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Candid vs Portrait Photography - Which one is better? Or are they both great?

Updated: Apr 19



When you think of portrait photography, chances are — if you're like me — your mind drifts to a more traditional image. Traditionally portraiture offers images full of formality (think families, engaged couples — heck, even business headshots). As a creative business owner and photographer, I don't believe this style is exclusive to portraiture. Now don't get me wrong, it certainly has its place when it comes to weddings; however, I'm a big fan of having variety in my portraits. Today I'll tell you why I think traditional portraiture has its place but also why candid style images are worth considering as well.


When I think of candid portraiture, thinking about a photojournalistic style comes to mind. Candid photography is more spontaneous, less posed, and not as formal.


Your wedding photographs should be an amazing collection of memories and moments, so it's worth it to consider both styles when planning what you want to get from your wedding photographs.


Let's take a look some of the benefits of each style.


Candid Photography:


Your photographer tells the story about you and your partner. This lets your actions guide you, and you both come across naturally. Candid photography is great for capturing people's natural smiles, or the up-close and personal moments. These would be moments like putting on the dress, walking down the aisle, or the first kiss. Another benefit is that you are doing something to take your mind off the camera allowing the real you to be captured.


Portrait Photography:


I love portrait photography. You can create a different mood with lighting and props. I also love that you can get more creative with your shots. Lighting is the second most important thing for creating a photograph (what do you think the first is?) and this type of photography style allows you to take the time with natural light or studio lighting to create the perfect look. You have to stay perfectly still because if you move the slightest bit you can change the mood in the photograph. Probably one of the biggest benefits of portrait photography is that you have control over everything in the photo and if you don't like something you can change it.


Essentially, the comparison between portrait and candid photography is two different types of shooting styles. With portrait photography, you have a very specific plan for each photograph snapped, whereas with candid photography, you let the wedding events unfold naturally and react to the moments that transpire. The combination of the two styles just brings your wedding photos to the next level.

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