Recent years have seen a significant shift in wedding traditions. Today’s brides and grooms demand more from their wedding photographers than stiffly staged poses; they usually like candid wedding photography since it catches the emotions of the happy couple and their guests without forcing everyone to stand in front of the camera.
But taking candid photos entails much more than simply aiming your camera at people and pressing the shutter. You must comprehend the subtler subtleties associated with the candid technique if you wish to take beautiful pictures (and you need to become especially adept at capturing good shots without being noticed).
I’ve included five suggestions for photographing weddings in an inconspicuous yet effective manner below. In this manner, you will be equipped to produce a variety of breathtaking candid pictures the moment you are hired to photograph a wedding.
1. Always Be Ready
The most important candid wedding photography advice I can give you is this:
Be Prepared To Shoot At Any Time, Regardless of The Situation.
Make sure in particular to always be on the lookout for unusual opportunities. You never know what will occur, and if you stop seeing what is going on around you, you run the risk of missing something amazing. Keeping an eye out for potential moments to capture is a smart idea, and even when your camera is in your hand, you should be hyperaware of your surroundings.
Of course, you need tools to catch unguarded moments, so make sure your camera is constantly available. Make sure you have it in your hands and are ready to shoot at any time. Set your camera to the appropriate settings for the lighting, and if required, switch to Aperture Priority mode to let the camera decide how much light to expose automatically. When the action begins, you don’t want to be adjusting the camera!
Pro tip: When you see that your battery or memory card is running low, wait until there is a pause in the action before replacing it. You never know what’s going to happen, so you must be constantly prepared to take pictures. As I stated before, don’t wait for your camera to break or the memory card to run out.
2. Know Your Equipment
This was briefly mentioned in the preceding advice, but it merits its section due to its significance. Don’t be one of the innumerable photographers who miss images while adjusting the camera’s settings!
Instead, you must be intimately familiar with your tools. Aperture Priority and other semi-automatic modes are helpful and may ease some of the burdens, but they’re not flawless and can occasionally have issues, so it’s crucial to fully grasp how your camera operates in case you need to make setting changes or take control entirely.
Additionally, you’ll need to choose an aperture, an ISO, a metering mode, an autofocus mode, an autofocus area mode, and a white balance even if you utilize aperture priority mode. In other words, you must be extremely knowledgeable in your field!
Just A Few Things To Keep in Mind are Listed Below:
- To maintain clear images, the shutter speed needs to be carefully controlled. Always shoot at 1/100s or faster; if your subject is moving, you’ll typically need to use 1/250s, 1/500s, or even 1/1000s.
- Generally speaking, it makes sense to open the aperture wider to let in more light but keep in mind that doing so will reduce the depth of field, necessitating precise point-of-focus selection.
- For the quicker shutter speeds I described above, you’ll typically require a higher ISO while shooting inside. Don’t be afraid to increase your camera’s ISO to 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, and greater levels. However, you should be aware that doing so too often can result in noise-filled images.
- It frequently helps to set your camera’s white balance to Auto when shooting in RAW (which I strongly suggest! ), then make adjustments in post-processing. By taking this strategy, you won’t lose any flexibility because the RAW files can still be easily edited in a tool like Lightroom, and you won’t have to modify the WB setting as the lighting conditions change.
By the way, you ought to be able to adjust settings without referring to the user guide or fumbling with menus. It may be beneficial to practice changing the settings while lounging on the couch, enjoying a movie, speaking on the phone, etc.
3. Use A Telephoto Zoom Lens
The main goal of candid wedding photography is to capture the bride, groom, guests, etc. without drawing attention to yourself. If you’re hovering a few inches away from the bride while pointing a camera in her direction, you won’t be able to catch lovely candid moments!
For this reason, I strongly advise using a telephoto zoom lens. I frequently use 70-200mm or even 100-400mm lenses to photograph weddings if capturing unscripted moments is the main goal. You’ll be amazed by how these longer lenses may help you catch the action and emotions without aggressively disturbing the subjects when they initially look awkward.
A long zoom will also assist in maintaining the closeness needed for wedding photographs. If you want to make the bride and groom appear to be in their little universe, try dialing in a wide aperture to highlight the narrow depth of field impression!
Of course, having a shorter lens on hand is useful for broader candid scenarios and other crucial photos. I advise you to do the same as many wedding photographers bring two cameras, each with a different lens. This will enable you to take a tonne of striking pictures, regardless of how close you are to the subject.
4. Don’t Use Flash
Many wedding photographers enjoy using light, especially for staged shots, but it’s never a good idea to bring a flash along for spontaneous wedding photo shoots.
Why? Fire that light, whether it’s a specialized flash gun or the pop-up flash on your camera, to catch your subjects’ attention. Your subjects will start acting awkward as soon as they realize you’ve seen them, and you’ll lose that lovely, natural impression.
And I’ll be completely honest: Flashlights usually provide quite dull and unappealing light. Yes, a flash may brighten things up, but if there isn’t enough light, I’d suggest increasing the exposure instead. You might try boosting the ISO, reducing the shutter speed, or opening up the aperture (if you have room). Additionally, you may photograph in portions of the room that are more well-lit, but avoid doing this frequently; you don’t want to miss images in the middle of the dance floor because you’re always positioned by a window!
5. Make Sure You Plan Ahead
It is your responsibility as a candid wedding photographer to foresee events before they occur (or, at the very least, make a wise estimate!). If you can, I’d advise going to the venue in advance of the wedding to get a good sense of the layout and lighting. See if you can spot any suitable photo backdrops while you’re there; even if you don’t use them, it pays to Have a few ideas on hand just in case.
Arrive at the site soon before the event is scheduled to begin if you are unable to view the area beforehand. Take a stroll around the area, consider your photo options, and look for any potential impediments (such as unusually dark rooms or strong backlighting).
Then, as the ceremony is ready to begin, be cautious not to become so engrossed in the activities that you forget about your meticulous preparation and reconnaissance. Keep a calm head and keep in mind your photo ideas. Planning will help you acquire some fantastic pictures.
The distinct feeling of the day may be beautifully captured in candid wedding photographs.
After reading this essay, perhaps you feel prepared to shoot your next wedding with assurance. To get some amazing images, just make sure you do some prior reconnaissance and preparation, double-check that you are familiar with your equipment, and avoid using the flash.