Wedding photojournalism: Telling wedding stories

Wedding event photography styles have progressed over the years and there is, naturally, no right or wrong way to shoot one. Over the past couple of years, for example, we’ve seen the rise of the vintage-style wedding. We are all very much aware of the formal and traditional style of wedding photography, and we’ve probably all been at wedding events where we have spent more time in a group shot than actually enjoying ourselves.
Wedding photography
Fortunately, every couple getting wed will have their own concept of what they want from their wedding event photographs, and one design that is currently very popular is documentary wedding photography or wedding photojournalism.
Wedding photography
When shooting a wedding like this, the idea is to inform the story of the wedding through pictures, with no direction or intervention from the professional photographer. And the crucial thing to bear in mind is that you should be shooting in a candid manner.

This does not suggest that the professional photographers who direct their clients and arrange the shots are incorrect– it simply indicates that those who choose to shoot in a really documentary design pick to do it completely openly.

And this is harder than it seems. When you have a stunning bridal prep space and the cosmetics artist chooses to prepare the bride in the bathroom, sometimes it’s tough not to interject. However, the strategy is to tell the true story of the day, which day should be permitted to stream completely naturally.


When you are commissioned to photo a wedding– and possibly this is true for any kind of photography– you are selected because of your eye for the frame. The clients have actually picked you based upon your portfolio. They enjoy the types of images you are catching.

What does this suggest? Well, it indicates they are not picking you because of your camera-operating skills. They are choosing you due to the fact that they like the minutes you see at weddings and how you picked to photo them.

Being a documentary wedding photographer is much more than comprehending how your camera works, or how flashguns run. It’s about people-watching and comprehending the dynamics of the visitors.
Wedding photography

Attempt to avoid a basic formula for shots– capture what’s in front of you rather


Nearly as important as seeing is listening. When you are shooting a wedding with a documentary method, it’s important to be on your toes at all times. You can normally inform if a little group has formed that is possibly a little more gregarious than the rest by merely listening. Is somebody ready to tell the punchline of a joke? Is dad getting ready for a very emotional part of the speech? Sharpening these abilities will provide you a better chance of capturing the best minute.


Human emotion is what drives wedding events. There are couple of occasions more psychological in the majority of people’s lives and it’s actually crucial to try to record that in the storytelling aspect of your wedding event protection.

Be prepared for when the couple leave the wedding room as this is when all their close household will hurry forward to hug them. Make certain you are in an excellent position to capture these minutes

Fast with your video camera abilities. Relocate extremely quickly, take the shot and after that retreat, allowing the moment to continue undisturbed by you. If you linger, the subjects will respond to you and the minute will have disappeared.
Emotion is what drives weddings and it’s vital that you catch these minutes.

Be different

At practically every wedding event there will be guests with electronic camera gear to rival you and your set-up. And even if this isn’t the case, nearly every visitor will have a smart phone with a video camera or a little point-and-shoot electronic camera out all the time.

Try to make your images different from the rest by using great natural light, metering accordingly (area metering in extreme sunshine can be very effective), utilizing low angles and thinking more about your structure. Do not just shoot from the standing upright position as everyone else is. Get your knees filthy if required, and get the bride and groom images that none of their visitors would have even considered attempting to attain.

Work hard on your composition to make your images various from everyone else’s.
Remember it is a story.

A good documentary of any kind will have a start, a middle and an end. It will likewise respond to the core questions of who, why, what, where and when.

When shooting, remember you are there to give a concise record of the day, so your images must stand together to inform the story but likewise stand separately as moments in time.

A good documentary wedding photographer will not just take endless ‘headshots in a natural way’ using a 70-200mm lens. An excellent documentary professional photographer will connect each area of the day together with cornerstone images, such as place shots, transportation and visitors moving in between places. They will also make every effort to integrate information such as the weather condition to help bond the parts of the day into a meaningful set of images that inform the whole story.
A good documentary has images that show a start, a middle and an end.

Keep it easy and light.

While you can use any camera to shoot an excellent documentary wedding event, you will have a better possibility of getting those fleeting minutes really rapidly if you utilize smaller DSLRs or mirrorless cams. Attempt to stick to a number of focal lengths, such as 35mm and 85mm. The less you’re altering lenses and fretting about gear, the more opportunity you will have to capture those killer images.
Keep it simple
Keep it simple by working with just a number of lenses for the whole day.

Behind the scenes: Overcoming challenging conditions.
Behind The Scenes
Shooting this image showed a little problematic for a couple of factors. While the light was great inside the barn, the couple were standing in front of a huge full-height glass window. This meant that the subjects were overloaded with light and I needed to utilize the camera’s spot metering and direct exposure payment to get a right direct exposure.

In addition, the pastor had shown he was happy for me to photograph from the front, however he did not want to hear any ‘clicks of the video camera’. Fortunately, the Fujifilm cameras I use have an electronic shutter mode, which I can resort to when I require silence. In this case, as the couple were deep in prayer, I was able to shoot this image not just in silence, however also from my hip, which helped me respect the moment more.
Be nimble, react to the scene in front of you and then move on
Thanks to the electronic viewfinder (where you can see the live exposure), I might check my direct exposure and shoot the image safe in the understanding that the minute had actually been captured. In post-processing, really little needed adjusting as I could see exactly how the image would come out of the cam.

What is candid?

the word candid is originated from candour, and candour is described in the dictionary as ‘the quality of being truthful and informing the truth’.

So, if professional photographers take it upon themselves to control the moment, tell people to smile, direct them or stage the components of the photograph in any way, it can’t be classified as an honest moment.


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