You see a lot of words being used by wedding photographers when they’re trying to describe their work: documentary wedding photographer, reportage, narrative, candid…the list goes on. Whilst I’m firmly in this camp too, what I call it doesn’t really matter; what matters is how I do it, and most of all, how it makes you feel on your wedding day and in years to come.
Being a documentary style wedding photographer means I shoot the day as it unfolds, rather than trying to orchestrate it. This is because, in all honesty, there’s no need to orchestrate it; you and your loved ones are experts at being yourselves, and that’s what I want to capture. I want to immortalise the raw, authentic emotions and good times, as these are the memories you’ll come to treasure the most; of course, your dress and your flowers and all the other details you’ve so carefully put together deserve their spotlight too, but it’s the feeling that will stay forever. It’s a cliché, definitely, but it’s a cliché for a reason!
Whether it’s tender hand squeezes, gossiping grandmas or guests’ reactions, your gallery will take you back so closely to the day that you’ll almost be able to taste it (sadly, photographs don’t have edible options just yet, but as soon as they do I’ll be on it). Part of the joy of this is the photos you’ll forever have of the unexpected and the unpredictable – the speeches, the rain, the dance-floor. All of the on-the-day magic that makes the day so special, captured in authentic, artistic frames that’ll come to life.
The art of documentary wedding photography is the balance between being in and around the action, without forcing myself into groups or dictating the flow of events. Shooting unobtrusively allows me to get people in the moment, whether said moment is big or small, without asking you to stage something or repeat it.
Rest assured that I won’t be lurking on the sidelines like a creepy paparazzo, squinting to see you in the distance; but I also promise you I’ll go mostly unseen. A lot of my couples tell me that they’re marvelling at some shots in their gallery that they didn’t even know I’d been there to see – these are often the best ones.
The only time I’m happy to give direction is in your portraits session – and even then, that’s only if it’s needed. I will whisk you away for 20 minutes or so to get some photos just the two of you. It makes for some gorgeous, emotive pictures, obviously, but it’s also just a really lovely moment in the day – often the only time you spend on your own together throughout the day. Your portraits will be shot in the same natural, relaxed way as the rest of your gallery, but I am happy to help you out. No awkward posing, vogue facing or weird hands made to look like hearts here, I promise – just real love between real people having a real good time. Sounds easy when you put it like that, huh?
And a note on group shots too: I am always happy to do these if you want them, but ask that the list be kept to a minimum. They take around 5 minutes per group, and that multiplies very quickly when it’s time you could be spending having a ball with your guests instead!