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  • Writer's pictureAakash Kale

What is Candid and traditional Photography ?

As a wedding photographer our job is to capture the memories for you on your D'day.

So now, whenever you talk to any of the photography firm about your wedding coverage, they often give you the categories of photography. Mainly as Candid and Traditional.

So what exactly is difference between both of them?

Lets start with traditional Photography :

Traditional Photography is considered to be essential for Indian weddings. Now it comes down to why and what it offers on the plate. Is the camera different ? or flashes are different ? why doesn't the pictures look as good as the candid photography?

(we officially do not believe in both the concepts) Lets start with the basics.

In India Wedding photography scenario is more dependent on the freelancers, the big names you must've heard are doing 3-4 wedding a day and the man power required to pull it off is with no existing firm. So the easiest solution for photographers is to hire a freelancer for a day and pay him for the same day then hiring him as a team-member.

10 years ago when wedding photographers didn't had their hands on full-frame beauties, they had to shoot with inexpensive crop-sensored cameras with a kit-lens.

That created a mindset of shooting in high aperture settings due to poor lenses.

though the demand of clients were to keep everyone in focus, which was only possible with high aperture settings and hence they did their job. Though we have to keep in our mind they weren't paid well for their jobs as people didn't use to spend lot of money of photography back in those days. So, you cannot expect a well educated person to be doing Wedding Photography, the only way to compensate for the higher aperture settings was to use flash and they did, but they had no concept of bouncing the light to make it soft, Instead they flashed on your face ( Which looks horrible ). So why traditional Photography is cheaper compared to candid photography ? well, nowadays everyone uses the same cameras (even traditional photographers) but the lens are really expensive so they're still stuck with the kit-lens which is often 24-105mm F4 L. Though you have to understand only the camera and equipment have changed, not the mind set of using them. their goal is to cover the event, aesthetics comes to the least priority.

Candid Photography :

Here comes the most hyped term ever used in wedding photography scenario in India.

So, how and what is different ? . Well, as you see in every other field there are at-least 2 packages to any service or commodity one is a regular and one is the premium same goes for photography. Photographers were not able to differentiate their services as they had no clue how to explain the difference between using high-end lens and equipment costs they had to bear to give you that beautiful creamy Bokeh everyone talks about. ( though the Composition is always free ) . So there comes a savior called, CANDID Photography. Candid photography is not a genre of photography same as in a music, let alone playing a drum isn't a genre of music its simply all the instruments played on a tune decides the genre. Taking candid shots of the wedding is a photo-journalistic approach to a wedding. You try to capture the real emotions of the wedding. Though where they actually failed is again NOT LEARNING ENOUGH. If you're a programmer you know the hassle of learning a new programming language. but that doesn't mean you have to be stuck with C++ throughout your life. You have to learn new languages like java, Python, Ruby on rails etc, to push your limits and that is how industry grows with competition. The problem started when the so called candid photographers were only using zoom lens with a lower aperture to get laughing face of a person. Initially everyone liked it, but if all your wedding pictures are laughing faces how much can you relive the moments you had on those days?

Photographers have stopped using flashes due to lower aperture on newer lenses.

The lower the aperture of a lens the better it performs in low-light scenarios, also the cameras have been updated so the noise in low-light is also minimal. though that was a huge drawback in my opinion. Flashes are your friend not your enemy (If you can use them wisely ) there is a huge learning scope in flash photography. Whenever you see any good-looking picture of any brand they have used at-least 2-3 flashes to get that stunning image.

But yet it doesn't look as bad as the flash on your phone right? because as a professional you have to understand and learn how to use light. The Major difference between the two is in Candid photography focus more towards aesthetic side of the photography not on the coverage of the event.

What's My take ?

Both Candid and traditional are not any genre of photography unlike Wedding Photography, Fashion Photography, Editorial etc. It is a marketing Gimmick created by photographers. A wedding Photographer's Job is to take whatever comes into his way throughout the day and be flexible. Weather it is a portraiture or a group picture you can use your creativity to make it stand out which is absolutely free of cost. Learn about compositions to frame your subject better and learn to use flash so you can always have it in your tool kit just in case your stuck with no lights whatsoever.

Below are few pictures of an event we've recently covered we do not know what to call it, traditional or candid. Lets see if you can tell us into the comments below :

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