What Is Documentary Wedding Photography?

Updated: Mar 19

You have probably heard of various buzz words to describe a documentary wedding photographer, like reportage photographer, candid photographer, natural, unposed…etc. Now you are probably wondering

“Is a documentary style of coverage for me?”

This page will answer those questions, and many more, while at the same time describing my approach to the unique and natural way of telling the story of your wedding day.

The best place to start is with a definition of the word “documentary”.

Here is a dictionary definition:


[dok-yuhmen–tuh-ree, -tree] adjective Movies, Television. based on or rec-creating an event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements: eg a documentary life of Gandhi

The idea is to present a factual record of a story without interfering, like a news reporter. This means an observer can look through a set of images and get a true understanding of what exactly happened, rather than ‘what did the photographer make people do’.

This is my main approach for wedding photography, I will not spend all day posing you for formal photographs, but instead I’ll provide you with a true and flowing record of what really happened at your wedding.

Here are a few examples. You can see more in my gallery.


I read an article that summed up a few important points to remember when looking for a documentary wedding photographer or photojournalist:


A photojournalist wedding photographer said: “We’re not selling a product, we’re selling a promise” “If you don’t trust your wedding photojournalist, then why did you hire them?”

If you’re constantly worrying about the photographers—are they getting good shots; taking enough pics; Do I look good? —then you’re not living in the present. “When you let that go, the imagery is much more confident, because you’re not thinking about it the entire time. You cannot worry. If you are being primped and prompted at every turn, you’re not going to enjoy your day, and the photos will reflect that.”

Some ask is it right for the groom to cry at his wedding? You have to be comfortable enough in front of your photographer to show whatever emotions are present, even if it means crying, and trust them to document that in a beautiful way. After all, you do not have to look goo