The Art of the Candid Portrait

Candid Portraits

Most of the time when I meet with couples, they explain to me that they feel most drawn to candid photographs. As a photographer with a background in photojournalism, this was always my favorite approach to weddings, too: observe, intuit, shoot, observe, intuit, shoot. There is no denying the fact that most couples also would like to walk away from their wedding day with beautiful portraits. The challenge is in merging the worlds of photojournalism and portraiture to create portraits that feel authentic and natural instead of stiff and posed. To top it off, because of time or budget constraints, many couples only have a short time period allotted for portraits.

Before every wedding, I sit down with my couples to find out about any anxieties they feel around the camera, ask about their preferences for their couples portraits¬†(camera-aware vs. camera-unaware), and to talk about how they envision displaying their images afterwards. This helps to guide not only the location choices, but also how to interact with the couple during the session and how often to call their attention to the camera. Then, on the wedding day, we’re all set to play! The bride and groom are lucky enough to have another person to engage with while the camera is pointed at them, and we do our best to get them comfortable and laughing (sometimes by any means necessary), only asking them to sneak looks at the camera for very brief moments so that the smiles don’t have time to become uncomfortable.

This almost always results in fun, natural images that look like they couldn’t possibly be staged, but couldn’t possibly have happened naturally, either. For more wedding moments, both posed and candid, feel free to peruse this wedding’s images and more at


Mhari Scott | Weddings for the Creative Soul