The Rise of the Documentary Wedding Photographer
Well, well, well…when did it become popular for a ‘people’ photographer not to be able to interact with ‘people’?
Those horrible people who employ you? Those nasty people who give you a living?
Well, it seems to me, that the Rise of the Documentary Wedding Photographer was the catalyst.
Now don’t get me wrong, my early days in wedding photography back in the 80’s held a somewhat rigid approach to snapping the happy day. Very formulaic, very Olan Mills, here is your set list, and that’s all you get, whereas now, the reportage approach to wedding photography is absolutely right.
But Documentary Wedding Photographer? Give me a break, that’s a step way too far.
That suggests that the ‘people’ Photographer is not very good with people, and if they aren’t great communicators it’ll show in your photos, really it will.
This breed of photographer are no more than paparazzo hiding in bushes snapping away until they get a good one, they are not professional, they cannot, or perhaps, are unwilling, not confident enough maybe, to talk to people, pose people, actually they are not capable to doing the job they have been paid to do.
And of course, the uninitiated, the couple who have not done this ‘getting married’ business before, get sucked in by this nonsense. Conned by the hype maybe.
What happens, I wonder, when the images are viewed by the family (the day is a family get-together after all) and no group photos appear.
Disappointment at the least, anger at the most, neither of which I would wish to be involved in.
I was at a wedding recently, a new venue, where the wedding planner asked whether I would be doing any formal groups, I replied ‘of course’, to which the response was ‘would you like me to help?’. I replied ‘no thank you, I’ll be fine, why do you ask?’
‘Because the last few photographers ‘don’t do that”. So for £1000, a ‘professional’ photographer ‘doesn’t do that’…shame on you…and dare I say it, you’re hiding behind this new DW Photographer rubbish.
I always aim to get an iconic image, that shot which forever shouts out at the couple. If I am unable to communicate to get that one shot because I’m a Documentary Wedding Photographer and I ‘don’t do that’ then you, the clients will miss out big time and that, my friends, is totally unacceptable.
And if you think that group photos are stuffy and boring, you’re wrong, very wrong. Interacting with a group of people will relax the subject and can bring some wonderful reactions, true joyous expressions, and WILL link you, the photographer to the celebration of their wonderful day.
If you don’t employ a photographer who is good with people, you’ll also miss out on a great portrait of you and you’re family, and you’ll have a grumpy old lump of expensive photographer getting in the way and not achieving very much.
It’ll show in your photos, the photos that will be with you FOR LIFE. And remember, a fully trained, experienced photographer can effectively do BOTH reportage and formal photos, which is, I think, exactly what you need.
The happy sample photos below, show this perfectly.
So Documentary Wedding Photography…thank you very much but I won’t be subscribing, and I very, very strongly suggest that you don’t either.
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