How To Have Candid Wedding Photos

Love that unposed, organic wedding photography look but not sure how to get those candid photos? This post is for you!

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September 21, 2023

Emily Boone

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How To Have Candid Wedding Photos

Austin Wedding Photographer

How to have candid wedding photos is a hot topic right now! When new couples reach out to me I always ask what drew them to my work, and 9/10 times they say it is because of how “candid” and “real” my photos are. They say they look natural and unposed, but still pretty. This is such a great thing to hear!! Because this is exactly what I strive for when I’m creating images for my couples!

But it got me thinking… if this is such a high priority for couples right now – the idea of presence over perfection in their wedding photographs – I should probably do a blog post on how to achieve this! Because as much as I wish this was something incredibly easy to attain… it’s not. There are a lot of factors that go into creating wedding images that have that organic, authentic feeling – the kind that take you back in time to relive the moment, instead of just looking at a still photo that feels a little contrived.

It might seem counter-intuitive that the “candid” photos often take work, but that’s just the truth. However, you might be surprised at what exactly the “work” is that creates these beautiful, organic, unposed wedding images! A lot of the responsibility comes down to your photographer and their ability to create those photos you want. But you, as the couple, can help with this, too. So, here’s how!

How To Have Candid Wedding Photos

These are my best tips to achieve wedding photos that feel unposed and real!

You’ve got to connect with your photographer. 

This is number one because it is the most important. Here’s the deal: being in front of the camera can be pretty disarming. It instantly makes you self aware. BUT, if you trust your photographer, then you will be able to more easily move past that initial resistance to being photographed and relax into your real self. And then that will come through in you images. How to gain trust you ask? For me, it’s connection. You’ve got to like and enjoy your photographer. You’ve got to be able to feel comfortable around them.

Your wedding photographer is the vendor you spend the most time with on your wedding day, so it’s important that you have enough of a connection to them to be able to get past pleasantries and feel comfortable letting your guard down. You need to be able to just be yourself! Because when you do that, your real self will be represented in your images.

As photographers, we have all the poses and prompts we can share with you but those really only can go so far. What makes those special and beautiful is when you live into them with your unique self and your unique connection with your fiance. That requires a little bit of vulnerability. So when you trust your photographer, you can achieve that because you know them and you know that they will portray that in a beautiful way.

Have a solid wedding day timeline. 

The thing I hate most for couples is when their wedding day timeline does not give any breathing room in between portions of the day. If we’re trying to cram 10 hours worth of coverage into 8 hours or even less, your wedding day is going to feel like a marathon. There will be no room for just being in the moment. And if you’re rushing through photos you “have” to take, how will you ever get to just relax into a real moment and let that be photographed organically? The answer is you can’t. There won’t be time. You won’t be in the right headspace to relax because your timeline made you feel rushed.

So it is critical that you review your timeline with your photographer so that they can help you plan for a wedding day that will allow you to live it and not just rush through it!

Remember the goal of the day and be in the moment.

Finally, the best way to get those candid, feel-good, unposed, authentic wedding day photos is to keep front of mind why you’re doing all this… It’s to get married! So at a MINIMUM, your day has achieved that! All else is cherries on top. (And don’t worry, there will be TONS of cherries!) But it’s important to remember that marriage is the goal. This will release you from any other expectations. You’ll be able to go with the flow with a heart filled with gratitude, which will guide you into authentic joy, which will be documented in your photos!

When you release control (which will be easy to do because you trust your photographer because you genuinely like and connect with them and you did the work to create a fantastic wedding day timeline) you will be amazed at how wonderful things will turn out. You’ll be able to truly be in the moment! You will live into that presence over perfection goal and your images will reflect that!

If you loved this post and found this info helpful, you’ll also love this engagement session planning guide!


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