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Why documentary photography is necessary

There’s a variety of wedding photographers out there with different styles. It can be a tough choice for couples to select one that fits their needs. I believe documentary photography is necessary because it focuses on telling a story. Weddings are perfect events for this type of photography.

The reality of documenting moments is not easy. It requires an observant eye, a lot of patience, and a bit of luck. The goal is for everything to come together to show a story that is clear and concise. Let me explain what it means to be lucky. As an experienced documentary wedding photographer, I create my own luck. It’s through calculated planning that I increase my odds of creating good images. Things are out of my control when I’m documenting weddings (besides family portraits.) I photograph what I see and don’t re-create anything.

groom and his dad share touching moment in background while bride and mother are in the foreground
I saw this moment unfolding between the groom and his father laughing but I was standing in front of the bride. I backed up and moved to place the bride and her mother in the foreground to create a story with more context.

What is Documentary Wedding Photography?

Documentary wedding photography is “observing scenes and anticipating moments vs. reacting to them.” I’m actively observing and moving around to frame moments. I’m also constantly making adjustments on my camera as I move in and out of the light. All of the moments that are captured are used to crate your story.

At the end of the day you’ll value any heartfelt moments over staged portraits. You’ll treasure such moments as: the first time that you see your partner walk down the aisle; the look on your dad’s face when he sees you in your dress; your best friend laughing with you over a stupid joke.

I’m creating honest stories. That means I’ll never re-arrange items to clean up a mess. I’ll document the chaos to remind you what if felt like to be present in that moment. I won’t set-up your dress or shoes to create a still life image. However, I’m happy to take a couple of arranged still life photos that you’ve setup. I’m not aware of their sentimental value but you do. Just remember the more time that I can give to documenting your moments, the better your story. Your story is what I want to capture above all else.

The other part of the story is your relationships with friends and family. They’ve always been there to support you when you needed them. I want to honor that love by including them in your story. Whether it’s capturing a moment of your dad giving you away to your husband (or wife), or when your daughter is eating cake next to her favorite uncle, or when your nephew takes funny photos of himself with your sister. They’re all a vital part of your story.

heartfelt moment between bride and mother
I saw the bride holding her mother from across the room so I moved away from the dancing and got close to capture the intimacy of this moment.

Why your moments are important

We remember our ancestors through old black and white photographs. Your wedding album will hold important information about your life. Those honest moments that describe your emotions from your wedding. That goes beyond photos of sunsets and cakes. The documentary photos represent your true self. Your story will be shared with your children and passed down to their children. Your legacy will live on forever.

a touching moment that I documented of the whole family together during speeches.
This moment was rare for me to see because I normally don’t witness the whole family together during toasts.
grandpa dancing with adolescent boy during wedding reception
The bride’s grandpa decided to have a dance off with his grandson during the wedding reception.
A touching moment of boy holding umbrella.
I love the moment of this boy holding his umbrella over these girls to keep them dry. I caught this scene right after the ceremony concluded.

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