Candid vs staged wedding photography

Hello guys, this is Paul from Tara Weddings, and today I want to speak about one very interesting question, that lots of brides and grooms asking me. What is the difference between candid and staged wedding photography, and what kind of photography do you actually need for your wedding?

As you may know, wedding photography, it’s a very complicated thing, and during the day we have lots of different parts of the wedding, where we are able to capture candid photography and staged photography.

So, this difference is pretty much artificial. Because during the wedding, you have a preparation, you have a ceremony, you have photo shoot, bridal photo shoot when you’re doing photos of you with your groom, or groom with the bride, and then you have a reception.

So, during the preparation, there are lots of moments when we are taking candids. When something is happening, and you’re a photographer, you’re shooting whatever is available, and we are not interfering with the guests, with everybody who is involved.

For example, you’re helping each other with dresses, you’re helping each other with makeup, you’re helping each other with…

I don’t know, calling somebody, you’re helping each other with finding some lipsticks, and so on. This is all candid moments. This is what actually happened. But also, during the preparation, there is a time when we are shooting the bride’s makeup, bride getting the dress on, bridesmaids helping, parents helping, and so on.

So, these important moments are usually directed. So, they are not staged, but they are directed. And directed means that we are asking people to stand in a certain position, in the room, to have the best available light, and telling them what to do.

For example, “Please go guys, stand at the window, so we will have the best light,” and “Please help the bride to get the dress on.” As you see, it’s pretty much candid moment, but at the same time it was staged.

We are not posing people too hard, because for most of the people, being posed means to get annoyed, because none of us are usually get used to be in front of the camera. And, it’s much better when we just say what we actually going to do, and what’s the best position for this.

So, during the preparation, we have staged photos and also we have candid photos, when it’s just a general getting ready. Then, during the ceremony, we are taking candids. Because, during the ceremony, it’s a real actual event that is happening, and we don’t have any kind of way to force people to go in the other direction, to look at each other in a different way, to adjust their hands, legs, and so on.

So, the ceremonies are usually candids, are usually reportage, are usually the commentary wedding photos of the guests, of the couple, of everything that is happening around.

After the ceremony, we can do the group shots at the same location where the ceremony took place. And, in this case, these photos will be staged, because we tell exactly where to stand, how to stand, to adjust people, we adjust peoples’ clothes, we adjust jackets, and so on.

So, in this case, these photos are staged. Makes sense. During the photo shoot, that we do after the ceremony usually, we can do both. We can do staged photos, so we can ask people to go in a certain way again. Asking them to interfere in a certain way, asking them to interact in a certain way.

We ask them to do certain things. So this is directing, this is not posing. But, sometimes, when people asking for this, or when they are willing to do this kind of stuff, we do also pure candids. So, pretty much they have their location and they can go wherever they like, and we just capturing whatever we can, as a documentary photography.

So pretty much during the day we capture both, candids and staged wedding photos.

During the reception, it’s pure candid, because reception is… Again, it’s a live, actual event that is happening, and during these periods of time, we are capturing the entrance of the bride and groom, the first dance, cake cutting, speeches, performances, dances. All these parts are candid moments.

So, if you’re looking for a candid wedding photographer, it means that you’re not looking for somebody to adjust you, to tell you what is the best position in the room for your photos, which is not always good.

If you’re looking for only staged wedding photographer, that is staging you, it means that he or she will not be as good in the commentary moments that you want to have during the ceremony, during the reception, and so on.

So, from my experience, and from what I’ve seen on hundreds of different weddings, the best option would be a combination of candids and directed wedding photos. In this case, you’re getting everything that you want to have. So guys, thank very much for reading this, or listening to this article, and see you the next time. Thank you very much. Bye.