“For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.”
In 1952 Cartier-Bresson published his book ‘Images à la Sauvette’ or, translated, ‘The Decisive Moment’ and it’s those three words that really encapsulate for me what being a Documentary Wedding Photographer is all about, anticipating and photographing decisive, emotive moments that tell the story of an amazing day.
With its roots in news journalism and even art, the documentary style of wedding photography captures images that are real, authentic, and of the moment. It’s observational, candid and natural with a certain immediacy that’s appealing to me.
An early pioneer of this style of photography was Henri Cartier-Bresson, who was without a doubt one of the biggest proponents of the genre; Cartier-Bresson and war photographer Robert Capa were two of the founding members of the legendary Magnum Photos, which for a contemporary photographers like myself is the agency that we all aspire to be part of.
The trend to take it out of mainstream journalism and into the wedding sphere started to make real pace in the early 90’s. Tired of posed, static images, photographers started to experiment with capturing weddings more naturally, the real moments and the story of each day with its own unique moments. An Italian wedding photojournalist sparked my own interest for interpreting weddings this way and I was hooked. It seemed a much more relevant way of capturing such an important occasion.
What’s the difference with other styles of photography? There are so many different genres or styles and so many ways seemingly to describe each style. Documentary wedding photography is often known as reportage, or wedding photojournalism. Whilst some styles can overlap it is distinct say from fine art wedding photography which ‘creates’ a beautiful subjective reality as opposed to something that is entirely objective.
How do I interpret documentary wedding photography? Each photographer will interpret the genre slightly differently and perhaps incorporate other genres to a certain extent. I have a few simple ‘rules’ for the way that I photograph weddings, to remain largely true to the documentary style:
Ultimately the photographs produced will be unique to each couple, images that beguile and enchant without being a pastiche of what others believe a wedding should look like………..
If you’re planning your wedding and love the idea of having a documentary wedding photographer capture your day naturally, say hello by giving me a call on 0370 626 5200, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Contact Form to request my latest brochure, check my availability or just talk through the plans that you have for your own amazing celebration