How I Photograph a Wedding Day: Documentary Wedding Photographer

December 13, 2022

How I Photograph a Wedding Day: Documentary Wedding Photographer

One of the most frequent questions that I get from couples when we chat about the possibility of me photographing their wedding day is: How do you describe your style? After almost 10 years of photographing weddings, this answer finally seems to come easily. I consider myself 70% a documentary wedding photographer and 30% an editorial photographer.

When I show up to a wedding, my goal is to photograph it as it unfolds naturally. On your wedding day, I am on the hunt for light. To be a documentary wedding photographer, you have to constantly be looking at light. Often at receptions, I will find a patch of beautiful light or a great composition and I wait until a moment unfolds or I will start looking for moments specifically in that light.

On wedding days, it is almost impossible to be a fully documentary wedding photographer. I tend to use a mix of candid, documentary, and editorial posing styles to capture the unique story of each couple’s wedding day. There are so many moments on a wedding day that I don’t have to interrupt at all. But there are also a handful of moments where you want me to interrupt. I never want to make you feel like you’re at a photo shoot first and your wedding day second.

This candid, documentary approach allows me to capture the raw feeling and energy of the wedding as it unfolds but in a beautiful, artistic way. It helps keep you feeling comfortable and able to enjoy your wedding day. As much as possible, I focus on being a fly on the wall and capturing spontaneous moments as they happen, without directing or posing my subjects. By using this approach, I am able to create a rich and authentic record of the wedding that my clients can look back on and remember fondly for years to come.

At the same time, I also believe in incorporating some posed, editorial shots into my wedding photography. This allows me to create beautiful, polished images that showcase the couple and their wedding guests in the best light (think getting ready photos, your portraits, and family photos). By posing my subjects and directing them in certain ways, I can create stunning and artistic shots that my clients and their loved ones will treasure.