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So you’re engaged and you’re starting to plan & pin and save inspo photos you hope to see at your wedding. You’re searching for a documentary-style, natural light wedding photographer in Austin because that’s an important part of your wedding day style but all you come up with are overly staged, fake moments from wedding photographers that LOOK candid. Of course, you want amazing portraits of you + your partner but what about the rest of the day?

I’ll give you a little secret from someone who’s been photographing weddings for over 10 years:

the best moments are the ones that happen organically.

Yep. That means you just have to let go of your shot list and “must haves at your wedding” and listen to your photographer. In 10 years of photographing weddings, I can pinpoint some of my favorite sections of the day and how to get the best candid wedding photos on your big day.

flower girl wearing a flower crown and fluffy dress with her face in a fuzzy white pillow at a wedding in round top
This is how I look when I get home from an 8 or 10 hour wedding day. This photo was completely unstaged. I just happened to walk into the bridal suite and capture this. Our flower girl here is a total mood tbh. This is one of my favorite candids from 2021.

I LOVE STARTING THE DAY SLOWLY

Getting ready is the most exciting and glam part of the day! Anywhere the natural light is good with room to move around your hair and makeup artist is my ideal situation. The bigger the window, the softer and more flattering the light. I also love this time because I enjoy getting to know your wedding party and family in a relaxed, laid-back way which means lots of fun laughing shots! Austin has a ton of Airbnbs or if you’re looking for a more turn-key experience, book a hotel suite with lots of space for everyone!

bridesmaid getting her makeup done
Big window = soft, flattering light.
bride getting ready with mom at lucky arrow retreat

LET’S DANCE

Y’all should know this but a boring wedding is one where no one dances. So get on the dance floor and shake your thing. Your guests are more inclined to be on the dance floor too if the newlyweds are too. A wedding band does a great job of keeping the energy and dance floor going since they can engage with the crowd more easily than a DJ. Guests love the interaction and it makes them feel like they’re at a concert, hearing some old favorites. A busy dance floor with a lot of energy is a candid gold mine.

a female guest shimmies towards the camera at a Dallas wedding reception. How to get the best candid wedding photos.
Bands are good to keep the energy up if you’re not always wearing your dancing shoes.
bride laughing while confetti falls in front of her at her wedding in dripping springs, texas
Surprise confetti drop in the middle of the dance floor is 10000% a great decision.
candid wedding photography tips, how to get the best candid wedding photos, grandma and bride share a moment at a wedding
wedding dance floor getting litty with cowboy hats and party girls, candid wedding reception photos
Dance floor props! Sustainable tip: reuse the ones from your bachelorette party!
how to get the best candid wedding photos, four seasons wedding Austin
Feather boas are always fun for shimmying and shaking it on the dance floor at your wedding.

Final Thoughts:

Just remember: things go wrong (and will!), imperfect IS perfect. Don’t stress. Allow yourself to be open to suggestions from your vendors, your photographer especially, and let yourself enjoy your wedding day after months and months of planning! Leave some room in the timeline for those moments to naturally happen. I can’t capture the in-between moments as well as the bigger ones if I’m taking staged photos all day.

These tips are just a small portion of what I go over in my wedding guide with couples. If you’re looking for a storytelling, documentary-style Austin wedding photographer who’s super helpful and feels like an old friend then send me an email to check your date!

two brides holding pink and white bouquets scrunch their noses while posing cheek to cheek at a spring wedding in Austin, texas
sometimes fun candids happen during portrait time and I love that just as much as the dance floor or any other part of the wedding day.

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