Candid Wedding Photography — A Healthy Perspective
Something we hear a lot in this business from couples planning their wedding photography & videography is:
“We really want it to be candid. We don’t want it to be pose-y.”
We totally understand where they are coming from! But, if you haven’t spent much time in front of a professional camera, it can be hard to understand just where those candid-looking shots actually come from.
Truly candid photography means the photographer hangs back and captures the live events without interfering with or directing the photograph. It is expected at parts of the wedding day like the ceremony, first dances, bouquet toss, and others like that.
However, when it comes to portraits, it is rarely going to yield the best shots for the photographer or videographer to truly hang in the background.
It is best to let them direct the shot, even it means some posing or asking you to look or do something you might not normally do on your own.
Why? Several reasons!
For one, it’s a wedding day! There can be a million things running through your mind at any given point in the day.
You may be nervous, a tad stressed, or — hopefully — just a little spacey from being on cloud 9! The photographer will have the experience to think analytically about lighting, background, and how to make the two of you look the absolute best.
For two, most of us are just not very comfortable being the subject of our own photo shoots because it’s not something we’re used to.
So we don’t always know how to stand, how to best position our bodies, or where to place our gaze.
I recently had a photo shoot with my husband. When the photographer had placed us in a couple poses and told us how we would look the most natural in the photo, I remember thinking — this doesn’t feel natural at all! But she was right, and the images came out looking very relaxed even though we weren’t used to having our photos taken and felt a little out of our element.
And for three, candid-feeling photos are more about how you feel and act than being set up by a photographer or not.
What a good photographer will do for portraits will be to set up the shot with all the physical aspects: pose, lighting, framing, and more. However, the facial expressions and the things that make it feel like they are really capturing a moment come from the two of you.
While my husband and I were holding potentially awkward-feeling poses for our photographer, or having to stare into each other’s eyes for a long period of time, we would just whisper jokes to each other to keep things lighthearted. It made it easy to make a serious face now and then, but it also gave us a lot of candid smiles in our photos — because they were genuine!
This is why relaxing and focusing on enjoying your time with the person you’re in love with are so important. But it’s also important that you trust the photographer so they can turn that moment into a beautiful image (or film, for videography) that you get to keep and enjoy for years and years because they set it up with the right technical elements.
There is NO such thing as a cookie-cutter wedding! Every wedding is inherently unique because the bride and groom are inherently unique, not to mention the wide range of decor style, friends and family groups, and venue settings they can combine with. But the professionals are trained to set up the technicals, and their experience gives them a toolbox of ways to make that happen.