3 Myths About Candid Wedding Photography

“We just want a series of beautiful, candid photos” – every single couple ever.

posed yet candid wedding photo

Myths about candid wedding photography

Candid wedding photography is one of the most popular and trending topics in the wedding industry these days. Yet there are several assumptions and misconceptions relating to the word “candid”. People often think that candid photography is a passive, unobtrusive way to document a wedding day. And whilst this can certainly be true for some photographers, I want to explore the ways people often misjudge the “candidness” of candid wedding photography.

In this post, we’ll unpack three common myths about candid wedding photography that I have come across in my time as a wedding photographer in Sydney.

Before we dive too deeply, let’s take a look at one of the definitions of the word candid:

Candid. adjective. truthful and straightforward; frank. Not afraid to call a spade a spade.

My theory is that good, candid photography captures the truest moments of a wedding. Brides and grooms want their photos to be “truthful and straightforward” because they desire photographs that will capture them (and those around them) as they are on such an important day.

well timed candid wedding photo

Myth #1: Candid photos are “dumb luck”

There is so much intention in the art of candid photography. An experienced wedding photographer knows that timing is key to creating their own luck. They spend the entire day calculating, taking cues and placing themselves strategically. They will take thousands of photos in order to capture the very best possible moment.

Photographers also work hard to become small and unassuming, in order to capture the most intimate moments without intruding or distracting.

Myth #2: Candid equals unposed

You might be surprised to know that some of the best candid photographers are actually experts at something called “moment design”. This is the art of creating candid-feeling moments through the use of prompts and guides that get the couple out of their head and into their heart. Consider this prompt:

“Take a moment to share something you remember about the first time you said ‘I love you’ to your spouse”.

If your photographer has actively placed the couple in a beautiful location with great light, then this is no longer a “candid” moment. But the prompt that they have been given will allow them to bask in the emotion and feeling of that moment without worrying about where to place their hands.

Myth #3: Authentic emotion can only be captured in candid photos

This is one of the biggest myths about candid wedding photography. My job as a wedding photographer is to document relaxed, intimate and romantic imagery for my clients. As we learned in the previous myth, emotion can be captured in posed photos as well. One of the key factors required to take authentic photos is trust. This means that the subject (i.e. the couple) must trust their photographer. Authenticity requires vulnerability, and vulnerability is built on trust.

Experienced candid wedding photographers are experts at establishing trust with their clients. It’s a big reason why couples should meet their photographer before the wedding day. The more you can all build on that relationship, the more authentic the photos will be.


Hank Paul is a candid, Sydney wedding photographer. You can view more of his work by visiting his portfolio here.

Henry Paul Photography acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. I pay my respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders both past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


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