On my website homepage, I describe my style of wedding photography as ‘colourful, natural and fun’. It’s pretty much the way I’ve approached shooting weddings since day one. I’m a huge lover of colour (mustard yellow is my favourite, thanks for asking!) so I naturally gravitate towards images that are vibrant and colourful. I also believe wedding photographs should be fun; both to look back on to remember your big day and as an experience on the day itself. After all, your wedding will be one of the happiest days of your life! But what about the natural part? What does natural wedding photography mean?
What is Natural Wedding Photography?
For me, natural wedding photography describes images that are relaxed, informal and carefree. They are photographs that are not highly choreographed, posed or organised. Instead the images that have an off-the-cuff feeling capturing a real moment in time. The images are not necessarily candid. The people in the images could be looking at the camera or not. They may even involve interaction with the photographer (for example a couple laughing at one of my daft cheese jokes!)
Regardless of how the photograph was created, the images show an intimacy and ease between the photographer and subject. Natural wedding photographs take you back to a feeling of joy and contentment. The best way to remember your wedding day!
Documentary Wedding Photography
Whilst it’s correct that my work has elements of wedding photojournalism, I’m not a documentary wedding photographer. I do shoot many candid pictures during the day where the subjects are totally unaware they are being photographed. But I don’t have a ‘fly on the wall’ approach where I hide behind curtains! I also do family group shots and portraits of my couples, which a strictly documentary photographer might not do.
My approach involves chatting to wedding guests and being involved in what’s happening. Rather than interfering with the wedding day, I find that this way of working makes people feel at ease. Guests don’t need to play ‘spot the photographer and hide!’ because they’re comfortable with me being there as if I was another guest.
Documentary Wedding Photography vs Natural Wedding Photography
The other big reason why I’m not a documentary wedding photographer is I give my couples posing tips during their portraits. My couples are often surprised when I tell them this at their consultation, as they think the portraits on my website are completely un-posed. When I explain the process most people say “But they look so natural!” Well, that’s because although they are (a bit) posed, they are 100% natural! The natural energy, joy and laughter are all real. You’re just aware that I’m there with you to give you a helping hand!
And when I say posing, I mean very simple posing. We go for a walk around your venue. You two catch up away from your guests. And I give you some simple, easy to follow instructions of what to do (e.g stand over in the nice light and have a hug) That way, you’ve got enough instructions so you know what you’re doing. But it’s nothing cheesy, forced or over the top.
Another reason I’m not a documentary wedding photographer is that I do group shots. These are the family photos traditionally done at a wedding. Again, I do these in a relaxed, simple way. So you can go back to enjoying all the fun of your wedding as soon as possible.
True documentary wedding photography is often completely un-posed and candid, all day. Whilst that might be the perfect match for some couples, I find a blend of approaches works really well. That way you can have the best of everything; natural portraits of you both, family group shots to remember the day and candid pictures of all the fun and laughter. That’s why I use the term natural wedding photography when describing my work.
Natural Wedding Photographs
Here are some of my favourite natural wedding photographs from the past year or so. You’ll notice that they are from various parts of a wedding day, from getting ready in the morning, to the speeches, to the dance floor. Some of these images have been taken whilst the subject has been completely unaware I’m there. Others know I’m there, but it’s still a natural, fun moment! I hope you enjoy looking through some of my favourites.
Natural Wedding Photographer
I hope you have enjoyed reading more about my natural wedding photography style today! If you like the way I do things, you can get in touch with me about your wedding by filling out my contact form. You can also read more about me here. If you’d like to see more informal and relaxed wedding photography, head to my blog. I’d recommend taking a look at my most recent wedding: Fun Wedding Photography in Manchester and my Best Wedding Photography 2018.