Only Gorgeous Weddings

Stalking the Prettiest of Pretties

Documentary Photography

If you have read the previous posts in my photography series by now, you have probably guessed that I love photography. I really, really love wedding photography. For one thing, it’s one of the few things that remain after the big day, it’s what you can show your grandchildren to make them see you in a whole new light, it’s an art form that gives me butterflies.

But it can be confusing. There are so many styles out there and there are new ones becoming popular every day. The aim of this and the next few posts in this series is to give you clear examples of different styles and to let you know what to expect and what not to expect from each style. I’m using some of my favourite Irish photographers as demonstration but these are not sponsored posts. I’m also hoping that this will be an interactive series, so if you think I’m missing out on something or have gotten things mixed up, just let me know.
So first of all: documentary, reportage or photo-journalistic style. This is a no-pose style of photography. No standing around placing one hand on hip, slightly to the side, left foot out, look up and smile! No looking dreamily out of a window and ideally, no set-list. I’ll start with a few photos to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
All images by Roger Overall

How are you feeling after that? Still with me? If you are, great, I love this man’s work and this style in general. If you aren’t and are thinking ‘ooooh no, not my style’ that’s ok, there’s plenty other styles out there and that’s the point of this!
Now, it’s not all black and white, that’s just Roger’s style. I’ll have a few more in colour in a bit. He captures light so wonderfully in black and white it’s just what I’m drawn to.
As I’ve said, this is not posed photography, you will not always be shot as you imagine you will be. But if you have a great photographer, that’s pretty much the point. Look at this:
This may not be an image she was expecting to have, but it’s probably one of her favourites in the album. Doesn’t she look beautiful? And so happy! Not a moody stare in sight.
My favourite advantage of documentary photography is the fact that people seem more alive in them. By not forcing any image, they seem to be more true-to-life and I’m sure they bring memories back clearly.

The downside with non-posed photo’s is that you may not get the exact images you are after. You put a lot of faith in the photographers eye and in their ability. I was discussing this with the boy a few weeks ago and he said that he would be worried that the photographer might be having an off-day and would get awful photo’s of us all. But I think you run this risk with all styles.

This probably isn’t the style for you if you are a control-freak either. As the photographer won’t boss you around, letting you create the image naturally, you shouldn’t boss them around either, trusting them to be there to capture everything.

A good documentary photographer will not interfere with the flow of your day, allowing you to spend your time with your guests, instead of taking an hour or so to pose. They also should get natural photos of your guests without intruding on their day.
How do you feel about this style? Is it for you or do you think you’ll skip this set?

One response to “Documentary Photography

  1. Pingback: Documentary, Part Deux « Only Gorgeous Weddings

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