Photographers often talk about the style of their work, and I agree with anyone who says the style is one of the most important things to consider when you are choosing your photographer. Style encompasses the angles a photographer shoots at, the colors they use in their backgrounds, the lighting they prefer, how they digitally edit and so much more.
Each photographer has their own preference, and in principle, nothing is wrong with any of the styles – it is all about personal taste. But for me, one style of event and wedding photography stands above all others; it is timeless, classy, natural and emotive. Most importantly, it tells a story.
Storytelling is a key part of the way you remember things, and a series of images that illustrate a story will have a much bigger impact when you reminisce in years to come. There is nothing wrong with photos that are edgy or different in some way – they just don’t do as good a job at telling a story.
What is this amazing photography style, I hear you ask? It goes by many names. Reportage. Candid. But the name I use is Documentary Photography.
Documentary photographers try to be like a fly on the wall – observing all the great moments created at an event, but without interfering in the moment. The art of documentary photography is in capturing moments that are natural and not created specifically for the camera. People’s eyes, smiles, expressions, body language, behavior, all change the instant they know they are being photographed. A picture of a real-life moment turns in to a staged photograph as soon the person acknowledges the presence of the camera and reacts to it.
This wedding couple have honest, natural expressions on their faces as I took the photo from several metres away without being noticed.
Real laughter is on this man’s face, as I stood the other side of an open doorway not to draw attention to myself.
The girls at this party are all reacting to the bang and confetti from party poppers, not reacting to the camera.
Reportage photography creates these genuine moments, where somebody who wasn’t there feels like they are now.
This is not all to say that posed photos are wrong – just that for event photography, we think reportage is best! If you want to see more examples, check out our Events page here.