Reportage photography is like spying on people all day with their full consent!
Note: In the image above, I had just set up and switched on a small Go Pro camera. This was to film and record the audio from the guests during the speeches. Wedding speeches can be epic so why not allow me to record them in 4K video for you. No charge for weddings booked in 2023/4!
Everyone at a wedding knows there is a photographer or filmmaker present. They also know that person will be photographing the wedding proceedings and guests, sometimes without them realising. We kind of accept this.
That's because a wedding is a "closed door" event with everyone being amongst friends and family. That is what makes it such a privilege for me to be a part of your wedding and to record it. Reportage wedding photography can also defined as:
They all basically mean the same thing...but also not quite the same thing.
Many (mostly new) wedding photographers use any of these terms to depict a stealth approach to wedding photography. One where they take natural photos of guests from afar or from behind other people or furniture.
People enjoying themselves without the pressure of having a strangers' camera shoved in their face.
Think Chandler from Friends having his portrait taken
Chandler was completely natural right up to the point where he looked into the camera and then...fear.
I too dislike having my photo taken, especially in this social media-crazed time we live in. I think this is why the stealth approach works best as people are acting naturally and tend to look better that way.
In reality though, there is a subtle difference in each approach.
So what are the differences between these wedding photography styles?
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1. Photojournalistic and Documentary
These two styles can be placed together as they both generally mean the same thing. That you are recording or documenting the day as it happens, like a timeline of events. Think David Attenborough hiding in the bushes documenting the lives of Silverback Gorillas or lions out on the plains.
Us wedding photographers are doing the same kind of thing with the photojournalistic or documentary style.
2. Street Style Wedding Photography
I see street style as more of an "in your face" method of wedding photography. Where the couple and guests know exactly what you are doing as you try to get shots with crazy angles, lighting and reactions. Like this loon...
A crazy, unique approach that clearly works judging by the smiles on the couple faces. However, this may start to grate throughout the day so I expect this is just his "thing" during the special wedding portraits.
Note: Please don't expect anything like this from me on the day, I may put my back out!
3. Candid Wedding Photography
This style makes me think more along the lines of "Candid Camera", the original Saturday night reality TV entertainment show from the 1970's. In this show, people would be caught unaware doing silly things or having jokes played upon them.
I don't think that would go down too well if a wedding photographer made fools out of the guests. However, some of my photos over the years have ended up being candid as I hit the shutter just at the right moment.
So I think the style most used is reportage wedding photography or the photojournalistic or documentary style, myself included. But as I say elsewhere on this site, I'm also happy to set up the occasional staged shot as well as the group photos. It's your day so ultimately the choice is yours.
Get in touch today so we can discuss the style of images you prefer on your wedding day.