Hey y'all!

Ever wondered what candid photography at weddings really look like? Everyday were bombarded with ethereal photos by Jose Villa, Tyler Rye, Maddie Mae, or any of Martha Stewart Weddings Photographers.

If you haven't followed them on Instagram yet, you won't regret taking a sneak peek if you did.

Beyond the glamour

Pinterest and Instagram has taught us that editorial or styled shoot of skinny and incredibly attractive models are highly profitable. They're there because of marketing purposes. The more beautiful photos, the more likely it will gain engagement, likes, and shares.

Note: Not all best wedding photographers that feature a beautiful instagram reflect their true work.

But whats beyond these styled shoots are raw and organic moments of these weddings.

These photos get hardly featured in a photographer's portfolio.

Raw and organic moments

The word that I hear most often when my client tells me what they're must haves is "candid" photos. They want candid photos of the day that they'll have and cherish for a long time. And I completely agree with them.

The extra caveats that make a photographer different from other wedding photographers is their ability to be creative.

However, knowing how to analyze a scene and photograph them creatively requires a ton time and skill.

What does it take to be a creative wedding photographer?

I don't really have an answer to this because each and every photographer went through endless transformations.

I first started as a portrait and street photographer, going up to different people in public asking them if I can take a photo of them smiling.

I believe that this is the best way to start. Getting out of your comfort zone, diving into connecting with countless strangers.

Once you have enough photos to create your portfolio, take some time to do free projects for local businesses. You might be able to land a gig, or better yet, a mentorship.

You do as many free projects as you can until you start to become comfortable charging your work.

You build your website/social media following, gain as many social proof as you can until you can start charging to make a living.

This is only the beginning. You'll need to keep learning how to see, how to pose people, how to provide prompts, while offering customer service.

There is one of my favorite creative photographers who made this into a teaching series.

Here's a quick cheatsheet.

  1. Get a camera, preferably a DSLR
  2. Do a personal project that involves people. Asking and taking photos of strangers is the best.
  3. Practice street photography
  4. Keep doing this until you're comfortable charging people photos
  5. Create a website portfolio
  6. Offer more free sessions for couples, second shoot for a wedding photographer
  7. Once you're ready to be on your own, shoot elopements.
  8. Shoot enough elopements to be comfortable to shoot a larger wedding
  9. Pay attention to details, the shot list. Rinse and repeat.
  10. Once in a while, you'll struck gold and get a completely candid photo.
  11. Do this as many times as you can until you start to frequently hitting those candid photos
  12. Call yourself an expert.

Here are some common mistakes a photographer can make on their first wedding.

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North Carolina Wedding Photographer

Is this the style of photos at a wedding you're looking for?

Real and organic moments come from connections you make with your photographer. Whether if its a friend of 10 years or someone you had an hour consultation with, the best way to get natural photos is to let yourself open up to your photographer.

Show a little bit of your universe so that you both are comfortable photographing you as well as the you letting yourself vulnerable.

See how I approach my weddings here.