Documentary Wedding Photography

Documentary Wedding Photography

During your time as a photographer, you’ll come across many phrases and terminology without a doubt and some of which you won’t recognize or understand exactly what certain words mean the first time that you hear them. Don’t worry though, that’s normal when learning any craft and we hope to make our blog a place where you can learn a bunch of different and useful stuff all in one go that a lot of photographers may not know the answers to either. Some folks out there like to wing it and go with the flow, so sometimes terminology can be overlooked until a certain point, but it really will help you out as a wedding photographer to recognize some terms within the field, it’ll also give you a better idea of the style of photography that you could adopt and even the services which you could offer to your clients.  

If only there was a place that you could learn all of this stuff... well look no further, we have the answers for you here at Weddit! So, just in case you missed the title of this post, today we’re going to be talking about documentary wedding photography. We’ll primarily be discussing what documentary wedding photography actually is first of all and the rest of the post will just sort of branch off from there, so stay put and carry on reading to learn more about it!

What Is Documentary Wedding Photography? - Now, what may surprise you is that some wedding photographers actually brand themselves as ‘documentary wedding photographers’, as they stick to this style of shooting throughout their work as a photographer. This brings me on nicely to my next point. Yes, documentary wedding photography is a style of photography! It sounds simple enough, but there is a little more to it than that, let us explain... Documentary wedding photography is often referred to as 'reportage wedding photography' or 'wedding photojournalism' however essentially, they all refer to the same thing, which in simple terms is an observational approach when shooting a wedding. We’ve actually written a piece on reportage wedding photography here at Weddit recently, so be sure to check out that article which is linked above for further information about the style of imagery we’re talking about here.

So, let's look at this in a little more detail, shall we? The word ‘documentary’ means that something has occurred naturally, so then it would make sense for documentary wedding photography to be a form of imagery used to document significant and historical events in time wouldn’t it? It is typically covered in professional photojournalism, or real-life reportage photographic style, but it may also be an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit.

Photojournalism Wedding Photography - A Photojournalist style of photography takes its cue from editorial reporting styles and focuses mostly on candid images with little photographer interaction involved in them. A wedding photographer who deems themselves as a ‘photojournalist’ typically shoots images quickly using the available light or flash photography feature built into their camera rather than using traditional, formal posing techniques. This way, the photographer behind the camera captures genuine emotions and heartfelt moments on the happy couple’s wedding day and that makes for more interesting photographs than a poesy wedding album ever could. The images will come out exactly how the couple remember their day!

So, why is Photojournalism Wedding Photography used by photographers who are shooting a wedding? Photojournalism is the process of storytelling through pictures, which uses the medium of photography as your main story telling device. While a journalist will use their pen and paper to tell stories, a photojournalist will use their camera to capture the visual representation of a story. A wedding is the perfect setting to capture a story and the story will be about the happy couple who have hired you to tell it! 

Ask Your Clients What They Want – Now as you’ve probably already figured out from working as a wedding photographer is that no two client’s tastes are exactly the same. I mean some couples highly consider what the outcome of their wedding pictures will be like, while other people will remember them as a last minute thought and will sort of just leave the photographer to it as they think you know best (which you do), but it doesn’t hurt to discuss photography styles with your clients, because they may or may not want the images to be produced in a certain style. Are you following what we’re saying here? You need to ask these questions to get a better idea of what the couple actually want for their wedding images and if you don’t ask, you’ll never know is documentary wedding photography was one of them!

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

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