What is documentary photography? Wairarapa photographer


If you're looking for a family photographer or a wedding photographer in the Wairarapa, you may have come across the term "documentary photographer" or "documentary-style photography". But what does that mean?

You know the photos of exchanging wedding vows and a couple's first kiss during their ceremony? That's documentary photography.

Or photos of a happy family going for a bushwalk in the forest? That's documentary photography.

You could consider documentary photography in a similar context to photojournalism. When a photographer is covering an event for a newspaper, they tell the story as it unfolds. It would be untruthful to change what's happening for it to be published in the paper.

Quite simply: documentary photographers take photos of people, places, objects and events as they occur naturally. We don't intervene, especially during key moments. Sometimes we give some direction to ensure you look your absolute best; sometimes we may move small items. But documentary photography is far from simple.

We are ultimately telling a story. Either in one image or in a series of images. There is always intent in pressing the shutter. We're not just taking photos of anything and everything. We are using our years of experience, often formal qualifications and knowledge of composition, texture, line and form; to story tell.

We are light seekers. The word photography has Greek origins and literally means "drawing with light". We look for warm, soft or interesting light and anticipate what might happen in that pool of light. We wait and anticipate.

Above all we're looking for moments between people (and animals!). We use observation and patience. We seek expressions: big smiles at playing with the family dogs. We seek emotion: a groom seeing his bride walking down the aisle.

Documentary photography is authentic and true. Not staged, forced or fake.

If you are looking for a real record of your wedding; or a true capture of your family as they are now, you may like to check out my Lucalia Photography Wairarapa documentary style photography.

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