Documentary wedding photography is also known as wedding photojournalism or reportage wedding photography. This is a style of wedding photography where events on the wedding day are captured in images which will tell the story. This is quite different to the more traditional styles of wedding photography that depend on posing the couple and guests at key events during the wedding day. A documentary wedding photographer will not direct or pose the couple or guests. They will use their skill and knowledge to capture images of events as they happen and in way that they can be put together to tell a coherent story of the day. The emphasis should be on capturing images that convey the emotion, enthusiasm and excitement of the day. The most successful documentary wedding photographers will do this without interfering with events or being intrusive.
Your choice of wedding photographer is a very personal thing. Documentary wedding photography requires a very honest and direct approach. Your wedding images will reflect this. Many couples like to have their wedding photography taken from a point of view shared with their guests. The couples I work with are happy to get on with enjoying their wedding day without being constantly interrupted to pose for photos. If they would like some Bride and Groom portraits taken, I will do this quickly and with minimal direction. The same is true for group shots if they are requested. I recommend no more than three or four and these will also be taken quickly. You can see images of real couples, families and guests in the wedding portfolio section. Take a look at these images and decide if this is the style of photography you would like for your wedding.
Documentary wedding photography or reportage wedding photography is completely independent of the theme or style of your wedding. I will tell the story of your wedding day through images. These images will capture the theme and styling of your wedding in much the same way as your family and friends will experience it. Shots of the details from your wedding will be included if they enhance the storytelling.
No, I won’t be asking you to smile during your wedding day. That should be happening anyway 🙂 In fact, you may be smiling a lot more if you are not being interrupted every five minutes and being asked to smile.
Many couples like to have Bride and Groom portraits from the day and some group photography. If requested, I will set aside some time on the day for these shots. Whether you would like portraits or group shots is entirely up to you.
Of course I do. If you would like some formal portraits and/or some group photography, I can set aside time during your wedding day to accommodate this. This should be a small number of images to avoid the photography encroaching on your enjoyment of your special day. If you would like to have a large number of groups and/or formal portraits, then the documentary approach will not meet your needs.
Wedding days in Ireland tend to follow their own unique timeline. Most start with the bride and grooms preparations, followed by the wedding ceremony and then a meal or party.
Since it’s your wedding story that I am telling, I would like the story to be as complete as possible. For this reason, I start with the preparations and end with some coverage of the party.
If your wedding day plans are different to the more traditional Irish wedding, then good for you! Let me know what you are planning and I will be happy to accommodate your specific requirements.
To be successful as a documentary wedding photographer, I need to keep a low profile during the wedding day and not be intrusive. I work alone at weddings and while I’m not necessarily invisible, I should not cause undue distraction. Some couples are concerned that more than one photographer may be required to ensure that as much of their wedding is recorded as possible. Anticipation is an important skill in documentary wedding photography. Rather than capturing hundreds of images and hoping that some of the emotion, special moments and individuality in the wedding is somewhere in there, I prefer to observe and anticipate. I depend on my experience, instincts and being unobtrusive to capture the important images. In this situation, a second photographer would just create distraction and reduce the chance of capturing those special images.
Traditionally, photojournalists would shoot with black and white film. Today, many documentary wedding photographers, who shoot with digital cameras, will finish their images in black and white. This is an aesthetic choice rather than a necessity as professional digital cameras (with one or two notable exceptions) will record the image in colour. When I frame an image, even before pressing the shutter release, I will know if the image will be finished in black and white. A black and white image can make for a very strong and timeless presentation. This is particularly true when the image is printed and ultimately presented in a wedding album. However, there are occasions where colour is the most important part of an image in terms of telling the story.
When you receive the digital copy of your images, I will include both the black and white and colour finished images.
Capturing the emotion and excitement of your wedding story with sensitivity and authenticity is my task on your wedding day. Contrary to what many believe, my job is not complete when I leave your wedding venue. Digital imaging has resulted in many improvements in the job of a wedding photographer. Professional digital photography means that the images do not come out of the camera ready for printing. Images require editing followed by post processing to correct colour, adjust density and for black and white conversion. This takes time. Depending on the time of year, your images should be in a gallery within three to four weeks. Time is also required to design and produce your album. I also to produce your High Definition slideshow and prepare your USB drive. You should have the USB drive within four to six weeks after your wedding. The delivery of your wedding album will very much depend on the type of album selected.
Some couples choose not to have a wedding album produced after their wedding. They plan on having an album produced at some point in the future, perhaps when the financial burden of the wedding is well behind them. In my experience, other priorities can sometimes overtake the desire to have a wedding album.
I am quite old-school in the belief that your images are only alive in print. All of my coverage options include a wedding album,
Over a number of years, I have selected a small number of wedding album suppliers that I work with. These suppliers produce albums that complement my images, are made of beautiful and durable materials and will become treasured heirlooms.
If you are not convinced about having a wedding album, just consider how little we know about the longevity of digital image files and how many digital storage format changes have occurred in just the last twenty years (floppy disks, ZIP/JAZZ drives, CD’s, DVD’s, USB Drives …). My own parent’s wedding album is more than 50 years old, still in its original slip cover and in perfect condition.
The first step in producing your wedding album is the selection of images to be included. Some couples like to select their own images, but I can do this if you prefer. I will produce a draft layout that the you can review. If you would like changes, I can make these and provide another draft. Typically, two passes of review and changes would be the most required. This process should only take a couple of weeks. Once you have approved the images and layout for your album, production can taken between three and six weeks (depending on the album supplier and time of year).