, Consumer Digital Group, Kodak India ; J. P. Soni, CMD, Photoquip India Ltd ; Dhiraj Kacker, CEO & Co-Founder,

According to Sephi Bergerson, “I see the Wedding Photographer of the Year awards as a way of rewarding outstanding achievements, as well as a tool for supporting and promoting emerging new talents. There will always a call to be made. Two of the six finalists had a close fight and I eventually chose Sanika as the winner.”

Better Photography editor, K Madhavan Pillai said “The Kodak-Better Photography Wedding photographer of the Year Awards are the only national level awards in India, to recognize and laud the artistry and vision of the country's finest talent in wedding photography. It is apt because more number of wedding photographs, unlike any other kind of photograph, find their way across generations within family albums."

He goes on to add, "I am extremely happy with the response we have received so far. The winners this year all have the unique ability to combine technical expertise with a certain joy and sensitivity, which is so essential in good wedding photography.”

The curtain raiser of Wedding Photographer Of the Year 2011 will be telecasted on CNBC TV18 as two separate half hour shows on 23rd and 24th of June at 3 pm. The contest was promoted on a large scale through television promotions on CNBC TV18, CNN IBN, Awaaz, CNN IBN, IBN Lokmat, magazine advertisements in Better Photography, Overdrive, T3, Chip, AV Max, Better Interiors, Entrepreneur, Burrp, Noise Factory along with banner ads across web18 sites including, , Ibnlive, Ibn khabar,  and e-mailers to the vast Network 18 database.

According to Srinivasu Saraswatula, Country Business Manager-Consumer Digital Group, Kodak India, “Into its third year, this event has grown in stature, scale and above all has become an industry benchmark. It's served all stake holders well beyond their imagination when this was set up couple of years back. This year marks special efforts to acknowledge the growing importance of Women photographer, Regional photographers and Wedding Album concept & design. Kodak will continue to invest in equipping the photographers not only with capture skills but also in photo editing and album presentation under the umbrella of Kodak Collections.”

He further Added, “Last year we proposed to rechristen the wedding photographer as Director of Wedding Photography. I now see them evolving into Imaging Consultants in the sphere of wedding photography.”