What is Documentary Wedding Photography

WAYNE LA

UK and destination documentary wedding photographer.  Listed on SLR Lounge’s 150 Best International Wedding Photographers 2016; Multi-award winning member of the Wedding Photojournalist Assocation and a Fearless Photographer.

Wedding documentary photography / Wedding photojournalism.  What is it? It can be simply described as candid photography at weddings.  Unposed moments captured without intervention, without staging, without input from the photographer.  It’s premise and execution is so simple because it could be just a mechanical and mindless process that anyone with a camera can do. What it is, is easy to define but you know (probably from seeing too many portfolios) that end results couldn’t be more different:  Ask five photographers to document a wedding and you’ll get five different sets of pictures, quite likely to be drastically so. We photographers take pictures of what we’re drawn to: Some gravitate towards the showcases.  Images heavy with details shots and centrepieces; Some opt for the ethereal where blurry background are just as important as the in-focus; Some seek flattering light, and having found it, will wait for something to happen and then craft; Some will just seek – using their eyes to look for gesture, their ears for conversation, then spontaneously shoot for the moment.

Consider this scenario of the bride getting out of the car as she approaches the ceremony.  Maybe the shot is abstract – of her heeled foot touching the pavement, or her veiled silhouette framed against the car window.  Maybe it’s detail oriented – a bouquet on her lap, or maybe the shot isn’t of her at all, but the reaction of her waiting grandparents. Some photographers are pure ‘fly on the walls’. Snapshooters who observe as an outsider, like a news journalist. Some like to mingle as an invited wedding guest.  They don’t stage scenes but they feel that capturing intimacy in a photo requires a human touch, where the photographer projects enough of their personality to provide comfort and reassurance.
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Photograph by Lorem Ipsum via Unsplash
As a London documentary wedding photographer, I don’t have a preconceived idea of what your wedding will look like but I use my experience, training, artistic integrity to interpret the best way of telling your story.
I believe your wedding photos should be a timeless heirloom, a record of a day that becomes more valuable as time passes by.

My approach to wedding photojournalism is with sensitivity, respecting the integrity of your wedding day.  I look for moments first – gestures, interactions, emotions, energy – because I believe your wedding photos should be a timeless heirloom, a record of a day that becomes more valuable as time passes by and the only things that remains timeless are real, authentic moments. I love images that are intimate and spontaneous because images that make you ‘feel’ requires ‘feeling’ from the person who captures them. I think it’s called being present. I’m fully absorbed into the fabric of your celebrations because it helps me to get closer, to unearth moments that are hidden from the unobserved.

 

Are you looking for reportage style wedding photography for your celebration?  Here’s some great advice from the Wedding Photojournalist Association on how to choose your ideal wedding photographer.

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