Chicago Wedding Videographer

Oprah’s Next Chapter

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The first time I met Oprah was during my stint as a television photojournalist at ABC7 in Chicago (WLS-TV). My assignment was to attend a taping of Oprah’s television show, but this wasn’t going to be any normal taping. During this show, Oprah was expected to make a “big” announcement. The whole newsroom at ABC7 was abuzz. We had no idea what the announcement was going to be. There were many “what ifs”.

I arrived at Harpo Studios in Chicago. The streets around the studio were blocked off. The parking lot was wrapped in black draping; presumably for the big party. All the media were shuffled into a room; where we watched the show unfold on a large, movie theater-sized screen. It didn’t take too long to realize what the “big” announcement was.

Before too long, Oprah instructed her audience members to open a small box that was given to each of them. People started jumping out of their seats and Oprah started shouting (and jumping as well), “You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everyboday gets a car!” What an amazing moment to witness. Everybody in the audience received a new Pontiac G6. An entire parking lot was filled in the back of Harpo Studios with brand new cars. The lives of so many were changed that day. It certainly was a big surprise. We interviewed Oprah after the show. She talked about the ability to change lives and how much joy it brought to her. What an amazing person.

Fast forward several years. A few weeks ago, I received my own big announcement from Oprah. Although it wasn’t in a shiny box, it came in the form of an electronic message. I opened up my email to find a message from one of Harpo’s producers. They had seen Parul and Mirab’s wedding trailer, which was posted online.

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They were producing an upcoming show about Indian weddings for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and they were asking if they could use some of the footage we filmed in their show. My jaw dropped.

We work very hard at each and every wedding; trying to capture some amazing moments and memorable visuals. I’ve assembled an amazingly talented team of artists who love what they do and are dedicated to the craft. For me, this was an epiphany of sorts. We receive a lot of emails, letters, and phone calls; all praising the work we do…some from complete strangers; others from family members of the couples we film. It is evident. The work we do touches so many lives.

I’ve always been a huge fan of India and Indian weddings. So, this show will definitely not be missed on my TV. The producers at Harpo encouraged me to tell family and friends about the upcoming show. So, please watch “Oprah’s Next Chapter” this Sunday at 8 PM Central on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) when I’ll be jumping up and down for joy.


Tweet from Oprah to me during the show
UPDATE: The show aired and it was AMAZING!!! Watching Oprah walk through the streets of Mumbai, India was an eye-opening experience, but seeing our wedding footage was definitely a highlight of the show. Thank you, Oprah, for an awesome adventure!!!

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Indian groom getting ready for his Hindu wedding ceremony in Bartlett Illinois

Rakhi + George // Bengali Wedding

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Hindu Weddings Traditions Unveiled DVD Banner Ad
Indian groom getting ready for his Hindu wedding ceremony in Bartlett Illinois
Indian bride puts on her dupatta for their Hindu wedding in Bartlett Illinois
Here’s a trailer of their wedding reception, which was held on a separate day at Sunda New Asian Chicago:


The phone rang and I picked it up. It was Rakhi on the other line. She found our company by doing a search on Yelp. She told me about how she loved our style of cinematography and wanted us to film their wedding, which was going to take place in a few weeks. Luckily, we were available! A small group of their closest family and friends gathered in the home for a beautiful ceremony.

I believe this was our first Bengali Hindu wedding. During this wedding video trailer, you’ll see the blowing of the conch shell and the women making the “Ooli” sound, which are both symbolically meant to ensure everyone’s attention is drawn to the main ceremony.

A few weeks later, we showed this trailer at their reception. I was so fortunate to capture such an amazing event. Thank you for asking me to be a part of your wedding. It was a true honor.

Photography: Michael Rastall Photography
Ceremony Design: Ustav Creations
Reception: Sunda New Asian Chicago

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