In the most simple of terms, I’m a documentary wedding photographer. You may have noticed a trend in your quest to find a photographer terms like documentary, photojournalism and reportage get used… a lot! You then click through to a website to see it is full of staged and posed images, featuring the odd candid photograph. That, my friend, is not what I call documentary story-telling.
None of that really matters as long as you trust your photographer and you love the images they produce. Documentary wedding photography, or any other term used to describe natural story-telling images, for me is all about capturing the moment, the emotions and energy of the day without staging anything, posing anyone, setting up moments or shouting directions.
What I’d like to tell you in a no nonsense fashion is exactly what you can expect from the images I produce and how I go about getting them.
You can read on my About page that I like to think of myself as a documentary wedding photographer that captures moments candidly and as they happen. In essence, on the day I’m just a guy with a camera taking photos at your wedding without asking anything of you. I’m trying to take photos of the smaller details, those fractions of moments in time that speak of something meaningful. These collectively make the story of your day. Capturing these sort of images doesn’t mean I’ll be lurking in the bushes with a long lens on, paparazzi style! Sometimes the opposite to that is required and I’ll be shooting at very close quarters. I’ll be conversing with guests and getting in amongst the action. I want you to look back at your photos and feel like you’re there once again.
I won’t be turning up with a preconceived vision for your day. Every wedding is as unique as you are. I simply want to capture that uniqueness for you through my eyes.
every wedding is as unique as you are…
Because nothing about my approach is set up or staged some couples may be concerned there won’t be any images of them alone looking all loved up. Newsflash- at no point are you and your partner going to be alone on your wedding day. Ok so you will be when you go to bed, maybe. Throughout the day you are surrounded by your family and friends, and everyone wants a piece of the action. You’re going to be celebrities!
So what I suggest couples do is take a short amount time away from the crowd. It’s a great time to reflect on being just married before heading back to the world of stardom. I never ask my couples to go for a photo shoot on the day. Instead I suggest they create some ‘alone’ time and I use that as an opportunity to capture the two of them together.
If you decide to plan just 10-15 minutes alone together, perhaps take a short walk, there’s no posing and little direction from me, it’s all about you guys enjoying the moment together. I’ll be looking for interesting backdrops and compositions, emotions, humour and always seeking awesome light. I never ask for too much of your time, I try to work quick so I can get you back to your family and friends.
As for group photos, I always suggest keeping them to a minimum and doing immediate family only (parents, grandparents, wedding party). It’s worth bearing in mind that they can be quite time consuming as more often than not, someone is missing, in most cases in the loo or found propping up the bar!
I am at my most creative when left to wander around the wedding capturing those fun and natural shots of you and your guests. A wedding full of group shots detracts from my ability to create these type of images. I appreciate that most weddings have some form of formal photography; it is a wedding after all and Mother wants that family pic for her mantle piece! That’s fine, but I do keep formals to a minimum.
Now that you hopefully have a little more of an insight into my approach please have a look around my site. You can read more about my thoughts on what is documentary style wedding photography or why not check out my best alternative wedding photography moments from last year?