Candids are a great part of the story telling of your wedding day. I personally enjoy photographing people when they are unaware of me doing so and so they are captured naturally and expressively. I’m not the kind of wedding photographer to ask each of your guests to smile at the camera. That’s not my style as I prefer doing candid photography. But if guests would like to have their photo taken, I am more than happy to do this for them, they just need to ask. But for me, getting natural candids of your family and friends enjoying themselves at your wedding day is a wonderful way to be able to see what else was going on during the day.
A few years ago I attended a wedding. I had asked the photographer to take a photo of me with my family as it was a special day for us as well (I had given birth to my son Myles that morning… yes you read that right) so we have a lovely family portrait of us, our first one of the four of us. But the photographer had also taken candid photos of us as well. My daughter was a bridesmaid so I have lots of lovely photos of her during the day. But there are two photos that mean so much to me. The first photo is of Dan arriving back to the bride’s house (the bride is Emmie’s aunt and we had been staying with her) to collect some clothes for me and the car seat for Myles which we had left at the house. When he arrived, Emmie ran up to him and hugged him and wanted to know all about what had happened as she had been asleep when I had gone into labour. There is also a photo of me during the speeches getting a little teary eyed as Myles was mentioned in the speeches by both the father of the bride and the groom. And I love that photo because it takes me back to that moment and I can remember how I felt. And that to me only just strengthens my belief in why photography is so important and why I love candids so much.
(The three photos above were taken by Steven Haddock)
So on your wedding day, I do love to get lots of candids of your guests. I can’t guarantee everyone will be photographed. But I work in a way to keep myself unnoticed and to be able to photograph people as they are having a chat, catching up on the latest news, admiring how much the kids have grown, telling jokes, sharing stories. There will be some of this before the ceremony whilst everyone is waiting. But I find a great time to capture lots of emotion is straight after the ceremony, when you have your family and friends come to congratulate you and they are just so excited for you that you have just got married.
During the drinks reception, the time between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, is usually the most ideal time to get most of the candids. During this time as well, we will do group shots and portraits, so I do recommend having about 1.5 hours for the drinks reception so all of these different elements can be photographed, as well as being able to get into the reception room to photograph the decorations and details. This is why I highly recommend a second photographer so that all of these can be covered without having to rush any part of the day.
There are also other times to be able to grab candids such as between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception though this can be quieter as everyone’s just eaten and it will be a bit more chilled than earlier on in the day, unless you have something specifically planned during this time, and during the evening reception as well. My favourite time is during the speeches and being able to capture reactions full of expression and emotion.
So what do you think? Like the sound of natural candids of you and your guests during your wedding day? If you do, make sure you speak with your wedding photographer about candids and check whether that is part of their style.