Documentary Wedding Photography in Germany Laura and Sven decided they wanted beautiful and natural photography at their wedding in Hamburg this Autumn. So they got in touch and we made some plans for me to fly over from the UK for their documentary wedding photography in Germany. The wedding ceremony was to take place at…
When Helen and I got married, I was still a news photographer at The Times.
We knew we didn’t want the traditional kind of photography that every photographer offered back then. So I asked a fellow newspaper photographer at The Independent to shoot our wedding for us.
What we got was a superb story of the day, showing all the characters and relationships at our wedding that day.
Today, almost 15 years later, one of my favourite pictures is of me dancing with my Nan.
She sadly passed away a few years later. But despite having had both knees replaced and consuming her body weight in whiskey, she was one of the last on the dance floor that night, and I have the pictures to prove it!
And that, at the heart of it, is what I do for my clients today
How will you photograph my wedding?
I trained as an editorial documentary photographer and have been working as a photojournalist since 1996. Now, as a wedding photographer, I use that experience to produce stunning photography of your day that is not staged or stylised.
Apart from a few family group pictures and portraits of the two of you, I will not pose or direct you at all. My style of documenting your wedding day results in beautiful candid group photographs that are often much more effective at evoking the feelings of the day than a formal group photograph.
So you just get on with enjoying the day with your family and friends, and I get on with finding the beautiful moments you see on this website. In addition, there’s lots of information about how I work on the Documentary Wedding Photographer page.
I’m an award winning member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association, who promote excellence in documentary wedding photography, and ensure the highest worldwide quality of their members.
You're based in Hertfordshire. How far will you travel?
All my fees include mainland UK travel.
I’m happy to photograph a wedding anywhere in the UK, and also photograph destination weddings (see below).
How long do you spend with us on the day?
I’m with you from preparation until after First Dance.
I can stay longer if needed, and often shoot multi day celebrations.
Should I include a Second Photographer?
A second photographer can be a good idea for a few reasons. It gives you great coverage of the groomsmen getting ready (usually the only part the Bride has no knowledge of on the day!) so we can cover more angles during the ceremony (for example, shots of both of your reactions at the start).
It also means that the documentary coverage continues with your guests while I’m taking care of the family group photos and the portraits of just the two of you. Then later in the evening, it’s easier to cover the speakers and guest reaction with two photographers, as well as extended coverage during the dancing.
Having said that, I’m quite happy covering large weddings on my own – I’ve shot French Chateau weddings with 250 guests over 2 days on my own, so it’s not a problem if you decide on only myself.
I work with a number of different second photographers, all of whom are experienced documentary wedding photographers. They all work in the exact same way that I do, so their photos seemlessly fit with my own. Here’s some examples from some recent weddings, all from seconf photographers.
Read more about whether you need two wedding photographers.
What about portraits and formal family group pictures?
Almost all of my photography on the day is natural, observed and un-posed.
I do take formal family photographs though. I don’t want your day to turn into a photoshoot, so I recommend up to a dozen group photos, usually after the ceremony. As long as a couple of Ushers or Bridesmaids have been tasked with collecting everyone needed, these rarely take more than 15 minutes.
Just before your wedding breakfast, I’d recommend another 15 minutes where we get some portraits of just the two of you. Because I’m a documentary photographer, there’s no elaborate posing, just natural pictures of you guys enjoying the day. If there’s a great sunset we can try some more artistic portraits later on. It’s entirely up to you!
Are you insured?
I make my living as a documentary wedding photographer and therefore have public liability and professional indemnity insurance. I use professional mirrorless cameras and lenses and have spares of everything should any of my equipment fail.
How long before we see our pictures?
I will usually send you a link to a blog post with a slideshow around two to three weeks after your wedding, though it may be a little longer in busy periods. I would then upload the full set of edited images to the password protected client area of this website. Once you have selected which pictures you’d like in an album it can take up to six weeks to get the album produced.
If you’ve ordered a Photofilm, this can take longer to produce, especially if your wedding is in the peak Summer season. I prioritise delivering the stills images, so would generally begin production on Summer Photofilms in the Autumn.
Do I have to buy reprints from you?
No. With all levels of coverage, the price includes a link to download all of the edited high resolution image files. You’re free to get your own reprints done from these files, though High Street labs can vary widely in quality. Or you can order reprints through this website. I use an amazing lab acknowledged as being one of the finest in the country and can be sure of the quality of the prints I produce for you.
Once your gallery is online you will receive the access code and password to use on the clients page of this website. You can then share that with your family and friends who may register and order prints directly.
How do I secure the booking?
I regularly book popular dates 18 months in advance, so the sooner you make contact, the better the chance that I am available on your date. To secure your date you must sign and return the contract together with payment of the non-refundable booking fee. The balance is to be paid 12 weeks before the wedding date.
Documentary Wedding Photofilms
The Perfect Way To Relive Your Day
Hopefully you’re on this website because you love unposed, natural photography and place a high value on top quality documentary wedding photography at your wedding. And you’re probably not that keen to take time away from your guests for an extended photo shoot. You want your photographer to be discreet, but to also be able to capture all of those subtle moments and reactions that make up the people and the story of the day.
Maybe you also see the value of using a videographer to record the day. But that means another photographer, possibly more than one, with tripods and lights. Suddenly the unobtrusive photography isn’t looking so discreet any more.
Photofilms are a wonderful compromise.
A Photofilm could be the answer.
It’s essentially a video, typically six or seven minutes long, using the still photographs I take on the day along with audio recordings of key moments, such as the wedding vows and speeches, and it’s completely unobtrusive. I find these presentations very moving, and much better at taking you back to that moment than anything else. The added bonus is that clients also get high quality copies of the full speeches, not just the bits I use in the Photofilm. Invaluable in the years to come.
If you’re interested in adding one of these Photofilms to your wedding photography please get in touch for a quote.
Destination Wedding Photography
Quality Documentary Wedding Photography
By booking me to be your Destination Wedding Photographer, you can be sure you’ll get a beautiful set of documentary photographs telling the story of your wedding day, no matter where it is in the world. Maybe you’re based in the UK, but marrying abroad. Or perhaps you live outside the UK but have been unable to find any quality documentary wedding photographers where you live. Either way, get in touch now to check my availability and get a quote.
Peace Of Mind
You’ll get peace of mind in knowing a little more about your photographer. Consequently, if you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to meet me in person and look through some finished albums of previous weddings. Of course, my English will be second to none, and once booked, it’s one less thing to worry about in the days before your wedding day. Don’t leave it to chance that a local photographer will be well versed in story-telling photography.
Costs associated with booking me to be your destination wedding photographer include travel and accommodation expenses. Depending on how far it is from the UK I’d usually arrive one day before the wedding and leave the day after the wedding. Please contact me for further details.
Have a look through some of these destination weddings. Maybe you’d also be interested in a Photofilm from your wedding?
I know choosing a wedding photographer is a daunting process because there are hundreds out there. So how do you find the one that’s right for you?
I think you have to go with your heart, find the one that connects with you, the one that you know is able to tell your story beautifully.
Is that me?
Check out some of these weddings below. Can you feel what it was like to be there? Can you sense the fun and excitement? First of all, imagine how that would feel if these images were full of your friends and loved ones. Consequently, how great would it feel to show these kind of pictures to future generations? I shoot village hall weddings in the Home Counties in addition to extravagant Monastery weddings in Italy. Most of all, the one thing that’s the same for all my couples is a love for great story-telling photography. If this sounds like you, let’s talk. I’ll send you full pricing and some more information.
Wedding fees start at £1500 for off peak dates.
Creating an Heirloom
The photography on your day is only part of the service you get when commissioning a documentary wedding photographer. Another aspect, almost as important, is selecting, editing and displaying the images in a way that gives you a good narrative of the day.
Most photographers will now probably offer a digital only package, where you will receive a USB drive containing the edited images. This does keep the initial cost down, but you will eventually want to see those memories displayed beautifully in an album.
All of the photography options I offer include a password protected web gallery and a download link for all of your high resolution images. There are no watermarks or restrictions on these images for personal use – you’re free to make as many prints as you like, forever. Further options include beautifully made albums from £500 with a variety of cover choices.
You choose which images I use, then I make a design that beautifully tells the story.
Have a quick look at an example below.
Some of the fantastic wedding suppliers I’ve had the pleasure to work with
Jeff Wood Visuals – One of the top wedding videographers in the World, luckily he’s based in the UK but travels anywhere. If you want the best, Jeff is your man.
Speak to Sian at Truly Madly Films – superb documentary filming
I also have a list of videographers who do not work in the same documentary way that I do. If you use someone with a completely different style, it will compromise the photography. Please ask me for information if you think it may be an issue.
Samantha Johnson of SJ Makeup
Toast Master / Master of Ceremony
Lanza & Baucina – Leading wedding planners, including Royal Weddings.
Professional Magician Simon Alexander – Magic Circle magician
Luxury Photo Booth by Smart Pics UK
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