Wedding photography has come a long way in recent years, with a new style emerging that is becoming increasingly popular among couples: documentary wedding photography. This style is all about capturing real, candid moments as they happen, rather than staged or posed shots.

I still remember almost ten years ago working as a second photographer for another photographer who had a more traditional wedding photography approach. He gave me a real ticking off that I was “wasting” his time by photographing moments and people having a good time. I knew right then that traditional wedding photography wasn’t for me, and I got busy studying documentary photography.

Photojournalistic Approach

Documentary wedding photography, also known as photojournalistic or reportage wedding photography, is all about telling the story of the wedding day through images. The photographer takes a more hands-off approach, capturing the events of the day as they unfold, without interfering or directing the couple or guests.

The goal of documentary wedding photography is to create a narrative of the day, capturing the emotions, relationships, and interactions between the couple and their guests. This style of photography is all about capturing the essence of the day, from the nervous excitement of the bride getting ready, to the tears of joy during the ceremony, to the laughter and celebration at the reception.

The Benefits

One of the benefits of documentary wedding photography is that it allows the couple to be more relaxed and natural in front of the camera. There is no pressure to pose or perform for the camera, which can lead to more genuine, authentic moments being captured.

Documentary wedding photographers are often skilled at blending in with the crowd, becoming almost invisible as they capture the moments of the day. For me I use a mixture of prime lenses throughout the day, usually 35mm and 85mm. By using prime lenses (they don’t zoom) it means I will be using my feet, and aiming to move around the wedding venue to capture different angles and perspectives.

As a Yorkshire and York wedding photographer I absolutely love what I do. Nothing beats the feeling of capturing someones big day, and the sense of pride when a couple tell me “you captured the story of the day!”

I Still Take Group Photos

While documentary wedding photography is all about capturing candid moments, that doesn’t mean that the photographer won’t take any posed shots at all. I absolutely still photograph group photos, as I believe these photos are super important, but I prefer to whisk through those so that the couple can go back to having fun on their big day.

In the end, documentary wedding photography is a style that is all about capturing the authentic story of the wedding day. By taking a hands-off approach, the photographer is able to capture real, emotional moments that might otherwise be missed. For couples who value authenticity and spontaneity, documentary wedding photography is a style that is definitely worth considering.

Why I May Not Be the Photographer For You

If you have in mind a more traditional wedding photography approach for your wedding, with most photos to be staged and forced posed, then truthfully we are not a good fit. A few years ago I stepped in for another photographer who had fallen ill. I didn’t know the couple, the couple didn’t know me, but I was there to help and capture the day. They were blown away by the fact that I didn’t stop photographing, and instead of a promised 100 forced posed photos in their gallery, they received over 600. Truth be told it was a bit of a shock for them, but thankfully they loved what I captured.

Why I am the Right Photographer For You

If you much prefer the idea of real moments, fun and laughter, and your big day being captured like a story then I definitely fit the bill. You have fun, no pressure, no stress, and I capture the day. If hiring a documentary wedding photographer sounds like exactly what you want, then please do contact me.