What is Candid Wedding Photography and Why Get It?

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Your wedding is an incredible day, and when you look back on it years from now, you want to see it in the most authentic way possible. A great way to do that is by getting candid wedding photography. 

As a wedding photographer myself, this is one of my favorite styles to shoot in and it really captures the joy and emotions of the day in a natural way. Not only do you get photos that you love, but ones that are also timeliness. 

So, if you are looking at different styles of photography for your big day, here is everything you need to know about candid wedding photography. 

What is candid wedding photography? 

Excited guests jump to catching wedding bouquet on dance floor with other guests surrounding the dance floor

First things first, let’s talk about what candid wedding photography actually is. Similar to documentary style wedding photography, candid photography captures moments as they organically unfold. 

Instead of focusing on posed or “forced” pictures, candid photography is all about capturing those small moments, those small emotions that make all the difference on your wedding day. 

This style really helps you see your wedding day as a whole and relive each amazing moment years after your wedding. It can sometimes also capture those moments that you didn’t even notice. 

Things like the expression when your mom sees you for the first time or your wedding party seeing you all dressed up and ready to walk down the aisle. While posed photos are gorgeous and definitely have their place in your wedding album, these are the moments that you want to hold onto for a lifetime.  

Why get candid photos? 

Bride shares a laugh while getting make up done for her wedding in a floral robe

So, now that you know what candid photography is, why is it such a great style of photography for your wedding? 

Candid photos are one of the best ways to showcase your true personality. It is the truest and most authentic to capture a moment in time. When it comes to your wedding photos, what more could you ask for? 

What is also great about candid wedding photography is it is not just focused on you. This style is really about telling the whole story of your wedding and capturing everyone who was a part of this amazing day. 

Not only will you see yourself in your most authentic light, but you’ll also see your family’s, wedding party’s, and all of your guests’ genuine joy during this day as they celebrate you and your partner. 

After all, while this day is about you, it’s the people in your life that come together to celebrate it with you that make it so amazing. Candid photography is the perfect way to capture all of that and even more!  

How do I get the best candid photos? 

Fish eye view of bride on dance floor surrounded by guests with purple and green lights in the background

Candid photos are amazing and make your wedding album even that much more special, but how do you get the best candid photos? After all, you’re not posing for them, so how can you make sure you can actually get these photos? 

Well, although the idea behind candid photos is that you can’t plan them, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are able to have these moments that you want to capture forever. 

Make sure you are comfortable with your photographer

Shadowed shot of bride holding bouquet while sharing a tender moment with flower girl in purple dress

First, you want to make sure that you are totally comfortable with your wedding photographer. This is going to be huge. If you are not comfortable with them, you may not feel like you can be your true self throughout the day, and that may come out in the photos. 

There are two big things that you can do to make sure you feel comfortable with them when your wedding day rolls around. 

One, you can make sure you are communicating with them about their personality and style before your wedding day (and even before you book them). Are they introverted or extroverted? Do they like to be more hands on or more of a fly on the wall? What is the best way to communicate with them so you are both on the same page? 

These are all important factors in your comfort level on your wedding day. For example, if you are introverted and your photographer is extroverted, someone with a lot of energy and a bold personality may make you a bit shy. 

However, if you are extroverted as well, that energy may boost you up and make it so that you have even more fun on your wedding day. 

Two, you can do some sort of session with them before your wedding day. This could be an engagement session, a bridal session, etc. The main point of this is spending time together and in front of the camera. 

For most people, their wedding is going to be the first time they are going to have professional photos taken. I get it, it is very intimidating. Having this session before your wedding helps to break up those nerves and gives you an idea of what it feels like to be in front of the camera. 

You also get to see how your photographer works first hand and you all can work together to find what you are comfortable with and what is going to feel best for you on your wedding day. 

Make sure there is space in your wedding timeline

Black and white photo of bride having veil put on by smiling woman

This is so important! Your wedding timeline should not be overwhelming or too tight. You want to give yourself space in your schedule so you don’t feel like you are always rushing from one thing to the next. 

When you are thinking about candid photography, you are capturing yourself as you are in the moment. If you are stressed because you are running 15 minutes behind and now everything is 15 minutes behind, you are going to look stressed in your photos. 

Instead, space out your schedule. Give yourself more time than you think you need between everything, and even schedule some breaks where you can just sit down and take a breath for a second. 

Having this time and not feeling like you are always go, go, go, is going to make you feel way more relaxed and like you can laugh and smile and joke around with everyone around you to create those memorable candid moments. 

Don’t skip out on a first look

Young flower girl in white dress holding bouquet walks down aisle with another flower girl in a matching dress walking behind her

If you are looking for amazing candid photos, I would definitely recommend not skipping out on a first look. This is one of the best times to capture candid moments and are often some of the best of the wedding. 

Now, when I say first look, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be with your partner. If you and your partner want to wait until the aisle to see each other, you can do that and still have first looks. 

Instead of doing it with your partner, you can do a first look with your parents, your wedding party, or anyone special in your life. These people are just as excited to see you all dressed up, and all have incredible reactions when it comes to seeing you for the first time. 

So, whoever you decide to do it with, a first look is one of the best times to capture candid wedding photos. 

Relax and have fun with it

Bride and groom celebrating in reception hall while holding wrestling belts

Finally, relax and have fun with it. Remember, this day is all about you, and these photos aren’t for anyone else but you. Laugh, joke, reminisce, and enjoy this special moment that you are having because this doesn’t come around often. 

This also means don’t worry about always looking “perfect” or put together. Life isn’t perfect or put together, and it’s those messy moments that are often the ones we remember the best. 

So, when it comes to your wedding day, just be yourself. Have fun, take things as they come, and remember that everyone is here to celebrate you and your love. 

Final Thoughts on Candid Photography for Your Wedding

Hopefully this helped you gain a better understanding of what candid wedding photography is and if it is right for you and your partner’s wedding. It is one of the best ways to capture your wedding in a truly genuine and authentic way and leaves you with a wedding album filled with unforgettable memories. 

If this sounds like it is exactly what you are looking for, I’d love to help make this dream a reality for you. You can click here to learn all about my wedding photography packages or click here to reach out with any questions you have!

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