Want to know why documentary wedding photography is a great choice? One look at this image should answer that question for you. A photo this spectacular is only possible when your photographers are committed to a photojournalistic approach. Why? We’ll get into that below. But basically, capturing the emotions you experience on your wedding day means exploring new and daring angles. So the resulting compositions often dazzle while simultaneously telling the story of your marriage celebrations. Just like this photo does. It shows the happiness these newlyweds are feeling during a fun summer wedding moment. But this candid wedding photo is also colorful, creative, striking and unforgettable.
So why can only documentary-style wedding photography give you a picture like this? It begins and ends with the commitment real moments wedding photographers have to telling the story of your day. As we mentioned above, that means getting on film all the most important emotions. The smiles that flash across your faces when you're having fun like this couple. But also the tear that your dad wipes away when he’s telling you how proud of you he is.
Capturing emotions on film requires one very important thing: a clear view of the person’s face. Seems pretty obvious, right? And pretty easy to get? Yes, it is obvious, but no it is not always easy. People don’t always look straight ahead, especially when they're experiencing strong emotions. Or when they’re engaged in a task that forces them to look up or down, like this couple was. So documenting what someone is feeling on a wedding day can mean getting above, below, to the left or to the right of them. And that hunt for the right angle often leads to really dramatic compositions like this one.
Speaking of compositions, there is another reason you’re more likely to get one like this with a documentary wedding photographer. Telling a story effectively with a camera requires efficient compositions. What do we mean by that? Basically, everything in the frame should contribute something to the story. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be there. Sometimes that means finding an angle that includes more in the background. More faces, more stories playing out on the margins or more context from the setting times. Other times, it means less, so that the focus is just on the main scene. The faces in this dramatic photo grab your attention because there is nothing else to distract you.
We normally say that if a documentary wedding photographer has to explain what is happening in a picture, then they have failed in their job. A person who wasn’t at the event should be able to understand immediately what is going on. And that is certainly the case with this image. At least when it comes to the emotions. Anyone can see that this couple is having a great time during their summer wedding. Thanks to the dramatic angle, the smiles on their faces couldn’t be any clearer.
That said, what might not be as immediately evident is what it is they’re having so much fun doing. And we don’t feel bad about explaining it, because it is a wedding-day activity that is specific to weddings in certain cultural traditions (and therefore unknown to many). Between the ceremony and reception at many German marriage celebrations, the newlyweds will often saw a small log in half while their guests cheer them on. It is one of the first things they do as a married couple and a reminder that overcoming obstacles during their married life will require teamwork. As you can imagine, it is a lot of fun to watch. (And to do! We included it in our recent vow renewal!) The sawing of the log also leads to some really great moments like the one captured here!
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