Many people ask me about photojournalism wedding photography and how it is different from regular wedding photography. Being a San Antonio wedding photographer, and working in a photojournalistic style, I am often a good person to explain this current wedding photography style to people. Photojournalism is a style of photography that focuses on recording events as they happen in a very hands off manner. A true photojournalist abides by a code of ethics that encourages them to produce real images of real situations without interference. Photographers like to think of this as a hands-off approach. You are not supposed to move people around, or pose them, or set up the image. You can use artificial lighting, like a camera flash unit, but this is usually employed very minimally and only when it is absolutely necessary.
A good contrast to this would be traditional wedding photography which was more posed. This occurred because back in the film days a photographer could not take the risk of taking so many uncontrolled images. Clients demanded, and still do, images of guests, posed formal images, staged event images, and then a mixing in of the truly candid, hand-off, event images. I have a few theories why this more documentary and editorial magazine style has become popular. Digital technology has made it easier for people to enter the field of photography and the internet and other mass media are showing many commercial and magazine/editorial style photographs. Another big reason why the photojournalism style has invaded the wedding world is because photojournalists have invaded the wedding world. Digital technology has caused many newspapers and media organizations to stop producing print versions and go to online. There have been many photojournalists who have been laid off over the past 10 years as the internet and digital technology has grown. You can read one story here. Many of them found photography work in the wedding field.
About 10 years ago the style of wedding photography began to change into a less staged one and into a more photojournalistic, or documentary style. There are a few photographers out there that are using a 100% documentary photography style, but this is very difficult to pull off at a wedding, because clients still want some posed images, especially the formal portraits of the bridal party and family. There are even photojournalism wedding photography organizations like the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA.) They have very strict rules for the members and they have to be primarily photographing in a photojournalistic style.
I describe my wedding photography style as fine art documentary wedding photography. Like most current wedding photographers there is a large amount of documentary, hands-off type of photographing that I perform at a wedding. I have long loved documentary photography so this is a natural fit for me. I then mix in some loosely posed formal images and maybe some portraits of the bride and groom if they request that. Even when I am posing people I am very loose about it because I really want a natural look to my images. I may tell some people to stand somewhere and to face a certain direction, but then I wait for them to relax into their most natural poses. For me this has been the most effective way to photograph a wedding.
I have been a fine art photographer for about 15 years now and my work has appeared in over 100 group and individual shows all over the world. I love fine art photography and I love documentary photography so that is why I combined the two in my unique fine art documentary wedding photography style. You can see examples of my wedding photographs here and my portrait photographs here. You can even see some of my fine art photographs here.
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