What is Documentary Wedding Photography?


Documentary (Adjective) : An event that is factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.

Documentary wedding photography is also known as reportage, story-telling, candid or photo journalism photography. It is a style of photography observing the natural interaction of people and their environment. It is unobtrusive, letting the day unfold naturally with no interruption. There are no cliché poses, just your story. I like to think of them as small moments frozen in time.

documentary wedding photography

I’m a quiet observer, blending in with your family and friends, this allows me to document the real emotions and relationships within that moment. You can’t create these, you just have to anticipate them and be in the right place when they happen.

It doesn’t matter how many weddings I photograph, each one has moments that take my breath away. Weddings are the only occasion I can think of where so many emotions are created in one day and shared with so many loved ones.

I started my documentary wedding photography journey in 2007 having previously worked in the corporate world, travelling around the UK and Europe helping organisations manage their sensitive data. When I found out I was pregnant I knew that my work schedule wouldn’t work with raising children, and with the support of my husband I took the decision to retrain.

I worked for a busy wedding photography studio where I quickly found out that weddings are unpredictable, emotional and each one different. I was hooked on the buzz of freezing a moment in time that maybe only I noticed, it felt like a super power. Very early in my career I met a great photographer, Gordon McGowan, who took me under his wing and provided me with mentorship. It was an incredible experience and I will always be grateful to him.

Here we are 14 years later, part of over 500 weddings that have taken me across the UK and Europe; I’ve met so many incredible people, witnessed different cultures and how they celebrate love, photographed a ceremony on Concorde, taken a group photo from a crane, been hugged by Harry Redknapp (as a Spurs fan this was very special), photographed weddings at a Royal Palace, photographed a premier league footballers wedding and an Olympians too, had my work featured in multiple publications including Hello magazine and won awards judged by a panel of my peers.

I am always happy to allow time for family groups, If you would like them. Whilst I do not display a lot of these on my website, I do take them and think it’s lovely to have a record of the people who are important to you both. They don’t have to be stuffy and they don’t have to last for hours and hours. Most groups take no more than 10 minutes.

I’m also happy to take some time out for relaxed couples pictures. These will be all about you enjoying your first moments as a married couple. If you look through my galleries you will see lot’s of natural smiles, laughter and real emotions. This is however completely up to you, it’s your wedding story.

I love documentary wedding photography and I hope it shows in my work. If you like my work and I sound like the kind of person you’d like to have around on your wedding day, please get in touch to check availability. I’m always happy to chat – 07800 606802 or if e-mail is more your thing hello@denisewinterphotography.co.uk or head over to my contact page.