Your Guest Photos – Candid vs. Grip and Grin

Today, I hope to introduce you to a new, fancy photographer’s term.  The famous (or infamous) grip-and-grin photo.  When planning to photograph a corporate event, I’ll always ask my event planner whether they want candid photos, grip-and-grins or a mixture of both.  If this is the first time we’ve worked together, they’ll often not know the difference between the two.  So let’s start there.


Candid event photography helps to tell the story of your event.  When taking candid photos, I normally stand further away from my subject and photograph them interacting naturally.  The subject should not know they are being photographed.  In order to be great at candid photography, you’ve got to be patient and observant.  You’ve got to study your subject and know when something interesting is just about to happen.  Then you’ve got to capture the moment at just the right time.  I’ve always thought my background in event planning has made me better at candid photography.  I’ve been studying guests at special events for decades!


Grip-and-grin photos (or more formally called posed photos) are the exact opposite of candid images.  Posed photos require the photographer to approach the guests and ask if they would like to have their photo taken.  The guests will be smiling (hopefully) and looking right into the camera.  These may seem more straight forward than candid images, but they require their own set of skills.  The photographer will need to study the scene and choose the guests who would want their photo taken.  They also have to (in a very short amount of time) elicit a natural smile from the guest in order to create a great posed photo.  There is nothing worse than an image of an uncomfortable guest who has no desire to have their photo taken.


How do you choose what is best for your event?  You can answer this by thinking about how you plan to use the images.  Candid photos work great if you are using the images to  advertise the success of your event, tell the story of your event, or perhaps promote next year’s event.  Those images will tell a story to your viewers.  Below are some great examples.


If your images are mainly for the guests who are attending, posed photos may be best.  Perhaps they want a keepsake of the event or they look forward to seeing themselves in the company newsletter.



You’ll also want to consider your guests.  Will they enjoy having their photo taken or will they want to avoid it?  Most clients find they’d like a mixture of the two.  As a result, you’ll want to hire a photographer who is skilled at both.  It’s important to look at you perspective corporate photographer’s Corporate Event Photography to make sure their style and skill set fits with your preferences.

About the Author:
Photography by Nikki Cole is a full service corporate and commercial photography studio. We provide professional head shots and portraiture in studio or on location, architecture and product imaging as well as special event coverage.

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