Capture Your Day Naturally: Documentary Style Wedding Photography

documentary style wedding photography brides hugging bride looking at camera mollycarrphotography
Photo by


Selecting the right photographer is crucial to any wedding. In this article, we will explain some of the popular types of wedding photography so that your invaluable moments can be captured well. There is also the reportage wedding photography, which is completely candid and does not include shots that are set up. Originally, the main purpose of documentary photography was to capture important events with historical or news value. For wedding events, documentary style wedding photography mainly includes natural and real shots, making a story of your day.


Brides Often Ask

What is the difference between editorial and documentary style photography wedding?

Editorial photography illustrates and supports written articles in publications, often focusing on storytelling and concept-driven imagery. Documentary photography, on the other hand, aims to objectively capture real-life events, environments, and cultures to provide a factual record.


Wedding Photography Styles

When choosing a wedding photographer, it’s important to understand the different styles available:

  • Traditional Photography: Focuses on posed and staged shots, capturing key moments like the first kiss, cake cutting, and family portraits.
  • Photojournalistic/Documentary Style Wedding Photography: Captures the day as it naturally unfolds, focusing on candid and spontaneous moments without interference.
  • Fine Art Photography: Artistic and creative, often involving unique angles, lighting, and compositions to create visually stunning images.
  • Contemporary Photography: Modern and trendy, blending traditional and photojournalistic styles with a fashionable twist.
  • Vintage Photography: Uses filters, editing techniques, and props to create a nostalgic, retro look.
  • Editorial Photography: Inspired by magazine shoots, this style emphasizes elegance and glamor, often involving styled poses and elaborate setups.


Wedding Photography Prices

When selecting a wedding photographer, pricing is a key factor. Here’s what to consider:

  • Hourly Rate vs. Package Deals: Photographers may charge an hourly rate or offer package deals that include various services.
  • Factors Affecting Prices: Experience, location, the duration of coverage, and the inclusion of extras like albums, prints, or engagement sessions can influence the price.
  • Average Photography Prices: For documentary-style wedding photography, prices typically range from $2,000 to $6,000. On average, you might expect to pay around $3,500.


Wedding Photography Packages

Photographers usually offer various packages to cater to different needs and budgets. Common packages include:

  • Basic Package: Includes coverage of the ceremony and a few hours of the reception. Ideal for shorter weddings.
  • Standard Package: Covers the entire day, from getting ready to the end of the reception, including digital copies of all photos.
  • Deluxe Package: Includes full-day coverage, a second photographer, an engagement session, a wedding album, and prints.
  • Custom Packages: Tailored to your specific needs, allowing you to choose the exact services and coverage you want.


The Difference Between Documentary Style Wedding Photography and Traditional Photography

Documentary and reportage style wedding photography fall under the same style umbrella. Both focus on storytelling, chronicling the day’s events naturally and unobtrusively. Unlike traditional photography, which may involve staged shots, wedding photography documentary style captures spontaneous moments. This style emphasizes the genuine emotions and real interactions of the day, providing a candid and authentic portrayal of the wedding.

Candid Documentary Wedding Photography

Candid documentary style wedding photography is all about capturing guests and newlyweds in their most natural, unscripted moments. These images showcase genuine emotions – guests laughing, crying, or reacting to speeches. A skilled photographer will blend into the background, allowing these moments to unfold naturally without any forced poses or staged scenes.


Group and Portrait Wedding Photography Documentary Style

While candid shots are the essence of wedding photography documentary style, group and portrait photos often require a bit more direction. Large family group photos and couple’s portraits need some coordination from the photographer. During these moments, the photographer may offer cues and guidance to ensure everyone feels comfortable and looks their best. The key is maintaining a balance between natural interactions and structured shots, so the resulting images still feel genuine and spontaneous, capturing the true essence of your relationships.

What to Expect from Your Wedding Photographs

When you hire a documentary wedding photographer, you can expect your photos to be filled with natural and candid moments. Your wedding album will resemble a mini-movie, capturing every laugh, tear, and reaction throughout the day. This storytelling approach means that your photos will not only document the key events but also the subtle, intimate moments that make your wedding unique.

Selecting the right photographer for your wedding is a pivotal decision that shapes how you will remember your special day. Among these styles, documentary style wedding photography color uniquely captures the essence of your celebration through candid, natural shots. This style focuses on real moments, creating a visual narrative that authentically reflects the emotions and interactions of the day.

From spontaneous laughter and heartfelt tears to intimate glances and genuine reactions, documentary style wedding photography ensures every significant moment is captured without the need for staged poses.