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Documentary Wedding Photography

Dan Eitreim

July 14, 2015

Being an experienced photographer with a background in photojournalism, corporate, magazine and wedding photography I believe that I can suggest some things to consider about choosing your wedding photographer. There are several things to consider when making your choice.

Weddings can be photographed in several different styles. You must determine what style of photography you like.

(1) Traditional wedding photography. Everything is posed.
(2) Wedding photojournalism or documentary photography. A fly-on-the-wall observer capturing the special moments but also some posed or controlled photographs to make sure you get the exact things and people you want.
(3) Contemporary or edgy wedding photography. Avant-garde, cutting edge, rules breaker. The unexpected view or angle as determined by the photographer’s vision or taste alone.

Numbers 1 & 3 are fairly self-explanatory. Presently most brides choose the documentary or wedding photojournalism style. This gives you the best of both worlds. Your photographer will follow you through the day and capture those special moments as they occur. I have had many brides tell me that they didn’t even know I was there until they saw their photographs. One father told me how he and his daughter had had a touching personal moment just before he walked her down the aisle to give her away. We had a good laugh about it when I told him that I knew because I was standing about six feet away from them at the time and I had some beautiful photographs to show him of the moment.

Your documentary photographer’s chief responsibility is to follow the bride through the day. Naturally he will photograph many other things such as the details of the day – the cake, the flowers, and the people. But his main responsibility is to you and the groom. There will be times when things slow down such as at the reception and your photographer will have time to photograph your guests and family. Most people don’t usually dress as formally as they do at a wedding and would like to have a family or friends group. A good photographer will be glad to accommodate them with a quick photograph as long as he always keeps an eye on the bride and groom.

The second part of the documentary style is the group photographs. Some brides don’t put much emphasis on groups but even if you don’t, your mother or grandmother will probably have some framed for display for years to come. Usually groups are taken before and after the ceremony and include the entire wedding party, families with the couple and any other people who are meaningful in the couple’s lives. At the reception another popular group is one of you with your lifelong friends or college buddies and any other spontaneous moments (see Part 2).

Your photographer will guide you through some photographs such as the cake cutting and the bouquet and garter toss so that he can get the right angle and see clearly what is going on. Also your departure from the reception needs a little organization to line everybody up and get some great photographs of you and your new husband with all the bubbles or sparklers or rose petals flying around your heads. It’s simply a matter of the photographer being able to get into the right place at the right time. Remember to always inform your photographer about what you intend to do next. By the way, I will put in a plug for a good wedding director or the DJ at your reception. A good wedding director or DJ will run the reception and keep things moving on schedule.

With the decision made about what style of photography you want before your wedding day you are assured that things will go smoothly you will know what to expect from your photographer. This will give you time to have fun rather than play wedding coordinator on the spot.

Remember, happy weddings make great photographs.

Jim Stratford is a highly experienced photographer in North Carolina photographing weddings and portraits and corporate, magazine and advertising assignments. Jim’s style is derived from his extensive career in newspaper photojournalism and magazine assignments. Jim’s philosophy about wedding photography is to tell the story of your wedding day concentrating especially on those iconic moments which set your wedding apart. You may view his portfolios at: [www.stratfordweddingphoto.com] and http://www.stratfordphoto.comAsk Jim any questions you may have at: jim@stratfordweddingphoto.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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