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22 June, 2024

10 Tips for Getting Great Candid Shots at Weddings

Capturing natural, unposed moments is key to telling the full story of a wedding day. While formal portraits are important, candid shots bring out the emotions and intimate interactions that make the celebration so special. Here are 10 tips to help you get fantastic candid wedding photos.

Blend in Seamlessly

Dress professionally but avoid overly flashy clothes or large camera bags that will draw attention. Move discretely, stay on the perimeter, and find angles where you can capture candid moments without being in the centre of the action. Blending in is key to getting authentic unposed shots.

Study the Event Schedule

Know the wedding day's timeline and be prepared for key events like the processional, first dance, toasts, cake cutting, send-off, etc. Position yourself where you can capture candid reactions as these big moments unfold. Understanding the flow of the event will allow you to anticipate peak moments for natural interactions.

Watch for Powerful Details

Notice small things like giggling flower girls, ring bearers goofing off, stoles blowing in the wind, etc. These playful moments tell the story of the wedding day. Keep your eyes open for both large and subtle details that add context.

Use Wide Angle Lenses

Shoot with a wide angle lens to include environmental and setting details. The venue often adds to the mood and ambience of candid shots. Wide angles allow you to take in more of the scene.

Focus on Emotional Moments

Make it a goal to capture tears of joy, beaming smiles, intimate gazes, belly laughs, enthusiastic dances, and quiet stolen glances. Emotion is what makes candid wedding photos special. Hone in on the moving interactions that reveal the feelings of the day.

Work the Entire Reception

As guests relax and party, fun candid moments abound. Capture the packed dance floor, singing at tables, silly speeches, kids playing, and more. The reception is ripe with opportunity for great candid shots.

Exercise Patience

Put yourself in the right places, and watch and wait for authentic moments to emerge. Don't force shots or interrupt natural interactions. Patience allows you to fade into the background while waiting for real, unscripted moments.

Try Front/Back Shooting

For intimate moments like first dances and parent-child exchanges, position yourself so you can photograph over one subject's shoulder at the other's expression. Creative angles like shooting from behind can add intimacy to your candids.

Include Black & White Sets

Switching to black and white can create an artistic, timeless look for your best candid images from the wedding. B&W adds mood and emphasis to your most striking reception candids.

Enhance Selectively

Use editing sparingly to subtly enhance your favourite reception candids. A bit of brightness/contrast adjustment and slight vignette can give them a polished look. Avoid overprocessing and let the moments speak for themselves.

Work with a Wedding Photographer

Hiring a pro wedding photographer or documentary wedding photographer like Photography by Michael is worth the investment. Their artistic eye, technical skills, and experience capturing fast- paced events ensures you'll get stunning, creative, and emotionally-rich photos.

Getting great candid wedding shots is about awareness, anticipation, and always being ready. Follow the action while exercising patience and moving discretely. Use wide angles to establish context while focusing up close on emotional interactions and reactions. By doing so, you can capture a wedding day's most meaningful and memorable moments.

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