Candid Wedding photography
What is Candid wedding photography?
This is a question I get asked quite a lot.
The couple usually insists that they want ‘natural’ pics and don’t want to ‘pose’ for the camera. They also explain that ‘Candid’ in ‘Candid Wedding Photography’ means not looking into the camera, and that, that is what they are looking for:). So, when I ask them, “When someone is dancing, or taking ‘pheras‘ around the fire, do you think they are going to stop and look into the camera?’. Ofcourse not, they say. Well then, does it mean that anyone clicking photos of people who are dancing, makes it a candid image, just because they are not looking into the camera? And they get stumped by this question.
After a bit of discussion with the couple, as a group, what we conclude is that they are essentially looking for great, stylish, story telling images, which also ‘look’ natural.
As a wedding photographer, I too struggle with trying to explain what Candid wedding photography is, and hence its only valid that its the biggest question in the minds of prospective brides and grooms.
- Is it about capturing natural moments?
- Is it about ‘not’ asking your subjects to pose for you?
- Is it about blurring some objects, while keeping others sharp?
- Is it about shooting in ambient light?
Well, its probably all of the above, but, that still doesn’t define candid photography. Because traditional rules of photography still apply to candid coverage too. The composition & framing of the image has to be great. The lighting has to be good enough (one cant rely just on ambient light in a closed-door ceremony with heavy curtains and no sunlight coming in). While the subjects may not pose for you, the expressions & postures still have to be great, the groom can’t be caught half sneezing, or open-mouthed with a laddoo in it (though it does make for a funny moment).
Good candid wedding photography is about capturing moments of your event, without being intrusive. It is about letting the bride & groom be themselves, and anticipating those moments of love on their faces. It is about letting the parents of the bride freely move around as they meet guests, and capturing their emotions of joy and anxiety. It is easier said than done, and takes lots of experience, practice and an innate understanding of human behaviour, for a photographer to consistently capture great moments at weddings and make them look amazing. And it is these natural moments that you’ll love to see over and over again for the rest of your life.
The Myth about ‘Oh, I dont like to pose’
When I hear couples say ‘Oh, please don’t make us pose’, I exactly understand what they mean. And we won’t ask you to stand in a fixed position with your neck tilted at 23 degrees and hand around the waist 5 inches above the belt and a smile pulled around by 3 centimetres and your chin strained from your neck by another 10 degrees:).
However, to get nice couple shots, you will HAVE to pose. (half the wedding industry in the West is about ‘how to make your couples pose’). We make you pose in a nice comfortable way, such that it looks casual and natural but extremely stylish. For example, I ask the bride to hold the groom around his waist and look into his eyes and smile. After a few moments, this automatically results in a natural conversation between the bride & groom and they get lost in each other. This is when I take my shot.
And my experience says that once the couple gets comfortable infront of the camera, they are ready to do anything.
Here are some interesting candid wedding moments from various shoots: