Candid wedding pictures, wedding reportage,documentary wedding photography, candid marriage photography. Surely, if we were talking about wedding pictures, there'll be a lot of way to say that we would like to have unposed photography at our wedding, but what exactly do we mean when we talk about this kind of wedding photography? All of these words are related to the journalism world and define that type of story based on faithful documentation of reality. So, we are not just talking about taking pictures, but taking them as close as possible to the reality of the facts we are documenting, without interfering.
The world before the digital reportage photography
Shooting a wedding reportage means not only take picture of two people during one of the most important day of their life. It is a way (and also my way) to conceive memories. Everything canged with the arrival of the digital photography. Digital cameras have no fear of darkness, so they allow a wedding photographer to do almost everything he/her couldn't do with analogue photography. One example: the getting ready. You could't shoot a lot during the getting ready if you were shooting it on film, because the 99,9% of time you would need to shoot with flash, and the flash's light is one of the most unreal light the human kind has created since its first day on Earth. If you didn't want to use flash, it was easier to shoot just some posed portrait, and just one or two candid moments, but before you had to move the make up artist and the bride very close to a window to have the right light... Today, as digital photographer, we are very lucky and we can shoot almost in any condition of light, and this chance open up the world of the wedding photography, this old land inhabitated only by posed pictures, to this beautiful new reality full of natural photohography.
What does a candid wedding photographer do?
In a wedding reportage you need to run at the speed of sound to not loose a single important moment, and if you are a good documentary wedding photographer, you'll find how to put the whole story into a single frame. What I try to do through the documentation of the event is the construction of a memory. I want my couple to look at these pictures years later, and use their wedding photos as an emotional map to re-discover the feelings they experienced that day. And to do this, all you need is a hint, a starting point. A photograph is only a moment, but a good candid wedding photographer builds a story in a single frame, without needing anything else.
Fine art wedding photographer (the traditional approach) VS documentary wedding photographer (the alternative approach)
As I said, in the good old days of wedding film photography, you only could choose one way to shoot. Strike the pose. End game. The first twist arrive almost 10 years ago, when fine art wedding photography were born. This style of picture is well defined by the composition of the frame (portrait and details looks like come from a Reinaissance painting), the colour palette (dreamy and creamy, because all the photographers use the same film: Kodak Portra), every subject (a house, a bouquet, a kiss..) is static, airy, and soft. Everything is undercontrol (including emotions), the wedding takes place calmly and everything runs smoothly like there are no unscheduled situations.