Five signs a documentary style photographer is for you

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Janelle D'Ambrosia

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November 16, 2023

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If you’re here, you are probably on the hunt for a wedding photographer. Searching for a wedding or elopement photographer can feel overwhelming – I totally get that. There are so many things to consider when hiring someone to capture your day: editing style, photography style, personality, overall vibe, etc. Documentary style photography focuses on capturing the events as authentically as possible. Documentary wedding photographers lean towards candid and real moments as opposed to super posed and staged ones. These types of photographers are very skilled at observing moments, staying unobtrusive, and creating a narrative through imagery. Read the five signs below to see if documentary or photojournalistic photography resonates with you.

You prefer candid photos over super posed photos

If you find yourself cringing at your cousin’s overly posed wedding photos or worry about taking super awkward and stiff portraits at your own wedding, it may be a sign that a documentary style photographer is for you. Candid photos of you and your partner interacting with each other and your guests and simply enjoying the day will fill your wedding gallery instead of forced head tilts and odd hand placements if you hire a documentary style photographer. 

You want photos that tell a story, not just “look good” 

If you hope to look through your wedding album for years to come and transport back to the memories of your day, you’ll need photographs that tell a genuine story. Maybe it’s a quickly captured photo of your niece running down the stairs to see you for the first time or your partner laughing at you as you slip in mud coming down the aisle, these are the photos you’ll cherish and pass onto future generations. If you’re only given photographs you look absolutely perfect in, it will look like a photo shoot, not an actual wedding day. From start to finish, documentary photographers are able to curate a gallery that tells your unique love story. 

You want to experience the day and live in the moment

So you actually want to be present and experience the day, huh? I’m so happy that you do! For many folks, it can be hard to relax and trust the day to unfold as it will – but it’s so important to just let it be! This is so you can actually live in the moment. With a documentary style photographer, you won’t be asked for any redos because they “didn’t get the perfect shot” and you definitely won’t be pulled away from your guests to get a super specific portrait. The goal is to allow you to exist and enjoy your wedding so it can be authentically documented. 

You want your photos to stand the test of time

One of my favorite aspects of documentary style wedding photography is the natural and timeless editing style. You’ve probably seen some photographers whose style is super warm and earth toned while others are very bright and airy. Some people are drawn to this photography style and that is amazing! But, if you are hoping to have photographs that likely won’t be outdated in a few years when the trends change, a more natural editing style is the way to go. With timeless and natural edits, you can expect your photographs to look how you experienced it with your own eyes.  

You want less interference from the photographer

We all can picture it – the super intense photographer who keeps interrupting a couple to photograph them, who makes super corny jokes, who is loud and boisterous, and almost dominates the entire day. You definitely DO NOT want that – most people don’t! If you’re hoping to have someone who plans on taking a backseat and observing you and your guests, documentary style is probably for you. 

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Feeling present during your celebrations, staying connected to your partner and the people you love most, and absolutely not worried about how your photos are coming out is what you deserve on your wedding day. I'm here to document your day as it unfolds and support you when you need it. No two love stories are the same and yours should live on forever. 


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