Most wedding photographers have an editorial style. That means they focus mostly on taking beautiful photos, usually relying on posing the couple. Many portfolios are built upon these beautiful photos of just the couple, sometimes taken on the wedding day, often not. Those photos are beautiful, yes – but are they important?
It happened to myself when I started photographing weddings. I would focus mostly on taking beautiful photos, but felt that the shots that actually show the wedding didn’t have a soul. I then found documentary photography and changed my style. That’s when I started to actually like my work. I focus mostly on the interactions between the couple and their guests. I want to capture genuine moments that happen along the day. In those moment I have no control over the quality and direction of the light, or over the poses of each person. I can’t change the location of where everything is happening and I can’t count on it being repeated. That makes documentary work very hard and demanding because I need to be constantly on the lookout for what’s happening around me. However, that’s the kind of photography I love.
Documentary photography has been around for decades. Pictures taken 50 years ago by documentary photographers still look fresh and up to date.