Two decades ago i became a professional wedding photographer.
I”m Gary, a York documentary wedding photographer, or you may have seen it described as reportage photography or indeed wedding photojournalism. Really, there is little or no difference in the name. Simply put, documentary wedding photography is a genre that delivers a natural, unobtrusive approach to story telling. An art form that is not easy to do well. It’s a term used broadly by many photographers today. Take a look at the majority of websites out there and you will probably see the words “documentary wedding photographer”. To some degree every photographer is going to be shooting some natural, unposed images throughout the day. Capturing real moments purely through great timing, good composition and without any interference to the scene defines what a genuine documentary wedding photographer is about. It’s a process of observation, predicting and and a natural impulse.
Below you are going to see some of my favourite wedding images which reflects just what the term means, how i interpret it, and how it converts into my style of wedding photography.
It was time for the ceremony and knowing the veil would be lifted i waited. It’s a discernible moment between mother & daughter. Even today i remember the occasion, the brides reaction and that beautiful proud emotion in her eyes as she exchanges a look to her mother. When i’m asked why i shoot weddings then this is the image i show.
It can be easily overlooked, but a wedding is also about family & friends, not simply the bride & groom. If you are building a set of images to tell a story then the people who attend are part of the history of that day. A wedding day is frequently viewed by the customary set of images – the cutting of the cake, the first dance etc. As important as they are they are, for a documentary wedding photographer these are the building blocks to a much larger story.
This is a photograph that perfectly describes documentary wedding photography. It needs no description. It’s an image that does so much more than simply portray a bride & mother arriving at the church. It has context and illustrates the emotion & essence of a wedding in a single frame.
The following set of photographs are from a single wedding – Christabel & Jamie’s wedding at Ravenhall. As a photographer it’s important to capture moments like these – moments the bride & groom never knew took place. I want to be the photographer who observes, not interrupts. To capture the emotion, fun and excitement of a wedding day requires experience and a trained eye. In the following slideshow I will show you how documentary photography is used as a tool to great storytelling.
To see more, head over to the portfolio page which i update with new images on a regular basis.