I have no stories of finding a box brownie in my grannies attic (boring) or any ten a penny inspirational quotes (boring) so lets get down to brass tacks. For over fifteen years I have been photographing weddings in a documentary style. That makes me a documentary wedding photographer. Sure, this term is bandied about today by everyone but it’s just not the case that all wedding photographers are documentary. Even if they want to be.
To document may have different connotations to some and for me this means that I will literally document your wedding day in a candid manner. The pictures will be photographed in a candid and natural manner. My photography has taken me to practically every county in the Republic, I may have one or two to cover… I specialise in Documentary Wedding Photography and have created a brand of work that is quite individual. And very distinctive as it has evolved.
In the years that I have been photographing weddings I have seen many trends come and go I have always questioned those that need to hop on the next trend and the lack of consistency it brings with it. If you have a coherent style of work why trend hop? And how quickly will a trend fall out of fashion?
From day one I have had a clear vision and have not strayed from that path, but as I said earlier. The work has evolved in that time. The focus is always on the images and telling the story.
A photojournalist wedding photography approach, and it must go without saying that anyone who has a coherent documentary style will also have an individual style within that genre Thy will produce images that will speak for themselves and tell a clear story.
Photographing a wedding in a photojournalistic style will reflect what the day. And also lends itself to be creative due to the freedom of letting the day flow at its own pace and to find and capture fleeting moments. It should be exciting to receive your wedding day pictures and remember snippets of conversations and see stunning images and moments captured that are truly one off.
Your wedding day is a one off moment and you should possess a set of pictures that reflect this. And each time you look at them they always bring you back there.
Documentary Wedding Photography
Are you looking for a wedding photographer? And do you want something creative and special? Why not go for documentary wedding photography?
Perhaps you have come here to my site because you are looking for something different. And perhaps you have already seen the forced, static and staged images that so many wedding photographers provide. Let me show you how candid wedding photographs can tell the story of your wedding day for you to enjoy for years to come.
It is your wedding, not the photographer’s
Traditional, and even many reportage wedding photographers, find the need to slow down the day. Some will interrupt the ceremony to get their shots and set up scenarios. Most likely these will be the same setup they use for each and every wedding. Setting up the images can easily take two hours… of your time. And meanwhile you and your guests will be waiting around missing out on all the fun moments. The interactions and the enjoyment. Let’s face it, it is boring. It drains away the energy of the day, and it slows everything down.
I won’t stop your wedding day and let you and your guests wait around for hours
As a documentary photographer, a reportage photographer, or a photojournalistic photographer, my approach reflects this. My job is simply to document your wedding day, which means you won’t even notice me as I work. No set up photographs, no nonsense, and no fuss. I simply shoot events from your wedding day as they unfold, leaving you to fully enjoy your day. The only time you will be aware of me is when it comes to your family and bridal portraits. But again, I think fast and work fast – you won’t be waiting around.
Couples who book me say the same thing: “No fuss, just real photographs”
The images can be dynamic, the images can be subtle, but you won’t have any of the generic clichés usually associated with wedding photography. Simply think”Photography” and not “Wedding Photography”and you get something truly unique, refreshing and memorable that really sums up your wedding day. Images from you own special place
Couples often have a place they would some pictures taken, a place that means something to them instead of a place that the photographer thinks is good. So if there is a place you would like to go for some pictures then it is always a good idea. This way you’ll have images from a place that holds a special memory for you.
The images speak for themselves…
And it is possible to achieve better images without setting up scenarios because the images are already there. As a documentary photographer I am able to spot a good image in an instance, which means I simply don’t need to set up scenarios to achieve quality images. The results speak for themselves. You get a great mix of strong, vibrant, and creative shots, so that you, your family, and friends can recall the true feeling of the great day you had.
Let me follow your entire wedding day, not just for one or two hours
Here is an example of how I typically work:
I’ll start shooting at the bride’s house (or your parent’s house or the hotel you are staying at on the morning of your
wedding day) and it’s a great chance to get some shots of the morning preparations and finding some cool shots to start the day.
Going through the day you’ll get a set of images capturing moments from: Before, during and after the ceremony, and then I move on to the reception. I’ll finish a little while after you both sit for your meal in the evening. This will provide you with images from a good five, six… even seven hours of shooting.
When you choose me as your wedding photographer…
- There will be no waiting around. I shoot the images as the day progresses as you and your guests simply enjoy the celebration because that is the wedding.
- There will be no fake scenarios and tired clichés. I simply record your wedding day as it happens, so that you can look back at the moments for years to come.
- There will be no rush and limiting time frame. You get 5-7 hours of reportage shots from the day, so that you can recall the true feel of your wedding day again and again.
- A storybook feel to your wedding day, and that one that will always be exciting
The choice is yours
Do you want something unique, vibrant and real? I can offer you exciting and natural images that tell the real story of your wedding day, images that document the day as it unfolds at its own pace.
Philip Bourke Street Photographer
As a student, documenting street life was always what I was drawn to most, and Street Photography is still a big part of my own personal work, and it is something which I bring to my professional work
Through an influence of street photographers such as Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz and through the general medium of the energetic, transient and fast moving pace of street imagery, previous and current personal photographic work explores the often both exciting and mundane traits of the street portrait and urban landscape. The unknown subject as they interact, shape, live and journey through their environment and their landscape.
Close Your Eyes and See!: June 2003. St. Johns Graduation show, Vision Centre, North Main St. Cork. (Images from the project “These Streets…”)
Art trail: December 2003, selection of images from the 10 Mardyke Studio (Rahilly Building UCC, Cork)
Land: August 2005, Tigh Fili Gallery, McCurtain St. Cork. Four man group show. Featuring two artists and two photographers each bringing their subjective vision on the landscape together merging the form of landscape with urban social landscape to a cathartic image of the land and what it represents.
New Works: July 2006. Frame Gallery, Denmark St., Limerick City. Exhibition of paintings and photographs. Featuring both established and up and coming artists. (Images from project Portugal Portraits)
Second Cities: November 2007. Kosice, Slovakia. Group show taking in photographers from European second cities, the work and images convey each artist’s subjective vision of living their home country’s second largest city.
Cork Arts Collective: June 2009. Photographic Light Box Show
Cork Arts Trail: November 2009, Open Shutter Group project “Rediscovering Locality”, street projected images and “Camera Obscura” set up on the Port of Cork
Kinsale Arts Week: July 2010, “33 Market Square”
“STREET” at The Darkroom, Camden Palace: November 2014
“The Bench Project”: Group Photography show, Eschwege, Germany, November 2015
“Outside”, Camden Palace: July 2016. As exhibitor and curator
“Outside”: Camden Palace, presented by On Edge Street, July 2016
“Other Spaces”: Camden Palace, presented by On Edge Street, March 2017
“Life is Worth Talking About”, Cork City Hall, July 2017
“Outside”: At Counihans, presented by On Edge Street, November 2017
World Street Photography 5, Exclusively featuring work from the WSP 5 book (Kujaja.com), Hamburg, June 2018
World Street Photography 6, Exclusively featuring work from the WSP 6 book (Kujaja.com), Hamburg, (Kuaja.com) June 2019
“5 Paths”, Group show, Frame Gallery, Limerick June 2008
I have a selection of Street Photography available on a Saatchi page
All text and images are © Philip Bourke Photography