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  • Writer's pictureKrystal Shuhyta

What is Candid Photography, and is it the Right Choice for Capturing Your Wedding Day?

It's no secret that weddings are magical but busy celebrations. Although the planning leading up to the big day can sometimes feel long and demanding, the actual wedding day often seems to pass in the blink of an eye. So it's no surprise that most newly engaged couples choose to hire a highly skilled professional to capture and preserve their special day. 


Photography possesses a unique power in that each image tells a story. When executed with poise, these visuals transform into timeless vessels, allowing you to fondly reminisce and relive some of life's most treasured moments. But how do you decide which photography style best fits your wedding?



While many couples are drawn to the look and feel of modern candid wedding photography, it's easy to confuse it with other photography styles. To provide you with clarity and guide you in choosing the perfect style for your wedding day, this blog takes a closer look at candid, lifestyle, and portrait wedding photography. So what are you waiting for? Let's dive in!


What is Candid Wedding Photography?

Candid wedding photography, also known as documentary or photojournalistic, is a unique style of photography that focuses on capturing spontaneous moments as they naturally unfold throughout your wedding day. Unlike more traditional photography styles that involve prompting and staging from your photographer, candid photography embraces a hands-off approach that avoids interference or direction. Photographers who adopt this style aim to be discreet, seamlessly blending into the background of your wedding to create a storytelling and documentary-like feel to your photos. With this approach, they focus on capturing moments of joy, laughter, tears, stolen glances, and genuine expressions. The end result is a collection of images that reflect the real emotions and atmosphere of your wedding, showcasing the unfiltered candid interactions between you, your spouse, your families, and your guests.


Most of the time, I refer to this as a “fly on the wall” which means your photographer is saying nothing to you 99% of the time, you are just doing your own thing. Which in my opinion is perfect for parts of the wedding day, like the ceremony or reception. However, I have watched this happen during an engagement session, and let me just be real honest, as someone from the outside looking in, the couple looked so uncomfortable and had no clue what to do. The photographer just told them to sit on the bench and pour out their coffee. She proceeded to move around them for 10 minutes taking photos and then said “Okay well that’s all, see you guys at the wedding” and left. The couple made comments to each other after about how awkward they felt and that they had no clue what to do. That would be how the family photos, wedding party, and couple portraits would be with someone who only shoots in a documentary style. 


Maybe IG Video?


Here are a few examples of true documentary-style photos:



If you're starting to sense that candid wedding photography isn't living up to your expectations or fitting your vision, there's no need to worry. It's common for couples to associate different photography styles with candid shots based on their overall look and feel. If you still want photos that feel authentic, but have greater photographer involvement, lifestyle wedding photography could be the perfect choice for you.


What is Lifestyle Wedding Photography?

Lifestyle wedding photography is a blended style that combines the modernism of candid with the traditionalism of portrait. Similar to candid photography, lifestyle aims to capture genuine, spontaneous moments that authentically reflect the emotions of your wedding. But, rather than disappearing into the background, lifestyle photographers use subtle prompts and gentle directions to guide you in creating images that capture your personality and emotions. While keeping the moment free-flowing and fluid, your photographer may use prompts like "kiss his cheek," "slowly walk towards me," "spin her around," and "gaze into each other's eyes." and fun little games for you to play. These prompts encourage elegant and heartfelt moments while ensuring authenticity isn't lost. Additionally, your photographer may offer gentle suggestions, such as "place your left hand in your pocket," "turn your body slightly to the right," and "relax your shoulders" to make your photos feel more natural. By choosing lifestyle wedding photography, you can rest assured that your photographer is there to help create candid and authentic photos that preserve the essence of your special day.



"Behind the scenes, Krystal was present in our planning process. She will go the distance — literally and figuratively! She met us wherever we needed, she will climb any tree or ladder to get the perfect shot, she will wear waterproof shoes and get wet so that you stay dry; she will be your best friend through this entire process. Making the planning process easier already sets Krystal apart from everyone else; now, combine that with her phenomenal work, she is worth every penny." - Hav

If lifestyle wedding photography doesn’t feel like the right fit and you still feel like you guys would look “awkward” in photos, then portrait wedding photography might be just what you're looking for.


What is Portrait Wedding Photography?

Portrait wedding photography, also known as traditional, is a photography style that emphasizes posed portraits featuring you (the newlyweds), your bridal party, and often your family members. Unlike candid and lifestyle, portrait wedding photography involves more planned shots showcasing your combined personalities, attire, and the overall aesthetic of your wedding day. This photography style is particularly loved by more introverted or camera-shy couples who want to capture the beauty of their wedding day without the stress of too much spontaneity. With the guidance and direction of your photographer, you and your loved ones will be expertly positioned to create visually captivating and timeless images, utilizing careful framing and lighting to enhance the overall appeal.



" They gave us great direction and made us feel comfortable. We absolutely love our sneak peak pictures and we're so excited to see the whole gallery!" - Mel

Capture the Magic of Your Wedding Day with the Perfect Photography Style for You

While the age-old adage suggests that a picture is worth a thousand words, at Fly Free Photography, we believe it communicates far more than that. On the day of your wedding, each photograph narrates a compelling story about your unwavering commitment, boundless love, profound connection, and anticipation for the exciting chapter that lies ahead.


With every click of the shutter, a unique tale unfolds, so it's important that you select a photographer whose style resonates with the story you wish to tell. If you want more information about the styles discussed in this blog or have questions about Fly Free Photography, please don't hesitate to reach out and connect with us! We would be delighted to assist you in crafting your perfect day.


"We fully trusted her expert opinion and it all went off without a hitch! We received our sneaks back and it made me tear up and brought me right back to our day. Absolutely gorgeous photos that we will cherish forever and be so proud to share with our family and friends. Krystal was great with sharing wedding planning resources, and was very engaged from the day we hired her through to the wedding. I wouldn't choose anyone else to capture this special time of our lives." - Ashley



Till next time friend,

Xo Krystal



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