Breaking down the shot - "Candid" photography

Candid and unposed are a couple of "buzz" word around the industry right now. More and more couples are choosing to avoid the 'traditional' wedding photography style, which I think is really exciting! More and more weddings are held in open fields, down laneways and in the middle of forests and are true adventures!

I thought I would put into words how certain shots of mine came about. I will go a little into settings etc, but more importantly I will explain some instructions I gave these couples to capture the moments. Hopefully this information can be a little insight into a shoot.

Remember every photo your photographer will take is specific to both yourselves and the location, so there is no one magical word or instruction that will work all the time. I just want to explain that candid or unposed photography still requires an element of set up and creative suggestion. Subtle cues like 'whisper something in their ear' rather than 'tilt your head down to the right' will give a much more organic and relaxed result.

Canon 5D MKIV 50mm F2.0 ISO100 1/800sec

The above shot is what I would call a 'transition' shot. Not a technical term (I don't think), just my name for them! the sun was still pretty high in the sky so there were some harsh shadows happening that I was trying to avoid. I asked if they could walk down to the shade on the left side of the hill as there were some rocks to sit on. They were naturally holding hands and leading each other down. With the sun in front of me, I was able to get some of the flare you can see, and also the beautiful rim lighting around them which draws your attention in and separates them from the background. The beautiful dress and hat are a couple of attention grabbing features too.

The above is an example of when the location plays such an important role in the image as it looks like they're off for an adventure!

Once we made it to the rocks I got them to sit down in a comfortable position an encouraged some hand play that they were naturally doing, otherwise I let them be themselves for a few minutes as I captured some beautiful moments in the sunset.

Canon 5D MKIV 24mm F1.4 ISO 500 1/200sec

I had a ball shooting these two for an engagement session in Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula. We had been running around this amazing location with cliffs, beaches and sand dunes. we came across a small section of grass that had been flattened and they were legends and happy to lie down. Let's just say the above photo is NOT the position they naturally went in to!

What may feel comfortable for you, will not always LOOK the most comfortable or appealing on a camera. This is where 'creative direction' comes into play. If I had left it as truly 'unposed' and 'candid' the below is the result, you can see there is an awkward angle with the neck. I couldn't help but get a snap of the 'comfortable' position Daniel adopted and show them the result. after a re-adjustment and a BIG laugh after I showed them the photo, we got the shot!

The third and final candid shot for this post is from one of my all time favourite weddings! This was in Byron Bay NSW (who doesn't love it there) and it was a couple of good friends of mine. These guys had an intimate wedding at the Ewingsdale Hall just down the road from the main strip of Byron (opposite the culinary theme park at The Farm Byron Bay).

Canon 5D MKIII 70-200mm F2.8

I really enjoy the simplicity of this image. I wanted to highlight the colour changes that were happening in the perfectly clear sky, you can feel the warmth of the evening on the skin tones and the absolute joy in their eyes. The prompts I gave to get this image was to have them stand a small distance apart, then have one of them look at me, then the other, then looking at each other, then both at me.... Throughout the time capturing all the different scenarios. It is inevitable they have a giggle along the way.

I hope you've enjoyed a little insight into how candid photography comes about. For those who are concerned about being awkwardly posed, and put into uncomfortable positions, know that some 'creative direction' can help foster some beautiful shots with genuine connection.

Brendan Creaser from Brendan Creaser Photography

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