My Approach To Documentary Wedding Photography
What is it?
It's candid natural moments where the people don't know the photo is being taken. It's a style that can be applied to the whole wedding day, from preparations through to the reception. It goes by a few names, reportage, photojournalistic, natural etc. It all means that you and your guests aren't asked to pose, it's an honest reflection of your wedding day. The fun, tears, emotion and craziness are all captured for you to remember in years to come.
Why I shoot this way?
It's an over used term, but I love being a storyteller, not a story maker. In an unobtrusive, but creative manner, I want to document your day as it is, and not manufacture it. I have a statement on my homepage that reads "The art is important, but what is key are the stories told and the moments captured". I honestly think that it's the best approach to wedding photography, always looking for the creative image, but the moment captured trumps everything!
A walk through a wedding day:
I love documenting the preparations! Every bride and groom approach their big day their own way, and there's so much emotion to capture. Everything from nervous hands with the bow ties to the anticipation leaving for the church. None of the above are posed in anyway, just me with my two cameras clipped to my waist, waiting for the right moment and trying to frame and light it in a interesting way.
From churches to outdoors, vicars to humanists, I've seen a lot of different ceremonies. The entrance down the aisle, the placing of the ring on the finger and the first kiss, are key moments to capture. This of course is not everything, there are many moments/reactions/expressions that I'm looking for. This is often when the bride and groom are in their own world, unaware of what's going on around them, and I love recoding those moments.
This is typically where celebrations are in full swing. I'm not just there for the first dance, I'm there until late and getting images of everyone enjoying themselves. This is typically where natural light is no longer an option, so the flashes come out of the bag. Again, no posing, just some great dance moves with some added light. I get stuck into the dance floor, producing images that feel like you were there, not sat on the edge watching on.
The couple shots
Do I photograph couple shots? Yes, absolutely. I'm branded as documentary wedding photography but almost every couple would like some portraits, and they're a great addition to the photo collection. It's often just 15 minutes out of the day, finding a moment and taking a stroll around the venue. I hope you find that even though these images are portraits they still feel relaxed and natural and represent the feel of the wedding day. There's no big lighting set up, no 'tilt your head this way', just a fun and relaxed walk with a camera in hand
"...professional yet 'invisible' he was when moving around throughout the day! When looking back over the moments Lee photographed, the natural candid shots allowed me to see my guests emotions that I didn't manage to see on the day!"
- Kirsty and Shane [Testimonials]