We all are narcissists, at least in secret. Whoever thinks otherwise is living in denial. Well, don’t tell me you don’t do a mental jig every time you have a good hair day or when suddenly the mirror seems to tell you that you are fashionable. It is not the narcissism that’s bothersome, we have all been there, done that. But the heights to which we seem to be reaching, that’s something! Since I am in the range of “that right age” that the bane of a society tags you with, I have seen a lot of weddings (including mine) and wedding invitations doing their rounds in 2014-2015. And hence the mad rush to schedule photo shoots, book the dates of photographers etc.. And afterwards the psychic state of mind to get them developed and edited (You wouldn’t want a hair out of place, would you?) and then… what else, let me think, Oh! uploading them on FB. I am no exception here because I too wanted to be a part of it and would have done all of these if my marriage had been the conventional one. People who know my story know that my marriage was an oxymoron – Every bit conventional but then again every bit unconventional 😛 So I would be a hypocrite if I said that I am holier than thou. I wouldn’t have done the FB bit because I am not on FB but then I would have done every other part of it.Thankfully(This is where I thank my stars and everything else), I did not get the chance to do it. I got the lesson without having to attend the class.
Well, I have observed a lot to safely say that nowadays all kinds of photography, especially for a wedding, are termed candid. Yes, there is no more clicks that are like those pics that you saw in your parents’ wedding album. But do we know the meaning of candid? Check Wiki’s definition of Candid Photography here:
Image Source : Screen Grab from Google search of ‘Candid’
You cannot do the “without subject’s knowledge” in a wedding picture obviously and that’s fine. But then you cannot call it candid either. And do you think the bride and groom would not notice/remember that the camera’s clicking away throughout the ceremony? One part of their mind will be busy arranging their facial features so that they get decent clicks all the way, while the other part is busy looking up in the directory, how the aunty in the red saree is related? They would have to answer when the (in)famous question is uttered no?
“Congrats beta, I saw you when you were this little, Do you remember me?”
“Of Course I don’t, you just said it. I was this little when you saw me.”
So my point is, when the photographer is asking you to pose every bit since that is indeed the finest day of your life, how can you call it candid? You can go to parks, empty roads and villages and pose like you are all one with the nature for your shoots. But the truth is you are posing (consciously or sub-consciously) for a click. And posing for a click makes it the opposite of candid. I have seen all rosy smiles in post-wedding shoots and the albums put up in FB for some friends to like and for others to go green in jealousy but in reality, the couple were having a tough time adjusting to each other. Especially in arranged marriages, a lot of disagreements crop up once the honey moon period is over. Because, that’s when you wake up and face the reality. You run a household, catch up with work, take care of in-laws and do grown-up stuff with this new person. That’s when you realize, all this while you have been on cloud nine and you are slowly landing on earth. It happens in love marriages too because the role of a girlfriend/boyfriend is much easier than that of a wife/husband. Taking up responsibility is new and it would bring you face to face with reality, whether you like it or not.
Okay, now let me get to another point. Everyone cannot be photogenic and we know that. We all have our pitfalls. So when a person who is not so good with the camera and goes like Chandler in front of one, what would you do? Take my hubby for example. Although he is not as bad as Chandler, he cannot fake a smile/pose for the life of him. But when he does smile, he’s awesome. So if we choose candid clicks for him, then I would end up with a smiling me and a very uncomfortable him by my side [Which is what kinda happened to us]. Since I couldn’t entirely get out of this candid click mania and also since our photographer insisted that we pose ‘candidly’ because nowadays everyone does only candeeeed potograpy, we did what we had to do. But the bottom line is we never bothered about it. We ended up having a big laugh over the pics and then gave the albums to our parents to continue the routine of showing to every relative visiting us.
We couldn’t care! Heck, I know the guy for more than 2 decades and have been in a relationship for more than a decade! Do you think your camera can capture his expressions more candidly than my eyes? I can still remember how he looked every moment on our wedding day without even seeing the album. So spending thousands on wedding photography is more because the photographer handles the camera much better than you and he knows how to edit the pics to make you look like you want to look. It is NOT because the photo is candid. So please oh please, accept THAT. Relive the moments and not the poses. Bring out all the smiles not just for putting up on social media but for yourselves. And if you want a nice click to freeze that moment for you, go ahead and do it. I am not against preserving memories, I have preserved a truck load of them in form of pictures, video and audio recordings. Just don’t label them candid when they are not. Smile for yourself, not for the world!
Until later 🙂
P.S: This post is not to trash wedding photography, I understand it is also someone’s livelihood and even I have a few friends who make a living out it. This post is just to drive home the point that what is termed as Candid photography is not the case everywhere. And that spending thousands on it just to satisfy peer pressure is not worth it. If you don’t like it… Well, I can’t do anything about it. I probably won’t, even if I can.