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Wedding Photos: Candid Photos are Important to Tell the Rest of the Story

Updated on December 22, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She happily lives in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Just about to have our first toast as husband and wife because the waitress from the reception hall brought us glasses of wine as we were about to have formal bride/groom pictures taken.
Just about to have our first toast as husband and wife because the waitress from the reception hall brought us glasses of wine as we were about to have formal bride/groom pictures taken. | Source

A Combination of Formal Photos and Candids are Best for Weddings


Formal wedding photos are a wonderful way to commemorate a wedding and remember the special day in a couple's lives. Formal, posed photos involve people posing for the camera and giving their best smiles to present a happy, perfect picture where everyone is hopefully smiling, with perfect hair, lipstick, no wrinkles in their clothes, and so on. These photos are often framed and displayed around not only the bride and grooms home, but also in the homes of the parents of the bride and groom, as well as other family members. Members of the wedding party are sometimes given framed photos of the group as a whole, to be displayed in their own homes. While these photos are wonderful reminders of a wonderful day, candid wedding photos fill in the blanks and can tell "the rest of the story"...as commentator Paul Harvey used to say!

There are many events and scenes that play out throughout the day that the photographer may see, but the bride, groom, and guests may not notice because as you can imagine, they are distracted by the momentum of the day. Or the guests may not take pictures of people they don't know, but the bride and groom would love to have to remember the day by.

When my husband and I got married two years ago, I had first wanted to hire a formal photographer just to take a few posed, formal photos of my husband and I, and our families. It was not the first marriage for either of us, so I didn't think we needed an expensive array of photos of the whole day. Plus, we wanted to use the money we might have used to pay for a full day of coverage to be able to do some extra special things to make the day more memorable for our guests. But I did want formal photos to remember the day by. And also having three teens, I thought it would be nice to have pictures of all of them dressed up and looking their best at the same time! What we eventually decided on was to have my husband's brother, who is a wonderful photographer, take pictures during the ceremony and reception. This gracious man, David Hellier, not only took formal photos, from a list we compiled but caught all of the goings on throughout the day. Many of the candid photos he took will always be special to us, including those of my husband's Uncle John, who came up with relatives from Florida at 89 just to attend the wedding and died a few months later. The pictures of him blowing bubbles after the ceremony will always be priceless to both my husband and I. I also had my daughter as a backup and she took pictures with my camera since she is an aspiring photographer herself. There were many photos that captured a "look of love" that formal photos would never reveal as in those formal photos the bride and groom are looking out toward the camera, not at each other. Remembering those candid moments brings warm feelings to both my husband and I each time we look back at our wedding pictures.

When it comes to your wedding day, it is a special treat to have not only formal photos, but candid wedding photos as well, so you can remember the joy of certain moments, and of people that made your day extra special with their presence. If hiring a formal photographer is not in your budget for the whole day, it's also possible to hire a photography student from a nearby college to take pictures for the day. This option is usually at a less expensive rate than a professional photographer. If that's not possible, my advice would be to make sure a friend or family member who you know is a great amateur photographer, promises to take care of candid shots, so you know you will have those taken care of as well as formal photos. And as an extra precaution, there are always the disposable wedding cameras that you can buy to leave on reception tables and encourage guests to take candid shots. You never know who may capture your favorite photo of the day, just by being where the photographer can not.

Enjoy your special day, but have those candid photographers on hand to capture special memories that you may not see as a bride or groom, but will cherish for years to come!

Me, the bride,wiping tears away during a particularly tender moment during the wedding ceremony. This is the only picture we have of me crying with happiness.
Me, the bride,wiping tears away during a particularly tender moment during the wedding ceremony. This is the only picture we have of me crying with happiness. | Source
The groom tearing up in a special moment.
The groom tearing up in a special moment. | Source
Uncle John blowing bubbles as we walked down the aisle at the end of the ceremony.
Uncle John blowing bubbles as we walked down the aisle at the end of the ceremony. | Source
Sneaking a kiss!
Sneaking a kiss! | Source
Walking in to the reception...what a look of love on that bride's face!
Walking in to the reception...what a look of love on that bride's face! | Source
Another look of love during the groom's speech thanking everyone for coming.
Another look of love during the groom's speech thanking everyone for coming. | Source
Cousins enjoying the cocktail hour. This is the only picture we have of the food!
Cousins enjoying the cocktail hour. This is the only picture we have of the food! | Source
Grandfather and granddaughter dancing.
Grandfather and granddaughter dancing. | Source
The bride, dancing with her daughters.
The bride, dancing with her daughters. | Source
The best dancers on the dance floor. These 2 sure knew how to "cut a rug"!
The best dancers on the dance floor. These 2 sure knew how to "cut a rug"! | Source
Goofing around at the end of the day, getting too tired to keep posing for pictures!
Goofing around at the end of the day, getting too tired to keep posing for pictures! | Source
Now here's a more formal photo. It's nice to have both formal and candid photos to remember a special day.
Now here's a more formal photo. It's nice to have both formal and candid photos to remember a special day. | Source

This book gives great tips on wedding photos if you plan to take photos at a friend's wedding

Wedding Photos Poll

What kind of wedding photos do you have?

See results

© 2012 Karen Hellier

Comments

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    • kikaystuff profile image

      kikaystuff 5 years ago from Philippines

      beautiful wedding!

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Jaggedfrost,

      That's so funny. Actually he IS the Visa man...no,just kidding.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      teaches12345,

      I totally agree with you on that. Just to see the looks on people's faces, or the action that was happening helps to relive the precious moments of the day again and again!

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 5 years ago

      Karen that sounds like he was a Visa man lol.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Love your photos and hub article on this topic. I think it is these types of candid shots that bring out the total enjoyment of the day.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Jaggedfrost

      We have my brother in law Dave to thank for that. he did a fantastic job. I think he could make a nice living as a wedding photographer. He was everywhere we wanted him to be. Thanks for the comment.

    • Jaggedfrost profile image

      Jaggedfrost 5 years ago

      I like the resolution on these photos. This was a smart choice.

    • Karen Hellier profile image
      Author

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Melchi. I agree. Every time a couple looks at those photos, the memories of that special day, and the love you have for each other come flooding back, and bring a smile ( hopefully!) That's why getting the best pictures possible on that day are so important. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Beautiful hub and photos!! I think photos of a wedding are the single most important thing to think of when planning your wedding as you'll be looking back on them for years and decades to come! Voted up and beautiful!

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