You might see the word ‘reportage’ on lots of wedding photographer’s websites but what are they talking about? Well it’s basically a photo-journalistic approach whereby you tell the story through pictures; we’ve all heard the expression “a picture tells a thousand words” haven’t we! A true reportage photographer will capture the events as they happen in a candid and unobtrusive fashion. Traditional wedding photographers tend to control the pace and hold the day up by asking everyone to pose for photographs. For many this can become frustrating and the resulting photographs lack narrative and character.
However it’s not just a case of pointing the camera and taking the picture, reportage photographers will plan ahead, assess the lighting around them, plan their shots and then wait for that perfect moment to unfold, often undetected. It’s not a case of lurking in the shadows though with a long lens, to tell the story the photographer has to get in with the action and listen to what’s going on around them. This approach not only creates a sense of perspective, but artistic images which convey the atmosphere at those moments in time.
Reportage photography is shooting the most powerful images to convey the atmosphere of the event and, therefore, preserving a moment forever. Reportage shows the emotion felt by the subjects and the images make you feel like you were there. That second that the groom whoops after the declaration of marriage or when the mother-of-the-bride puts a loving hand on her daughter’s face before she goes to meet her betrothed. Reportage sees it all, lays out the whole event piece by piece – and most importantly, protects your most cherished memories.
For me, reportage photography is the most artistic approach to encapsulate all that is significant to you and the essence of your day.
To achieve creative, visual storytelling through reportage wedding photography means moments take centre stage, while the photographer slips into the background, unobstructive and discreet. The photographer knows their subject, understands what makes them tick and understands the value of creating emotion-filled, timeless images for the whole family to treasure.
Here are some examples of reportage wedding photography from recent weddings I’ve had the pleasure of capturing: