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Candid vs. Traditional Photography — What You Need to Know

Do you know the difference between candid and traditional photography?

Candid wedding photography refers to pictures taken when the people involved are unaware that their pictures are being taken. The photographer takes pictures on the fly, simply by altering the scene. On the other hand, traditional photography is a style of photography wherein we all look at the camera and say “cheese”.

In this post, we’ll look at both these styles of photography and compare them side by side, so you can get a better idea  about what each one involves (and which one you might prefer):

Capturing the Moment

Candid photography is a blend of the old and the new. Since the pictures are captured when most people are unaware, the postures and the expressions on their faces are very natural and often lively. This is the priceless advantage of a well-captured candid picture — sometimes even making its cost higher than a more traditional photograph.

However, as much as the photographer might try, it may not be possible to capture the right frame. In such cases, traditional photography is best suited to create the perfect scene to capture the moment.

Picture Quality

Traditional photographers generally focus on posed pictures with standard poses in the majority of events. This gives the photographer plenty of time to focus on the subjects so that they look super sharp standing behind a perfectly staged venue or background. This will result in a perfect crystal-clear picture.

Candid photography can be considered more of an art, wherein the photographer does not just have to take multiple clicks but also has to make the right judgment of when and where to focus to get the accurate sharpness and clarity of the photo.

Wedding Pictures

The way the photographer sets up the scene for the photo, and makes the decision to click the picture is really what differentiates a candid and traditional wedding photo. Key aspects include the choice of ambiance and the use of light. Although candid wedding photography is a happening trend, and can truly capture a light moment, a smile or a glance exchanged by the couple, there are several reasons why traditional photography also needs to be included to be part of the wedding album.

For example, traditional photography is best suited to capture the entire family attending the wedding in their beautiful attire, the couple posing for a dance or just to capture all the guests with the couple, as they come to wish them.

Scene and Subject

Another important point is that although candid photographers will use the same equipment as traditional photographers, they may not view the subject and the background scene in the same way.

For example, both will make use of the camera’s flashlight and natural light in different ways. Also, even though both styles will use colour tempering, their perception of the picture will be different, resulting in a different post-processing of images.


In traditional photography, the photographer’s approach can be considered formal, informal or based on a set formula that has been used and has worked well in the past. However, in the case of candid photography, the approach will be more informal and the photographer has lots of room to take pictures in a more creative and unique way. They are therefore able to capture a mix of all moods, emotions, feelings and even the shades of people involved in the picture.

So, which one should you choose?

Well, it really depends. There are photographers who specialize in both styles. Your best pick would ideally be a photographer who offers both types of photography. Most importantly, do not hire two different photographers, one for candid and one for traditional, as this could lead to a conflict in each fighting for space and poses.

The key point to note is that before selecting a photographer make sure you have viewed their online profile, and better still, met them personally and like their work.

Not sure which photography style is the best for your event? Give us a no-obligation call today to discuss what will work best for you!

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