What is documentary wedding photography?

Documentary wedding photography is an approach to wedding photography in the whole. The end product being a series of storytelling images that are created without orchestration by the wedding photographer. This results in a set of beautiful story-telling images showcasing the actual story of your wedding, documenting real events as the day unfolds. Real moments, in beautiful photographs that come together to create a timeless story of your unique wedding day.

Unobtrusive wedding photography

My approach is unobtrusive, this means that I will not orchestrate the events. Of course you will be able to see me! I will be there but not too close! I like to let the day flow and document natural moments, providing images that will tell your own unique story. To do this, I like to fit into the wedding party in a relaxed but professional manner in order to capture closer more intimate images. Saying this I also allow space and respect for the ceremony and aim to capture the moments and emotion of the day discreetly and with care. This finely balanced approach lets you relax and enjoy your day, safe in the knowledge that the precious and special moments and details will be captured.

Documentary wedding photography coverage

I provide all day coverage as standard, which normally starts 2 hours before the ceremony and goes right through until after the first dance.  Many powerful moments happen outside of the main proceedings on a wedding day and as a documentary wedding photographer I love to be there to be able capture these, as they often add the magic to the story. For example, I love to capture the ‘getting ready’ elements of the day as this allows the story to begin with more context. One of my favorite moments is the father of the bride or the bridesmaids seeing their bride for the first time. It’s always a great moment and never the same!

It’s also great to meet the bridal party before the wedding during the preparations. They get used to my presence and being photographed by me and this allows more natural images for the rest of the day. Where possible it great to be able to capture a bit of the groom getting ready too if both parties are at the same location. This is great for you both to be able to see moments that each other do not see. Sometimes it is possible to travel via locations and additional photographers can be provided (at extra cost) that are able to cover these scenarios if really necessary.

Sometimes the bride and groom just do not want getting ready photographs at all, which is fine too. Everyone is individual and I like to adapt to the couples that book me. To be honest, it’s not always about you as the bride or groom during the getting ready coverage! It is also a great time during the to take pictures of your loved ones moments of anticipation and excitement and even possibly your Dad getting his hair done by your mum! There are many moments outside of the main wedding ceremony that I believe should be captured and the only way to do this is to actually be there!

I like to arrive at the ceremony location about 15 -20 minutes prior to the bride arriving. This allows enough time to observe the light and space that I have to work in and get images of the guest arriving and perhaps nervous grooms! I also have time at this point to meet the celebrant. The ceremony for me is the most important part of the photography. Most people go through so many emotions and for me it is important to capture the vows and the reactions of your loved ones during this time. I’ve encountered plenty of challenges over the years, from some vicars that have told me firmly that I should stand the back of the church and take only 5 frames during the whole ceremony, to bossy registrars that believe that they are also art directors showing me how and when I should take images too. In these situations where the vicars do not allow photography I always let them know how unobtrusive I am and how I always respect the ceremony and the vows being taken. I always aim to gain a better position to capture reactions during the ceremony, whilst remaining as unseen as possible. I nod and smile to the ‘wanna-be’ art directors that show me how to do my job and take the picture that they want me to, knowing that I am able to get the material I need a moment later or knowing that I have the shot in the bag already.

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Confetti shots

I do not arrange, control or try to influence any event during the day. Sometime there is confetti and sometimes there is not. Some venues / churches allow confetti whilst others do not. I do love a confetti shot and if the moment is possible I will ask members of the congregation if they have any confetti if there is an appropriate time and place to throw it, as sometimes everyone does get caught up in the moment and forget about it! However, most people already have a plan and as long as I know what that plan is, I will be there to capture the moment as it happens. They make great colour images!

        

If you are having the wedding reception at the same place as your ceremony then you won’t be going anywhere after you have tied the knot, but if you have to travel to the wedding reception you will normally have some form of wedding transport arranged. So I will be bound to get some images of you both in the car having a glass of bubbly or with the car perhaps having stepped away from all the excitement of having your guests congratulate you on your wonderful ceremony and disappearing into the distance!

 

Cardiff Documentary Wedding Photography

Every wedding is unique, everyone wants something different and I am flexible to plans that include overseas destinations as well as weddings in the UK, Cardiff and South Wales area. I include travel within my standard quote of up to 50 miles.

Check availability

If you would like me to document your wedding wherever it is in the world, please email chrisfrancisart@ffotos.co.uk to check my availability and get a full quote now. I would be very excited to be considered. Alternatively fill out my contact form and I will be in touch. If you would like to call to discuss your requirements please call me on 02920 255939 or 07507 559746.

Please see the pricing page for more detail on wedding packages.

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Contact

  • Where is your wedding and reception being held? Is the getting ready location different from the venue? Let me know as much as possible.
  • Tell me about your wedding. The location/s and date are the first thing that I need to know to give you a quote but I'd love to know about your love story and why you have chosen to be together forever. <3<3<3