Candid Wedding Photography Style

Guests partying at the wedding reception; Dorset wedding photography

My candid and story-telling approach to wedding and family photography

So I wanted to talk a little bit about my style and by that I don’t mean the cut of my trousers; I mean my style of photography of course!

Let me get straight to the point: I’m a candid wedding photographer and as far as I’m concerned this means…

I tell the story of your wedding as it happened, not by orchestrating scenes, but by observing and photographing natural moments as they unfold.

When looking for a wedding photographer, it doesn’t take long to realise that there are oodles of different styles out there: traditional, fine art, alternative, editorial, creative, natural, documentary, reportage, photo-journalist, real, vintage, boho, candid…

The bride and her mother in bridal preparation before the wedding at Wroxeter Hotel Shropshire

WTF!

You’d be forgiven for thinking it all a bit baffling (me included), especially when terminology is often misused or blended to the point of being meaningless. So many options when all you want is a flipping good photographer; preferably one who isn’t a weirdo!

A black and white picture of a bride having her hair made before the wedding; Torquay wedding photographer

I am not a weirdo

While there’s not much I can do about the multitude of options, what I can do is go some way to explaining my style of photography so at least you know what the blazes I’m all about and whether that’s right for you.

guests party at the wedding disco; dorchester wedding photographer

Candid

My photography style is often described as natural, documentary, photojournalist, or reportage. The key bits about my style and approach are:

  • Everything is candid and natural, your day just the way is was, with lots of cool bits you might have missed – after all you’re quite busy!
  • I don’t do anything cringeworthy, no cheesy posing or setups, nor me running about like a demented chicken ticking off pictures from a shotlist
  • I’m non-bossy, non-interfering laid-back ‘guest’ at your wedding who’s got a couple of little cameras slung around his neck
  • I take lots of photos of ‘people being people’ – bold, real life ‘slice of life’ pictures, full of characters and chutzpah. In other words you and your guests having a flipping good time without once deploying the ‘photo face’

I’ve added some commentary to some photos so to help you further understand what I’m about when it comes to wedding photography

The classic wedding shots

Black and white picture of the Bride and groom being showered with confetti; Devon wedding photographer

OK, so I don’t consider myself to be a traditional wedding photographer but that doesn’t mean I won’t be there for some of the classic wedding things that happen. Take the confetti run for example – yep, no problem! And I’ll help you set it up also so you make the most of the confetti blizzard!

Picture of the Bride and groom being showered with confetti outside of the church; Devon wedding photographer

The romantic black and white

black and white picture of the bride and her bridesmaids entering the church with the groom in the far distance; Dorset wedding photographer

Staying on the subject of classic wedding photography… this is a good example of beautiful black and white photos that I will take at weddings. It’s a combination of photo-journalism and fine-art and I think overall it gives a strong emotive feel and warmth for the day. In the shot above I’m positioned directly behind the bridal party and what I like in particular is the sense of ‘being there’ and the attention directed straight at Rosie, the bride.

I love this shot of Louise just coming down the hotel stairs before the ceremony. The black and white treatment adds to the drama, as does the slight and deliberate blur of the image.

Nervous bride walking down the stairs just before her ceremony at the Wroxeter hotel, Shropshire

Authentic, photo-journalism

Groom and wedding guests laughing at a joke during wedding cocktail hour at Buckland House Devon

I do not set-up shots at a wedding, I am generally walking about on the look out for good light and action – it’s this that often gets the unexpected and truly natural pictures. Here, I noticed the groom and his friends having a chat. I kept on eye and ear on the conversation and realised that a crescendo could be in the offing. I stuck it out and here you have the moment of the punchline.

I love this photo. It’s very photo-journalistic and ‘street’ in it’s depiction of the scene. Yes, it’s not glamorous but it’s a honest picture of the events and gives a sense of the camaraderie and support given to the bride. I love the immediacy of it and the slight tension also.

Bridesmaids helping the bride during cocktail hours at Buckland House wedding photography

Interesting

This image is interesting because it asks a question: ‘What’s going on?’ What’s the lady saying? What have the men been up to? These questions make it interesting, perhaps more so that a straight shot of guests chatting or laughing? Photos like this are very engaging .


Discreet

A quiet moment between the bride and her daughter during bridal preparation; Wroxeter House Hotel

Soon into bridal preparations Louise and her daughter no longer noticed me. Here we see a small but emotive moment as they play together, no longer so conscious of me being in the room. I also like the framing of Louise’ mother in the background this telling a little more of the story which is the aim of the documentary approach.

By keeping a low profile it’s possible to capture shots of people just being people. Here I’m using an 85mm lens to allow a more discreet approach that has a cinematic look. I’m actually stood outside of the dining room, and I am able to capture this guest interacting normally with friends. By using the door frame on the right-hand side of the photo I’m also able to both create depth and draw the viewers’ attention to the subject.


The drama, fun and downright ludicrous

It would be wrong to suggest that your guests have no idea I’m there. There will be lots of times when I get more involved to help get the shots I’m after and to be part of the fun! The dance floor is one example of this where I’m front and centre – I get close and use flash. I love this part of the wedding. The pressure’s off (including for me!) everyone’s more than a little tipsy and the images are full of joie de vivre! You’ll notice a lot of my dancefloor shots use direct flash – I love the energy and immediacy of this type of photography.


What people say about my work

Would highly recommend Robin! Fantastic photographer! He made us feel relaxed and captured our wedding perfectly.

Rosie & Niall

We are absolutely delighted with the photographs that Robin at Orbit Photography took for Olive and Rosy. From the relaxed and unobtrusive way he captured some great moments to the high quality final images.

Rachael Millington

“Robin took photos for our daughter’s naming ceremony and 1st Birthday party, and couldn’t have fitted in better amongst the guests. He was helpful and patient… and most of all his photos are fantastic. They’re individual works of art.”

Jennifer Matravers