Storytelling Images vs Snapshots in Candid Wedding Photography

Storytelling Images vs Snapshots in Candid Wedding Photography

Candid. Documentary. Photojournalist. Reportage. Natural. The list of terms used by wedding photographers is endless these days. All of these terms describe a style of photography. But what exactly do they mean? The terms refer to a genre of photography that imply images shot with the subjects either camera unaware or if they are aware, not acknowledging the presence of the photographer, not “performing” for the photographer. Candid: (of a photograph of a person) taken informally, especially without the subject’s knowledge. Synonyms: unposed, uncontrived, impromptu Once you use this definition, you’d see that many images being passed off as “candid” are really created with the direct intervention/direction of the photographer – through posing of the subject. Having got that out of the way, in the genre of documentary/reportage, there are images that are snapshots and images that are storytelling. A good photojournalist/ documentary photographer is not just looking at the scene in front of him. She’s looking at the story that’s before her. The difference between storytelling images vs snapshots is best explained with a series of images. Here’s a scene of a group of youngsters practising for a sangeet night dance performance. This first image is what would be called a snapshot. It “describes” the scene in a most basic, fundamental way. Through the image we know who’s practising and the location – an apartment room. Now this second image would pass off as a “candid” image. It’s taken with a longer lens so backgrounds are blurred and focus is on the subject. A lot of photographers today call themselves candid. But the photography in their portfolio is...