If you’re a bride or groom, the chances are high that you will have seen the genre of photography known as “documentary wedding photography” on websites and wedding magazines. Documentary wedding photographer, reportage wedding photography and photojournalism all define this natural style and simplistic approach to photography.
Like so many forms of art, it’s open to interpretation and is completely subjective.
For me, a true documentary wedding photographer uses their experience, technical knowledge and ability to blend into a wedding environment, then waits for a picture to form. They will confidently risk missing the obvious photograph, safe in the knowledge that what is about to happen in front of their lens is going to be a picture that can potentially tell a whole chapter of a wedding day.
Being able to blend in to a wedding environment is a skill that can only be developed through experience. Getting close to guests and in the heart of the action without getting in the way, allows me as your documentary wedding photographer, to record the true emotions being shared by you and your guests in still pictures; pictures that will be reminisced upon by friends & family and passed on to future generations to enjoy.
Documentary wedding photography is not suitable for every bride & groom. I don’t work to a set shot list; I don’t stage or direct anyone. Other than a few relaxed portraits & groups, every picture I capture is taken as it happened. Shooting this way ensures every image is made from real expressions and natural moments.
As I’ve grown as a photographer, documentary wedding photography keeps my passion for shooting weddings alive. In the past, I’ve worked like so many other photographers, constantly chasing the moment rather than waiting for the moment. The difference, which can be a fraction of a second, is what turns a photograph that many people can take with a decent camera, into a picture that can be studied, stared at and enjoyed.
To keep everything as natural as it occurred, I rarely use flash. I prefer to push my cameras to their extremes, getting the image as it was seen rather than taint it with artificial light. Traditional wedding photographers may well critique this method for the grain it can create. Yes it does and I love grain. I love the depth it gives to the image and I love how it keeps the moment real.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss hiring me as your documentary wedding photographer on your wedding day.
Documentary Wedding Photographer Hampshire by Rob Dunning.
Rob Dunning Wedding Photography is a division of Solent Studios.