Candid wedding photography

In my last Blog post about a commissioned shoot I carried out for the Paul Mellon centre , I was talking about the difference in different styles of photography and client expectations. This got me thinking about a very specific situation - wedding photography. 

My Partner (in every sense of the word) and I run a Wedding Photography business - simpler-weddings.com - where we specialise in candid or reportage photography. With a wedding though, much like a commission or portrait session, you're working to a brief. If during a consultation we get asked to take traditional, posed shots then that's what we'll do. It's not our wedding, we're getting paid to take photo's of what the clients want. I'm certainly not going to turn down a wedding booking because of a difference of artistic opinions! 

There's always a point where the two styles merge, where one situation leads to another. Take this photo for example. As you can see it's of a bride and her bridesmaids:

It's a nice photo, Indie - the bride - and her bridesmaids are happy and relaxed. Seconds later I took these photos:

This interaction between Indie and her friends wouldn't have happened if they hadn't been in the group shot together. This is why I never turn my nose up to traditional wedding photography. I got three good images in a matter of seconds, The newlyweds were happy, I was happy so a win-win situation.

You can never tell what's going to happen at a wedding, you have your shot list and timings but you have to be on your toes for the unexpected, those little moments that come and go so fast - often blink and you'll miss them. I don't describe myself as a candid wedding photographer or a traditional wedding photographer - I'm a wedding photographer. I find if you rigidly stick to a label you'll miss so much.

The image is what's important, not your style of photography and I found by opening myself up to the situation that's unfolding before me I can capture some natural, yet still formal images.

Here are a few more examples to illustrate my point:

Do you shoot weddings or portraits? What are your thoughts on candid versus traditional photography? Do you adopt a more hybrid style like I do? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.