I like to classify my style as creative storytelling; I like to capture the day as it happens while being as unobtrusive as possible when appropriate but to also let loose the creative vibes when the right time comes.  It’s the balance that works for me and my clients love it.  The secret to great storytelling photography doesn’t lie entirely in the photographers abilities, though.  In fact, great stories are told through genuine candid moments which can only happen when you have a great photographer and clients who are organized, calm and happy!

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A few things to keep in mind when you want to achieve great candid photos:

Hire your photographer wisely – If you’re looking for candid moments and a storytelling vibe to your wedding photos, make sure you’re hiring a wedding photographer who specializes in photojournalistic or storytelling photography.  Asking a portrait photographer to provide candid photos for you is like asking an olympic skier to put on a pair of figure skates and perform; not all skills are translatable.

Focus on fun – Your only priority should be to live in the moment!  Take it all in; the makeup application, the crazy curlers in your hair, the feeling of your dress being laced, the moment you finally say “I do” and the sweet steps of your first dance.  You should be truly present at your own wedding; mind, body and soul.

Let go of the attitude – Having been a recent bride myself, I know just how hard it can be to just “let it go” and try to live in the moment… especially if you’re an A-type personality to begin with.  Trust me, though, having a bride who is more concerned about time-keeping and delegating tasks the morning of her wedding will rarely remember to smile and even when she does, you’ll still be able to see the stress and anxiety in her eyes and body language.  At a certain point – usually by the morning of your wedding day – you need to make peace with the fact that you’ve done the best you can, you’ve hired the best vendors you can and have surrounded yourself with the best people possible and that your day will unfold as planned.  Yes, there may be a few bumps in the road, but it’s best if you assign those problem solving moments to a professional day-of event planner so that you can focus on enjoying the day you’ve worked so hard for.

Get everyone on the same page – A great wedding day story involves candid moments from not only the bride and groom but from their friends and family, too!  All too often, parents and wedding parties are painfully unaware of how they are carrying themselves and how their actions and reactions can affect a photographers ability to capture a great moment.  Make sure that all of your important people know that it’s okay to smile, laugh, hug and wear their hearts on their sleeves that day if you want their emotions to be captured as a part of your wedding day story.

Consider a day-of wedding co-ordinator – If you can’t tell from what was mentioned above, a huge part of getting great candid moments is to simply let go and enjoy your day.  This is nearly impossible to do if the bride, wedding party or parents are multi-tasking and problem solving instead of enjoying the moments that are happening.  Hiring a professional to help your wedding day flow as seamlessly as possible is to great way to ensure better candid photos.

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Knowing how to get great candid photos is easy to understand but the difficulty lies in implementing the steps to help achieve your goal.  Most brides think they can handle the day-of  problem solving that will occur on their wedding day which leads them to believe that they don’t need a day-of event coordinator.  Unfortunately what these brides don’t realize is that even though they might be able to handle the problem solving, they certainly won’t look happy doing it.  Couple that with the resulting stress from last-minute problems and you’ve got a recipe for not-so-awesome candid moments.  So to all the beautiful brides-to-be and soon-to-be-grooms out there… treat yourself with the gift of a wedding co-ordinator!  It will lift the weight of the world off of your shoulders and your happiness will be reflected in all of your candid photos!