Wedding photography has totally changed in last years. Most of the couples run away from classic and overly posed wedding photos, looking for a natural approach with candid photographs.
This way of photographing does not consist of simply aiming the camera and shooting constantly; nor is it an excuse to create careless framed or bad lit images. It requires a series of skills, attitudes and aptitudes to get that candid photographs while being unobtrusive.
In this post I will share some ideas and tips that I hope will help you to improve your candid wedding photography.
1. Know your equipment and use it wisely.
Knowing your equipment is basic, both in wedding photography and in any other photographic discipline. When it comes to capturing moments that barely last a second, you can not afford to be fighting with the buttons or looking at the back screen of your camera.
It is highly recommended that you turn off the flash unless it is absolutely necessary, as flashing people’s faces won’t help to go unnoticed. If your budget allows you, choose prime lenses with fast focus, you will greatly appreciate it when the light conditions are not good (that is in 80% of churches).
Try to travel light luggage. Leave studio flashes, generators and tripods for other types of photography: not only will it help you to go undetected, but also you will be able to move more freely.
Also, using smaller camera bodies can help you to go unnoticed. There is a clear trend in the photographic industry towards creating more compact bodies and several wedding photographers have embraced the mirrorless systems from Olympus, Fuji or Sony. Maybe in the future we can have the power of a DSLR camera in a pocket sized camera (like the Light project).
2. Think fast, move slowly.
As a wedding photographer you must make several technical and aesthetic decisions in a matter of seconds, you should be agile of mind to not waste moments with indecision. See the light, the environment and the people, process them and make your decisions as fast as you can.
Move, change the point of view, look for different angles but without running from side to side like a headless chicken. Not only will you be late for those moments, but you will also get the attention of the bride and groom (especially if you are 1.90 m tall like me). It’s not about running around chasing moments, but going ahead with what you suppose (or know) that is going to happen. And this leads me to the next tip…
It is probably one of the keys to candid wedding photography: to have a nose for anticipate when and where an interesting moment can happen.
If you can predict an action (or your instinct tells you that something can happen) you can put yourself in the best position so you can be in the right place at the right time. Having yourself well positioned will give you at least a 50% chance of getting a good candid wedding photo.
4. Pay attention.
This may sound simplistic, but open your eyes and ears to everything that happens around you.
There are dozens of stories that occur simultaneously beyond what the bride & groom are doing. Keep both eyes open even when you are looking through the viewfinder and listen: follow the sound of a laugh, or a cry, or a rumble, probably they lead you to something interesting.
As the saying goes, information is power.
Make an effort to get to know each couple, know as much as possible about their wedding and what will happen throughout the day. That way you can foresee the actions more easily.
It is also essential that you know who are the most important people for each couple and be very attentive to the connections that occur between these people. Our work is not limited to showing how handsome the bride and groom are, but also to tell the parallel stories that occur along the day of the wedding.
What are your tips on candid wedding photography?
Do you feel comfortable photographing this way or do you prefer another approach on your wedding photography?
Feel free to comment with your ideas and share this post if you liked it 😉