Candid Wedding Photographers vs Traditional Photographers

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In the last few years, wedding photography has been revolutionized by the arrival of the DSLR. Competition has shot up & many youngsters have taken Photography as their profession, as it is much easier to click on the latest DSLRs than to shoot with film cameras that have a smaller tolerance for errors. The end result, quality of photography in the wedding space has gone up. In all this, a new term has been coined, “The Candid Wedding Photographer”. All the new-age photographers consider themselves candid photographers. So how is a Candid Wedding Photographer different from a regular wedding photographer? Why are there regular wedding photographers? Why don’t regulars click candids too?! What are the skills a candid wedding photographer needs to have? Let us take a look at the answers to all these questions below:


A Candid photograph of Vishnu & Ekta walking up the stairs at Fairmont, Jaipur.
With the right framing & timing, Candid Photographs can turn out beautiful.


  1. How is a Candid wedding photographer different from a regular wedding photographer? The one thing that separates the candid wedding photographer from one who is not , is his ability to see simpler things & special candid moments that are usually ignored, from a different perspective & his ability to convert what he sees into compositions of art, using both ambient light & smart use of flash-heads. A regular wedding photographer on the other hand, would not click candid photos, and would focus on the main group shots & coverage of important events. He would not use ambient light and his photographs would not be artistic in nature.
  2. Why are there regular wedding photographers? Why don’t regulars click candids too? I will answer this from the Indian Context. In India, for years wedding photography was not considered as a respected profession. Most of the people who took it up were from the middle or lower middle class. They would buy a cheap DSLR, mount on a flash and adopt a formula that they learnt from older photographers for success. The formula was, know where to take the shots (timing), know the community you are photographing, use flash (mostly direct) and ensure that your subjects are well lit. These photographers did not think beyond this. They never knew what art was. Heck, they didn’t even know the full use of the camera. They never knew what good composition really meant. For them, the formula was everything and photography was a means to earn their daily bread, rather than a passion.The result was that the results were very ordinary. Since there was no other option in the market, everyone went for the regular photographers, without even questioning why the images and the albums were below par. These photographers exist even today and for them, understanding the concept of candids is a bit difficult, because they have never been exposed to artistic photography. The ‘formula’ remains ingrained in them and the find it difficult to break away from that. Most importantly, an eye for photography is a gift that one is born with, so it is safe to say many do not have the aptitude and taste for artistic photography.
  1. Why are the skills a candid photographer needs to have? – Candid photographers are artists. Looking at their body of work, one would know if the images are artistic or not. They need to have an inbuilt artistic ability to make the candid shots look beautiful. – They need to understand ambient light and the usage of fast prime lenses, as well to master the art of using flashes, without making the images look flat with ugly shadows.- They need to be very alert and conscious of the world around them. Sometimes when facing a bride, the teary eyed father might be behind the photographers back. How alert he is, determines the number of candid moments he will be able to capture. – Ability to take good portraits along with candids. Portraits will and always will have to be taken, irrespective of what a photographer calls himself. A good candid photographer will be able to take some good portraits of the bride & groom, along with his candid pictures. – Good communication skill & confidence to interact with the bride, groom & their family is something every wedding photographer must have. – Candid photographers must have strong control of their equipment. They must be technically sound. They have to take pictures in low light as well as against glaring light, & must make the pictures look good. This is not possible without complete knowledge and control of their photography equipment and the fundamentals of photography.

Whenever you choose your candid photographer, his pictures and portfolio is the best way judge the kind of pictures he makes. Ensure that you are comfortable with him and ask him all the questions you have about his style of photography, how he works etc. Finally it is the most important day of your life, and you want to have the right photographer cover the day!