Candid Wedding Photography: A Photographer's Perspective
"Weddings are all about the couple that's getting married."
This would be one of the most common statements which gets flung about with abandon during any wedding. True, and there is not an ounce of doubt in the statement. Weddings are what people dream about throughout their lives till the moment they actually walk down the altar. Most folks have every detail planned out, sometimes years ahead, in their minds about how they would like to have their ideal wedding. In that sense, yes, weddings are all about the couple. Anyone who thinks otherwise definitely doesn't understand the sentiment behind any wedding. Right?
Right, but maybe not entirely right. There is a lot more to a wedding than just the couple. For the simple fact, that there are a lot of people whose emotions have been heavily invested into whatever has preceded and resulted into the culmination of a marital union. That there is so much in terms of events and anecdotes during weddings which take shape from a history shared over the years with the couple. That there are so many smiles and tears which go on to add that character which makes every wedding unique in its own way.
With an observing eye, the wedding photographer can easily find so many more emotions and subjects which bring out human nature in such vivid and myriad shades. For a documentary wedding photographer, this is pretty much a feast for the camera. It would be almost fatal if someone fails to see the beauty embedded in the candidness of these moments.
Children, with their adorable attempts at trying to fit themselves into an occasion for adults, make for a fantastic subject. With little girls preening at themselves and trying to model in an image of the bride and unruly boys who don't stop short of running wild, a photographer couldn't really ask for a better display of human nature at its simplest.
Parents are probably the most natural fit. With moments like ones where the glint in the mother's eyes as she looks at her husband immediately reveals the love she's kept for him through the years; or where the father takes a moment out to tuck an errant lock of hair behind his wife's ear. Siblings and friends, with their camaraderie and revelry bring in a whole new dimension of celebration and spontaneity. Even grandparents: the grandfather looking dapper in a sharp suit or the grandmother who oozes regal authority and makes heads turn with the way she carries herself.
Of course, if one starts paying attention to whatever is going on at the periphery of the main ceremonies, there is enough to get lost in that world and forget everything else. The idea is to strike a balance and get the best mix of photographs which end up weaving a narrative around the wedding through a selection which tells a story full of character and a soul which speaks for itself.