Life is found in the candids

When the hubs and I got married (almost 16 years ago!) we had no idea what we were doing. We just knew that we loved each other, and that this wedding was on our own dime. We had friends who were getting married about six weeks after us who were older and presumably wiser, so we copied them on a few things. Like, where I bought my dress. And where I got it altered. And who did our flowers. And who did our wedding photography.  Basically we had their wedding on a much smaller scale, six weeks before they did. Ha!

Our wedding photographer was this middle-aged guy who lived and officed out in the boondocks and except for the part where he offered to take boudoir photos of me as a wedding gift to my future husband (um, no thank you!), he seemed like a pretty stand-up guy with a good portfolio. Also, he wasn’t too expensive, which was pretty important. On the day of our wedding, Tim the photographer was there with his wife. Tim had the color camera and took all our wedding photos. His wife was in the background with a black and white camera, just taking photos of whatever. We had all the standard photos taken, and it was a beautiful 72 degree in Round Rock, Texas, three days before Christmas. Tim even provided the added benefit of keeping us on schedule and telling my mother “NO” when she tried to insist on getting photos of my family and me without the groom. Go, Tim! I knew I liked you!

After the wedding we of course jetted off on our honeymoon and at some point after we got home, we received our wedding album from Tim. He also included an envelope of all the black and white candid photos that his wife had taken. Now, no offense to Tim, because he did what we hired him to do, but… the candid photographs that his wife took were my absolute favorite. All the prettily posed pictures of me and my new husband and our wedding party and families were lovely, but the ones the non-photographer took when no one was looking? They are priceless.

Isn’t that how life is? Life is what is happening in the candids. The photos taken when we aren’t saying “cheese!” or checking our hair before the shutter clicks. The ones where we are just doing our thing, and someone captures that moment perfectly with a camera. Without planning or premeditation. Just a quick aim and a click. My best (and least stressful!) photos of my kids have always been when we are just having fun, not when I’m telling them to sit still and look at the camera and smile. The same is true of our home videos. The best ones are just impromptu recordings of our life. And isn’t that what we want to preserve for posterity? The real?

So, here’s to the mess! Here’s to the imperfect! Here’s to grandma saying “Happy New Year!” in your wedding video! Here’s to memory-making in real life! Because that’s where life is lived… in the candids.


~ Aly D.

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