My approach to photographing weddings is often called documentary / reportage / natural photography. As a documentary wedding photographer I believe in telling the story of your wedding. Even the smallest moments tell big stories. I like my photos to capture who a person really is, and how you would remember them.
Most photographers websites will mention words like documentary, reportage and natural and of course every wedding has parts of the day; such as the ceremony that are always photographed in a documentary way. However, I believe that documentary coverage is not just part of the day, for me it’s what weddings are all about. Photographing in a truly candid way allows me to tell your story and not become part of it. The day is not about me, it’s about you, your friends, family and all the details that make your day yours. I concentrate on the natural moments with a passion for capturing the scene without affecting or controlling it.
Moments like this are what I love to capture in my documentary wedding photography style: (press play!)
Real moments, Real people
Couples who want to spend their day enjoying it with their guests, don’t want to be stressed thinking about what the next photos are and what they need to do might be interested in a documentary photographer. They enjoy each moment and I capture it as it happens. Nothing fake and nothing posed, just real moments of real people. As family plays such an important part in a wedding it is understandable that some family formal photos or couples portraits may be needed. When I do photograph these, it’s always relaxed and I will often cover weddings without any posed moments at all. I say I am the photographer for couples who hate to pose and I carry that with how I approach each wedding. I want the wedding photos I take to transport people back to that moment. Documentary wedding photography allows for that emotions and feeling to show through.
Documentary wedding photography allows me to capture people acting as themselves. Not interfering or controlling each moment allows couples and their guests to relax and act like themselves. This leads to natural images. I feel as soon as I move, pose or ask you to smile I am changing the moment and people act differently. Below you can see some examples of my style at different stages of the wedding day.
What’s different about my style and who is it for?
I have photographed weddings from small elopements with 6 guests to large Asian weddings with over 300 guests. The important thing for me is that my couples like my style and want documentary coverage. The moments that make your wedding unique to you are the people and this is what I look for at weddings. Whilst I focus on people, emotions and moments I know the details are an important part of the day. I still photograph the cake, venue, table details and everything, just in my candid, documentary style.
Memories you didn’t even notice
The great thing about photographing weddings in a documentary style is people often forget they are being photographed. This allows for images you didn’t even realise were being taken. So much happens on your wedding day and I love delivering a gallery knowing you will relive the day and moments you didn’t see the first time. The more comfortable you and your guests feel, the more that will show in the photos. I hope the documentary wedding photos on this page have made you what to be at that wedding, and create feelings of laughter, happiness and love; after all that’s what weddings are about!
Documentary Wedding Photography
Here are my top 5 tips to look out for if you are considering a documentary wedding photographer.
- Do your research; as I mentioned a lot of photographers will mention the words ‘documentary wedding photographer’ on their website, but do their images match? Do a lot look posed? Ask to look through some full weddings.
- There are organisations out there who specialise in documentary photographers. Such as PKIR or This is Reportage, take a look at my profiles on those, read the advice on those sites.
- Meet your photographer; in person or via Skype / Facetime, you want to make sure you feel relaxed with them. If the whole point of having a documentary photographer is to be relaxed on your day then you have to feel that with your photographer!
- Ask yourself why you want a documentary wedding photographer, then remember that throughout your wedding planning, and on the day. Just relax and enjoy the wedding. Trust that your photographer will capture all the small and big moments that make your wedding unique.
- There are so many different photographers out there from traditional to purely documentary and everything in between! That’s a benefit to you as you have a vast choice. Just be sure that when you hire a photographer, if you are looking for documentary then that’s what you are getting.