Documentary, Reportage, Photojournalism
Documentary wedding photography
What is it?
Is it right for you?
If you’ve started the process of looking for a wedding photographer then “documentary wedding photography”, also known as reportage and photojournalism, are terms that you’ve probably already come across. But what do they mean exactly and how do they differ from other styles of wedding photography. In a nutshell documentary wedding photography is about telling the story of your day in pictures.
But aren’t you all documentary wedding photographers? I agree, it might seem like that at times, but there’s an important distinction to be made, I believe, between a photographer that captures lots of “candid” shots, and a true documentary photographer with the skill to watch, wait, listen, pre-visualise a shot, and capture the moment.
Great documentary wedding photography avoids gimmicky camera techniques and focuses on creating emotional storytelling images.
- Thank you so much for visiting my site! On this page I want to explain some of the myths around documentary wedding photography, and help you make the right decision when hiring a photographer for your own wedding.
- I hope you find it really useful and you enjoy the pictures to! If you have any questions I’d love to hear from you, and if you’d like to check my availability for your wedding date, then even better!
A bit of history…
Photographs can be seen as giving the viewer information about the world we live in. In that sense, photography is regarded as being an objective visual record of what has been at the precise moment in time in front of the lens. The camera could be thought of as just a mechanical object, unable to interpret the world in the same way that an artist might with a paintbrush.
The word “Reportage” according to the dictionary is defined as the act or technique of describing in detail an event. Within photography, reportage involves telling a single story over time through the help of composition, lighting, exposure and sequence. When photography was first invented, cameras were large and heavy objects requiring a tripod and long exposure times. For this reason the resulting photographs were very static in nature, as the photographer was both unable to respond quickly and movement within the image couldn’t be captured.
With the invention of lighter cameras photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa were able capture the candid moment as they took their cameras onto the street and to war. Taking ever increasing numbers of images as events would unfold in front of them, without the need for posing and staging. Authentic photographs taken of real events is the key aspiration of a documentary photographer and documentary wedding photography.
How to find the right photographer for YOU!
- Documentary wedding photography is about creating a set of storytelling images that not only tell you what happened on your wedding day, but remind you of what it felt like to be there.
- Always meet with your photographer before the wedding. It’s important that they have the opportunity to explain how they work, and that you’re onboard with the documentary approach. The ability to listen is also a really important skill for a photographer if they’re going to be able to create a meaningful set of pictures.
- A skilled documentary photographer will not only capture the big moments in the day, but will also be able to empathise with family and friends and the seemingly fleeting in-between moments that make your wedding unique.
- Make sure you look beyond the home page of a photographer’s website. Look at recent blog posts, which is the best place to understand a photographer’s vision and their consistency throughout the wedding day.
- It’s important to me that my approach to documentary wedding photography allows you both to be in the moment, being yourselves, and enjoying your day.
- Having your photographer do some “getting ready” shots is a great way to help everyone relax. Also make sure to have a conversation about group photos and portraits before the big day, so that nobody is stressing on the day, and Mum and Dad are happy!
“Photography isn’t just my job, I LOVE what I do and I feel strongly that every couple and every wedding I photograph is unique.”
GETTING FANTASTIC DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
I hope you’ve found this page helpful in deciding whether documentary wedding photography is right for you. If you book me as your wedding photographer I promise to produce for you a set of wedding photos that you will treasure, and I’ll work with you to make sure I know exactly who and what is most important to you.
All of this is useful for you to bear in mind, but it’s only meant as advice. If you’re planning a wedding then check out my portfolio and some of my favourite venues Northbrook Park, RHS Wisley, Ramster Hall.
…and if you think you might like to book me for your wedding photography then get in touch I’d love to hear from you!