What Is Photojournalistic Wedding Photography?

Wedding days are approaching, and you have a list of questions to answer and a list of struggles and concerns. Yet, the most extensive list of them all is your to-do list.

When you have chosen a date, it’s time for the proper selection of wedding venues. Once you’re done with the location, the rest may seem much more straightforward. However, things start to complicate at this moment. The list is not linear anymore, and it expands with all the little details you need to take care of before the big day.

Choose a wedding dress, and don’t forget about entertainment. The last thing you want is bored guests. And it was then catering, florist, hair and beauty, wedding cake. It may seem like the list is endless. Our main advice for handling this situation is to surround yourself with professionals.

They know how to do their jobs. Couples tend to overlook this and to save a couple of bucks, or for some unknown reason. In the end up, they pay much more – with money and their nerves as well.

When it comes to wedding photography, this is the area of our expertise and safe ground. With a team of highly skilled individuals, we make the job of putting together your wedding album look like a fun game. Like your wedding party, we will be where you need us the most, to overcome your expectations, as we did for many previous customers. 

On the other hand, our blog may serve you as a learning platform and resolve all your doubts. Although photography is our key competency, here, you will find a wide variety of different topics covered.

In this article, we are going to speak about photojournalistic wedding photography. You’ve probably heard about it – it’s one of the most popular wedding photography styles. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

You’ll also be introduced to other wedding photography styles, and we will compare them. By the time you’ve read this article, you will know if photojournalistic wedding photography style is for you, and if not, where to look next. Enjoy it.

What Is Photojournalistic Wedding Photography?

What Is Photojournalistic Wedding Photography?

Photojournalistic wedding photography is realistic. It’s the unposed and authentic way of narrating the wedding days’ story, like documentary-style wedding photography.

We like to describe photojournalistic wedding photography as a block of breaking news with your wedding as the main topic. The idea is to transfer the scene, emotion and the message of the moment to the audience.

Photojournalism has a specific set of rules. To take a perfect shot, you need a very trained eye and a highly skilled photographer. This is because a specific emotion, touch, look or feel may last only for a second. There may be plenty of photographers declaring themselves as photojournalists, but only a few are good ones.

A big benefit of photojournalistic wedding photography is a subtle presence of a photographer. He will be somewhere in the background, capturing moments. And you and your guests will be able to enjoy the moment of happiness. You won’t feel pressure to make a perfect photo. The guests won’t be left alone, without newlyweds, because they had to do a quick, 3-hour photo shooting.

Don’t get me wrong, and photojournalists are more than willing to take all the formal shots, including all the prearranged and posed portraits. But compared to the other styles of wedding photography, this won’t take half a day. That’s not their primary focus. A couple who’s willing to transform their wedding into a photo shooting set will not hire a photojournalistic photographer. Or at least we hope so.

The photojournalistic approach includes all the supporting actors. That makes a huge benefit of photojournalistic wedding photography. While the narration is focused on the brides and grooms, several side scenes are happening around.

And exactly these side scenes have the power to turn the whole narration from good to great. As a star of the show, you will be too occupied, and a huge number of mini-stories will pass unnoticed. Luckily, your photojournalistic photographer will be there catching the whole beauty of the wedding day.

The day after, or a couple of days after, when you manage to go through all photos, you’ll have what to see. From your little nephew picking his nose through all the little emotional conversations caught on camera. You’ll feel like the photos are talking. The quote saying “a photo is worth a thousand words” is not a coincidence – here, you’ll truly understand that. Your photographs will be your most treasured wedding keepsake. Not sure where to start when it comes to looking for your wedding photographer of choice?

Imagining Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

Photojournalistic wedding photography is frequently misrepresented. Please allow me to set the record straight with an example. Imagine for a moment that you are planning a wedding in a world where photography and motion pictures had not yet been invented. Everything else is the same, but there is no way of recording it. All you would have are your memories and the stories told to you by everyone else.

Visualise how your wedding day would unfold. What would you do in the morning? Would you wake up early or sleep in? Would you have an appointment at the salon or barbershop? Would your best friends and family be buzzing around you in frantic preparation, or are you the type to prepare by yourself, deep in thought and reflection? Would you need help getting dressed? How would you feel—would you start to get nervous? Are you excited? Or giddy with anticipation? Think about all of that and the other parts, too: that look she gives you, a smile on his face, a blush here, some tears there, great conversations all around, and enough hugs to make your shoulders sore the following morning.

Now think about all of those genuinely unposed, spontaneous, and natural moments represented as photographs: that is, photojournalistic wedding photography. It is a lucid photographic representation of the genuine emotions and relationships that bring your unique personalities to life.

More Than Just the Couple

Most wedding photography tends to focus exclusively on the couple. You can scroll through a full wedding gallery of photos, and 90% of the photographs have the couple in them. Nothing wrong with this at all! However, most couples who love wedding photojournalism appreciate how my galleries aren’t just about the two of them. It’s also about the people who are there to celebrate this momentous occasion with them. This is because these people, and sometimes animals, are such a big part of your real wedding story and your lives! We will get into the pre-wedding process in a minute. But during that process, almost all of my couples tell me so many amazing stories about the people coming to their wedding. These stories have to be documented to properly tell your story.

Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Traditional Vs. Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

If you’ve come to the point where you need to choose between different traditional and photojournalistic styles for your wedding day, it means you did your homework.

Before you decide between these two, we will need to determine what type of model you are. To achieve so, we want you to take a look at the photo album of the event where you’ve been to. Also, social media can help – we don’t need a printed copy of a photo. Now divide these photos into two categories. On one side, group the photos that are taken spontaneously.

On the other, select the regular, posed ones. Spontaneous ones are representing photojournalistic wedding photography. Posed photos stand for the traditional approach. After this, the result will be simple. Pick a side you find more suitable for yourself, and you will know which wedding photography style suits you the best.

Is it the Same as Documentary Wedding Photography?

Documentary photography and photojournalistic wedding photography may seem the same when you look at them first. The same principles and rules apply to both. The goal is to capture the moment’s raw emotion, with no room for fake smiles and odd poses. They are narrating the story in the same way as it is happening.

The main difference lies in the width of the view. The documentary style is building the best possible story from different candid fragments. Yet, photojournalism is aiming for the best transfer of the emotion of the moment.

Compare documentary movies with breaking news. A movie is long, with a big introduction, all the details, fine art, and lots of information. On the other hand, breaking news is strict to the point, with the immediate transfer of facts and emotion, just like photojournalistic wedding photography. 

How to Get the Best Memories Out of Your Wedding Photography?

For most of you, a wedding day is the first time you’re dealing with a professional photographer. Once you picked the right style of wedding photography, you did most of the job. Yet, to get the desired, perfect results, you will need to take care of a couple of things.

Trust Your Photographers

You like what they do, and you like how they do it, which is why you hired them. Also, you have planned the course of events in advance. Leave them the ownership and the responsibility of doing things the right way. A huge detailed list of requirements can only kill the creative freedom of the photographer. You need to believe in their expertise.

Being worried and suspicious is alright. This is (probably) your first wedding. You are confused–but they are not. Remember, they did this a hundred times. They don’t hear the words you are saying for the first time in their lives, and they are familiar with your (not so) specific situation.

Don’t get us wrong. It’s important to emphasise what’s important to you. Communication needs to exist. But don’t push it too much in detail–it will be counterproductive. This especially applies to photojournalistic wedding photography, where they need to keep the flow of the story.

Appreciate the Natural Light

Artificial lighting doesn’t mean better photos. Natural light is extremely important, especially in the morning, during the preparations. Transforming a room into a cave and turning on the yellow light is not going to do a favour to anybody.

Pull away the curtains, open those windows wide and let the light come inside. Also, makeup artists prefer natural lighting over artificial. It gives you a better overall result.

When you are picking the location for preparations, make sure they have big windows. You need the sun shining inside, especially during the morning. You don’t want to be in a basement with windows like mouse holes.

Also, if the wedding is indoors, it’s always better to have walls covered in light and pastel colours, compared to the dark and vibrant ones. Think of photography as an art of playing with lighting and colours. If this is nonexistent, the final results will be just average.

Restrain Your Guests During the Ceremony

We are living in a world of smartphones, and everybody has one in their pockets. Nothing can harm photographers during the wedding, like a bunch of people clicking with their phones and flashlights on. To prevent such problems from happening, ask your guests to keep the phones in their pockets and to feel and enjoy the moment instead, especially during the main ceremony, cake cutting, and the first dance.

You can tell this on the microphone just before that moment, so everybody is informed. In this way, photojournalistic wedding photography will stand out. Compare a photo of guests on their phones to the scene where everyone is bursting with emotions during the sentimental moment. Huge difference. Right?

Take Care of the Time.

This may get the trickiest of all. Remember that everything will happen one time, and you will need to do a lot of balance. You want to shoot every little thing, yet you cannot miss anything important and need to fit everything in a time frame. That’s why you need a proper schedule for this.

During the first couple of hours, everything is about the preparations: Groom’s preparation and the bride’s preparation. While the groom’s shooting may last an hour or two, a bride’s is usually much longer, lasting up to 4-5 hours. Shooting preparations is much more than taking photos of a suit, a wedding dress and a couple of portrait shots. Your day is much more than that. And for proper photojournalistic wedding photography, we need to start in the morning.

For the ceremony, you need to give enough time and space for photographers to prepare everything. This is an especially important moment, and the proper placement of equipment is essential. Photographers need to come to the location of the ceremony sometime before.

If you agreed on shooting at some different locations for your wedding or engagement photos, don’t forget to plan all of that properly. You don’t want to be late for your wedding.

Have Fun

What Is Photojournalistic Wedding Photography?

Yes, we know about all the stress you’re going through. But in the ocean of tasks and obligations, we forget that the whole process is supposed to be fun, and we should enjoy it. Forget about all the details and the little imperfections.

This is your special day, and we are all here for you. You need to let go, and we will make sure to turn all your fun, candid moments into the best memories. This is why photojournalistic wedding photography is the best style of photography. It allows you to go there and do what’s natural to you. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever. 

Photojournalistic Wedding Photography: the Supercut

Now, let’s get to the good part and take you on a journey through the typical wedding day.

Wedding Preparation

Every great story must have an equally great introduction. It’s what sets the stage and clinches you into the narrative. Photographing the brides and grooms preparations is without a doubt my favourite part of the wedding day. The final several hours leading up to the wedding that they’ve been planning for up to a year or more are some of the most emotionally charged moments of the day. Observe each family’s dynamics and how they let their sons and daughters move on to set the foundation for a new family.

Wedding Ceremony

Chances are when you imagine the Platonic Ideal of wedding photography, the first image that your mind conjures is that of a bride being led down the aisle towards the waiting groom. Photos of the wedding ceremony are the quintessence of wedding photography. 

Aside from being the most typical example of wedding photography, the ceremony’s images are also the most crucial. The ceremony is the most stressful part of any wedding to photograph. Unlike the rest of the day, there is only a small window of opportunity for capturing highly expected images, such as they walk down the aisle, the first kiss, the signing of the register, breaking the glass, and any of the other unique cultural and religious traditions. These truly fleeting moments will keep you on your toes.

Wedding Portraits: Group and Couple

At face value, it would appear that posed formal portraits are counterposed to the ideals of photojournalistic wedding photography; however, whether it is a formal portrait of you with your wedding party in the dark library of an estate, an editorial-style portrait of you with friends, or a portrait you are not aware of, you can do it all, and then some. 

Photojournalistic wedding photography is not about the categorical rejection of posed portraiture. Portraits are important; however, they should neither define nor monopolise your wedding experience. It is a disservice to waste hours of the clients’ wedding day photographing dozens of similarly posed photographs. A handful of great pictures is more than enough for almost everyone. Instead, use the time you will save not being your photographer’s puppet to enjoy yourselves on your wedding day!

The Cocktail Hour (or Two): My Second Favourite Part of the Day

A standard wedding day is the cocktail hour is a very dynamic part of the day that allows people’s characteristics to shine. This is when I look for the little details that complete the overall atmosphere of your wedding.

Sadly, many wedding photographers use this time to photograph endless empty reception halls, centrepieces, mason jars, and the wedding cake. To document the decorative elements, they botch the human element.

My preferred approach is to roam through the crowd while carefully observing people. I’m on the prowl for interesting characters—people with a strong presence, compelling style, and other attention-catching quirks—and dynamic relationships as set against the backdrop of the decorative designs you’ve worked so hard to realise.

A silhouette of the bride in the distance with two guests in the foreground. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day. 

Wedding reception (AKA wedding breakfast)

The dinner reception is usually an awkward time for wedding photography. The act of eating is rarely flattering when photographed. So this is typically a time for a breather and some food. However, there are quite a few things that are still happening. Many couples choose the dinner reception as a great time for toasts and speeches. It’s an unwittingly tactical strategy because the audience is more or less captive.

Beyond that, there are always some people milling around different tables talking with friends and relatives. Couples often use the time between speeches to make the rounds and visit with guests they have not yet spoken with.

The Party Begins Dancing and Raving.

At most weddings, the couple’s first dance signals the start of the party. Following the dance, the bride and groom typically go dancing with their respective father and mother, and then the guests slowly pour onto the dance floor. In general, I do not recommend having your wedding photographer stay much beyond the first dance unless you have special plans for that period.

Wedding Moments In-Between

While many weddings follow the general order of events outlined above, many others do not. Similarly, some parts of the day are not easily sorted into distinct categories. Below, you will find some of the moments I was unable to neatly classify. These are the so-called “wedding moments between moments” that some wedding photographers write about. They are beautiful, special, and genuine, and I am looking out for them at every turn. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.