Traditional Wedding Vs Documentary Wedding Photographer

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The Wedding Day, Wedding Ceremony, Nuptial Ceremony, Marriage, or the Big Day, whatever you call it. Names are many, but emotion is the same. For every couple exchanging vows around the globe, the thought of getting married tickles some similar sentiments. Couples want their wedding carnival to be perfect and memorable. 

And to make every moment stick with you forever, mesmerizing pictures are imperative. From pre-wedding sessions to marriage ceremonies, couples desire to have each event captured in a timeless and classy way. Therefore, one question that comes up now and then while planning a wedding is choosing the right photographer – A traditional or Documentary wedding photographer

Both styles of photography are complete opposites, but the rivalry still exists. So, let’s compare both photography styles to make an informed decision. 

Traditional Photography – Posed & Controlled 

The traditional form of photography has its elegance and charm. It involves arranged compositions, deliberate lighting, and controlled settings. With the photographer guiding the couple and their guests throughout the ceremony, the pictures will be more directed, and minuscule moments will be captured. This form of photography is also known as classic wedding photography. Let’s discuss the key features of traditional wedding photography in detail below:

  • Controlled environment: This style of photography is the most convenient and controlled one. It has been with us for decades now. In order to create a certain feel or look, the photographer assists couples and even guests to pose in a specific way. 
  • Classic and timeless: In order to make pictures more dramatic and classic, traditional photographers use artificial lighting setups. They use flash or spotlight to create the desired polished look in the images. 
  • Emphasis on portraits: The photographer’s emphasis is more on clicking portraits of couples, families, and guests. They usually guide everyone to capture each moment correctly. 
  • Posed and controlled shots: The use of formal poses is one of the key characteristics of traditional forms of photography. The photographer will ask the couple to pose for pictures. For instance, a couple holding hands, pretending to laugh to capture fake candid shots and more.

This way, the photographer can capture the best shots without losing the touch of tradition and simplicity. The drawback is photographers often use the same set of poses for every couple, resulting in identical photo albums. 

Documentary Photography – Freestyle & Candid

On the flip side, documentary wedding photography is a freestyle version of photography. It is about capturing the feelings, exchanges, and spontaneous moments that make the day special by telling the story of the wedding as it happens. There are no particular guidelines or instructions to follow. The photographer you hire doesn’t usually intrude on couples or guests while taking pictures. The work is more spontaneous and natural, resulting in candid shots of the ceremonies. Wedding albums are the epitome of precious memories of a couple. Therefore, capturing genuine moments is imperative to help maintain the essence of it.  

  • Candid shots: This form of photography is more inclined towards capturing raw, candid, and unposed moments. Documentary photographers excel in capturing candid and spontaneous moments throughout the day. The aim is to tell a narrative of your wedding through their images. 
  • Storytelling way: Documentary wedding photographers prioritize capturing the raw emotions, reactions, and interactions among the couple, family, and guests. This style emphasizes storytelling.
  • Playing with natural lights: During pre-wedding sessions or day weddings, a documentary photographer uses natural lighting to create mesmerizing shots. They play around with lights to get a closeup of interesting details.  
  • Less intrusive: Documentary photographers usually blend into the background and capture the moments naturally without much intrusion. There won’t be an abundance of assistants scurrying around, either. And very little of what is going on to “get the shot” is interrupted. Honestly, it really comes down to presenting the story as truthfully and genuinely as a photographer can.

Considerations While Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and capturing the moments that matter most is essential. When choosing a wedding photographer for your special day, you can consider the following:

  • Personal style: Examine the photographer’s portfolio first. Every photographer approaches wedding photography differently and with their flair. Do their past projects fit the style you have in mind for your wedding? Whether you are more into classic, candid, artsy, or a mix of these styles, make sure the photographer’s work matches your taste.
  • Your wedding vision: Your ideal wedding day is a reflection of your aspirations and goals for one of the most important days of your life. It’s the realization of all your dreams and aspirations for the look and feel of your wedding day. It’s crucial to think about a wedding photographer whose style matches your preferences if you want your wedding vision to come to life. 
  • Budget: Be clear about your budget and what services are included. Some photographers offer packages that may include engagement sessions, additional photographers, and photo albums. Ensure there are no hidden costs.
  • Meet the photographer: Don’t just conclude, look at the fancy website or portfolio, meet the photographer in person. Have a conversation to share your [preferences and vision for your wedding. You will have a better picture of how things are going to be while capturing your wedding. 

Selecting a photographer that is appropriate for you helps ensure that your images and memories have resonance. Your wedding will not be the only thing in your pictures; they will evoke a feeling or moment from the most momentous day of your life when you were having fun. Therefore, make this decision as per your personal choice because there are no predefined rights and wrongs. 

Say “I Do” to Whichever Photographer You Like

It’s your Big Day. It should be your ideal choice. The primary difference between a traditional and a documentary wedding photographer is their approach to capturing the event. You can choose whichever aligns with your vision. 

Get your fairy tale documented the way you desire and remember the day as it was. Good Luck!

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