Capturing Candid Moments in Wedding Photography
By Jenna Leigh of Jenna Leigh Photography
During every consultation I take a moment to ask my clients what about my work struck them initially and made them decide that I was a contender for photographing their wedding, and almost every time they say something like “I love that you capture real moments”. When you hear the same things from each and every client, that’s when you begin to be able to define your style. I realized that my style was intimate and authentic and that I was attracting clients who desired that feel in their images.
Capturing intimate moments throughout the wedding day is something that I have been passionate about since my very first wedding as a second shooter. I remember crying during the ceremony, and then the toasts, and then the first dance. I was a wreck, and I’m sure the lead photographer that hired me thought so too. I just couldn’t get over the beauty of a wedding and how amazing it felt to capture such moments in my camera.
I’ve been asked throughout the years what some of my techniques are in capturing such intimate moments, so I’ve decided to compile a list for the list lovers like myself.
- Have a good understanding of shooting in manual
Most of the sweet, tender moments that I capture are very candid and they happen in a blink of an eye. Because I’m shooting weddings my lighting from one location to another can be completely different. Because of that, I need to know that when I turn around from the bride and face another, darker part of the room and find grandma hugging all of her grandchildren I am going to have to quickly adjust my settings. If you are shooting in Auto or you are unable to maneuver your way through your settings quickly you may lose a very important candid moment. Having the ability to move quickly is extremely important.
- Open yourself up to candid moments.
Many photographers who struggle with capturing candid moments tend to focus only on the bride groom throughout the day, missing out on key relationships of other important family members in attendance. They also feel the need to control the movements of the bride and groom by continuously placing them, posing them, and almost asking for contrived emotions.
Some of the best moments I’ve captured have been when I was away from the crowd but looking for and opening myself up to those moments, scanning the room for emotional situations, or looking at the bride’s parents as they watch their daughter during her first dance. These are the type of moments that make wedding photography such a joy for me.
- Take a step back
You don’t have to be right up with the bride and groom every second of the wedding. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Put your zoom lens on and see what you can see from farther away. People tend to be more candid and emotional when they don’t see camera’s around.