A photographer in a facebook group earlier today had a question about what we wedding photographers preferred. Posed or candid photographs?
My answer was that I prefer both. To say that I like shooting only one type of wedding photos is limiting myself and also limiting the client's opportunity to have some memorable photographs.
Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Some of us wedding photographers tend to look at photographs from our point of view. A big no. The wedding is all about the bride, groom and their family and friends. They are not getting married to have the opportunity to hire us. They are getting married and giving us the opportunity to do our job, which is all about the client.
So in the bigger picture, everything that happens in a wedding is important. The posed photos, both of just the couples and also with the family are very important. When printing that big canvas or a metal print to hang on the wall or to for that photo frame on the bedside table, a beautifully posed photo of the couple looks better . Of course some couples will also want to have the prints of the candids on their wall but it is important that they have the choice! The wedding album will look interesting with both the posed and unposed photos.
At all the weddings I have photographed in Memphis and other cities, I love the unposed photo time. I tell the couple to forget that there is a photographer around them for a few minutes, assure them that I will be far enough so I cannot hear anything they talk and ask them to just chat, tell each other jokes, both funny and naughty ones and indulge in some TLC. This will produce some beautiful images.
When I photograph portraits of a couple on a wedding day, after the posed and candids, I also have the "Fun-tastic" session. (Cheesy name but a fun idea!)
I tell the couple to unwind for a few minutes, just think that they are not at the wedding and bring that body language here. I don't want to see the perfectly composed bride and groom for a bit! I want to see fun! This is what we get when we do that!