Entries in reportage wedding photography (3)
Venue: The Manor House Hotel
Siobhan and Mark's small and intimate wedding took place at the delightful Manor House Hotel in the picturesque Wiltshire village of Castle Combe. The wedding party comprised of Siobhan and Mark's very closest friends and family with Siobhan's coming over from France. It had an endearingly quiet and gentle atmosphere.
I documented this subtle and modest little wedding alongside my long term student and soon to be associate photographer Isabel, who can thankfully speak French!
Here are just a few of my favourites from the collective coverage.
"Seems to me that most of the wannabe 'photojournalist/documentary/reportage' photographers just think that as long as the person is not looking at the camera, then they can hit the grayscale button and it becomes reportage. They are wrong"
A comment above was posted in response to Part One of this series - simple, yet it highlights the issue with absolute clarity.
My interpretation of a reportage and documentary wedding photographer - or wedding photojournalist for that matter, is that they have a finely tuned, well-practiced eye for storytelling - almost a natural ability to be in the right place at the right time. Elements such as composition and lighting will be second nature and instinctive with practice. Most importantly however, they will understand their customers and their subjects. They will successfully create personal, enduring images and not just banal, stereotypical snapshots of the bride's shoes and isolated mugshots of the friends and family.
Unfortunately, this interpretation is almost the very opposite of what the majority of couples researching into the style are experiencing. As far as they're concerned, and lets face it who can blame them, 'reportage wedding photography' is...
Over this next week or so I'm going to be writing a three-part article on the blog. This series of ramblings will not only be aimed at customers looking for an explanation into why I believe so strongly in my particular style of wedding photography but should also be helpful to aspiring, narrative-based wedding photographers who subscribe to my blog.
As you can guess from the title, I hope to explain, with a level of clarity that I personally feel is necessary within the wedding industry, the term 'reportage'. In the following posts I hope to show you, with the aid of a sample commission, exactly why at present it is a very misleading, misunderstood and ultimately misused term when used to describe a particular style wedding photography.
'Reportage is a technique of documentary or photojournalism that tells a story entirely through pictures'
Successful reportage wedding photography requires a 'hands off' approach and so, understandably, gives many people the impression that it's incredibly easy to achieve. Therefore much of the reportage wedding photography out there is not reportage at all but merely misinformed snapshots, almost amateur in delivery and predominantly consisting of isolated head-shots of smiley faces. It's often devoid of information and narrative - and rarely in context.