Written by Martin Neeves
Some couples have either with a strong idea that they want the conventional, posed wedding package, while others will say that they just want “natural” photographs that tell a story and record the day. I mainly get enquiries for the latter as I specialise in natural, un-posed wedding photography.
The main issue with the conventional “posed” wedding photography is that the flow of the day is broken up with a number of “scripted and posed” photo sessions. They cannot be described as photo opportunities, but the world comes to a halt while the photographer gets his wedding party mannequins grouped together and posed like artists dummies. While this is going on, the guests stand there trying to look excited and getting in the way as they take their photographs.
The alternative is what I call “reportage wedding photography” – sometimes known as “wedding photojournalism” or “documentary wedding photography”. The message is very much in the name(s). This is much less intrusive; it may still involve a few of the conventional wedding shots, but the photographer will merge into the background taking shots as they happen during the memorable day.
Instead of posing the bride and groom at the milestone times like cutting the cake; the photographer will be ready to get in a good position to get that unique shot. For me, it is easy – my photo journalistic background allows me to spot photo opportunities and get great shots on cue.
A reportage photographer will capture those little memorable events that occur during the wedding. BUT, and it is a BIG but, they will do it in a candid and unobtrusive fashion.
A reportage wedding photographer is going to understand that you will still want a few group photos. This may be a brief series of photos of just the two of you, if you’d like that or perhaps “the family”. But the important factor is that the formal photographs will be a subtle, but small part of the day.
But importantly, the photographer will remain unobtrusive and sensitive to the fact that it is your wedding day, and will make every effort not to interfere with your enjoyment of your day. I feel very strongly that your wedding day should revolve around YOU, not me!
So I expect you are thinking that this “reportage photographer” is going to just point that expensive camera, take hundreds of random photos and click and see what comes out at the end. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reportage photographer has to plan ahead, assess the lighting in the environment around them as the day unfolds and plan their shots. They then have to be ready when the “perfect moment” occurs and get that perfect shot. No, probably not a long lens and hide in the bushes, we are not paparazzi. In order to truly “tell the story” the reportage photographer has to be right in amongst everything that’s going on, listening but being unobtrusive – it takes skill. That artistic photograph that catches the atmosphere and moment often happens in an instance and the moment is gone. You cannot then recreate it (or re-pose it).
Done well, reportage wedding photography will result in a great and unique album that will tell the story of the day. It will provide a very memorable record that everyone will be able to relate to because it will be “your wedding” and not just like someone else’s. It may also mean a wider choice of photographs. So not about snapshots; the photographer still has to be aware of picture composition.
If you want to have your day recorded in an empathetic and artistic way with reportage photography, then contact me at Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.