The beauty of photographing unstaged moments
Documentary wedding photography (or natural/candid/journalistic/whatever you want to call it) is, to me, all about capturing those special moments as they happen. The things that are unscripted, the emotions of the day, and the feelings as everyone interacts.
A photo is capable of that. It has the power to tell a story within a single frame, and to do it well is what every photographer wants. Then, when you add all the wedding photos together, you get what one of my previous grooms, called a ‘narrative’.
I love that description, so I’ve used it ever since. It’s the best way to describe what brings the wedding photos together. Documentary shooting is the gaps in the story. Without it you get all the snapshots – the group photos, the formal ring exchange shots – but that’s just the headlines. What you want is everything around that.
So how does this work out in practice?
Where's the Photographer
Many couples tell me after their big day that they forgot I was there. They mean it in a good way too! I’m not saying you should ignore me, but just carry on doing your thing.
And trust me, I know that’s not easy. Especially when I first turn up with my fancy bit of kit and just get started. Don’t worry though, people get used to me being around. They drop their guard, and suddenly the moments just begin to happen.
Let me In
It's a toughie, but I want to be right there with you on your wedding day. Not on the outskirts.
For just one day of your lives, I'm going to be with you and your inner circle, those people who are absolutely the most important people in your lives.
Let me in and I’ll leave you with memories to treasure.
Refine the shot
Taking one frame and thinking you nailed it is something no photographer can really do. If anyone tells you they can, they’re telling a white lie. It's about anticipation, thoughtfulness and refinement.
The three elements of photography (light, moment and composition) may change rapidly and although you can control some of these, it's all about working hard to capture the perfect frame. And while it’s a challenge, it’s one I think I’m pretty good at dealing with, and I think my photos tell the tale.