Everyone dreams of what their photos will look like after an engagement, or a wedding, an elopement, basically any point you’re working with a photographer – you dream about what your photos will look like. We dream of the little moments, and the big moments, but we dream of authentic moments the most for our sessions, weddings, elopements, and adventures. The ones that help tell the story. No one likes to ‘pose’, and we want our photos and memories to look as natural and candid as possible.
And evvvvverryyybody loves being able to tell a story through photos. Everyone loves being able to look back on a memory and relive that moment. So being able to tell a story through still images is a fine art, and a skill that takes some teamwork! It’s teamwork between both you, and your photographer! To help you out though, below are 10 Best Tips to Get Authentic and Candid Photos for your session, wedding, elopement, or adventure….
Tip 1 – Hire a Photographer who emphasizes + actually cares about your story:
There are tons of amazing photographers out there. And maybe more than one that you love personally. And I can guarantee that there are tons of photographers out there that do an amazing job of storytelling through their photography. But make sure that you find someone who cares about YOUR story. Not just how they can ‘show your story through images’.
You’ll want a photographer who wants to get to know you, laugh at your jokes + hear your stories that have already happened. You’ll want a photographer who wants to connect certain parts of your personalities to the setting around you. You’ll want a photographer who helps craft an experience – not just someone who snaps a thousand photos of you in different positions.
They’ll care more about how you see your photos and memories, more than how popular it might make them. It won’t matter to them what you want to do, as long as it’s YOU. This isn’t just for the ‘gram!
Tip 2 – Embrace your Personalities!
These photos are for you. They’re photos OF you, SHOWING you, and recreate YOUR memories. So why would you be anyone but yourselves!? You want your photos to show your natural smiles, candid laughs, those longing looks between each other, and you cannot achieve that in your photos, if you don’t truly be yourselves.
It’s totally understandable to be nervous in front of the camera- especially if you’ve never done it before. And its good to find a photographer that you get a long with and can communicate what you value when it comes to your photos, this way, they can help you ease the nerves + make sure that you are more natural in your poses and movements.
Another good tip for embracing your personalities – infuse some of your passions or hobbies that you love to do together, into your session and/or wedding! When you’re doing an activity you love, and you’re in your element, it’s easier to act natural and FEEL natural, allowing for those beautiful candid photos!
Tip 3 – Live in the Moment, Embrace your Emotions
Whether its for a session, a wedding, a milestone moment, or just for fun- show your emotions. Half of the reason why storytelling is so prevalent in photos comes from peoples expressions in them. Living in the moment, and letting those emotions show through your smiles, tears, touches, kisses, all of it is a big part of the story being told in your photos.
By living in the moment, it allows for more natural movement, and candid expressions (aka y’all being YOURSELVES… point #2). You’re more focused on yourselves, and the experience rather than the photographer following you with a camera.
This get’s into a little more detail too if you head to tip #5….
Tip 4 – PDA is totally welcome
In fact… PDA is encouraged!
This connects to Embracing your Emotions, and plays a big part in being able to SHOW your love, not just feel it. Obviously everyones comfortability with PDA, and how they show it is different. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to show your feelings for each other. Just make sure that it’s authentic to you, and your loved one(s). And do whatever you’re comfortable with- but don’t ever think that your photographer will think you’re weird for it, because that’s simply not true. We love LOVE!
Tip 5 – It’s ok to forget your photographer is even there LOL
It happens, and we’re totally ok with it.
I always tell people that the most candid moments + photos I capture, are usually after the moment I ‘pose’ or ‘create’ for you. We care more about the giggles and the secret smooches than if you are standing in the exact way we told you to.
If you’re told to take a look at the view- LOOK AT IT. LIKE REALLY LOOK AT IT. And TALK about what you see. About what you love from the view, about the fact that you’re experiencing this together. Share little looks at each others, and giggles and hugs and kisses.
This also ties in with the previous tip Live in the Moment. I tell my couples all the time ”YOU GUYS are the stars of the show. I’m irrelevant and don’t matter in these particular parts of the story, so ignore me. I’m not here’. Forgetting I’m there truly lets you live in the moment, because you forget that a camera is even in your face.
When you’re at your wedding or elopement- if you see your photographer taking photos, don’t stop living in that moment that they’re capturing. Don’t laugh and say ‘whoops I wasn’t looking I wasn’t ready!’ …. we know you weren’t. That’s why we took the photo. Because this is authentically you, and is a small, but REAL moment that helps tell your story.
Bonus Tip – tell your guests at your wedding that not looking at me / ignoring me when I’m walking around with my camera is also totally ok, and can help get more authentic candid photos of your guests!
Tip 6 – Don’t Stress about the Details
Nothing is perfect. And if it is perfect, there was probably a lot of stress and worry to make it perfect. Perfect doesn’t always mean real. And those beautiful storytelling photos you dream, are the real moments. They’re not you making sure your hair looks ok, they’re not the perfect pose, or hand placement or planned ‘timing’.
They’re the moments that you forget are even detailed. Because you’re too busy doing tip #2 – living in the moment!
Tip 7- Trust Your Photographer + Keep an Open Mind
Keeping an open mind not only to the whole experience, but with your photographer is HUGE in making sure you get authentic moments and emotions captured.
Your photographer spends SO MUCH TIME in researching locations, time of day, weather, and more to make sure that you get the best experience + the best photos. So if they suggest a certain location, or time of day, or change the plans on you, its because they OBSESS over making sure it can be the best it can be for YOU. So trust your photographer to be knowledgable!!
Keeping an open mind when your photographer tells you to do something is also KEY for natural looking photos. Some of the things they might suggest…. might sound a liiiittle strange at first. BUT, this is where trusting your photographer plays in again, and your trust, plus keeping an open mind will allow you to try new things, and allow your photographer to work their magic to get you the photos you dream of!
Tip 8 – Move… A LOT. Bonus if you have clothes that show a lot of movement
We all loooveee the blurry photos that bring feeling back into a still frame. And sometimes, your photographer can create this affect on their own. HOWEVER…
Getting those dreamy movement shots are achieved by letting go of anything restricting you, and moving together- can be silly, can be small and sweet, whatever the movement is – movement helps tell a story in still images.
Also having clothing that shows movement is a SUPER BONUS! Not to mention, clothes that show movement tend to be a lot easier to move around in. So make sure whatever outfit you’re planning for your session, you feel comfortable enough to move in!
Tip 9 – Focus on Each other
These photos are for no one else but you two. So FOCUS ON EACH OTHER!
This goes with the previous tip – it’s ok to pretend that your photographer isn’t even there, but expands a bit more. Its great to interact + pay attention to the environment around you, but focusing on each other + why you love each other is what helps tell your story.
Big Tip for the Men- PLEASE don’t be afraid to show a little PDA, and a lot of emotion! Sometimes its harder for men to open up in front of the camera, but showing your love towards your partner is good for both of you, and will give you some bonus points – trust me.
Tip 10 – Appreciate Your Photographer’s Creativity
This is both one of the FIRST things to think about when you think about getting photos done… ANNDDD the last thing you think about when you’re actually looking through your gallery !
It’s key to pick a photographer you trust, and a photographer where you ACTUALLY LIKE THEIR STYLE. Because if you’re expecting one style, but pick a photographer who doesn’t shoot like that hoping they can just for you – majority of the time you won’t get the quality you’re looking for unless you pick a photographer who has a similar vision to yours. AND a photographer who has a knack for storytelling, plus actually giving a sh*t about your story.
And then during the session, and when you receive your full gallery – appreciate the different crops, angles, and in-between shots that your photographer includes. These photos are mixed in with the more ‘perfect’ shots and moments, to help tie the story together. The shots of the landscape or when you’re not paying attention, or things happening around you are all a part of the experience, and our job is to pay attention – not just snap photos.
If you want to learn more about the kind of experience you need with your photographer to achieve those dreamy authentic + candid photos, head to my experience page, where I talk about what the experience is like with me as your photographer! And if you’re interested in having me as your photographer, where I can GUARANTEE, we’ll get you those dreamy story telling photos – then head to my contact page and inquire here!