Every one say "CHEESE!"
If you ever want to kill the mood of a photo, just shout "say cheese!" - that ought to do it. We all know the photo I'm talking about. Typically it is a family photo where your mum wants you all together at the family party. It's the photo that you wish she hadn't framed as you really are forcing an awful 'Im having a great time' smile. It isn't who you are all about!
If professional photographers lined up their clients and said "say cheese" they would be out of business over night. We all look our best when we are relaxed, happy, natural, at ease. The unposed, often unaware candid moment. Capturing us at these moments are the ones to frame. Candid Photography has been around for quite a few years and many photographers such as myself prefer to shoot in this way. A candid photograph is a photograph captured without creating a posed appearance. Perhaps even taking a photo of people when they have no idea that you're doing it. One of the beauties of this style of photography is being able to catch someone in the act and it adds life to the picture.
No one really like to pose for photos and even professional models need direction and many years experience to enable the photographer to take the photo they want to capture. You only have to look at wedding photos from as little as ten years ago to notice the old style of professional photography where the couple are posed in front of the venue or the family are in a line all looking like they wish the photographer would get on with it! Zoom forward a few years and the emergence of candid photographers changed the complete look of the happy couple's Wedding Album. Candid photography is the mother of photojournalism. Candid wedding photography works because it captures the raw emotion that the day is all about. Everyone wants to book a wedding photographer who goes beyond what a traditional photographer gives. A candid photographer moves around in the crowd looking for emotions, smiles, happenings, memories. In short they capture the story without interfering, they are capturing the story of the day. The photographer is an impartial observer, documenting the scene as a fly on the wall.
Unlike a traditional photography who will call out to guests, line them up and tick them off their long list of 'to do' photos, the strength of a candid wedding photographer lies in their ability to be inconspicuous. Most guests do not like be photographed or herded into a group photo. You have to ask - what is the point? What does that group photo tell you of the day, other than who was there? That posed line up photo does not show the guests relaxed with their guard down. It certainly does not capture the unadulterated emotion of the wedding day itself.
The most successful candid photographers have a good eye. A good artistic eye makes good pictures. If you like a certain candid photo it is because it is speaking to you, evoking the emotion of that moment. When you see a photo of someone laughing hard, you will see how happy they are through their eyes and their whole facial expression. If you see a couple hugging or kissing, you will surely feel their love for each other in the photo. Emotions caught in the moment are more dramatic and touching, telling the real story. This is the unique selling point for a candid wedding photographer. If the happy couple can look through their wedding album and relive their day, emotion by emotion it is money well spent and an album much loved.
These days photographers have to expand their business as much through Social Media as word of mouth. Having recently moved counties I am trying to get tongues wagging in Shropshire and get social media savvy in order for my business to grow. I am venturing into pastures new with starting a blog, an attempt to get google crawlers latched onto my website so Shropshire folk can see I'm here! I don't claim to be the next Caitlin Moran so bear with me and take it for what is - a few words of wisdom about life as a photographer. Life is short, you have to love what you do and I hope these few blogs portray that if nothing else. I don't want to dominate the world, merely to get a photo in every frame in Shropshire.