“I describe myself as a documentary wedding photographer; I look to tell the story that unfolds before me. It’s my belief that the best documentary photography evokes an emotion from the viewer”
For me giving wedding couples or families images that tells their story through my eyes is truly an honour that never grows old. I know that sounds like a cliché but it really is true. How many jobs let you into people’s lives with the intention of providing visual memories you’ve taken that can have the power to make them cry, laugh and cherish for years to come?
You don’t need to be a sniper, carry five cameras and hide in a bush!!
A good documentary photographer captures images that truthfully portray people, the atmosphere, places and events, offering viewers an accurate visual record or history. These moments are never staged and are only observed without intervention. Having a keen eye to spot potential fleeting moments, being unobtrusive, knowing when to step back or be at the centre of any environment is key. You need to have patience, observe and understand your given subject. Mix this with a natural creative talent, technical knowhow and experience, and inspiring documentary photography is easily achievable.
(This was a lovely wedding held at The Ashes wedding venue in Endon, Staffordshire. I followed Vicci, the bride, straight after the ceremony as I heard she was looking for her mum. I was on hand to get a few frames of them hugging, such a lovely moment that shows their love for one another and how happy they were at the time.)
I’m not a photographer who photographs everything that moves and calls himself a documentary photographer. My journey to becoming a reportage photographer started with my career as a photojournalist, stemming some 11 years. I covered breaking news stories up and down the country, photographing anything from live sports like Stoke City FC games to crime scenes involving armed police in the early hours of the morning. No one day was the same and you had to report the truth and capture the essence of what was happening – or about to!
I was lucky enough to be named ‘Regional Photographer of the Year’ during my career. I believe that my years of experience in the newspaper industry developed my skills and passion to continue with this style of photography and lend it to my wedding, family and event photography business. Whether I’m photographing a wedding, family photography session or live event I’m working primarily as a documentary photographer. I’m there to tell the story at that given moment in the best way I can.