Stand and Be Photographed! Traditional Vs. Candid Photos For Your Wedding

With the rise in popularity of the photojournalistic style in wedding photography, more and more clients don’t seem that interested in more traditional styles and I receive increasing demand for just ‘candid’ shots. I really enjoy photographing in a reportage style, however, I do worry that couples are putting less thought into their group shots and some don’t seem bothered if they do them at all. Of course, that is up to them, and it can be less stress for me not to do them, but I think it could be a shame to leave our the classic poses.

Throughout the history of photography, we constantly come back to the traditional, posed portraits. From early Victorian work, where being photographed replaced having a painted portrait commissioned (it was cheaper and much more available) to our modern day holiday snaps in front of famous landmarks: We always take time out to construct a photograph of us there in the moment. It is a way of us solidifying the event and us at that time, culminating a visit into one single photograph, in order to say; this is me, this is where I went, what I did or who I was with. It is the immortalisation of a memory…

Traditional Posed Wedding Photography
A Classic, Traditional Posed Wedding Photograph

There is no reason why the ‘candid’ shots or reportage photography can’t do this for some people, in fact the above paragraph summarises the justification for taking photographs at weddings, in whatever style. But when we take that moment to pose for a group photograph, just after the ceremony to stand and actually be photographed. Not everybody enjoys this part; it can feel stiff, uncomfortable and awkward to be placed in the shot and then instructed to ‘smile!’ However this has become a part of a traditional wedding, as it is a time when the whole family can get together and be photographed. It is a time to be ‘immortalised’ in the photograph and for that period of your family’s history to be documented. And even if it is uncomfortable to smile on demand, just think how lucky we are not to have to sit for an hour while someone paints us instead!