Documentary Wedding Photography

What is documentary wedding photography (and what it is not)... and why I choose to photograph weddings in this particular style.


Documentary wedding photography is often referred to as ‘reportage’ or wedding photojournalism however essentially, they all refer to the same thing - an observational style of wedding photography.

Documentary wedding photographs record very real moments occurring throughout a wedding day. What's more, if the documentary style has been truly mastered, photography collections and individual images will convey subject and scene honestly and with authenticity. For me, the aforementioned values far outweigh any qualities that, perhaps, a pretty but relatively meaningless portrait could...

Subjects, where possible, should be in context and images should convey the story and atmosphere. Images should be able to tell the viewer what is happening in the moment or scene without the need for any further explanation.

documentary shots

Weddings are an absolute gold mine for discerning, documentary style wedding photographers. The variety of emotion over the course of the day makes a wedding day really quite unique - the pre wedding ceremony nerves and then the joy of being married, this is often followed by a touch of sadness when, perhaps during the speeches, absent family and friends are reflected upon, then wrapping things up with the high energy and elation of dancing and entertainment. 

It’s very real and I often find myself feeling immensely proud to have been hired to document such personal moments, often when I'm experiencing the moment, or moments, in question. This isn’t just photography of a wedding, or at least as most people know it, this is photography of life - powerful, emotive documenting photography of those little things that often go unnoticed, those subtle emotions and nuances unique to each wedding, to each family and to every couple.

documentary shot

It’s touching to know so many people place this responsibility in my hands, it’s a very real and genuine honour to earn my living making highly personal collections of documentary wedding photography, collections that I know will become family heirlooms.

Photography should always evoke a reaction. The authenticity, or more ‘believability’, that I look to produce across my wedding day coverage is worth so much more than just a pretty picture or regimented formal family photograph.

Here are just a few of my very favourites from Caroline and David's beautiful wedding in Surrey.

Documentary Wedding In Somerset | Pam & Ben

Pam and Ben’s wedding took place in Hinton Charterhouse - a picturesque little village on the outskirts of the city of Bath, set amongst beautiful Somerset countryside.

Their traditional church service was followed by an exceptionally relaxed afternoon and evening reception, with a ceilidh to boot!

Documentary Wedding Photographers in Somerset_022.jpg

This was a pretty typical wedding for me, a familiar Saturday routine. The only difference is I happen to know this couple very well. In fact, I'm proud to call Pam my new sister in-law. Although I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her all of my adult life.

So, a pretty special wedding for me.

I’ve had the honour and privilege of documenting all of our siblings’ weddings, with this being the last one, end of an era!

Congratulations Pam and Ben!

There is only one happiness in life ~ to love and be loved.

Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin

Wedding At Chateau de Lisse in Gascony | Nicola & Tahir

Absolutely amazing! The pictures are everything we wanted and more ... well and truly worth the wait!

chateau de lisse

We spent a considerable time searching for a photographer that would meet our requirements, as both my partner (now wife!) and I love photography. 

From the moment we saw Allister's site, we knew he would be perfect. We live in Scotland, Allister is based near London, and the wedding was in France - so we definitely looked long and hard! 

On the day of the wedding he was just like a guest, his approach was extremely unobtrusive and we did not even notice him talking so many amazing pictures!

first kiss

Nicola and Tahir's incredible little wedding all took place at the breathtaking Chateau de Lisse in Gascony, France. 

With just a select number of nearest and dearest, the wedding day had a very intimate atmosphere which I felt truly privileged to have been part of.

Here are just a few of my favourites from this touching little wedding...