Documentary not Mockumentary part 3

Documentary Wedding Photography by Cork based photographer Philip Bourke
Edel & Conor down in Clon for their Dunmore House Wedding



“Philip, it’s important for us to not have to do anything on the day regards to posing and the like. It’s just not what we are about, we’ve seen it at other weddings and it is not us. We strongly feel that you may be the man for photographing our wedding…”

And it is also important for me to just keep a watchful eye and work from there. This is what i am good at. A documentary wedding photography style is an intense one. I am constantly looking for an angle and an image rather than prompting for one or pretending it is candid. This is also vital when the couple are together for a few pictures by themselves. And they get my way of working

When with the couple, as they take a detour before heading to the reception (if they take a detour I should say…). For me it is about observation. Telling them what to do introduces an extra dimension, and an extra person, awkwardness. They will then be very aware of the photographer when it should not be the case. We now have three people there with one telling the others what to do, they are probably unsure so this will take a few minutes of time wasting to execute.

Hang on, the photographer now has to get a reflector or a light or something so he drags the assistant along, excellent. Some more waiting, how very intimate. Jesus wept, read that again, it just sounds corny, is this for a magazine or is this couple on their wedding day? Talk about killing the moment. Yet this goes on and from experience that is not what any bride and groom who come to me expect or want. I don’t go for it. I do prefer to allow the couple to be who they are for those few minutes before heading to their venue for the reception. To chill out for a short while.

And I always stress “when you are happy to go then you are happy to go. I’ll get what I need picture wise regardless if it is one minute or ten minutes”. It’s my job to stick with the couple, observe, not direct. And looking back, wouldn’t you rather remember a moment for what it is, an actual moment? Or do you want to be a “pose”?

Given the reputation I have for being swift it is now expected and demanded of me to get to grips with this fairly lively. To continue like that throughout the day.

And I do.

When you have to tell a couple what they should do and how they should act on their wedding day you are not just being obtrusive you are being a pain in the ass. Especially if it was not expected nor wanted, in my opinion it takes away the freedom from the day.

I get booked not just on my work, but the way I work, this is also vital.

Recently I was asked by somebody “like, where are the posed shots? I mean I can’t see them, like…” Which I found amusing.

Well, there are none. In my opinion, they not required.

Think a documentary Style for your wedding

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