Candid wedding photography: what is?

The shots. The story

Mon 28 Nov, 2022

Candid wedding photos: what this means?

Candid wedding pictures, wedding reportage,documentary wedding photography, candid marriage photography. Surely, if we were talking about wedding pictures, there'll be a lot of way to say that we would like to have unposed photography at our wedding, but what exactly do we mean when we talk about this kind of wedding photography? All of these words are related to the journalism world and define that type of story based on faithful documentation of reality. So, we are not just talking about taking pictures, but taking them as close as possible to the reality of the facts we are documenting, without interfering.

The world before the digital reportage photography

Shooting a wedding reportage means not only take picture of two people during one of the most important day of their life. It is a way (and also my way) to conceive memories. Everything canged with the arrival of the digital photography. Digital cameras have no fear of darkness, so they allow a wedding photographer to do almost everything he/her couldn't do with analogue photography. One example: the getting ready. You could't shoot a lot during the getting ready if you were shooting it on film, because the 99,9% of time you would need to shoot with flash, and the flash's light is one of the most unreal light the human kind has created since its first day on Earth. If you didn't want to use flash, it was easier to shoot just some posed portrait, and just one or two candid moments, but before you had to move the make up artist and the bride very close to a window to have the right light... Today, as digital photographer, we are very lucky and we can shoot almost in any condition of light, and this chance open up the world of the wedding photography, this old land inhabitated only by posed pictures, to this beautiful new reality full of natural photohography.

What does a candid wedding photographer do?

In a wedding reportage you need to run at the speed of sound to not loose a single important moment, and if you are a good documentary wedding photographer, you'll find how to put the whole story into a single frame. What I try to do through the documentation of the event is the construction of a memory. I want my couple to look at these pictures years later, and use their wedding photos as an emotional map to re-discover the feelings they experienced that day. And to do this, all you need is a hint, a starting point. A photograph is only a moment, but a good candid wedding photographer builds a story in a single frame, without needing anything else.

Fine art wedding photographer (the traditional approach) VS documentary wedding photographer (the alternative approach)

As I said, in the good old days of wedding film photography, you only could choose one way to shoot. Strike the pose. End game. The first twist arrive almost 10 years ago, when fine art wedding photography were born. This style of picture is well defined by the composition of the frame (portrait and details looks like come from a Reinaissance painting), the colour palette (dreamy and creamy, because all the photographers use the same film: Kodak Portra), every subject (a house, a bouquet, a kiss..) is static, airy, and soft. Everything is undercontrol (including emotions), the wedding takes place calmly and everything runs smoothly like there are no unscheduled situations.

Then someone opened the window and let some fresh air in.

Where are the true feelings? The beautiful smile with unperfect teeth, the strong hugs that left your shirt totally crumpled, the aunt who hides her face as not to show her tears of joy. The different lies in the pose, and how you staged it. The different lies between the perfection and the truth. And life ufortunately, is not perfect all the time. In my opinion, if a moment it too staged, you'll remember how you staged it, you'll remember what the photographer said to make you feel that way, to make you pose that way. But is your wedding, you should remember what happens, not the words that the photographer used to make you smile as your were really smiling at the camera... My approach is to be quick and to shoot what I see with my style: through the study of art and composition, improving myself to be physically faster, keeping always my finger on the trigger. My style is a mashup of what I am and what I'll become, as an on going project: I studied and I lived, and every day something new grab my attention, and there'll be a new plant, a new point of view that will grow and push my style towards an unknow place. If you don't want to pose, if you want the true in your candid wedding pictures, you'll need to know how to put all your world into your photography.

If you don't know which style to choose, read my article with tips on how to choose a wedding photographer.

Print! Print! Print!

There's one thing that bring together this different approach, and its name is: PRINT. Whatever your taste is, please print your memories, in a book, or just the single images, but don't trust the screen, usb memory or stuff like that. Your memories deserve the third dimension, you deserve to see them every day on the fridge, among the souvenir magnets of your travels, or in that beautiful frame on the bookshelf. Don't let them be only digital. Let them be.

If you like my point of view and you're looking for a candid wedding photographer that shoot your day in a documentary style, why don't you send me a mail o a message on Whatsapp? I'm really looking forward to hearing from you!

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