How To Get Candid Photos Of Your Wedding

*This is a collaborative post, however all thoughts are my own.

With one year to go until my wedding, booking a wedding photographer is something that I’m starting to look into. In hindsight, I probably should have thought about this sooner, but with lockdown 1.0 taking over 2020, things escaped me a little on the wedding planning front. Booking a wedding photographer is one of the more extravagant expenses for the wedding day, and I’m yet to decide whether I want to book one for the whole day, or just for the formal ceremony photos. I suppose, in the end, it’ll come down to what we can afford, but obviously it’s something that we’re keen to get right! 

I want to be able to look back at all those natural, candid moments.

Those formal ceremony photos are beautiful, aren’t they? They’re the ones that you hang in your living room or make your profile picture on Facebook. But what I really want from my wedding photos is that magical candid excitement that’s been captured forever by a well timed photo. 

Those are the wedding photos that I most want to see. The laughing, the crying, the kid’s tantrums and every emotion in between. So, in my quest to find a way of achieving this style of wedding photo, I did some research into candid wedding photography. 

Here’s what I have learnt, all in one handy candid wedding photography guide. If, like me, you’re hunting for your wedding photographer and you’re thinking of ways to get natural photos that you can cherish forever, keep reading.

Find a wedding photographer who can snap the best candid pictures without being noticed.

The best way for your wedding photographer to achieve a series of candid photos you can fall in love with is to ensure they have the correct equipment for the job. A good camera is obviously an essential part of the job, but having a telephoto lens will enable your wedding photographer to get that classic close up shot without ruining the moment. Some wedding photographers also carry around a smaller, more compact camera and shoot from the hip as they know full well that as soon as they raise a DSLR to head height, the moment will be ruined. 

For candid wedding photos, your photographer needs to constantly be moving. A photographer who moves around the venue and blends in with the crowd will go unnoticed, and therefore they’ll be able to capture emotional moments without interrupting them.

Pool wedding guest photos together.

Sometimes it’s the wedding guests that end up taking that perfect candid photo! No one’s expecting your wedding guests to start snapping away at them, which works perfectly for those seeking natural, candid wedding photos. Being able to look back at your wedding through the eyes of your guests is a special activity for the married couple, and you’ll probably notice so many things that you didn’t see on the big day.

Websites (and apps) like Wedding Photo Swap, enable guests to pool their photos together online for you to view. Signing up takes 30 seconds and there are a variety of membership options, including a free one. The idea is that you can set up various albums for different parts of your wedding day and your invited guests can then add their photos for you to see. You can even print out cards to send with your invites that will give your guests their own personal access codes. 

Using Instagram Hashtags.

It’s the done thing now to share your life on sites like Instagram, so your wedding is unlikely to be any different. A great way of collecting photos that your wedding guests have taken is to create a unique hashtag on Instagram and ask your guests to use the tag when uploading their images. 

The downside to this is, of course, that the hashtag will be public and anyone and everyone can see the photos from your big day. It’s also certainly more difficult to download and print off images taken from Instagram and they’re likely to be quite low quality by the end of it all. 

But on the flip side, it’s great to have all those photos online for you to look through on your phone whenever you want to.

Hiring Photo Booths.

Okay, so while a photo booth isn’t necessarily going to produce candid photos, it will certainly give you amazing pictures of your guests having fun at your special day. Encourage the use of your photo booth and ask friends and family to share their snaps with you. Don’t forget to include lots of props – hiring companies usually have packages for you to choose from. 

15 comments

  • Great tips here for anyone looking at photographers for their wedding, my husband is a photographer and if at parties he goes around snapping and gets some amazing pics that way as all natural and not forces smiles

  • Resarching your photographer is so important and definitely meeting with them beforehand! Candid shots are ace, a snapshot of fabulous memories of such a special occasion. Moments that may not have been noticed by anyone else. You must be getting so excited now, just look how quickly time is flying… your big day will be here before you know it! Sim x

    • It’s definitely exciting. Being comfortable around your photographer is really important, as is meeting beforehand, you’re right!

  • Like you choosing a wedding photographer was really hard. We have one now but I often think the best ones are the candid shots that your guests take.

    I love the idea of somewhere they can be shared x

  • Some great tips for getting candid photos! I actually have a friend who does a lot of wedding photography and she always manages to capture those special candid moments, it amazes me how she can get it so spot on!

  • My husband and I did all of these on our wedding day! Our photographer was fantastic and we barely noticed her during the ceremony & reception and she captured some great shots of laughter and tears, I cherish these photos. We also used a wedding pic app & a hashtag to capture all the photos from our friends and family. And we had a photo booth in the evening which was so much fun and got some hilarious photos!

  • I love candid wedding pictures! We were so lucky as I’d worked with our wedding photographer Kaye Ford on a project in the past so I knew her really well and knew I felt really comfortable having her take photos of me and dash around our pretty tiny wedding (we only had 20 or so guests during the day, although close to 100 at night!). The photos she took were beautiful and I know she shot a lot to get those pictures – we ended up with hundreds! xx

  • The hashtag idea is very cool. I went to a wedding in India a few years ago where the bride and groom asked us all to use a given hashtag and then they put together a montage of images following the wedding. It was lovely and it’s always nice to look back on the photos from time-to-time too.

  • These are great tips, I really love the idea of candid photos, it’s so nice to capture those moments of natural joy. I loved seeing all of the photos from our wedding that the guests had taken

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