Firstly welcome to this new blog series! This is aimed at anyone interested in learning a little more about either wedding photography in general or what goes on ‘behind-the-scenes’. If you’re a really interested client looking to find out more about what exactly you’re paying for, or if you’re just starting out as a photographer yourself, this blog is worth a read!
Reportage. This is a word that is thrown around a lot, and not everyone knows what it means. It’s the backbone of my photography and the core of how I photograph weddings. A quick Google sums it up nicely as ‘the factual, journalistic presentation of an account in a book or other text’. Right now, however, we’re dealing with pictures not text. But regardless, the ideas surrounding this style of imagery is ‘the factual, journalistic’ approach.
Ok, so that makes it sound a little boring, right? Well that depends on how you look at it. Journalism representation is half of this style – reporting the events as they unfold. As a photographer though, it comes down to me to decide how I want to report the events and what I can see happening.
How does all of this apply to weddings? At your typical wedding I’d usually provide coverage from about 2 hours before the ceremony up until an hour after the first dance. Lets say that equates to about 9 hours photography. In those 9 hours everything for the bride and groom will go by in a flash. There will be emotional moments, key to the overall story of the day that happen so quickly and in conjunction with the excitement of the day may be forgotten by the next morning. The guests will themselves have fleeting moments that would otherwise be forgotten 30 minutes down the line.
The skill as a reportage photographer is to a) Anticipate the moments, and then b) Capture them in the best way possible. One of the biggest challenges is learning to pre-empt the moments as opposed to react to them. Many images will be reactionary, but getting there before things happen is how the pictures go from being average to great.
Reportage. Documentary. Journalism. Call it what you will, essentially, for weddings it’s about capturing real, genuine moments in the best way possible.