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Tips For Great Candid Photographs

A growing number of couples are valuing candid, natural, and emotive photographs more than the still and perfectly posed imagery of wedding days gone by. People want photographs that capture the real moments of their wedding day, that allow them to have fun, and that preserve the emotions and personalities of their loved ones. While hiring a great photographer who emphasizes capturing candid moments is a good place to start, it’s up to you to intentionally build space into your wedding day for memorable candid moments to occur.

All too often timelines get hectic and rushed, and at the end of the day everything feels like a blur. Instead, here are four perfect opportunities to build time and space into your wedding day where you can be present and take time to live in the moment. Adding any one of these to your wedding day plans will set the stage for a gorgeous and meaningful series of candid photographs you will treasure forever!

Getting Ready

Getting ready is the perfect opportunity to capture memorable candid moments with your closest family and friends. Rather than feeling rushed through the process of getting ready, plan some activities that will get you and your loved ones interacting during this time.

With your wedding party, do something fun like taking a few minutes to have a nostalgic dance party to your favourite pre-teen tunes, or exchange gifts and cards with your group. For added emotion, read the cards out loud, or take a moment to individually tell each person how much they mean to you.

To get great candid moments with you parents, make sure to intentionally invite them to take part in some important moments with you. If your mom is helping you get dressed, invite her ahead of time to help you put on your finishing touches. After finishing your dress, take a moment to thank her with a few kind words. Having a first look with parents is also great candid opportunity, and can be made even more meaningful by taking time to exchange a heartfelt gift or card with your family.

Couple Photos

A great wedding gallery includes lots of candid captures of you and your love together. From the first look through to speeches, there are numerous ways to open up great candid photo opportunities.

The key here is to stay close to one another during important moments. Make sure you’re sitting next to one another while speeches are being made, do some rounds of cocktail hour together, and make an effort to group hug your families! It’s natural to go separate ways and cover more ground sometimes, just make sure you routinely come back together again throughout the day.

When you have time scheduled for couples photos, plan to add a few more natural activities into this time. For example, if you have a first look scheduled, this is a great opportunity to exchange notes with one another. When taking photographs after the ceremony, bring a phone and find a quiet location with your photographer where you can practice your first dance one more time. Activities like these help keep you moving and acting naturally in front of the camera, rather than getting hung up on posing. Plus it keeps photos fun, as they should be!

The Ceremony

Your wedding ceremony is a key moment for your photographer to become a candid ninja and capture unstaged photographs of you and your loved ones. If these are important photographs for you to have, it’s a good idea to have a second shooter to help your photographer capture more photos of the audience as well!

The number one way you can get a stunning collection of candid ceremony shots is to have an unplugged ceremony. The best photographs of grandparents holding hands, and dad’s wiping away a tear, happen when they’re not trying to get their iPhone video to focus! Put up a sign reminding people to unplug, and have your officiant remind everyone to please pocket their devices before beginning.

If you’re up for the challenge, writing and speaking your own vows to one another during the ceremony creates a lot of great moments to capture between the two of you. You don’t have to speak them to the whole audience if you don’t want, but this is the best opportunity to share with one another how much this day means to you. Looking back at these photos will always recall your words to one another, and that’s a pretty beautiful memory to have.

The Reception

Receptions are absolute gold mines for capturing candid photographs of you, your family, and your guests! A few simple tweaks will help your photographer capture the hundreds of beautiful little interactions that take place during this portion of the day.

First, when speeches are happening, make sure you and your love are seated next to one another, and have a clear line of sight to where the speaker is. When a speech is finished, don’t forget to take a moment to thank and hug whoever did the toasting!

If you’re excited to have a collection of candid photos interacting with your guests and loved ones, plan some time to travel the room together. Take a few minutes to interact with each of your guests one on one. Take extra time with grandparents and other people who mean the most to you, and make sure you’ve cued your photographer on who these people are. Hold hands, give hugs, and shower everyone who is there for you with your love. The photos of this will be stunning.

At the end of the day, setting a few small intentions to share your time and love with friends and family will create endless rewards. In addition to helping you slow down and create beautiful memories, I can guarantee that these will be the photos you revisit time and again. The simple rule of thumb to remember is this: if you love candid photographs, then allow space and time for these candid moments to naturally unfold throughout your wedding day.

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