Back in the past, art was the last thing that you would associate with wedding photography. You’d walk into the dingy photographer’s office to book their services. They’d show up with their cameras on your big day, cover the major happenings, wrap up and head on back. The bride and groom, cheeks aching from the fake smiles and plain exhausted after hitting pose after pose for the photographer would retreat to a tired night. The wedding guests, (yes that horde of mamajis, chachajis, with a few friends called in for good measure) would all pose with the bride and groom. There would always be one big photo of both the families sitting together and smiling like they’re on the poster for Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. A few weeks later, you’d receive the “wedding album”, often peppered with cheesy quotes and background (you would have seen the waterfall or roses) to give you that “romantic feel”.
But, when our economy opened up and Bollywood went global with their wedding melodramas, candid wedding photography became the new kid on the block. Now, everyone wants that picture perfect moment to be captured in high definition. Clichés are a strict no-no, and everyone wants to look like a super star. And why shouldn’t you want that? After all, you get married only once. We now see highly trained and experienced crew of photographers, who will come in and snap high definition pictures of everything from the bride’s make-up to her bidaai. The emphasis is on capturing the nuances, the little moments, the laughter, the tears, the dresses, the tantrums (maybe) that really make your wedding day unique. If you are tired of conventional wedding photography, then candid wedding photography might just be the manna you were desperately looking for.
So, now you might ask, what exactly is this candid photography that has been all the rage in India? One common misconception is that the only difference between candid photography and the regular one is that candid photographers do not make you pose. While this is true to a certain extent, it is definitely not the whole picture, so to speak. Candid photography means not having a set of templates to which your photos will adhere to. It focuses on capturing for all posterity, the highs and the lows of your wedding day. The bride and groom sharing a secret smile in a quiet moment, the mother’s caring gaze at her daughter, the father’s moment of apprehension, the bout of laughter shared with your friends are all what really make your day so truly happy and worthwhile, and this is exactly what candid photographers try to capture. It does not mean that you will not have to pose for any picture. Remember that it is your wedding. If you want to pose for a couple of pictures with your significant other, then candid photographers would be happy to cover them too, by all means. Often, candid photographers ask their subjects to take a walk or have a conversation away from the bustle of the day. Once the conversation and laughter starts flowing between them, the photographer takes his shots.
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But most of all, candid photography is all about emotions. No matter what technological innovations come about, it is the emotions of the day that will remain unchanging. It is about preserving these emotions, and this needs no words. Candid wedding photography is something you should definitely consider if you’re having a destination wedding. The scenic beaches of Goa or the deserts of Rajasthan or any other such spot would be the perfect backdrop for your love to be captured in breathtaking stills.
Candid photography is similar to contemporary photography, but it is not quite the same. If you’re hiring a contemporary photographer for your big day, then they would combine your candid shots with ones that you posed for. Candid photos are different from the traditional wedding photos because they will try to tell your love story in a new and innovative way. These will be captured keeping in mind the overall mood and atmosphere of the wedding. Basically, your stills would give a perspective and insight into how the day looked and felt. One advantage that contemporary photographers would have over candid photographers is that they would have complete control over the lighting, the setting and possess the liberty to build a concrete story with their pictures. Candid photographers would try to remain more unobtrusive and try to stick to natural scenes and emotions. You can choose what kind of photography reflects you and your groom’s personality.
If you are still having qualms about whether to hire a candid wedding photographer, then let me address some of the concerns you could be having. First, you may be worried that candid photographers would take a huge chunk out of your pocket. Well, while it is true that a traditional photo shoot may be cheaper, there are a lot of candid wedding photographers to suit every budget. Not all of them charge lakhs for each day. You only get married once and it is completely worthwhile to invest in the photographer of your dreams. People may also tell you that conventional photography is equally as good as candid photography. Well, I guess this depends on the individual’s perspective. But no traditional photo of you and your groom posing amidst people could compare to capturing the burning flame you nurse for your love in photos.
So, once you’ve decided on what kind of photographer you actually want to get, you need to move on to the task of finding that perfect photographer. Trust me, candid photography is not everyone’s cup of tea. The photographer needs to have a creative and imaginative mind. It’s all about capturing that perfect click at that exact right moment. I mean, think about it. The moment we know that a camera is around, we tend to stiffen up and get conscious. The photographer must have a little tact to get a genuinely candid photograph. They can’t really put in photographs of Anu Aunty yawning or swatting away a fly now, can they?
Here are some tips for you to find that perfect candid photographer to capture your big day:
1. Check Their Portfolio And Ask The Right Questions
Your photographer’s portfolio will give you the most insight into the kind of work that you can expect from him/her on your big day. Go through the portfolio, and when you do, ask yourself if these are the kind of pictures you love to see of yourself in a few years. Each photographer would have their own visual style, and you should pick the person whose style appeals to you the most.
Make sure that you ask them all the questions you have in mind, keeping in mind the theme of the wedding. Ask them how many members will be sent to cover your wedding. Ask them whether their package also includes videography. Question whether they will also do traditional shots if you ask them to. Make sure you also ask them how many photos they will include from each event. If you have concerns about privacy, discuss this with them well in advance of the wedding.
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2. Your Photographer Should Make You Feel Comfortable
When you pick your photographer, make sure that he/she makes you feel comfortable. This is very important, especially for candid wedding photography. If you feel uncomfortable on your big day, this will definitely have a bad impact on your pictures. Just because a photographer may have worked well with someone else doesn’t mean they’ll work well for you. Having a nagging, irritating or even worse a rude photographer can not only ruin your pictures, but your special day as well.
3. Tell Them What You Want
Be clear, right from the beginning, about what you want. Ensure that you communicate your expectations clearly to the photographer. Only when you communicate can they understand what will make you happy. Is there any part of the wedding you do not want covered? Is there any part you would like to be covered in more detail? But also place your trust on the photographer that you choose. The best pictures can be taken only when you and your photographer’s vision comes together in a marriage in and of itself.
Once you’ve found that photographer who you think is just right for you, let us go a step further and think about what you can do to make sure that the photos come out perfectly, apart from looking gorgeous.
4. Be Yourself And Communicate
The most important thing to keep in mind on the day of your wedding sounds really easy: just be yourself. But this may prove to be more difficult than anticipated on your D-day. Well, you won’t really feel very romantically inclined when you see all your relatives lined up beside you, would you? With all the hectic activity around you, you could just end up not feeling like yourself. If you feel uncomfortable, take a deep breath and try to stay calm. Try to be who you really are, no matter what the situation is. Yes, everyone will be looking at you. But remember that this is your day. You are the belle, this is your ball and your princely beast only has eyes for you. Enjoy the attention that everyone showers on you while it lasts. Talk to your photographer on the day of the wedding, it doesn’t matter how much you’ve talked before. Tell him/her about the lighting options. If you find a spot that you think would be great for posing with your love, by all means do that.
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Leave no stone unturned in getting those perfect pictures. Because once the rush is over, your bridal finery has been packed away, the only thing that will remain of your big day will be the memories in the captured moments.