Reportage Photography was born from the area of news photography and, put simply, means capturing events as they unfold in a journalistic style. When applied to weddings it just means capturing the story of the day through photographs without directly controlling the events. The advent of digital photography has made it possible (far too expensive a tactic on film!) and it has revolutionised wedding photography – transforming it from the bossy ‘tripod merchants’ who ordered people into formal groups on the church steps into a more relaxed and friendly medium – capturing moment and details that had previously been disregarded.
However it isn’t just a case of wandering around and snapping away – although as a professional photography I guess I would say that! There is an art to blending in, knowing how and where to look and how to frame images so they tell a story but are still beautiful. Plus, although I specialise in this type of photography, I think it is a mistake to totally rely on it as coverage of your day. Any good photographer will also step in and take an active part in your day where it is needed and a few formal shots are always a great idea. Although I should say that when I say ‘formal’ I don’t mean ‘let’s get out the tripod’ and I get to boss everyone into a line. Those days are long gone. Thankfully.
It is likely that you’ll want some group photography to record your nearest and dearest wedding guests, and far from being a long-winded chore, it can be fun and easy – a lot of it is down to people management and just a bit of creativity. Plus on the most romantic of all your days as a couple, it would be a crying shame not to take a few minutes to get some fab shots of the two of you. A short walk around almost any venue away from the madding crowds (hey I’m not judging your wedding party, but most of them can be quite hectic!) will give plenty of opportunities for shots that capture you together.
I believe that these two elements – the ‘formal’ images and highest quality reportage – give you a really complete package with the minimum of stress, fuss or intrusion.
Today’s reportage has undoubtedly opened up a whole world of freedom for photographers to provide our clients with a true ‘storybook’ record of their day. It offers a relaxed style that blends in rather than overtakes the day and with carefully crafted short portraiture sessions can really offer a moving tale of a wedding.