This post is a guest post by David Broadbent.
We in the UK are actually very conservative when it comes to wedding photography. Many couples want images that are relaxed and natural. The tradition of formal wedding photography is based on very sound reasoning. All of the guests will have their own expectation of “wedding photography”. Great Aunt’s, seldom seen, travelled a long way to be there and there is an expectant hierarchy about who will be in which pictures. With all of this expectation it becomes extremely difficult to get away from traditional and so even the most adventurous of clients get drawn back to compiling a shoot list that differs little from their parents or grand-parents.
This is not a criticism. There are some fabulous images created by skilled and experienced wedding photographers all over the country. But there is another way. Candid coverage, as it is sometimes called, is a mix of informal portraiture, street photography, reportage and documentary image making. At it’s best, it tells the true story of the whole event, sometimes intensely personal, it captures the off guard and relaxed moments of joy and fun that weddings bring out.
Candid coverage is uncommon in the UK, not least because it is almost impossible for the principal wedding photographer to do both jobs. Even if a principal photographer can think in two different mind sets simultaneously they often don’t have enough hands or time to accomplish two different disciplines at the same time. Candid coverage is something that must be done independently and therefor has it’s own commissioning process, and additional cost.
The candid element is not competition, it is complementary to the principal coverage. Only skilled and experienced photographers appreciate the value of the dual approach and only they seem to feel un-threatened by it. All of the professional photographers have to work as a complimentary team in the true sense so commission your candid coverage at the same time you choose a principal. You’ll often be presented with a large number of candid shots, your favourites will be pretty obvious to you, but think about online ways to share them all. Products made by committees rarely shine so work with the principle arrive at your final product.
Candid coverage often extends beyond the remit of the principal photographers, for example capturing the intensely personal dress fittings and the late reception. The feedback from these natural portraits can often be amazingly positive because they are not posed with the subject often unaware the shot is being taken. These shots often capture the true spirit and personality of the individual.
The key to good candid coverage is that the photographer should “disappear” into the sea of people. The technique is very different to that of the principal photographer. I like to use a longer lens initially to put some space between myself and the subjects Wide angle lenses are great but only once you have been accepted as just another guest; I almost always use available light (nothing gets more attention than a burst of professional flash) which gives a much more sympathetic and natural feel to the shots and I always try to avoid eye contact with the subject in case they start to pose. I’m looking for the personal, the quirky, the touching and the amusing shots that capture the joy and vibe of the whole day.
Photo books are very popular but a good book tells the whole story. Weddings are about the couple obviously, but it’s often those close friends and family that make it amazing. Tell their story as well as your own.
David Broadbent Photography
Here at Bespoke Bride we absolutely adore the candid photographs! The natural moments are often the most important shots of your wedding day! They truly capture the emotion and essence of your day.
You can find more examples of David’s work here
Much Bespoke Love
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