Documentary weddings are becoming more trendy and popular as couples seek to find photographers who are talented in capturing the natural, unposed moments of their wedding day. What are documentary photos you may be wondering? These are photographs that are captured naturally, without posing or rehearsal. For me, documentary wedding photography is about telling the tale of your wedding day as if it were a story made of pictures.

Documentary style wedding photography is one of the many genres of photography, and may not be the particular style that you were considering for your own wedding. Here are 8 reasons why I think that this style of photography is perfect for any wedding.

Memories to last a lifetime

For me, this is the most important reason to choose this style of photography. The whole reason why you hire a wedding photographer in the first place, is to capture every detail of your wedding day so that you have these beautiful images to serve as memories over the years. When you look back at your photos you want to relive the day through your images and almost be taken back to the exact emotions you felt on that day. If most of your photos have been put together in a posed way, you will remember them as just that – posed and rehearsed. Documentary style will give you natural photos that may not always be bridal magazine worthy in terms of posing, but they will tell the real story of your wedding day, of the first time your dad sees you in your dress, the tear captured in the grooms eye as he sees his bride, the raw emotions that you share as you say your vows. These are the moments, the stories, that you want to tell to your children one day.

Your photographs will be one of a kind

We live in the age of technology, which means that a lot of brides have already looked at other photos from other weddings, scrolled through Pinterest to find the style that she likes and follows all of her favourite photographers on Instagram. While there is nothing wrong with that, there is definitely the loss of originality by trying to copy poses and photos that you have seen elsewhere. Documentary photos will give you 100% unique and original photos that won’t be found in magazines or on Instagram because they are natural and authentic. Photographers will naturally encourage you to pose certain ways, because they know what works and they have done many wedding photos before. With documentary photos nothing should be posed or rehearsed to capture the most natural story, just as it was on your wedding day.

You see things you missed on your wedding day

On your wedding day it is impossible to be in every moment and every conversation with every one of your guests. It is inevitable that there are moments and events that you will miss. Think of your wedding photographer as your personal spy for your wedding day, if they are professional and know how to do their job correctly, there should be many mini stories that will be captured without you or your guests noticing that are out together to create the story of your wedding. Giggles and private jokes, children getting up to mischief, stolen kisses when you thought no one was looking, tears shed away from the crowd – these are all moments that make up the story of your wedding day, captured as naturally as they happened on that special day.

You don’t even know photos are being taken

Your wedding day is stressful enough without having to worry about having photos taken, posing and worrying about getting the right shot every time. Whether you are camera shy, don’t really like being in photos or posing for them, or couldn’t be bothered about stressing over them, documentary style photos are perfect. You don’t have to worry about smiling perfectly or fixing your dress and hair for every photo, your photographer will capture beautiful moments without you even realising that they are being captured.

Your wedding day runs naturally the way you want it to

Instead of your time and entire day being dictated by your photographer in order to capture the right moments, at the right time of the day, in the right light, your day can go on naturally enjoying every moment. Your documentary photographer should blend in with your guests and silently capture moments without bossing you around and telling you were to go. Your guests also get to enjoy the day without a photographer bothering them for posed photos. Photos are all captured naturally as they occur, without you knowing when each shot is needed. This will ultimately help you to truly enjoy your wedding day.

Raw emotions are captured

Unlike posed photos, which granted can be really beautiful and can still be full of emotion and love, documentary style photos capture the raw emotions of the day. When you look back at these photos they should take you right back to those moments and bring you back to those emotions that you felt. This is what makes an authentic wedding story, the raw unstaged, unposed photos, even if they aren’t the “prettiest” they are what make your day special. These photos make some of the most beautiful that you will find framed and in homes after the wedding. From the humour in the speeches to the tears of the groom as his bride walks down the aisle, these are the raw emotions that tell the story of YOUR wedding day.

People look naturally beautiful

Naturally you want to look your very best on your wedding day, and in your wedding photos. You can do your part to have your hair and makeup done, but when people know the camera is out they don’t act naturally and their individual natural beauty fades slightly. Some of the best and most beautiful photos that I have taken have been those natural moments where the bride and groom, and even the guests, are unaware of the camera and are being themselves. I get to capture the real you and that’s what real beauty is all about.

You get the best of both worlds

While documentary photography is all about capturing natural moments as they happen, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get those picture perfect photos in between. Your photographer won’t deny any requests for those group photos of you smiling with grandma, or those couple portraits you’ve seen on Pinterest. The beauty of a documentary photographer is that they know how to capture the posed moments as well as the moments in between. The moments shared before and after “the photo” is taken, the moments where you as a couple share an intimate moment. Regular photographers can’t always do documentary style, but documentary photographers are sure to get the other styles you want in between real life photos.

Whatever the style is that you choose to go for, remember that these photos will last a lifetime, will evoke memories and emotions and can’t be retaken. If raw emotions and memories are what you want out of your wedding photos, a documentary wedding photographer is the perfect person to put your happily ever after into a beautiful photographic story.

If you live in Dublin, speak to me about capturing your wedding tale in documentary style!