Why documentary wedding photography is all the rage going into 2019


It was never my intention to move into wedding photography, but as my skills in street photography have developed, my realisation has grown that perhaps this way of working could work very well in documenting people getting married. I mean, the similarities are uncanny in that it is fast moving, it’s about having very good observational skills, being able to read a situation that involves human activity and the telling of stories.

What I love most about street photography, is that it is un-staged, it is a perfectly natural occurrence that only requires a reading into from an observer of the world. If you become familiar with the work of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson who is credited with the beginnings of street photography you will quickly notice that his photographs are about the moment, the timing and the execution of the framing that is built on harmony and balance within the frame.

Henri Cartier-Bresson [Copyright]

I have practiced this technique for years and I am starting to feel the benefits of what Henri was trying to do. It was coined ‘the decisive moment’ and when you photograph a wedding you are constantly looking out for these decisive moments to create the story for the couple involved.

For me, great photography is in the mind rather than a physical activity or having great equipment. The photographer with the most expensive equipment doesn’t necessarily take the best photographs. It’s about being intuitive and having a feeling for what’s in front of you.

I was always put off wedding photography purely because it seemed too ‘staged’ Pictures become overly posed and unnatural making them uninteresting apart from letting the viewer know who was at the event. I mean, there is no emotion or connection in these posed images and very little in the way of story-telling.

The best images I make in street photography are those where the characters in the scene have no idea that I’ve even taken the picture. They unwittingly become a part of a narrative as told by yours truly.

The internet is a great place for discovery and that’s when I began to realise that I could easily take my street photography style and move into documentary wedding photography. I started to notice other photographers doing the same. It also helps that I have over 15 years of experience in shooting and documenting street scenes around the world.

My intent now moving forward is to document weddings in a natural, un-posed and organic way without all the fussy posing, which only goes to disconnect the wedding guests from the occasion and loses the natural emotions in the moment which is the very thing that draws a snapshot out of obscurity and makes it shine.

If you or anyone you know is looking for a photographer who will create those special memories in a relaxed and un-intrusive way with high quality documentation that is both natural and emotional then I would love to hear from you.

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