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A wedding photographer will take dozens of portraits of the bridal party and each side of the family in every possible configuration—and no one would suggest skipping these posed group shots. But often the most magical images from the big day will be unscripted. A wedding is one of those rare occasions where unbridled emotion (no pun intended) makes for beautiful photographs.
Prepare for candid shots with the right lens
Whether you’re the official photographer, a friend, or a family member looking to supplement the day’s photos, it’s important to have the right lens if you’re looking for candid wedding photos. You want to capture emotion without disrupting the moment, and that means you need a telephoto lens that can capture detail and let in plenty of light without a flash. The key is to be unobtrusive. The surest way to disrupt the action is to get too close with your camera or shine a big flash.
Wedding day moments to capture with your camera
Every moment of the big day—from hair and makeup with the bridesmaids to farewell for the honeymoon—has the potential for excellent candid photography. Be sure to add the following to your candid wedding photo shot list:
- The bride and her father before the walk down the aisle. This is a special father/daughter moment not to be missed, no matter how independent or established the bride is.
- The groomsmen joking around before the ceremony. All eyes might be on the bride and the bridesmaids, but the guys have fun, too. They’ll be cutting up and possibly indulging in a few adult beverages while the ladies finish getting ready.
- The “first look.” Brides and grooms are increasingly enjoying a few private moments together before the ceremony, allowing the groom the opportunity to see the bride in her gown for the first time without an audience (except for you and your camera, of course). This can be one of the most touching moments of the entire day for the couple—and one they’ll want to remember forever.
- The sweethearts’ table. The bride and groom may have a special table-for-two to ensure they actually get to enjoy their wedding dinner. Take a few discreet photos from afar of their first meal as a married couple.
- Toasts from the maid of honor, the best man, and the dads. The “first look” places the emphasis on the couple, but so much of the wedding is about the community surrounding the couple. Celebrate these special relationships by ensuring you capture the laughter and poignant moments during the toasts.
- Focus on the dance floor. Granted, you might not want to photograph Great-Aunt Edna’s dance moves—which are reminiscent of Elaine on Seinfeld—but you’ll find plenty of joy and action to capture otherwise. Don’t miss the impromptu conga line—or the couple’s first dance. (You’ll also want to look for special moments between the parents.)
- The bouquet and garter toss. These time-honored traditions might seem hokey, but they can make for great action shots! Point your camera at the group of singletons grasping for the big prize.
How to make a beautiful wedding photo book
As you take a documentary-style approach to wedding photography, you’ll collect dozens of impactful shots worthy of inclusion in a custom photo book. Motif offers multiple themes that allow you to tell the bride and groom’s wedding story in a classic, timeless way, creating the ultimate keepsake for the couple.