Candid Wedding Photography

Candid wedding photos blend photojournalism and storytelling to make your memories even more personal. A candid wedding photographer will be your eyes throughout the ceremony, snapping shots of seemingly mundane activities and elevating them to an art form.

Where traditional photography relies on posed and staged settings, candid or photojournalistic photos take a more narrative approach. Some couples prefer to have candid shots versus traditional wedding photography because it lends a more “human touch” to the ceremony. Others may choose to have a mix of both traditional and candid photos for their wedding album.

A wedding photographer that will take candid photographs should ideally have experience in photojournalism and be capable of shooting a wide range of subjects in various settings and lighting. Your wedding photographer should be well-versed in both candid and formal photos, but some only specialize in one type of photography. Some couples choose to hire a photographer that specializes solely in candids for one set of photos and another photographer who specializes in formal photos for another set.

A wedding photographer specializing in candid photography will seek to create a story through photos. The photos can be taken randomly or in sequence – from you getting prepared to departing the reception – and it makes for a compelling presentation. Weddings are full of activity, and candid wedding photos can also capture the moments you miss.

Before your ceremony, work with your wedding photographer and ensure that he understands your vision. Explain what types of activities you’d like him to focus on, but don’t necessarily limit the photographer’s subject range. Keep in mind that candids are informal and, most importantly, real representations of your ceremony; some light editing may be needed, but it isn’t necessary to completely retouch your photos.

Your wedding photographer should have a long zoom lens on his camera, so he can shoot your ceremony from afar without being noticed. Additionally, make sure that he turns off the “click” sound on the camera when a photo is taken, as well as the flash, which can also be distracting.

Candid wedding photos can be shot at home, during the ceremony, at the reception and even at your rehearsal dinner; the sky is the limit to the number of photos you want taken. The key to candid photography is spontaneity, and your wedding photographer will likely be flitting about throughout your ceremony and reception – try your best to ignore the camera completely so your photos remain candid.

Jewish Wedding – Aline & Ben (Ceremony: Beth Tikvah Synagogue; Location Shot: Richmond Oval)

Wedding – Apple & Shwan

Apple & Shwan had their wedding ceremony and reception in the beautiful Riverside Palace Ceremony on River Road, Richmond. As for location shots, we went over to one of the most popular venue – Minoru Park near Richmond Centre…

Check out these pictures:

Top 10 Wedding Photography Myths: Wedding Photographers and Brides, Oh My!

An article by Peter Hanowell, a Wedding Photographer in Florida…

You might be getting married (congrats, by the way) and trying to decide whether or not to even hire a wedding photographer. You might be trying to decide now on which photography professional to choose for your wedding day. You might be a wedding photographer, trying to understand the delicate and confounding psyche of those who engage in wedding planning.

Whoever you are, for your reading pleasure, check out the top 10 myths of wedding photography as relayed by a photographer who still loves taking pictures. These are broken in to three categories: a. Myths about not hiring a professional at all; b. Myths about the selection process; and c. Myths about how the photography should be done.

CATEGORY A: I don’t need/want a wedding photographer because:

1. My cousin’s roommate from college just got the new Canon 999D and a plethora of ‘L ‘ professional series lenses; it will be great (and, did I mention, FREE!).

Is it impossible to find a good free photographer? No. Is it likely? No. Is it a good idea? Almost never. But hey, it is your wedding day. You can chance it on the stranger who could very well be overly intrigued by the bridesmaid who has just a little bit too much to drink at the reception and starts to dance provocatively. That way, the bulk of your photos could be of her. Perfect, right? And free. In this situation, you can just point out to your kids, twenty years down the road, that the photographer did take these photos with really cutting edge technology…

2. Why would I get a photographer? Everybody and their dog has a camera (even cell phones pictures are creeping up in the ‘megapixel’ race). The snapshots from guests will suffice.

Yes, it is true to state that most of us now carry a camera on our body at all times (on our phone at the very least). Moreover, at a wedding, many if not most guests bring some type of additional camera to memorialize the event (particularly things that go wrong, if they don’t like you; tears from the groom if they do). However, rigorous double blind studies have been done on the data stream to which we are referring, and they all show one thing. These pictures have a 99.9982% chance of sucking. Really badly. There might be one great photo of the bunch, of a dog at the end of the aisle that meant so much to Great Aunt Esther. It will be perfectly exposed, focused, and display Sparky with a beautiful stance using great composition.

3. Wedding photography is too expensive – why would I support an industry of so-called ‘professionals’ who really only work a few hours a week. I don’t know whether to be angry or jealous.

You can be angry if you would like. You can even be jealous, since we have a job that (hopefully) we love, and take great pride in. If you think we work a few hours for a single wedding, you are fooling yourself. Those are the hours that you see us at the wedding; suffice it to say, many hours of preparation went in to that particular wedding, countless hours will proceed upon the end of wedding day in post-production. When done correctly, the work is extensive, fun, and pays decent.

CATEGORY B: I do need/want a wedding photographer, but the selection process should be limited:

4. I’ll hire my photographer after all the other planning is done. I’ll select the flowers, the venue, the dj or band, the bridesmaid dresses, the honeymoon hotel, and more. Then I’ll think photography.

Of course you will wait till the last few months to hire a photographer. Why would you want a wedding professional like a great photographer to help you with smart referrals for all the other services you will be seeking? While a good photographer will have worked with a spectacular cake business in previous weddings and gladly suggest that you check them out, you can spend forty-seven hours pouring over brochures featuring batman shaped carrot cakes (a theme which will certainly to take off when new brides really stop and think about it). Really, though, consider this – waiting will only limit your choices. Photographers contract for specific dates. When your arch enemy plans her wedding on the same day as you (out of spite), she will also try to wrap up the services of the best photographer in town. Beat her to that photographer for years of bragging rights.

5. I don’t want recommendations – why would I care what some other couple says about this photographer? I love her website; it is shiny, happy, and new. It makes me smile on the inside.

Classy websites abound among wedding photographers, for all of the obvious reasons. You are considering paying them money for an art, so the designs they use for marketing and information delivery, then, should be equally artistic. However, take a quick look at the photographers in your location, and I’ll bet that you find one with an impressive website, with dramatic motion and animated vines growing out of the monitor and instant chat functionality with on demand videos… and other cool technological things I don’t even know about. However, you may also find that this particular photographer has acceptable photographs, and nothing more. Then, I hope, you will realize that you deserve more than acceptable photography from a marketing guru who dabbles in photography.

6. I’m looking for a photographer who can take pictures – that is ALL. Give me the product, and then keep on your merry way, Mr. Camera Man.

Well, it is not the case that I am going to suggest you develop a relationship with your photographer that you would develop with, say, the groom. However, the talent or skill of taking good photographs really is only part of the package. A photographer ought to also be able to show up on time, dressed appropriately, converse with the guests, corral the wedding party, and so on. Otherwise, you will have the photographer who shows up at the wrong location, late, wearing her parka in the Florida summer because of her ‘extreme anti-social’ nature and a desire to photograph only the frogs near the wading pool. Again, the frog photos might be great. But you will have to reminisce about your wedding without any visual evidence to support the memories.

7. I want a photographer who does the latest post-processing fad, and proudly displays it. An absurdly heavy vignette with color spot and ‘double exposure’? Groovy.

Some photographers, myself included, groan just a little bit on the inside when clients request a particular photographic fad that jeopardizes the timeless nature of photography. What we typically shoot for are photographs that will speak to the event itself, and not serve as an indication of the era. Granted, some of the content of the photo – the people and places photographed – will pick out clothing styles, automotive or architectural design, and the like. But the photography itself – the image – should fail to scream ‘This happened in 1984 – no one superimposes a ghost-like image of the grooms head over the bride praying anymore.’

CATEGORY C: I’ve got a photographer, and here is what is going to happen:

8. I want ONLY [formal or candid] shots. Any shots other than [formal or candid] are stupid, make me cry, and give me stomach pain.

Use antacid and just stop it already! No, really. Virtually every wedding photography professional practices the craft in a way that utilizes the benefit of multiple ‘styles’ of wedding photography. Some photographers emphasize one over the other – mostly heavily posed fashion shots, say, with only a few candid shots from the ceremony and reception. However, understand that both styles, and so both sets of images, will tell the story of the day, whereas the absence of one of those sets would yield a collection that isn’t as rich or descriptive.

As you select your photographer(s), you will take a look at the collection of photographs that he or she chooses to display prominently, and these will speak volumes about the style of photography that is most important to that person. However, it is perfectly reasonable to expect (dare I say, assume) a certain amount of variety in the final collection of images.

9. I’ve got a shot list. It is important to me. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Deviation from this list will result in a world of pain. To the photographer who dares to cross me.

Please understand, it is the opinion of this author that certain wedding planning resources overstate the rigid and unyielding nature of wedding planning, which can be far more organic and fun than you might otherwise believe. That is right, I just claimed that wedding planning can be fun. So that means that you don’t need to hang your head in shame when you haven’t selected the caterer by the 18th planning day when the moon is in decent. THERE AREN’T STRICT RULES ABOUT THIS STUFF.

Nor is there a strict rule about the beloved (alternatively: dreaded) shot list. Such a list can be quite useful in many situations, particularly when family members in attendance are especially important (for whatever reason) and certain shots are needed of them prior to, say, their imminent demise. (This happens to photographers, unfortunately, with some regularity. The groom will pull us aside midway through the reception, and mention the fact the we should really try to get some great shots of the brides father who “will not be with us much longer.”)

For those that can’t resist looking over typical shot lists, your best bet will be to print out one that you like, highlight a few that are especially important (‘a few’ in English means three or so; I didn’t write ‘highlight all of them’), and hand it to your photographer. Nicely state that, while you are sure that she would capture these regardless of the list, the highlighted shots are REALLY important to you. Message sent, right?

10. I will direct my photographer throughout my wedding day like the pitiful waif that he is. (Alternatively, the photographer will direct me throughout my wedding day and I’ll obey every command.)

Neither of these options will occur; no one should allow it. Your wedding day is YOURS in every sense, and you are given enormous powers to direct the vendors you hire. However, the vendors you hire, including your wedding photographer, are professionals and know what they are doing. While this may very well be your third wedding day, presumably your photographer has had even more.

The service provided by wedding photographers is one best performed in the presence of open communication. There may be a situation where your photographer has an idea, pitches it to you, and you decline (nicely, of course, but firmly). “No,” you say. “I will not place that stuffed animal under my arm while humming the Battle Hymn of the Republic, gazing thoughtfully towards the east.” Similarly, there may be a case where you suggest a shot and your photographer says ‘no thanks.’ “No,” he says. “I will not take that photo; it makes me uncomfortable and I have never worked for Larry Flynt, so I don’t have that kind of training.” This type of open communication is the best (and only) way to conduct business for a photographer, and we expect it of our brides as well!

And there you have it. 10 myths of wedding photography, laid plain in all of their deserved glory.

Peter Hanowell is part of the photography duo that is Hanowell Photography, high end Tallahassee wedding photographers. Proudly providing photography services in both the panhandle and across the state, Florida wedding photographers Hanowell Photography specializes in wedding photography and family portraits. Meaningful images with a modern artistic eye!

The Wedding MC – Seven Top Tips for Success

If you’ve been asked to be the Wedding MC then like many people you’re dreading the thought. The list of duties can appear to be overwhelming on one hand, but on the other you might not have any clue at all what is expected of you on the big day – apart from that at some stage or other you’re going to have to stand up in front of the wedding guests and speak. And what most people fear above all else is public speaking…

However, it really isn’t as bad as you might think at the moment. And by following the tips below you’ll find the day goes well and you might even enjoy being a wedding MC!

The first thing to know is that the job of the wedding MC is to ensure the smooth running of the wedding. That means making announcements so the guests know what is happening next, where they are supposed to be, when it will start happening.

The second thing to remember is that you aren’t supposed to be the star of the show – that’s the bride and groom, remember. So, before you go any further, make sure you sit down with them and make sure you understand what they want you to do on the day. For instance, although the wedding books will tell you that the receiving line should be in a particular order, there may be reasons for it to be different, such as divorced parents, or just because the newlyweds to be want it that way.

Tip number three – remember it is a social event. You’re not going to win a lose a job promotion, although that might not help when you think you’ve got to stand up and speak – or even worse, crack a few jokes. Even though you may not feel completely comfortable about it you should relax as best you can and most people really won’t notice your nerves.

Fourth on the list is names – since you’ll probably be asked to introduce the speakers and may have to introduce people in the receiving line you need to make sure you can pronounce everyone’s name correctly. Write them down, with reminders if necessary.

The fifth thing is the 5 Ps – Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Prepare your speech in advance, practise speaking out loud, reduce it to a series of reminders on index cards and speak it confidently on the day. It’s amazing what a bit of effort prior to giving your speech will make to the end result. Certainly don’t read your speech as it will sound stilted and don’t speak for too long – unless you are also the Best Man your speeches should be instructional.

Point six – you don’t need to be funny every time you speak. If you’re not naturally funny or considered very serious then don’t crack any jokes at all if you don’t want to. If you do want to get some laughs then prepare your jokes, one-liners and anecdotes in advance and practise telling them – a large part of successful joke telling is in the timing and if the guests aren’t expecting a punch line it will come across as even funnier – certainly don’t tell them you’re going to tell them a joke!

And lastly, tip number seven; enjoy yourself. The wedding guests are on your side and they want you to succeed. By enjoying the wedding you and making sure everything runs smoothly you be happy that you helped the bride and groom’s day go without a hitch.

For more tips and tricks to help you in the role of Wedding MC visit our website. It covers Wedding MC Jokes and a whole lot more to do with the big day.