tips for hiring candid wedding photographer

Tips For Hiring Candid Wedding Photographer

How Photography has evolved in Indian wedding industry?

Before knowing the tips for hiring candid wedding photographer, lets read how Indian wedding industry has come of age in the style of candid wedding photography. On average in a month, 1900 people google for candid wedding photography in India. People are not still aware of this style of photography. There was only one style – the traditional Indian wedding. What is this Candid Wedding Photography? How it has been evolved in Indian weddings?

If you remember, the recession hit the entire world in 2008. Big companies were closing down their branch offices. There were job cuts every where. Market is not in very good condition still. We all know that Indian wedding industry can hardly be hit by any recession or depression because marriages are an integral part of Indian civilization. The Economic Times explains that Indian wedding is $ 25-30 billion industry which is growing 20-25 percent every year. It is special but one of the biggest unorganized sectors in India. You can understand, why every one is getting into this profession either by choice or by circumstances. The market analyzer says that Candid wedding photography entered in India around 2009.

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? 


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 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

Have you done a mistake in hiring a candid wedding photographer?

“Almost every wedding photographer advertises himself/herself as a candid wedding photographer, though only a fraction of the photographs displayed on their website seem unscripted.” – The Economic Times.

No! You are not at fault! As I said before, the entire Indian wedding industry is unorganized. There is not much tips for hiring candid wedding photographer and not even google will help you in this case because this industry is getting matured still! Buy some time to yourself and go through the below mentioned tips and advice which can help you in making decisions before hiring candid wedding photographer next time.

1. Don’t add “wedding photographer” in the end of your to-do-list:

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. Researches tell 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 it needs to be told in a manner the way it was written.

tips of hiring candid wedding photographer

Siddharth Malkania Photography

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. I bet! You can have goosebumps and feel an essence even after years once you open your wedding album. Such essence is created by hard work and efforts by professional photographers. 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.

2. Spend money in a smart way:

If you want a low budget photographer then just go for a traditional wedding photography without a single thought. I don’t need to tell you that what traditional wedding photography is? You know better than anyone. It is the one in which you have grown up by seeing your family members in all the weddings so far!

If you want to go for a candid wedding photography, you will have to make more efforts. Just spending more money or buying expensive wedding packages will not help you. You have to spend in a smart way and invest in this passion for your wedding. This investment will bring the priceless moments in your life. You can buy wedding packages but you can’t buy passion. Don’t focus on smart and expensive gadgets as everything which glitters is not the gold. Passion and skills are firmly attached to one another.

Read: How To Save Money On Your Wedding Photography


3. Hire a professional photographer and how to decide that?

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 and 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?

4. No photographer is a replacement of other photographer!

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 the 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, some give the Bollywood touch to the weddings, some are best at cinematography.

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. Hire an artist not a techie!

Photography is an art and owning a camera does not make anyone an artist! Ouch! It hurts, Right? It is the harsh reality. “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 just blow your mind. The artists just 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! Don’t get fascinated by expensive gadgets, or by the jargon about the technology of the photography. Scroll down the images, spend some time to understand your photographer’s style and make your choice if it matches with your interest!

6. Don’t hesitate to ask your wedding photographer that how he got into the photography?

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 said “Photography has no future in our society” because we had future only in stereotype professions! Who knew that photo based application like Facebook, Instagram will be invented 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. It leads to more marriages happening in our society. But in this process the real essence of photography has not been 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? How much he/she has read about the masters of the photography? It will build a trust between you and your photographer.

7. Your Photographer does Photoshop or just adjustments?

In my journalism school, It was taught that a photograph speaks more than thousand words. I also learnt that it does speak but with Photoshop it tells more than thousand lies. I have asked this question many times on social forums. Some agrees to it (who are not into Photoshop), some disagrees to it (who are into Photoshop). 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 itself and 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?

Read: How To Get Healthy Skin Before Your Wedding


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. That is known as adjustments. 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. Every professional photographer shoots in RAW.

RAW photo is kind of an unborn matured baby. It is just one step away to come into the world and that step is known as Processing! RAW images cannot be used over internet without being processed into JPEG format. Make everything clear and let your photographer understand what you are looking for? But you must understand him/her first.

Candid wedding photography is different from photo shoot and this is the most beautiful challenging job for any candid wedding photographer. He/She 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!”

The mistakes in the wedding photography cannot be rectified. Such mistakes last forever in your wedding album as evidence. There is no remedy for it as “marriages don’t happen twice…” Moments cannot be controlled or you can’t go for Re-takes in your marriage!

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. He studied photography at India's premier institute. 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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus



6 replies
  1. Kevin Wood
    Kevin Wood says:

    A good article Siddarth. It confirmed my thoughts that candid wedding photography is still gaining ground in India and to a certain extent Indian weddings over here in the UK are still more traditionally captured than candidly so. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Candid photographer
    Candid photographer says:

    This was a so creative and nice
    This style of photography was always
    there and it was known as photo-Journalism.
    We never thought about photo-Journalists covering wedding also.
    Thank you for sharing this


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *