Every time you take business or marketing workshops, they tell you to describe your ideal client. My answer is always the same: my ideal clients are couples who love photography but don't love having their photos taken.
Tips for Great Candid Wedding Photography
Clients choose me as their wedding photographer because they want candid wedding portraits: a laid-back approach that doesn't feel too stiff or posed; still, they want guidance to look their best. Today I want to give you some tips on getting great candid photographs of your wedding day.
Having a candid photographer vs. a portrait photographer
One thing about candid wedding photography: candid rejects perfectionism because it follows emotion. A candid photographer avoids controlling every single element, and prioritizes observation and being quick on their feet.
If you're the kind of client that, for example, needs the veil to be perfectly creaseless and set in every photo of your wedding gallery, spontaneous movement, and candid imagery might work against that.
If you'd like that kind of attention to detail, you're better served by a portrait-heavy wedding photographer. I am a hybrid between both. I will shoot portraits throughout the day, and will sometimes suggest you do something again in better lighting, but the perfectly-imperfect emotional content is my true inspiration. Candids are what happens between portraits.
Great Photos need a great Wedding Timeline
It might feel counterintuitive, but good candid coverage needs planning. I do a lot of prep work leading up to the wedding, so all the elements we can control are on our side. When we define proper timeslots for things to happen, everyone can relax and enjoy the day. When we build a solid photography timeline, couples are more trusting, have more fun, and feel confident that there's enough time for everything they want to accomplish.
Having a great timeline is essential for me: I never arrive at a wedding without having a prior talk about a photography-specific game plan with the couple. Having this game plan guarantees trust and peace of mind for everyone.
Surround Yourself with the Best People
Speaking of friends, be very intentional with the people you allow in your getting-ready room, your wedding party, and your guestlist in general. Their vibes will directly impact the wedding day.
Sometimes, there'll be a person that causes a bit of friction or family drama. It's almost unavoidable: weddings are highly emotional events and that might set off some awkward dynamics. It's a great idea to let your photographer and planner know about potential drama so we can help distract, avoid, or de-escalate any situations.
As a wedding photographer, I'm with you or near you most of the time. Most times, guests will be on their best behavior, but if they aren't, I got you!
Let Go of Control
Once you have the timeline and confidence in your wedding team, you're free to focus on enjoying your wedding day. Making logistical decisions and managing people on the wedding day is the worst mood killer for couples. Try to delegate any unsorted details to your wedding planner or a trusted, hands-on friend.
You're not posing, you're spending quality time together.
You can talk, joke, play, and tease each other as you normally would, but please avoid posing or telling the other person how to pose/stand/act. This usually happens when one person is much more comfortable with portraits than their partner; although it's done with good intentions, it only harbors more resistance and stiffness, rendering candid photos unattainable.
Affection, body language, spontaneity, and love aren't things I can pose or create for you: they have to be there for me to capture them. I'm all about preserving the energy and keeping you guys connected and in a good mood.
I will suggest actions or locations for you to stand based on the technical photography aspects, but your love and language will fill your images with soul. Don't break the connection with each other!
Communicate with your photographer.
Now that we have touched on all the emotional and logistical elements for great candid photos on your wedding day, let's talk about expectations.
Communication with your photographer is key: discuss your expectations and priorities with your wedding photographer. Also, ask them to communicate their expectations and how to best execute your vision within their style and skillset. And listen to their expert advice.
Although my images look and feel very candid and laid-back, there's a lot of direction ir particular moments of the day so we can accomplish portraits quickly, and you can go back to celebrating.
Basically, every element of this list has been about defining all the things that need to happen for you to be present, enjoy your day to the fullest, and focus on celebrating your marriage and all your relationships coming together as one big family. Being present is how you create memories with your loved ones, and I preserve them for you.
Amber & Ryan's Candid Wedding Photos in Hacienda Siesta Alegre
I loved working with Amber and Ryan because they really took the "be present" advice to heart, and even during portrait time, their authenticity really came out.
My day with them started at their respective getting ready suites, where I photographed items, accessories and solo portraits when they finished.
The weather looked like it wouldn't hold up for the ceremony, so the planning team activated Ceremony Plan B. However, we had the first look session coming up. Me and the video team decided that we would use Ceremony Plan A (the arbor garden) during this intimate moment just for them.
Since there was so much space, I took a step back and just let them have this special moment for them. As the first drops of rain started to drizzle down, we went back into the property, excited to move on to the ceremony.
A beautiful backup plan
The backup ceremony space was wonderfully decorated with trendy fresh and dried boho florals, a macrame arbor, and the iconic stringlights of Hacienda Siesta Alegre. Their ceremony was beautiful, and had many emotional moments and rituals.
Once they were declared married, the rain ceased for a bit, giving us enough time to complete all family and group portraits and a second set of newlywed pictures. Later, they joined their guests during cocktail hour before moving on to the party.
We had so much fun that no one really wanted the night to end: after their sparkler exit, instead of sending everyone off, the newlyweds ran towards the pool and jumped right in! To my surprise, most of the guests followed them, fully dressed. Epic!
It was a fantastic night and so much fun capturing it for them.
Hacienda Siesta Alegre Wedding Vendors
Wedding Venue: Hacienda Siesta Alegre
Wedding Planner: Sofia Rivera, Bloom Events
Photographer: Camille Fontz
Videographer: NDF Films
Florist: Patricia Lorraine, Lorraine's Flowers
Wedding Cake: Bizcochos by Lae, CupKei
Live band for ceremony and cocktail: Allied music
Reception DJ: Music Factory
Make-up & Style: Adriel Ortiz
Officiant: Tim Blackford, Peace Love Weddings
Bridal dress: Justin Alexander
Caterer: Food Paradise
Coffee Bike: Cafe Sobre Grecas
Transportation: Autobuses Borinquen