top of page

Photojournalism, Documentary, Reportage? What is it anyway?


Now unless you've been living under a rock, don't know anyone who has been married in the last 10 years or simply have no interest what so ever then you may have noticed a rise in the amount of reportage or photo journalistic wedding photographers advertising their services to the bridal masses. You may of course see these photographers advertising this and actually wonder what that is and what involves.

Also known as documentary photography its basically "a photographic style that captures the moment or event in a narrative fashion, i.e.,images that tell a story."

Why hire a professional photographer at all? Everyones got phones with cameras on these days, surely they can capture the day as it unfolds.

I know people say, 'I hate having my photo taken', and look for this style to cover the day and with so many photographers claiming to be documentary photographers you may think this is the way forward.

The issue is many people think it is literally just shooting whats happening, and while there is an element of this happening it's really not as easy as that.

It's not about hiding in the bushes with a long lens either or sitting in a helicopter a mile out with the equivalent of a snipers scope attached to the camera. To tell a story with pictures a photographer needs to be involved in the day as well. If done right this style can create a real sense of being there when you look back in years to come, helps you relive the day and all those emotions that were felt.

With so many amateurs declaring themselves to be wedding photographers with no knowledge of lighting, the way a camera works or how to listen to the flow of a wedding day, this is such an easy style to claim.

Really good reportage photographers won't just point and shoot, theres a lot involved, looking at different lighting situations, planning ahead and waiting for that moment to happen without staging it or quite often even being noticed. Now this is a real art.

Of course don't rule out the awesome dramatic fine art style of wedding photography, a real professional will know when to shoot reportage and when to create works of art without making you feel posed and awkward. A wedding day should be one of the most amazing days of your life, and with a mix of technical skill, awareness and that artistic eye, your photos; documentary, reportage, artistic, awesome and dramatic should reflect the amount of time, energy and money you spent on it.




bottom of page