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What is Documentary Wedding Photography

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

The term 'Documentary Style Wedding Photography' is thrown about everywhere these days and is frequently misunderstood. Let's clear things up.

Documentary Wedding Photography is a way to capture all the moments of a wedding, in a natural & relaxed manner, and carefully curate them so that the final collection tells the authentic story of the day from start to finish. I like to compare it to a comic book without words - the collection will contain a number of scenes, each of which delicately tells one chapter of the Wedding.

It is also known as Journalistic Wedding Photography or Photojournalistic Wedding Photography.

Documentary Wedding Photography versus Traditional

Now here is where we get a bit subjective and where it comes to personal taste and I will put my cards on the table (massive 'opinion' alert). I am not a fan of traditional Wedding Photography. There, I have said it, and here is why.

Traditional Wedding Photography is largely centred on posed set pieces. I much prefer natural & candid shots where I can capture the essence of the subjects (people) and I can capture authentic images that people can relate to. Basically I let people alone to enjoy their day and the photos are all the better because of it.

My Theory

When our eyes see a photograph of a group of people that are genuinely laughing and having a good time the brain (sort of magically) draws the viewer into the image. We feel like we are there, almost laughing along with them. An emotional connection and empathy is created somewhere deep in our subconscious. The image is real and the provoked response is real. You see, our brains are fantastic at sniffing out & dismissing anything that is 'fake'. Two pairs of eyes looking into the lens with painted smiles will never really tug at the viewer's heartstrings, there is no connection, it hums of bulls**t. There is a slight parallel here to watching a movie and then putting on the 3D glasses and getting pulled into the frame.

Also it has to be said, most people are not comfortable standing in front of a lens and posing, many couples have a genuine dread of 'The Photos' and it is the part of their day that worries them the most. In contrast, every single one of my couples have loved my relaxed & natural wedding photography style and most say that either they didn't notice my presence or that it was like having another guest on the day. Either way, once you are happy & comfortable, your Wedding Photographs will be stunning.

"He made myself and Daniel feel at ease and it was like walking around with a friend!" - Hillary, 2021

Now, a Caveat....

Fear not, I am not a die-hard extremist, I know that sometimes a few group shots & some couple shots are required. We do these and we do them beautifully and with a good bit of craic (i.e. even here there are no fake smiles or 'cheese'). Keep it real, keep it relaxed, no awkward nonsense, just beautiful photographs.

Alright, enough of my madcap theories, if you like the sound of Documentary Wedding Photography and fancy some relaxed & natural & quirky Wedding Photography please get in touch here, fill in some details and get a quote. No awkward nonsense, simply beautiful photos. Speak soon.

All the best,


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