Karen Khuc

June 2, 2023

How to Get Effortlessly Cool and Candid Photos on Your Wedding Day

My Journal

If you’re getting married soon, I’m sure you’ve already started turning to social media for inspiration. And if you’ve already landed on WeddingTok, then you’ve seen all of those effortlessly cool and candid wedding photos that you most definitely want in your own wedding gallery. In this blog, I’ll be explaining exactly how to get those types of photos – there’s a lot more that goes into it than you might think! By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to show up and show out in front of the camera on your big day. 

Get comfortable in front of the camera + know your angles 

The first step in getting those effortlessly cool and candid wedding photos is actually being comfortable in front of the camera. There’s no way to look effortless if you’re stressing about how it’s going to turn out! The thing that some people don’t realize is that the majority of the “cool girls” you see on social media look cool because they’re in front of the camera… A LOT. They’ve had hours of practice taking photos and filming videos, which means they’re familiar with what they love (and don’t love) about themselves. If you have certain insecurities, don’t be afraid of them! Instead, be aware of the angles, features, and poses that make you feel confident as fuck. Capitalize on those while you’re in front of the camera and your charisma will show!

A perfect way to get in some practice being in front of the camera is having an engagement shoot. Obviously, there is way less pressure during your engagement session vs your wedding day, so use that opportunity to have fun and let loose! Work with your photographer to bring that cool, candid vision to life through your engagement photos and you’ll be much more comfortable on your actual wedding day. This is the perfect opportunity to see how your photographer works, their posing/prompting style, and how they can bring certain things out of you. Basically, your engagement sesh is meant to see what the vibe is and be a little sneak peek into your wedding day!

Get in touch with me here to book an engagement shoot!

Give your photographer permission to direct you and have fun!

Spoiler alert: those cool + candid photos aren’t actually always candid! Especially if you’re not used to being photographed on a regular basis, that “effortless” look might not come naturally to you. And that’s totally okay! That’s where I come in; a photographer who will help create those candid moments and guide you through prompts to get the desired results. You have the responsibility of giving me permission to guide you and to be open to following my direction during certain parts of your wedding day. With documentary-style wedding photography, there are moments when the photographer wouldn’t step in and would simply let the moments unfold. However, if you’re wanting the cool and candid vibes for that specific moment, be sure to ask your photographer for ideas or direction. When you openly communicate, I guarantee you’ll get the exact type of photos you asked for!

Even when your photographer does guide you, be sure to have FUN during your prompts and poses. The best effortless yet emotional photos come out when you’re being silly with your partner and not taking the photos too seriously. Make faces, crack jokes, laugh your ass off – anything that feels fun will look great on camera. Along the same line, don’t be so worried about the camera that you forget to interact with your partner. The whole point of wedding photos is to capture the natural chemistry between you two! React and respond how you normally would if the camera wasn’t even there. Let your partner bring out the best in you and vice versa!

Channel your inner “IT Girl”

When you’re in front of the camera, you better believe that the world revolves around YOU. Confidence is key to getting the effortlessly cool and candid photos, so that’s what you have to embody! Show up as your highest self, channel your inner IT Girl, and don’t give a fuck about what the people around you might think. Your photographer (me!) will do their absolute best to make you feel comfortable and safe enough to show up as Her, but you’ve got to meet them halfway. When you know you’re the shit and you start to embody that mentality, you won’t need to try to get cool and candid photos. That’s where the “effortless” comes in! Your photographer will capture the confidence and charisma that you naturally start to exude when you embody this attitude. 

And don’t forget… you look hot AF on your wedding day! You’re dressed to the nines, your hair and makeup is on point, and you’ve got your boo by your side. If that doesn’t you reason enough to channel your inner IT Girl, I don’t know what will!

Choose a photographer who can bring out your authenticity

This one’s important, because if you’re not in love with your photographer, you’ll most likely have trouble getting these specific types of photos. Choose a wedding photographer who can bring out your confidence and authenticity so that you only have to worry about being yourself! A part of this is knowing what you need in order to feel comfortable. Do you need a little more prompting and direction because you don’t have much experience in front of the camera? Or do you need your photographer to tap into their words of affirmation and verbally hype you up the whole time? Know yourself and communicate openly with your photographer in the months leading up to your wedding day. 

If you’d like to get to know me a little better, visit my ‘About’ page!

The difference between documentary, and editorial photography

Unless you’re familiar with the photography industry, you might not know that the type of photographer is crucial to getting the effortless photos that still retain emotion. There are several different styles of wedding photography, but I specifically want to focus on documentary and editorial. 

Documentary photographers tend to shy away from any poses or prompts and capture the day as it naturally unfolds. This style in itself is great, and lots of couples would prefer their photographer to be a total fly on the wall on their wedding day! This type of photographer will still pose you during times like family photos or wedding portraits, but will most of the time suggest more purely candid prompts and aren’t super well-versed in editorial posing. As great as this style is, it doesn’t necessarily always look effortlessly cool. This is because most of the time, our clients aren’t models! As I mentioned before, you’ll need to let your photographer guide you with prompts in order to get the desired look in your photos. If you hire a strictly documentary-style photographer, be sure to take a good look at their portfolio to see if they have any editorial-looking shots. Pay attention to how they pose their couples to ensure it aligns with the vision you have for your photos! Some photographers label themselves as “documentary” for simplicity purposes, so go by their portfolio instead of their title and you’ll be good to go. 

On the other hand, editorial-style photographers are on the opposite end of the spectrum. This style is heavily seen in the beauty and fashion industry with heavily posed photos that have a very specific shot in mind. Most of the time, editorial photographers are well-versed in candid photos because their clients are trained models that know how to pose themselves. Having this type of expertise does give the ‘cool’ factor, but it can sometimes look a little too posed or forced for regular couples who aren’t professional models. Your couples’ portraits might lean too editorial and won’t have enough natural, candid-looking moments. Some couples absolutely love editorial wedding photography, but again, pay special attention to their portfolio if you want the effortlessly cool and candid photos. All photographers have a wide range of skills and usually don’t fit under just one label! 

This brings me to the type of photographer you should be looking for; one who is well-versed in both of these styles of photography. Being able to blend documentary and editorial is crucial to getting the cool and candid wedding photos. Your photographer will need to know when to prompt you and when to stand back, when to adjust you, and when to let you do your thing. This type of photographer will go for more of an organic and soft approach to editorial photography, which results in candid-looking photos of you looking effortlessly chic while still retaining all of your natural wedding-day emotions.  

Ready to have your effortlessly cool and candid wedding photos?

Hell yeah, you are! If you’re ready to meet me, you can inquire via my contact form to see if we’re a match. You can expect a response from me within 72 hours! Until then, be sure to check out some of my most recent work up on the blog. 

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