Weddings aren’t just a solemn declaration of spousal love and commitment: they’re supposed to be fun too!
I know first hand, however, how difficult getting natural-looking, candid wedding photos can be.
There’s nothing worse than having cameras in your face all day long, capturing every smile and frown. You feel horribly self-conscious – not spontaneous at all.
Taking authentic candid photos is a challenge. You need the camera to be ready to go, but at the same time, you don’t want to stifle proceedings.
There’s no denying that capturing the perfect candid photos can add tremendously to the memory of the day. Everything from a subtle whisper in your’s spouse’s to a full-on rainstorm adds character and creates memories.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about taking gorgeous wedding photos that capture the spark of the day.
Stay Relaxed And Natural
It’s your wedding day, so staying relaxed and natural could be a challenge. But it’s also the key to great images.
The best way to feel at home in front of the camera is to get comfortable with the photographer.
When you have a good relationship with your photographer, you immediately feel at ease. The best often blend into the background of proceedings, allowing you to get on with the day.
The trick, in my view, is to forget that they’re there. Let them get on with the difficult task of capturing the perfect moment. You just focus on having a great time.
Don’t Plan Everything To The Last Detail
While the wedding schedule is important, don’t fall into the trap of planning every last detail. You still want there to be room for the unexpected and spontaneous. After all, those are the critical ingredients for candid photos.
The world is a random place. The unexpected is the norm. Thus, it’s likely at some point in the day that something will go “wrong,” providing the perfect candid photo opportunity.
I don’t think it’s wise trying to fight these situations. They add character to the day and make your wedding unique.
You can, of course, increase the likelihood of something hilarious, unexpected, and authentic happening. Adding children or animals to the mix guarantees at least some chaos.
Traveling through an unusual location is another good idea. While churches and hotels have their place, you might also take a walk through a garden or a stroll on the beach. These locations help the magic to flow.
Build A Timeline Of Events
Some wedding photographers like to create a timeline of events. I know I do. Schedules help you know precisely when everything should happen and what you need to do next.
Many photographers recommend that you create a timeline to help you relax. Knowing when things are supposed to happen allows you to find your natural rhythm. If you’re interested in creating a timeline, you can click here for more info.
Let The Photographer Provide Direction
The attitude of the photographer can make an enormous difference in capturing great candid photos. Their manner can help you go from feeling shy and nervous to open and exploratory.
Professionals have an intrinsic sense of what works on camera. They are, therefore, able to provide excellent direction.
Often I’ve found that something as simple as “you look great” is enough to help you open up. Suddenly, spouses feel more relaxed and energized.
When it comes to candid photos, you want something similar. The photographer should have the opportunity to capture the full range of facial expressions. Ideally, you should be able to look back and feel the emotions of the day.
While you want to nail the itinerary for the wedding, there’s nothing like a pleasant surprise. People’s reactions to the unexpected can be priceless.
As the couple getting married, you have a lot of power over surprises. At one wedding I went to, the couple had prepared a stage dancing routine and put on a show for their guests. It was a remarkable first dance and an excellent opportunity to capture the audience’s reaction.
If you’re not the couple, you can also throw in the odd curveball to create the unexpected. I’ve seen friends and relatives organize everything from impromptu Mexican marching bands to surprise puppies.
You can’t force gorgeous candid wedding photos: they’re just something that authentically emerges on the day. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my experience, it’s that you can increase the chance they’ll happen. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the main plan.