While it’s assumed your wedding day will require plenty of planning, sometimes the most treasured moments in life come from spontaneity. Jacqueline Maya speaks with Jeff Goodwin, of Jeff Goodwin Wedding Photography, about why candid wedding photos are capturing the hearts of couples around the world.
Image Credit: Beaux Art Co.
While styled wedding photographs will always remain a firm favourite, candid photography is a trending genre gaining significant attention from photographers and couples alike. So that you’re not left in the darkroom, Queensland Wedding & Bride places candid photography under the lens and explores why this particular style has developed such a unique following.
The Big Picture
Seizing a transient moment and transforming it into one of permanency, candid photography is gaining significant traction among couples today, and for good reason. “Candid wedding photos are becoming popular because they bring out the very best in the couple,” Goodwin says. “This style can also help ease the couple’s nerves, giving them the best possible record of their day.”
A professional photographer of more than 15 years, Goodwin defines a candid or natural photograph as an image that reflects the subject in their most relaxed state. However, candid photography is often mistaken for candid-inspired photos, which have the appearance of being natural, but have actually been taken under the direction of a photographer.
While candid-inspired photographs are beautiful, they simply cannot compare with the unfiltered emotion that is encapsulated in a natural photograph. “Posed wedding photos can often look more contrived, and depending on the pose, can even look dated over time,” Goodwin says. “At the end of the day, couples want images that reflect their true selves, and candid photos do just that.”
Snapshots Of Success
The benefits for incorporating natural photographs into your wedding album are plentiful. Structured or styled photos are commonly taken in between the ceremony and reception, which can often feel rushed. However, candid photos are generally captured as the day unfolds, allowing you to spend more time with family and friends.
A candid photograph can capture some of the most tender displays of affection, such as guests crying during your vows, or your expression as you first lay eyes on your partner while walking down the aisle. In addition to moments captured during the couple’s preparation, the ceremony and the reception are prime settings that will present your photographer with greater opportunities to snap these fleeting moments.
“Spontaneity is key to capturing those magical moments between the couple, such as that special kiss when no one is watching, the sharing of an inside joke, or an intimate embrace,” Goodwin says. “These are the moments that people truly love and cherish.”
With regard to his process for capturing candid photos, Goodwin says he’s always on high alert. “You always need to be on the look out for moments to capture,” he says. “An amazing photo can be missed if you are distracted or aren’t concentrating. The best method for minimising distraction is to constantly be aware of your surroundings.”
It’s equally important to be able to anticipate a moment before it happens. This is the true talent of an experienced candid photographer. “Taking candid photography really is like photojournalism,” Goodwin adds. “You need to be in the right place at the right time as the moments will never be repeated.”
One of the pitfalls that couples need to be aware of when asking for candid photography is that some photographers will take this to the extreme. All too often, couples are left feeling disappointed when carefully chosen elements of the wedding day, such as the flowers and table settings, aren’t captured.
To ensure the most important details of your wedding are caught on camera, opt for a mix of candid as well as posed photos. “While there are huge advantages to having candid wedding photos, we do suggest taking some posed shots, too,” Goodwin says.
The editing process for candid and styled photography is virtually the same, however candid photography tends to involve more airbrushing and retouching work, which should also be taken into consideration. If you’re after a more natural result, make sure you communicate this to your photographer.
Two Lenses Are Better Than One
As the old saying goes, many hands make light work, and the same can be said for capturing beautiful moments at a wedding. “As a husband-and-wife team, we certainly see the advantage of taking candid wedding photos with another person,” Goodwin says. “By working together, we are able to get different angles and focal lengths to ensure a wide variety of shots are taken.”
For example, if one photographer is focused on taking portraits of the couple, the second photographer can capture the bridal party, or the parents’ reactions as the couple shares their first dance, ensuring that the special moments, which are happening simultaneously during the wedding are captured.
“One of our favourite things about taking candid wedding photos is the level of spontaneity involved, and the amazing results that are achieved by utilising this style of photography.”
Regardless of the style of photographs you choose, communication and planning are vital. The more you discuss with your photographer in the lead up to your wedding, the better prepared they can be. However, perhaps one of the simplest yet important pieces of advice that Goodwin imparts is to try to relax and have fun! “Just be yourselves, and don’t worry about the camera.”
It takes a highly qualified and perceptive individual behind the lens to ensure these affecting moments are turned into long-lasting keepsakes. Whether you decide on just a few shots or opt for the whole package, candid photographs leave no stone unturned. They capture everything from the tears to the ephemeral joy, and – most importantly – the feelings that you experienced in that one moment alone, allowing these precious memories to live on for many years to come.