Documentary Style Wedding Photography
Why do I love this style? What exactly is and isn’t documentary style wedding photography?
I fell in love with this photography style while I was studying over 20 years ago. Ever since I started shooting weddings in 2011, it has been a natural part of my photography storytelling. In these past two decades, I have seen so many photography terms being warped and misused to the point they bear only little semblance to their original meaning. Trust me, no industry represents this more than wedding photography, and no term more so than ‘documentary wedding photography’!
As the years passed, couples started looking for creative alternatives to the ‘traditional wedding photographer’. Photographers responded in a way that they started using zooms lenses, removing themselves from the wedding and shooting from as far as possible, or documentary-style! Today that image typically describes a photographer just draped in cameras, shooting frantically headshots like a paparazzi, making isolated black and white portraits.
Well, I would like to clear things up and put them in the right perspective! Contrary to its terrible misuse, documentary wedding photography is an unobtrusive style of wedding photography. With this style, you are not required to pose, instead, it includes minimal direction. That will allow you and your guests to relax and enjoy the nuptial celebration without thinking about the cameras. Yet despite there being a minimal direction, as professionals, we are skilled to deliver imagery that is full of life, natural emotions and narrate your love story perfectly.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY DOCUMENTARY
Often, the term ‘documentary wedding photographer’ is intertwined with either ‘reportage wedding photographer’ or ‘wedding photojournalist’ – but in all of their essence, they are the same. The most important thing is that when used correctly, this is an observational and unobtrusive approach to photographing your wedding day.
For me, the most important thing about your wedding day is your enjoyment and to have a ‘hands-off’ experience as much as possible. My single purpose is to capture the whole story while letting you be completely immersed in what will be the most iconic chapter of your whole life. When you are relaxed and not thinking about anything except sharing your joy, as a result, the photographs will portray your genuine actions and reactions, filled with emotions. I visually showcase what was felt and not just what was seen.
To further clear the confusion, unobtrusive does not mean I will be shooting from afar with a telephoto lens. The true essence of documentary-style wedding photography is focused on almost anticipating all the happenings before they actually happen, and then recording the most genuine moments. Furthermore, connection plays a great part. When it comes to my approach, I love removing all barriers between me and the party and getting to know your guests. It is all about how they will react to a moment or a conversation, who may cry at a speech, laugh at jokes, who is going to own the dance floor first! All those precious moments that will complete your wedding day photography. When truly mastered, it is a collection of individual images that will adorn your memory with heartfelt honesty and authenticity.
Documented wedding images will always tell you what is happening, the emotion, the feel, the beauty of that moment – without actually requiring a verbal explanation! Images that have the power to transport you back to that precise day, to relive it vividly just by taking a glance.
MY DOCUMENTARY STYLE
Documenting a wedding is a beautiful combination of stunning imagery, infused with timeless elegance and embellished with the most heartfelt emotions that you will experience throughout the day. As a storyteller does, I will visually inscribe your whole loving tale through artistic and unobtrusive photography, transforming your memories into treasured heirlooms. Emotional keepsakes with the power to transport you back in time with a heartwarming impact.
I have loved this style for over 20 years and feel genuinely honoured to have been chosen to document such personal events in this manner. Photo documentaries that create a world of their own, with life, authentic energy and emotion that I pour while shooting. I adore ensnaring those fleeting moments. All those in-between things, born from heartfelt emotions and nuances that are unique to each couple, family and celebration.
Along with my work, I have built a bond with my couples with whom I have remained good friends. I have been a witness of how my photos still continue to bring them so much joy, even after a decade. That is what makes my heart tick, what inspires me, what gives love to each shot I take. Trends may come and go, but the portraiture of real emotions will never go out of style. It is timeless.
My purpose as a documentary wedding photographer is to always evoke a reaction and create something more than just a beautiful image. I tailor my documentary coverage towards how your wedding story unravels and not just capturing regimented formal family photographs.
To summarise what my style as a documentary wedding photographer is:
A STORYTELLER – photographing a collection of images specially curated to narrate your wedding day. Each of them works on its own and depicts candid observed moments with their own chapter, and not just isolated headshots.
CANDID AND AUTHENTIC – focuses on the heartfelt honesty of the emotions, showcasing every individual story in its own unique way.
MINIMUM DIRECTION – everything is natural and never forced, without posing.
A NARRATIVE – captured within context to narrate your love story.
TELLING without EXPLAINING – the photographs are clear in their purpose, showing the story without any need to explain. Representing an honest and beautiful emotion that can be felt with a mere glance.
It is the art of capturing moments that you didn’t see that day that complete the whole story. Creating a faithful documentary record of the emotions lived through your wedding and revolving around all present. Each documentary wedding photographer has a unique and personal interpretation, therefore it is a highly subjective and wide-ranging discipline which can be done in many different ways. However, ultimately – it is always about honest storytelling.