As a documentary photographer I’ve well established what separates me and those of my ilk from a host of wedding photographers. The distinction must be clear to any potential client and I urge that for your wedding think photography. Not wedding photogrphy
For me a wedding photographer sets up his stall to shoot weddings in a general and most antiquated way. Even the current wave of whatever trend does exactly the same thing. Only with faded filters. They tend to have an itemised set of images that must be captured because that has been the way it is done and therefore predicatble.
There is an expectation to do the same thing over and over and in a safe and predictable way.
If I’m asked once more “Are you doing the cake shot?” I think I’ll scream. this seems the norm.
And on the flip side there will be couples who certainly do not want anything near this kind of thinking. They don’t want a set of endless inanimate things. Preferring mood and atmosphere from their photographs. A story. For years I have stressed the point that what I do has nothing to do with wedding photography.
In the most general meaning of the term. Yes, I shoot weddings. I see myself as a photographer. I’ll approach the day as a wedding Photojournalist.
Tapping in to what is actually happening on the day is paramount. For me it is of the utmost importance. I will always work with what is in front of me, never setting anything up. But a well framed composition is super important and the freedom to do so. I don’t like it when people fuss over items that should be moved, which often happens when shooting morning preparations on the morning. The documentary photographer must have complete trust to produce a set of images in a way and style they see fit. Without the need to overly fussy because a teapot may be in the way.
Certain items may be important to the image I am creating. The focal point of the image must be very clear. Gathering moments of tension are as important as the laughs or a silent image of two people in discussion over a pint.
If I am to document the day then that’s the focus. From day one it was my objective to photograph a wedding in my own style. Documenting the day as I go. It isn’t random. I will anticipate an image to the point now that I work in a super fast manner. And this is all part of the overall style of image I prefer. As I have mentioned many times, no two weddings are alike.
And I’ll tell that story in my own inimitable style, and as a result that uniqueness will shine through.