One of the best things about hiring a documentary photographer is that it requires almost nothing of you on your wedding day. You can just relax and experience your marriage celebrations authentically. You don’t have to pose or stage anything. Instead, you can just get caught up in the swirl of emotions, secure in the knowledge that every important moment is being captured on film. That you will be able to relive those feelings every time you look at your wedding album. However, there is one thing that you can – and should – do to ensure you get unforgettable candid wedding photos. And that is to give your documentary-style wedding photographers access on your wedding day. Giving them the freedom to really be a part of your celebrations – like this couple did for their Northern Virginia Hindu wedding ceremony – will guarantee you get images that really tell your love story.
Before we talk about why giving your photographers access on your wedding day matters, let us explain what it even means to make us a part of your day. We do our best work when we are an integral part of everything that is happening. When we are like a member of your wedding party. So giving us access means letting us in. Allowing us to be there as you’re getting ready and as you say your last goodbyes. Giving us permission to be present even during private moments. Letting us get up close to you to capture the emotions on your face.
So how much access should you give a candid wedding photographer? Ideally, full. Nothing should be off-limits. In more practical terms, though, you should give us as much as you’re comfortable with. Obviously, if you don’t want us there for some of the more private moments, we won’t be. But just remember that the more you let us, the better your wedding photos are going to be.
So why give your documentary-style wedding photographer as much access as possible? Because we’re there to preserve the most emotionally significant moments from your marriage celebrations. And no one knows exactly when those are going to happen. Sure, there are some parts of the day that are almost certain to result in candid wedding photos. Your first kiss, for example. Or your first look. Or when your parents give you a hug at the end of the aisle. But what about all the other little moments that you don’t expect? Like when your friends get you to crack up while getting ready. Or the way your dad brings a tear to your eye when he tells you he loves you just before the ceremony. Or when the best man does something really crazy on the dance floor? If we’re not present at those moments, they will be lost forever.
Access doesn’t just mean more moments preserved. It also allows us to document them in more impactful ways. If you’re comfortable letting us get up close and personal on your wedding day, we can better capture the emotions you experience. A photo of you happily crying while hearing your partner’s vows just won’t be the same if we have to take it from the back of the ceremony. If you can even see the tears sneaking their way down your cheek, the image will feel flat because we can’t get a dramatic angle. In addition, the story it tells will be a little garbled because there will be a lot of other stuff in the frame.
To further illustrate those last two points, imagine what this photo would have looked like if the couple had not let us get close to them during their wedding. Instead of a very dramatic picture of the moment the groom went to tie the mangalsutra around his bride’s neck, they would have received a very flat and dull image. If we were at the back of the ceremony space, we couldn’t have layered the composition the way we did (bride’s face, mangalsutra, groom’s face). So all the dramatic tension would be missing. More importantly, you probably wouldn’t be able to see the joyful smile on her face as the moment played out.
Fortunately, this couple did trust us enough to let us get in close during their Northern Virginia Hindu wedding ceremony. And just as luckily, the space in which they tied the knot was perfect for great candid wedding photos. The Hyatt Regency Dulles has the Garden Terrace and the Gazebo. The former is a unique and lovely outdoor space just next to its front door. Its designers crafted it in such a way that even though it is in a very public area, it feels very secluded. Which makes it the perfect spot for an intimate wedding ceremony. At the far end, the latter adds an extra measure of privacy and keeps the couple out of the Northern Virginia summer sun.
Perhaps the best part – at least for getting a great candid wedding photo like this – is that the gazebo sits a little above the rest of the patio. That allows your documentary wedding photographer to get really dramatic angles of your ceremony. And even better? They can do it without blocking your guests’ view!
Interested in learning more about our services? Please visit our Wedding Photography FAQ page for answers to all your questions! Ready to inquire about our availability on your wedding date? Contact us now to get the conversation started!
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