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Documentary Style - What is it?

Visual Storytelling

Simply put, documentary photography is the telling of a story in still image. There are several names for this kind of photography – documentary-style, reportage, photojournalism etc – but they all mean the same thing. The chronicling of events in image form.

As a documentary photographer it’s my job to quietly observe and document events as they unfold organically without influencing the action. Great, what does that mean you may ask. See below for a couple of examples.

Family & Friends

You, your family and loved ones are going to look your best when being your natural selves. You are the creator of your memories and I am simply here to capture them as they happen spontaneously.

To this end, I will never pose or direct you. Real events unfolding naturally make the best pictures. These are the moments you’ll remember, not the party pooping, atmosphere-sapping staged shots of traditional wedding photography.

Documentary Wedding Photography

It is not about one frame but many


Below is a short sequence of frames taken from a wedding I did in Italy. They serve as an example of shooting through a moment as it unfolds. Of those 40 or so frames I took in about a minute I delivered 5 frames that showed the action most clearly. They make me smile every time I look at them and I hope they do the same for you too.


One of the bridesmaids – having won the bride’s bouquet toss – senses the young usher’s disappointment at not catching the flowers and makes a snap decision to avert upset. She hands the bouquet to her man who is instantly overjoyed. Disaster averted! Of course you didn’t need me to tell you that because it’s all there in the pictures.

Don't cry unless it's for the right reasons

It's your wedding day not a photoshoot


Your happiness is my happiness. If you’re relaxed and having a great time, it’ll show in the photos. A Tearful eye in the right circumstances is also a beautiful thing and rest assured that when those tender moments do occur as they often do, I’ll be there to capture them too.

No matter what emotions are on display, I work in a relaxed and unobtrusive way from your morning prep right through to your first dance.

Documentary Photography

Decisive Moments

Creating evocative pictures that’ll bring your day back to life every time you look at them is a skill  that requires patience, quick reflexes and a preemptive eye. That decisive moment – where all the elements of a picture come together in balance – can go completely unnoticed were it not for a timely press of the shutter button.

As a documentary style photographer, my aim is to see these moments in gestation before they happen and position myself in the right place to capture them.

Documentary Photography


Human interaction – displays of connectedness – the source of the most heart warming imagery

Documentary Photography

Movement & Location

Transitional shots move the story from one setting to another. They keep the pace going and show scene changes

Documentary Photography


Reflection / Symmetry / Pattern / Light / Colour / Creativity / Art???

Group Shots

It’s important that you be free to enjoy the day with your loved ones and not away doing a photo-shoot. However, I appreciate that other family members might want a formal shot for their living room wall. To that end, I’ll spend a short time doing these but I ask that designated bridesmaids or ushers be tasked with rounding everyone up.

I also suggest that your maid of honour and best man be assigned the job of assuring your presentation. I wont know if you’re not happy with your hair or if you’re worried about the knot of your tie.


Of course – you’ll want some pictures of just the two of you so we’ll take some time away from everyone else to do these. Beyond asking you to walk from one spot to another (for example), I’ll keep things un-posed and informal. My intention here is to capture the energy and emotion of your first minutes together as newly weds.

You can find more information about what’s included in my standard package you here. You may well have special requirements or a schedule that deviates from the norm. No problem! I’m sure I can accommodate you.  Get in touch and let’s discuss thing further.