South Bend Wedding Photographer / Michiana Wedding Photographer - What IS Documentary Wedding Photography

First, let me explain what documentary photography is in a broad sense: documentary photography tells an honest story through photos. It does not pose. It does not direct. It does not "say cheese." It simply documents the moments, the details, the emotions and the interactions. It tells the story as it happens with nothing posed or fake. One motto I regularly like to tell people is that it places the value in the real rather than the ideal. 

When we apply this concept to wedding photography, it manifests into a few key points:

- It tells YOUR love story.

So often, we see wedding images that are stunning. Beautiful. Breathtaking. And uniform. I hate to say it, but go look at Pinterest's wedding photos and they all kind of blend in together; they are so, so similar! You and your partner's love story is unique and your photos should reflect that. Maybe you are a country couple who loves the outdoors and who wears cowboy boots on a daily basis who show their love for each other subtly and softly. That is what your images should showcase. Or maybe, you're a super quirky couple who loves all things original who demonstrate your love for each other loudly and unashamedly. That is what you want to see in your photos. Documentary wedding photography doesn't pose or modify your love story; it simply captures it in its purest form.

- It shows REAL emotion.

Ironically, seeing as I'm a photographer, I hate being in photos. When someone points a camera at me and says "stop what you're doing and now do this!" I not only feel wildly uncomfortable but kind of annoyed. Now, not everyone has that feeling, but some do. Documentary photography takes most of that away. Rather than trying to force love into an image through traditional wedding poses, documentary wedding photographers simply wait for the love to be shown naturally and then capture it. I know my favorite pictures of my husband and I are the ones where we are laughing and being natural, totally unaware that our picture was even being taken. This is the same experience that documentary photography offers to you. 

- You get the BEAUTY without the effort. 

One of the main concerns from people interested in documentary wedding photography is that they won't get those stunning images. I beg to differ. In fact, I will just let these completely candid images above speak for themselves. 

- It preserves the DETAILS.

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When planning a wedding, you harp on even the smallest of details. Why let those details get lost? You put all of this time and effort into perfecting everything, it deserves to be preserved. Whether it is the groom's grandfather's watch or the bride's "something blue" or even a fun detail like goofy glasses or pre-wedding festivities, these are all HUGE points in your story and need to be shared and remembered. Documentary photography not only captures these details, but makes them a priority.

While documentary wedding photography may not be for everyone, it is definitely something to consider. If you value candor; if you know your love story is worth telling; if you want more time to focus on your wedding day and your new spouse rather than spending hours in front of a camera, then documentary photography is worth pondering.