I talk a lot about being a documentary wedding photographer. You could also call it a reportage wedding photographer or a photojournalist.
This is most likely the first time you are planning a wedding so you might still be getting to grips with wedding photography jargon.
Let me explain…
I want my photographs to show the true emotions of your wedding day, your character, and that of your parents and best friends, unposed and completely natural.
Photography allows us to capture memories and fleeting moments that might otherwise be forgotten – that’s what I love about it. I want those moments to be truthful and genuine.
To me, the best photographs are those where people are completely unaware of the camera.
I don’t ask you to repeat anything just for the camera, or interrupt a conversation to set up a better angle. I don’t ask you to stand and smile for the camera. I want to capture a true moment, nothing staged.
I capture lived moments. I want you to be free to focus on your friends and family, not distracted by a photographer.
Your wedding is about sharing a very special day with the people that you love most. I want you to focus on your friends and family rather than on me. I won’t take you away from your guests for a long time to take couple portraits or take hours for the group shots. I don’t want your day to be about posing for pictures. I want you to live it and enjoy every moment, and I will be there to capture it.
A documentary wedding photographer observes rather than participates
To capture those special moments, I spend a lot of time observing. I position myself to make the most of the light. I anticipate what might happen next. Whilst I do like chatting to your guests, I don’t ever direct or interrupt anything. I usually work alone and I use natural light whenever possible. I will use flash when necessary but I never use intrusive light set-ups.
I get the classic group photos and couple portraits too, but quickly. I want to get you back to the party!
Even couples who are planning a very relaxed and informal wedding usually want some group photos and couple portraits. It can be quite good fun to have a photograph of all your family in one place, and to look back in years to come and see how everyone has changed. However, I do think that if a lot of time is spent on taking formal pictures during a wedding, it takes away from the magic of the day. And it limits the time I have to take natural, relaxed photographs filled with emotion and interaction. That’s why I encourage couples to minimise the number of group shots and I work fast to get these done quickly. That means you can get back to catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in ages or to playing with your niece. And I can get back to what I do best – capturing the essence of your wedding day.