Candid Wedding Photography is great because it gives you and your guests freedom to enjoy yourselves.
1. Candid captures the true spirit of the day
2. It is less ridgid compared to tradtional / formal photography allowing you and your guests to be yourselves and really enjoy the day.
3. Not everyone is comfortable in front on the camera, and one important person is usually the groom. If this is the case, the best options is to go for 100% candid with no interference from the photographer and absolutely no posing. If you wanted a newly weds shoot then go for candid in action and for group shots consider hiring a photo booth.
Ok great, so these are the benefits, however what is the meaning of Candid Wedding Photography? The term suggests that the style of photography is very loose and relaxed, which is correct. However, there might be some confusion when using this term which can lead to dispointed brides when they receive their photos after the wedding. So let's break it down the different styles and how you as a couple can understand what you want and communicate that to your photographer.
1. The Traditional Style.
In the past, wedding photos where very stylised from start to finish, and that meant a lot of rigid poses during preperations and group shots. Couples and their guests where asked to stand still and look directly at the camera. During preperations, the bride would be asked to hold a pose as if she was putting on an earing or make up etc... These rigid poses also came from a technical element as 35mm film photography allows very little room for failure. With film being expensive to produce and also a roll usally having only 36 frames, the photographer had to make every frame count. Through the years with the rise of digital photography, it meant that photographers now could afford to take MORE shots, which meant they could employ more relaxed techniques. Now a days this style is also adopted when creating more artistic shots, where the Pose, Light and Composition are equally important. It is extraordinary how much the this traditon has stayed with us, becuase every couple that I've worked with, even the ones that want candid photography, do want an element of traditional, usually when it comes to group shots with thier parents.
2. Reportage / Documentary / 100% Candid
These terms are used to allude to the same thing, which is bascially capturing each moment as it unfolds. With this technique the photographer, never interfears and never asks for poses. They are constantly scanning the room for spontanous, fun, emotional, beautiful episodes. Light and compositon, takes a second in this technique, as it is all about capturing true authetntic emotion. In this style nothing is posed, subjects can look at the camera, however it comes from a genuine place as opposed to being posed for it.
3. Candid Fun / Staged
Closer to our traditional style, the candid fun style is mostly used for in preperations, group shots or a newly shoot, where the couples and / or their guests want to outline their fun personalities and instead of posing in ridgid poses. In this case the photographer would put you in more relaxed, fun, sometimes goofy poses to capture a brighter, happier picture. This is half way between traditional and candid, as the subjects are still being posed, but they are allowed to interact with each other, look at each other, and most of the time produces more genuine expressions. A great way of acheieving this is by having a photo booth station, where guests can just go, grab a prop and have some banter posing with their favourite prop.
4. Candid in Action / Staged
Have you seen those beautiful engagement shoot pictures, with couples laughing and having fun. That is captured using this style. The photographer has a repertoire of activities they will suggests like, running, walking, twirling, snuggling etc.... These activities are desiged to quite naturally get the couple to enjoy themselves without having to worry about posing. The result is genuine authetic emtions of love and joy. Technically is the hardest to achive for a photogrpaher, however it is the best choice for those who feel awkward infront of the camera. This technique is mostly used in engagemnt and newly weds shoot, but can be used in group shots though it is harder to co-ordinate the more people you bring so in this case, something like a photo booth would work better.
5. So what is Candid Wedding Photography?
So you can understand that When couples request for candid wedding photography , both the photographer and couple need to understand the extent of the meaning. Some might want 100% candid and they want the photographer to stay out of their way, or more commonly they'll want a combination of the above elements.
An easy way for both parties to communicate this is by breaking down each section of the wedding and choosing a style for each. So let's do that now and I'll let you decide which style you'd be most comfortable with.
b) 100% candid
c) candid staged
there is no choice here this is always reportage / documentary / 100% candid
Group Shots, you might want to assign a different style to different groups of people
b) No group shots
c) candid staged (maybe photo booth)
e) candid action
Newly weds shoot
b) no newly weds shoot
c) candid staged
d) candid action
there is no option here apart from reportage / documentary / 100% candid
So as you can see, it is up to you to decide, what you and your guests will feel most comfortable with, you can definately go for 100% Candid which means there is very little to none interfearance from your photographer or you can choose what level of direction you want from your photographer in specific parts of your wedding.
Me personally, I'm very flexible with my couples, and spend time to listen to their vision and understand what is comfortable for them so I can deliver exactly what they want.
If you are going for 100% candid your shot list is SUPER important. Make a shot list of the things that you don't want your photographer to miss out on, otherwise you run a very high risk of your photographer missing something.