Documentary Wedding Photographer
Hello, I am a documentary wedding photographer. So, you are looking for a photographer for your wedding- there are quite a few of us out there right?
Well, not all are equal, not just in the quality, but in the style too; classic, documentary, posed, reportage.
I am firmly a documentary wedding photographer. That is, I don’t pose people, I don’t contrive situations, I just take pictures of your day, as it happens.
If you need some convincing as to why you should book (me) one then read on!
“documentary” [ dok-yuh–men-tuh-ree, -tree ]
1. Also doc·u·men·tal [dok-yuh–men-tl]. pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents:
2. Movies, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements:dictionary.com
To me, the most important part of that above definition is “contains no fictional elements” – so, if a wedding photographer asked you to stand on some rocks, look lovingly into each other’s eyes, place one hand on his lapel, place one hand on her waist, turn the left hand so you can see a ring and set up 14 flashes around them – they wouldn’t be a documentary wedding photographer. There’s nothing wrong with images like I’ve described, if you like them then I can recommend loads of really great people who do it. But, it’s not what I do. There’s no fictional elements of your wedding photos, just natural moments which happened, documented.
Real Memories Photographed
Do you want to remember your wedding? Or the wedding a photographer directed you to have? As a documentary wedding photographer I ‘interfere’ as little as possible throughout the day, I just capture what happens, as it happens. Consequently, you end up with memories of the actual day, things which actually happened – much better to look back on.
Your Day – Documented As You Planned It
Alongside having real memories, on the actual day itself you will be able to enjoy YOUR wedding, as YOU planned it. I won’t be bossing you around, telling guests to move, rearranging furniture or any of that nonsense; just looking for the moments which happen throughout the day.
No Awkward Posing
The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day is awkward; being told what to do, how to stand, to ‘pose’, where to put your hand – all of those things will make you feel awkward. You’ve most definitely stood or sat or walked before in your life, I don’t need to tell you how to do it. I may suggest where to do it, because there’s some beautiful light, but other than that you should just do your thing, however you feel natural doing it, and I’ll get some great photos of it. If you feel relaxed, you’ll enjoy your day much more, but you’ll also get images which are a reflection of you, your partner, and your day.
More Time on Your Wedding Day
The more time you spend posing, going off for an hour or more to do a portrait shoot, standing in front of a car awkwardly holding wine glasses, the less time you have for, you know, enjoying your wedding. It’s not my day, it’s yours. You will have a lot of guests who will want to see you, and you them. Me taking you off for hours on end, or asking you to repeat poses over and over again takes you away from this. It also takes me away from documenting all of the moments which happen throughout the day that you’re perhaps not even aware of!
Your Guests Will Relax
I’ve been a guest at a wedding, I’ve also spoken to a lot of guests at weddings. Most people I talk to have a story about a wedding photographer they met at a wedding who bossed them around, asked them to stop what they were doing so they could get a photo of them. This makes them feel awkward. I don’t tend to stand at the outskirts of the day and shoot with a long lens, I like to be a part of it, talk to the guests, tell them awful jokes, all of this relaxes them, makes it so they’re not on edge when they see me walking around. This means I can get some really natural shots of people enjoying themselves, not stood with an awkward smile waiting for me to leave.
I’ll Document Things You Will Miss
As I mentioned earlier, so many things will happen throughout your day, there’s no way you can see all of them. The day really will go by in a blur, so many people, so many parts of the day. The galleries I deliver are a story of the day. You’ll be able to look at them as if you were a guest at the wedding, seeing the emotions and moments which happened. I get everywhere!
“But there are no good pictures of me”
Within a message or two of speaking to me, 95% of my couples tell me that one (or both) of them “don’t take a good picture”, which is just nonsense. Pretty much every image on my site has someone in it who “doesn’t take a good picture”. Perhaps you can’t take a good selfie, or have been awkwardly posed in the past which hasn’t turned out as you imagined, but that definitely doesn’t mean you “don’t take a good picture”. It will be one of the happiest days of your life; you will be surrounded by people who love you and are honoured to be a part of your day.
I will never tell you to ‘smile’, I won’t need to! Believe me, you’ll be smiling, and by doing all of the things outlined above, you will get beautiful images that you’ll love. And you’ll be able to tell everyone how good a picture you take.
You’re Still The Boss
Whilst I am a documentary photographer, I don’t profess to be a purist. If you want advice on how to walk, then of course I’ll give it to you. If you want some group shots then I’ll definitely take them. If you want a large group shot then I’ll use my diplomatic communication skills (and large voice) to get everyone together as quickly as possible so you all can get back to enjoying yourselves. If you want a large group shot with everyone stood in a heart shape around you, then, well, I won’t do that actually…
It’s Not Just About The Love
Weddings are all about love, committing that love in front of your friends and family. But, they’re also about fun, they’re about kids picking their noses, and saying funny things during the ceremony, they’re about grooms being embarrassed by the best man during the speeches, guests wearing the mother of the bride’s fascinator. You won’t miss those things, I’m always looking out, and anticipating, anything which might result in a laugh. A real laugh is just a valid an emotion as a really cry – also something to be treasured.
Hopefully, this post will have explained the reasons why you should definitely book a documentary wedding photographer for your wedding. I’ve been trying to think of a short and catchy strapline to get that message across, but I really can’t think of one. If anyone has any ideas then let me know in the comments. In short: don’t be posed and awkward on your day, just spend time enjoying yourself and let your photographer (me) get some amazing pictures of your day as it happens while you and your guests are really relaxed and picking their noses.
Yeah, definitely needs to be more catchy than that.
I’d love to discuss your plans, get in touch here and we can arrange a chat.
No Posers! (I thought of one!)