tips for hiring candid wedding photographer

Tips For Hiring Candid Wedding Photographer

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If only knowing the science about camera and lens makes anyone an artist photographer then all the Photoshop app developer or lens designer should have been into artistic photography.

When my clients ask me what is this candid wedding photography, I tell them – PJ stuff in your wedding! And what’s that PJ stuff? Simply, The Photo- Journalism!

This style of photography was always there and it was known as photo-Journalism. We never imagined that photojournalists would be covering wedding also.

The Oxford dictionary meaning of ‘Candid’:

 “a candid photograph is one that is taken without the person in it knowing that they are being photographed”

tips for hiring candid wedding photographer

Different photo-Journalists come to cover the assignment or event but their photographs are not the same even if they are witnessing the same event from the same place. Why? 

The PJ stuff was highly appreciated and adopted in United States and it is known as Wedding Photojournalists there.

The photojournalists like Mel Digiacomo entered into the wedding and created stunning pictures. They are the master in it, they spend a lot of time on the street for their assignments, get trained in making candid shots and create the story with their shots!

candid wedding photographer Mel Digiacomo

Mel Digiacomo Wedding Photography

Buy some time to yourself and go through the below mentioned tips and advice which can help you in making decisions before hiring a candid wedding photographer next time.

1. Keep “Wedding Photographer” On Priority Too:

You spend a lot of money over your weddings. Why don’t you take time to hire a photographer for the same? It is always said in Indian culture that Indian wedding is all about bride and girls.

Research tells that brides hire the professional wedding photographer more. But your partner is equally an important part of your wedding photography. You and your partner write your own story.

tips of hiring candid wedding photographer

Most of the people forget, what happens at your wedding. If your wedding photography is done professionally and you get really good shots, It is going to be alive and last forever.

You may have goosebumps and feel an essence even after years once you open your wedding album. Photographers capture Such essence by hard work and efforts.

The professional wedding photographers are most sought after people in the wedding industry. You just cannot imagine that it is easy to book them at the eleventh hour.

Read: How To Save Money On Your Wedding Photography

3. Hire A Perfectionist Professional

When you don’t compromise on making guests list, buying best wedding attire, selecting the perfect wedding venue and its decoration then why you put aside the professional photographer?

Professional and passionate photographer is the only one through which you can preserve such things. Your right choice of the photographer will make your wedding memorabilia.

To understand the passion of the photographer completely, you must see his/her entire image gallery or a one or two complete shoot.

Let me tell you that almost 500 photographs are made in a single day of your wedding. Only 30-50 photographs of a single wedding are shown on the webpages of the photographers. Don’t you want to see the rest of the photos which is the decisive factor?

Read here 5 common personality traits of professional photographers

4. Professionals Are Irreplaceable

Vivian Maier or William Klein is not a replacement of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Raghu Rai is not a replacement of Steve McCurry. Every photographer has its own art and style.

When you look at the workflow of a photographer, try to understand his/her style through its images. Every image is a reflection of the personality of its photographer.

You might see the great images of a candid wedding photographer over their webpages but it is not necessary that his/her style matches your choice.

Many photographers have a photo-journalistic approach these days. They capture the photographs in a flow which tells a story about your wedding.

Some are into posing more and less in candid photography. And some give the Bollywood touch to the weddings.

Overall, No photographer can be like him/her! Every single photographer cannot replace another photographer. Try to understand in this way!

Different photo-Journalists come to cover the assignment or event but their photographs are not the same even if they are witnessing the same event from the same place. Why?

They have the same eye to capture but have the different vision. They can have the same full frames like Nikon D610, D750, D810, D850 or Canon 6D, 5D series, but photographers are paid for their vision not for their gadgets.

tips for hiring candid wedding photographer

Mike Nelson From AFP, made this photo of Socks, the pet cat of US President Bill Clinton’s family. It was one of the iconic photos of 1993 in the world.

Finalize your choice of photography and then fix up two or three meetings with him/her until you understand his/her style of photography.

Remember! It is not the camera which creates the magic, it is the person behind the camera!

5. Artist Vs Techie

Photography is an art and owning a camera does not make anyone an artist!

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Sir Henri is my favorite and I completely agree with him. His photography will blow your mind. The artists learn the basic of any art and put their feelings deep inside their art.

That is what makes them special and different from others.

tips for hiring candid wedding photographer

Henri Cartier Bresson Photography

An engineer knows better about the science of a lens or camera manufacturing than any artist photographer.

If only knowing the science about camera and lens makes anyone an artist photographer then all the Photoshop app developer or lens designer should have been into artistic photography.

Without being the engineer of the camera, there have been great photographers like Robert Capa, Robert Frank, Vivian Maier, Steve McCury or Diane Arbus!

Everyone has their own space in this universe. Techies are best at technology! Scroll down the images, spend some time to understand your photographer’s style and make your choice if it matches with your interest!

6. Professional Knowledge Matters

The photography job was always considered a low profile job in our society. Even if any young man wanted to go for learning a photography, the parents usually used to say “Photography has no future in our society”.

Who knew that photo based application like Facebook, Instagram will be there and every one will become a photographer, getting likes and comments every day.

Now, photography schools are mushrooming in every city. Even the engineers and the business school students jumped into this profession and carved out a niche.

Indian society is evolving which is the law of nature. But in this process the real essence of photography has not evolved. Everyone seems very confident but confused!

Don’t hesitate in asking about how your photographer learnt photography and from where? How much updated the photographer is about his own profession?

What kind of photography he does? It will build a trust between you and your photographer.

7. Your Photographer Does Photoshop Or Just Adjustments?

In my journalism school, I read that a photograph speaks more than thousand words. No doubt, photoshop also is a tool for designing the art.

So there are the photographers who are best at Photoshop and create some wow images. Secondly, there are the photographers who are best at creating images in the camera.

They do the magic without Photoshop. You know! 1 out of 10 photographers use Photoshop in the world. The rests 9 are not the photographers then?

To non-photoshop photographers, the adobe created the great app i.e. Adobe lightroom. In which, a photographer can only re-touch its photographs by adjusting some contrasts, sharpness, exposure value.

If your photographer is into Adobe Lightroom, don’t mix it with Adobe Photoshop.

tips for hiring candid wedding photographer

A photo with little adjustments in Adobe Lightroom without Photoshop manipulation.

If you are looking for someone who can do something in Photoshop then must ask your photographer whether he/she can do Photoshop your images or not?

If you have seen one gallery of the photographer then ask your photographer to show the RAW data of the same photo gallery. There is nothing absurd about it.

You can not use RAW images over internet without converting it into JPEG format. Make everything clear and let your photographer understand what you are looking for?


Wedding photography is different from photo shoot and this is the most beautiful challenging job for any photographer.

(S)he should have that artistic eye to understand the story at your wedding. Your wedding day is most special day in your life.

It is equally special and responsible day for the photographer as Uncle Ben said, “With great powers, great responsibility comes!”

Let us know if you find these tips helpful for hiring candid wedding photographer!

(We are open to suggestions! I look forward to receiving your comments in the box below!)

Siddharth Malkania

Siddharth Malkania is a journalism graduate from Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Having worked as a photojournalist for two years, he traveled to Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam to brush up his skills of photography. Currently, He is a professional photographer based in New Delhi, India.

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