So what exactly is Candid Wedding Photography?

In Nov 2013, I shot a simple wedding in the small town Gajraula, UP. It was a one day event which started at around 1 pm with the bridegroom’s sagai followed by Baraat, Jaimal, phere and vidaai. My client had hired me for the candid shots while there was another team of two studio photographers for the traditional staged shots with lights.

For a small town like Gajraula, a female wedding photographer was something new to the people attending the wedding. I saw many faces with a surprised expression as they watched me going about with my camera capturing the moments. But what was even more unseen unheard before for them was a candid wedding photographer. In fact, my fellow photographer were most curious about my identity as a candid wedding photographer which was evident in his multiple questions. I had the most amusing experience answering his question, “yeh candid wedding photography kya hota hai” (What is this candid wedding photography?) Every once in a while in between the shots he’d tell me “Madam, main 1970s se photography kar raha hun, maine aaj tak iske bare mein nahi suna” (I have been doing photography since 1970s and I have never heard of this thing till date)

I had a hard time answering the question, what is candid wedding photography? Really what is it and how different is it from wedding photography or as we call it traditional wedding photography? There is no right answer to the question. I can bet that half of the candid wedding photographers in the profession won’t be able to answer this question, but here is my attempt.

The word candid means ‘honest, open, informal’ A candid photo means a photo which is most true to the occasion, as real as it can get or in other words a photo which is not staged or posed. Candid photography is all about capturing the true feelings and emotions of any occasion. It is about capturing a moment in its most real form, without any impositions, any posing. Contrary to popular belief it is not just about using fancy telephoto lens with maximum bokeh or unconventional angles or color tones. It is not the same as artistic photography either. Though these may be a part of the portfolio of a candid wedding photographer, but these are not all. Real candid photography is about capturing the moments, being ready for every opportunity, to never miss an action worth capturing.

How is candid photography different from the standard photography?

Standard studio photographers asks the subject to pose for the camera. They often instruct the bride, bridegroom to pose in a certain way, look in certain directions and hold hands in certain ways etc. Traditionally they carry extra lights which they fix on a stage and take group photos of the people visiting the couple and giving gifts. They wait for a moment when people pose for the camera. A candid wedding photographer quietly moves about the wedding venue looking for moments/events to capture. She would most often not even let you know about her presence.

Do candid wedding photographer use a different camera?

No, candid photographer might be using the same camera as a traditional photographer but the difference lies in the style of photography. One might go for special high end camera so as to equip oneself with the right gear to get the desired quality of images but there is no compulsion on what kind of equipment is to be used for candid photography.

Which is more challenging candid photography or standard photography?

Personally, I think candid photography is one of the toughest stream of photography as there is minimum option of creating a perfect frame  or adjusting the lights. One has to be constantly on the toes and be forever alert with their equipment to capture every moment of importance. Specially in a wedding when there are so many people with plethora of emotions, its really hard to keep up with the chaos.

I am still new in this art and am still learning, I just hope I am able to do justice to this art. Below are some of the most beautiful moments captured by me.


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