What is documentary wedding photography?


If you are currently in the process of looking for a wedding photographer, then it is more than likely that you've come across the term 'documentary wedding photographer' or 'natural wedding photographer'. But what do these terms mean?


There are two main styles of wedding photography: posed and documentary. For this blog I'll be talking about the documentary style as that is my particular style. First of all, if posed is the other form of photography style that is common when talking about wedding photography then it follows that documentary photography should be unposed.


And that's exactly what it is. Documentary photography, also called candid photography, is all about capturing your day as it happens. Your day should go on, uninterrupted by your photographer as they will be playing the role of the fly on the wall. From my personal point of view I walk around your whole day, from bridal prep to the first dance, trying to see moments before they happen so that I can get into position, ready to capture the emotion as it unfolds.


Capturing the raw emotion of a wedding is what documentary photography is all about, in a nutshell. I will capture all of the laughter, the tears (happy ones, of course) and the moments that the bride and groom miss.


The camera that I shoot with has a silent shutter, meaning that when I take a picture it makes no sound. This really helps in making sure that I capture the true moment as nobody is aware that I am in the vicinity taking a photo. I'm sure that, like me, when you hear the sound of a camera going off your immediate reaction is to either walk away because you don't like having your picture taken or to turn around and pose for the camera.


I believe that documentary wedding photography is beautiful because it captures your big day as it actually happened: your Uncle being a bit daft, your Mum tearing up as you are marrying your other half, everybody cracking up as your Father is telling his best Dad jokes during the Father of the Bride speech etc etc. All of that is captured as it happened and can be relived each time you look at your wedding photos. Which is why I think documentary photography is so powerful.


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Daniel Thomas Photography | Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 3NB 
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