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I capture the unspoken — the glances, the silences — drawing from New York's pulse and the richness of global cultures. Every wedding is its own intricate narrative. Rooted in theatre and life's everyday rhythms, I document moments both transient and timeless. 

Hey, I'm susan!

What is Candid Wedding Photography and Why Get It?

You’ve probably seen the word “candid” when looking for wedding photographers but what is candid wedding photography exactly and why would you want to get it? Your wedding photos are very special to you and one of the key factors to amazing wedding photos is finding a style of photography that you love. 

As a documentary style wedding photographer, candid wedding photos are some of my favorite things to capture throughout your special day. They end up being some of the most memorable moments that you will cherish for years to come. 

So, what is candid wedding photography? Let’s jump into everything you need to know about it and how to get the best candid photos!  

What is candid wedding photography? 

Black and white candid of a bride smiling broadly while looking out of a window, her mother standing beside her

Starting off with the first question, what is candid wedding photography? This style of photography is a very documentary style way of capturing your wedding day exactly how it unfolds. 

It focuses heavily on the unplanned, unposed moments and truly aims to show the full story of your wedding in the most authentic way possible. Instead of forcing moments, or making you re-do something to capture the perfect photo, candid photography almost aims to be a fly on the wall. 

These photos capture small moments and emotions, things that even you may not have even caught. The photos make you feel like you are watching the movie of your wedding day, showing each individual part in a genuine light. 

You may think of candid photos as someone doing something funny or catching an embarrassing moment and while yes, you will definitely get your fair share of laughs and jokes in your photos, you’ll also get the raw emotion that you and your loved ones felt on that day. 

The tears that your parents cried when they saw you for the first time all dressed up. The joy your wedding party had standing next to you up at the altar. And the love in your partner’s eyes as they say I do. 

Candid photos are so much more than just those fun moments and are the best way to show the authentic love and joy that comes during this amazing day. 

Why choose candid style photography? 

Bride laughing joyously while being embraced by bridesmaids in an outdoor setting

So, now that you know what candid style photography is, why do you want this for your wedding? The simple answer is, there is no better way to tell the story of your wedding than through this documentary style of photos. 

You truly get to experience each and every moment of your wedding through these photos and you are guaranteed to find gems throughout your entire wedding gallery of moments that even you didn’t pick up on throughout the day. 

Candid wedding photography truly is the best and most genuine way to tell the story of your wedding, not just capture images from it. 

It is also a great way to make sure your wedding album is timeless. While there are so many trends in photography that come in and out of style, being authentic and showing your true self will never fail to look amazing! 

How to get the best candid photos

While candid photos are meant to be just that – candid – there are a few things that you can do to help create a space where you feel like you can be your authentic self in your photos. 

Have a good relationship with your photographer 

Wedding guests at a reception standing in front of a stage with a live band


Having a good relationship with your photographer is important for any style, but especially candid photography. They are basically going to be documenting every small moment of your day so you want to make sure you don’t feel awkward around them. 

After all, you wouldn’t want to feel like you have a stranger as your shadow on your wedding day. 

Instead, take time to get to know your photographer, understand their style and how they operate, and figure out what the best way is to communicate with them to ensure you are comfortable and confident on your wedding day. 

Let go of the expectation of perfect

A small child in a nice dress asleep on chairs during a wedding.

While you may see all of the “perfect” wedding photos out there, it’s important to remember that your wedding photos aren’t meant to be perfect, they are meant to show your love and your story in an authentic way. 

Letting go of the idea that you have to look and pose perfectly throughout the entire day will give you space to relax and enjoy yourself – letting your true self shine through. 

Plus, at the end of the day, we are not models. These photos aren’t meant to be on the front page of a magazine. They really are for you and your partner to look back on years from now and reminisce about this amazing time in your life and how happy you were to start the rest of your lives together on that day. 

Once you let go of any of these unnecessary expectations, you’ll find that your wedding day and your photos turn out better than you could have ever imagined. Even more, they will feel like you and your wedding photos, not a stiff posed version of yourself. 

Give yourself space in your wedding timeline 

A black and white photo where the bride, holding a bouquet, is hugged tightly by a wedding guest

You want to make sure that you give yourself plenty of space throughout the day as you plan out your schedule. Honestly, few things ever tend to go exactly as planned when it comes to your wedding. 

So, if your schedule is jam packed with little to no breathing room, you may end up getting stressed and overwhelmed. That is not just going to show through in your photos, but it also may make it harder for you to truly enjoy your wedding day. 

Instead, give yourself plenty of time in your schedule. If you know it takes you a bit longer to get ready, plan for that ahead of time. Make sure that everyone who needs to be somewhere during your wedding, has the schedule and knows exactly where and when they are needed. 

It is also a really good idea to try and schedule in some breaks before your ceremony. Even 30 minutes to just sit down, take a breath, drink some water, and relax before walking down the aisle can make all the difference! 

Do a first look

Black and white image of a smiling bride and groom walking hand in hand, surrounded by their guests throwing confetti on their wedding day

Finally, having a first look is a great way to get incredible candid photos. These are the moments where you can really see the emotions shining through and are often some of the most memorable photos from your wedding. 

Now, if you and your partner don’t want to do a first look with each other, that doesn’t mean you still can’t do a first look. Instead, do a first look with your parents, your wedding party, or anyone else special in your lives. 

These reactions are going to be just as memorable and emotional as your partner seeing you for the first time and you will cherish the photos from this forever! 

Can I still have posed portraits with candid wedding photos? 

A bride standing closely touching heads with her father at her wedding

If you’re thinking “This all sounds great. But can I still get those amazing posed portraits if I get candid wedding photography?” The answer is absolutely! 

Just because your photos are mainly candid ones, doesn’t mean you can’t have portraits with your partner. Candid wedding photography really just means that the majority of your wedding is going to be focused on those un-posed moments. 

However, portraits with your partner can still be an important part of your day and you can absolutely talk to your photographer about this to make sure you get those stunning one-on-one photos that you’ve always wanted! 

Final Thoughts on Candid Wedding Photography

Hopefully this helped answer the question of what is candid wedding photography. It truly is an amazing way to tell the story of your wedding in an authentic way that helps your photos remain timeless over the years. 

I absolutely love capturing weddings in a more documentary and candid style and the results never fail to amaze everyone. While there is definitely a specific style for every person, this is one of my favorites and is the one that will always feel the most authentic. 

If you think that this is the style for your wedding and are still looking for the perfect photographer to match it, I’d love to chat. Capturing authentic moments that you will cherish forever is one of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer

You can head over here to check out all of my wedding photography packages or you can click here to get in touch and talk about your dream wedding day!

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