Documentary-Style Event Photography reigns supreme, change my mind!

april 24, 2023

I often use the term “documentary-style” when describing how I shoot weddings, events and sessions. I truly believe that this candid style of storytelling is key to visually representing your biggest life events with honesty — truly recording the energy, the feelings, and the memories from the day.

Documentary photography simply uses images to tell an impactful story

Documentary photography rarely includes posed portraits or staged scenes. Instead, it seeks to creatively depict real-life situations.

At a wedding, event or session I achieve this style in a couple ways:

  1. Blending in to your environment. If I can be a part of the party, guests are more likely to interact with me in a natural way, or they’re likely to not notice me at all. That way, I can snap away and grab the candid shots that could never be staged.
  2. Movement. Movement is secret sauce when it comes to candid photography. Don’t be surprised to hear my newest Spotify playlist at our portrait session. I want you up, moving around, being comfortable and just being you. Instead of posing, prompting encourages more movement. You’ll hear me ask you to swing your partner around or whisper something dirty in her ear. (That and taking a shot or enjoying your fave beverage is likely to get the dance moves flowing!)

I’ve found that more and more of my couples enjoy the organic approach achieved with documentary wedding photography.

It captures spontaneous encounters, unexpected events, and intimate moments better than any staged photograph ever could. 

But my favorite part is that it also encourages the couples and the guests to just enjoy their day. I don’t want to keep pulling you away from your guests, from the party you’ve been planning for a year…from your food!

Documentary-style vs Photojournalism. I’ve very carefully branded myself as a documentary-style photographer intentionally.

Documentary-style traditionally emphasizes storytelling and therefore encourages the artist to spend more time with their subjects, developing deeper relationships. For me that could include:

  • Getting to know you. Don’t be surprised if we have at least one coffee date (or call) to learn about your relationship, your wedding/event, or just have time to explore anything you want me to know that will help me tell your story
  • A questionnaire for you to fill out before our session
  • Sharing a Pinterest board in order to align our visions visually
  • Bringing the right camera kit to your event. Depending on your style or your story I will custom-fit my kit to best capture the imagery for your event. Maybe that includes a drone, a GoPro, a more artistic lens like a tilt-shift that will alter reality. 

A lot of thought, research and care goes in to making your story come to life. I do my very best to honor the trust you put in me by making me your photographer — by giving me the honor of documenting and preserving your biggest life events.