Top Ten Tips For Getting The Best Candid Wedding Photos.

I hope by writing this post; Top ten tips for getting the best candid wedding photos, that I can put to rest some of these misconceptions as to what makes for a good wedding photographer.  Of course having nice equipment certainly helps, but I will leave this discussion for another post.  This post is meant to help shed some light on the topic of candid wedding photography to Brides and Grooms to be, so they may have a better understanding what to expect from their wedding photographer. And also for new photographers who are just entering the wedding photography business or would like to improve or change their shooting style.

So here are my


1. Shoot the Bridal preparations;

Some brides do not think they want to have these shots. Maybe they feel they will be too nervous, the room will be too messy, or don’t want to be bothered having the distraction of a photographer while they are getting ready.  Other brides may want to wait until they are fully ready and presentable before they are photographed. What ever their excuse, insist on getting these shots, just stay out of the way as much as you can! They will thank you for it when they see the photo. Trust me!



2. Pay attention:

Pay attention to the subtle moments between the Bride and Groom during the ceremony. Traditionally in South Asian Weddings the bride and groom do not look at each other, out of modestly perhaps.  Sometimes I will suggest to the bride and groom to interact with each other and sometimes these moments just occur, unpredictable things happen, private moments shared between each other.  These subtle moments will hold a significant meaning to them when looking back on this day.



3. Create the Moment;

I will often set up the “traditional posed shots of the closest, immediate family if there is no other traditional photographer shooting, these shots must be done!  But once you have taken the traditional shot, don’t stop, often the best candid photos happen when they let their guard down. They are thinking the formal photo is done, now we can relax. This is when the real natural moments happen, like the photo below of a father kissing his beautiful daughter before he walks her down the aisle.



4 . Be Sensitive:

Weddings are very emotional events, be aware and sensitive to these heartfelt moments, like the bride and groom saying their vows. Use a long lens, or work with natural light if you can to avoid distracting flash bursts. Get close if you have to, but do so in an unobtrusive manner, and be respectful of these intimate and special moments.



5. Think outside the box:

I will often get behind the action, just to see if their is something different there, try shooting from different angles. Often the glaring video lights that are so common at Indian weddings can enhance your photos, if used properly.  If the family are posing for the traditional photographer, move to the side for a different perspective, or zoom in on smaller groups.



6 . Have an understanding of different cultural customs:

Over the many years of shooting weddings, I have photographed almost every culture and faith.  When photographing weddings in India their are so many customs, depending on the region, religion, family customs, etc.  It’s not possible to know every wedding custom.  I always talk with the family before the events to make sure I have an understanding of their particular culture, and customs.  Having a knowledge of what’s to come will give you the advantage of being well prepared. Even doing so It’s not possible to pre plan everything. Often times little customs, special Pooja’s, etc are added in at the last minute, in this case, just go with the flow! If your not familiar with a custom or not sure of it’s significance, just shoot it!  The Vidai ceremony is customary in most Indian Weddings, and is one of my favorite things to photograph. Signifying the bride leaving her family home for her new life with her new husband. These are often VERY emotional events, be ready, and shoot lots!



7.  Get to know the key family members;

This is very important!  I will often make sure I am introduced to the key family members on the first night of events.  Big Indian weddings can be overwhelming if your not sure who is who! If in doubt ask!  Sometimes it will become obvious, like the photo below, a very happy Auntie congratulating the two sisters who shared the same weekend to get married.



8. Get some “alone time” with the Bride and Groom;

I will often take my couples out for a session of just the two of them, usually before the reception, sometimes only 5 minutes is available. But I do my best to get these few minutes alone with the couple.  This is a special time when they get a few moments to themselves before mingling with all their guests.  It’s also good because they are looking their best, freshly changed for the evening, and usually a bit more relaxed now that the ceremony is done.  I direct them to get the posed shots I want in a natural way, then give them some “breathing space” and again go with the flow!



9.  Position yourself in the right spot;

Position yourself in the right spot and know what’s coming, a father giving away his daughter is always a guaranteed keeper!



10: Capture the excitement and emotions;

This goes along with tip 9, the bride and groom leaving the ceremony, relieved the formalities are done. It’s party time!



Ok I said 10 tips but I’m feeling generous today, so one last bonus tip!

11. Have fun ! :

Indian weddings are full of fun traditions, silly games, etc. These make for great Candid photos! Have fun with it!

Fun games make for great spontaneous moments to capture

If your planning your wedding in India or anywhere and would like to have a candid wedding photographer please check our blog for more candid wedding photos and Indian Weddings.  If you have any questions you can send us an email,  or leave us a comment below if you enjoyed this article 10 tips for getting the best candid wedding photos. We would love to hear from you!