We talk a lot around here about the value and beauty of candid pictures. It’s not that the more traditional formal shots aren’t also beautiful, but just that candids truly capture the moment for itself, without the aid of any staging or posing. That’s why you’ll want plenty of them for your album once all is said and done. Well, plenty of good ones anyway.
Because take it from us as veterans of wedding photography in NJ, while getting gorgeous candid photos should be a part of your plan, that doesn’t mean it’s always so easy to execute that plan. First off, you’ll need to find photographers who excel at capturing candids, but there’s more to it than that, especially if you want really stunning candid photos. So, read on for a few tips.
1. Find people with whom you’re comfortable.
Like mentioned above, the first step to ending up with amazing candid pictures from your big day is finding wedding photographers who have galleries showcasing a lot of them. Trust us, some photographers are far better at one style—such as formal photos—than others, but that’s not the only thing you need to look for when looking into photographers.
Feeling comfortable with your wedding photographers is also essential to getting great candid shots. After all, loosening up and living in the moment is key and that can be harder than it sounds. Wedding days can get kind of chaotic, and for some general tips on staying in the moment and enjoying it all, check out this post, Tips for Loosening up for Your Wedding Photos.
But if you take the time to either find photographers with whom you feel comfortable from the start or get comfortable with them by meeting with them, scheduling a pre-wedding shoot like an engagement session, etc., then that can be a big help. Take it from us, a little chemistry goes a long way when it comes to acting natural and getting great candid shots.
2. Plan a pre-ceremony photo session.
If you and/or your partner are going to definitely want plenty of formal pictures to go along with your candid shots, then it’s always a good idea to consider doing them earlier, before the ceremony. You could do a first look session followed by your formal shots or, if you’re not into breaking from tradition, then you could just do your formal shots at this time.
Why? Well, first off, first looks often produce some of the most memorable wedding day moments and for more on that, check out this great post from The Knot, 6 Pros and Cons of Having a First Look (Plus 3 Compromises), but as far as getting great candid pictures, doing things this way will allow you to knock out all your formal pictures before all your guests arrive and the party really gets started.
That way, once your ceremony is over, you and your partner can just focus on enjoying the celebration you’ve planned. And as we all know, whether it’s the reception entrances, the speeches, the dance floor fun, etc., post-ceremony moments are usually perfect for producing awesome candid pictures.
3. Consider surprises, or the potential for them…
If you’re planning some kind of surprise for your big day, whether it’s a choreographed dance number you’ve been working on, a song, some surprise form of entertainment, etc., then it’s always a good idea to alert your wedding photographers to it. That way, they’ll have an idea of what to expect from who and when to expect it.
Then, they’ll be able to not only capture the surprise and surpriser but the reactions as well, which always make for great candid shots, and the same goes for any type of surprise. So, even if you don’t personally have one up your sleeve one but you know when there could potentially be a surprise, then you should factor that into your plans as well.
For example, if you and your partner are considering just having your photographers in attendance for your ceremony and perhaps a photo session just after it before letting them go, then you may want to reconsider. It’s not just the potential for any surprises after that time, either. Like mentioned above, post-ceremony moments often produce the best candid photos.
Our New Jersey wedding photographers know how special candid photos can be.
The bottom line is that great candid photos have a way of bringing you right back to that time and place. There’s just an inherent rawness to them that allows you to immediately either reconnect with the moment or to connect with it for the first time, which is why you should absolutely factor them into your photography plans.
Just remember that there are some things you can do on your end to ensure that you end up with beautiful candids. We hope these tips help and for some more, check out this post, How to Get the Candid Wedding Photos You’ve Been Dreaming Of.
About Us: Live Picture Studios has been doing wedding videography and wedding photography in NJ & NY for years. At LPS, we always create to inspire, and you can check out our photo gallery and video gallery to see some examples.