Candid Wedding Photography
Candid wedding photography
Adding some candid wedding photography to your style is always a great idea. Weddings have changed a lot over the past few years. It has gone from wedding photographers distinguishing themselves as documentary style, candid, traditional all the way to modern. Candid photography is when you as the photographer will get photographs of the Bride, Groom, family and guests enjoying themselves without them knowing. They are real moments, real emotions and real expressions. Candid wedding photography is way more than just snapping away, you have to prepare, be ready, be smart and them, as the photographer have to know how to get these moments without being noticed by the crowd. Lukas Griffin states that in his personal opinion, as wedding photographer he focuses on balance, meaning he has a mixture of candid, posed portraits, modern and documentary, and that there is no need to exclusively focus on one aspect or the other, rather a wedding should be photographed naturally, and their are so many opportunities for each style throughout the day. Here are our top tips on candid wedding photography!..
Look around and pay attention to the wedding party, the family and friends and be ready for the moments that can unfold before you. Be ready always, as you never know what is going to happen next at a wedding and you of course want to catch it!.. Not only should you be ready though, but so should your camera and your equipment. It is good practice to constantly check you camera exposure and focus settings, so you are ready to fire when a special moment happens. It is of course highly recommended by weddit to shoot in manual mode, and as we said, a great idea to have your exposure correct while you are waiting, so keep checking in with it. This is not always possible though, as sometimes things can happen so fast and the light can be changing intensity so dramatically due to moving in and out of the clouds, that switching to aperture priority to capture a moment is something you can do if really needed, which can defiantly save your bacon. For example, in a super important moment, like the bride and groom walking back down the isle, featured in the photograph below, if the light is fluctuating, and not staying constant, it might be a good idea to shoot aperture priority to make sure you get the shot, if you are not confident or fast enough to change it manual mode. It is super important of course always shoot raw, so if you under or over expose a little, not to worry, as the wedding photo editors here at weddit can always fix the issues in post production.
Know your equipment
If you want to be great at candid wedding photography, it is essential you know you equipment well. You want to use the right lenses for each given situation. It is easy to miss a shot if you have the wrong lens on. Of course choosing the right lens comes with experience, and we cannot get it right all the time, as all this comes with experience and you will definitely learn from you mistakes. Although we feel that sometimes, it is better to try not to make the mistake in the first place, so ask yourself which lens should I be using now and why. Of course the ultimate question is ' Does this shot or angle look good to me' if the answer is yes, you are on the right track. If not, try something different. Maintain your exposure settings as much as you can, keep checking to make sure they are correct. It's a great idea to have two camera's with you at all times, with a different lens on each. Or go for a versatile lens like the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens which will allow you to shoot wide and get in close.
3. Use a telephoto zoom lens
Candid wedding photography is about being aware of your surroundings, you have to be like a ninja, quiet, smart, fast and ready to strike at the right moment. And above all that you have to have the right composition and settings to get the candid moment perfectly. Getting great candid moments is not always an easy task, so what will help you, is a telephoto lens. Some of the best ones to use are the Canon 85mm 1.2 or Canon 70-200mm II, both these lenses will allow you to stay back in the crowd and un-noticed. If you need more light in a dark situation, try your very best to avoid flash, as this will obviously ruin your candid moment. Instead try to open up your aperture or increase your ISO if you camera can handle it. Some great choices of cameras that have excellent ISO capabilities are the Canon 5d mark IV and Canon 5d mark III. When you increase your ISO, just make sure you know the limits of your camera. We suggest you do some research, and check the noise levels when you get into Adobe Lightroom. Here at weddit, our professional photo editing service has some some excellent noise reduction recipes, that can eliminate unwanted noise issues for you in post production.
It can help a lot to plan ahead, scout out the location before hand, check the lighting directions and the layout of the land. Do some research on the wedding party, the Parents and the Grandparents or any other close family members that are important to the Bride and Groom. All this can help greatly in getting great candid photographs, as you want of the right people. You can take semi-candids too, yes that's right, 'semi-candid' (Did we just make this word up?). Let's explore semi-candid and what we mean by it. The bride in the picture below, she is reading a letter from her husband to be, an emotional moment. When she initially began reading the letter, she was in a a position with bad light and not ideal surroundings. If the shots were taken with a full candid and documentary style, they would not look good. So by making the decision, to suggest that she moves into better light, with a better back drop by the window, this puts her in a perfect position for a photograph. As she began to cry, the photographer stays back and does not intrude in the moment, and this becomes a perfect semi-candid moment.
Move around and change angles
To get a achieve a great mixture of candid wedding photography moments, it is a great idea to move around and try new angles and new compositions, once you have got a shot perfectly, try something new, move and look for something different. Change your composition and mix it up, different angles and distances will help you tell the story, Always be patient, walk around, look around at what is happening and take note of the energies between people, you will get good at anticipating what is going to happen next.
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Photo credit: All images in this blog post by Lukas Griffin.