Back in the day, a few years more than I care to remember, I took a three day workshop with David Anthony Williams on Wedding Photography.  I learned so much from him, but one of the discussions the group had was on photojournalism at weddings vs. formal wedding portraiture.  David calls is “found” images vs. “asked for images.”  I love that.  Wedding Candid Photography is an art form and such a joy to create for clients.

Destination Candid Wedding Photography Lake George NY

These are all candid, “found” images. I did ask that the Bride get ready in that particular spot for the best lighting.

Canoe Island Lodge Destination Wedding Photo

Another from the same wedding. This is what I think wedding photography is really all about–capturing moments like this.

During a wedding day, I create literally thousands of images.  About 20% of what I do is formal, posed images–those are the “asked for” photos.  The other 80% of the time, I personally like to be pretty unobtrusive and get candid photos of people just being people.  If you sit back and just observe, people do amazing things.

Saratoga NY Destination Wedding Image

Pretty typical “asked for” formal image. These are important and comprise 20% of what I do.

Wedding Candid Photography Saratoga Springs NY

Then I went behind them to move her train a little and they did this! LOVE this. Always be ready because you never know when it will happen.

This leads me to a discussion I had with a client recently when we were talking about the Timeline for her wedding.  She thought she needed to schedule in time for different moments.  But it really does not work like that.  I can’t say “At 3:15 the cute little flower girl is going to run through the room and stop and stare at the bride.”  A wedding is an uncontrolled event, and I simply do not have that power (much as I would love it).  As a Wedding Photographer, you just always need to be ready to capture those defining moments.

UPstate NY Fall Wedding Image

Totally candid and unposed moment right before the Bride walked down the aisle. But the moment she looked up at the sky made for fabulous light on her face. Don’t you wonder what she is thinking? You can’t plan this ahead of time.  You have to be ready and recognize it when it happens.

I do believe, however, that because I have studied the more formal aspects of portrait photography (light, posing, etc.) that it has made me a stronger candid photographer.  Knowing how to compose an image and recognize good lighting can take a boring candid to the next level.

So which do you prefer?  Formal “asked for” images or “found” candid images?  There is no right or wrong.

Did you enjoy this post on Candid Wedding Photography?  You might enjoy this post on Wedding Photography.

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