Wedding photography is undoubtedly one of the most important things to book on your checklist. After all, without your wedding photos, how will you remember the big moments — and the small details — that made it so special?
As the couple, you’re so busy planning your wedding and enjoying the festivities on the day-of that you may forget to capture the most memorable wedding photos. The photographer will do his or her best to take pictures of the important things, but it’s also your responsibility to think outside the box because the photographer can’t be everywhere at once.
There are some candid wedding photos many couples miss out on, or worse, they never see, simply because they forget to do a few (easy!) things ahead of time. We’re sharing those tips with you in this article. Let’s get started!
Candid Wedding Photos
What are candid wedding photos?
At its very core, candid means honest and sincere; in photography terms, candid wedding photos are unposed. And honestly, candid photography is always a favorite because it doesn’t scream, “everyone say cheese!” while interrupting guests in their element. Candid photographs show actions of the wedding couple and their guests throughout the day. These moments might include your dad seeing you in your wedding gown for the first time, your mom fixing your veil, the groomsmen sharing a toast together, guests watching you walk down the aisle, enjoying conversation at the reception tables, and showing off their crazy good moves on the dance floor.
Candid wedding photos grab the scene in its entirety and captures it! And while posed portraits are great, too — it’s helpful to have a balance, of course! — few couples receive those candid shots that tell the whole story.
If you follow these five wedding tips to getting the most candid photos, you’ll have even more memories to enjoy that go beyond a standard photography package. These are the memories and snapshots that you would miss if you didn’t take these steps.
1. Hire a photographer that specializes in candid photos.
Some photographers have a particular style that emphasizes candid shots. These photographers are easy to find, simply by seeing photos on their website and finding out if they are mostly posed or unposed. If there’s a good mix, great! If every portrait is posed, look elsewhere to get those amazing, authentic snapshots.
In addition, have a conversation with your photographer and ask him or her if they would recommend some candid moments to capture. If your photographer is experienced, he or she will have a few suggestions for candids and will add them to the photo list.
2. Crowdsource your wedding photos at the reception.
Your guests are going to be busy taking their own photos at your wedding so why not make them visible to everyone? Sure, you’ve heard of wedding hashtags to use on social, but not everyone has an account on the same platforms or knows how to utilize a hashtag.
The wedding pictures that guests capture on their own phones are the easiest ways to get wedding candids, but many times the couple never even gets to see them! That’s because the photos never get uploaded to an online album, or shared with the couple, or printed out… and those incredible candid moments are never seen again!
People always say they’ll get those photos to you or send them over, but life happens and people get busy.
Instead, take matters into your own hands and encourage guests to take as many photos as they can AND share them instantly by crowdsourcing them. One place you can do this extremely easily (and for free, for a limited time) is LiveShare. I tried it out myself and it’s incredibly simple to use — no downloading an app, no cost, no anything! Just candid wedding photos at your fingertips.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up here for free
Once you sign up, you’ll receive a link to send to your wedding guests. Post this link on your wedding website, on social media websites, or turn it into a QR code for guests to scan at your wedding reception. (It’s easy: just have the QR code printed on a 5 x 7″ sign like this and place on every reception table or one central location.)
Guests snap photos.
Once they take pictures, they’re uploaded into a visual stream that can be viewed via your link OR, even better, you can set up a monitor or use your venue’s projector to display a slideshow IN REAL TIME! Guests attending the wedding can watch the photos as they’re added, instantly, and even guests at home that couldn’t attend your wedding can see the photostream — and all those wonderful candid wedding photos — as they happen.
Enjoy your photos forever!
After the wedding, you can share the photos on your photostream by linking to it on your social media accounts and on your wedding website. You can also use a QR code or link and print it on the back of your thank you cards. You can also download the pictures and have them printed (I like to get mine printed here) and create a photo album from your favorite candid memories.
Try it for free here!
3. Use an instant camera for some of your pre-wedding festivities.
Your Smartphone is great, but getting some instant candid photos that print right out is even better, and gives your bridal party something fun to take home with them. When you’re at your bachelorette party, bridal shower, or hanging out before the ceremony with your bridesmaids, you can capture those special memories on instant film.
The instant camera is also a hit on the limousine or on a party bus if you’re having one.
Photo Guest Book
You’ll also find it HUGELY beneficial to use an instant camera and create a photo guest book for your wedding. This can be done by using one of these and some film and setting up a photo guest book album like this. Guests snap photos of themselves in front of any sort of backdrop or wall that you’ve set up at your wedding; then, they print it out and use these adhesives to attach the photo to your album and sign their names or add a little message. This is probably one of my favorite ways to get candid wedding photos of every guest in attendance. And it sure beats just a traditional signature, doesn’t it?
After all, a picture says a thousand words! :)
4. Utilize a wedding hashtag.
In addition to the above methods, be sure to create a wedding hashtag for those guests who do enjoy using them. You can get a funny — or punny! — wedding hashtag made here. The hashtag can be put on a sign at your reception, as a reminder on your menus, or even printed onto your wedding napkins like these.
You’ll also get more candid photos if you include your hashtag on drink coasters, like these from For Your Party.
5. Make a list of candid wedding photos.
And lastly, make a list of any wedding photos you’d like your photographer to capture before the wedding day. This can include any special pictures you’ve seen captured from other Real Weddings and would like to have taken on your day. Without including them on the list, you’ll run the risk of missing out on those unposed memories as they happen.
If you’re following these steps, you’ll definitely get the most candid wedding photos possible! I hope it helps and makes your album more complete.
If you have any additional tips or resources to add, include them in the comment box below!
A portion of those post is in collaboration with LiveShare.