What is Documentary Wedding Photography Ireland

What is Documentary Photography?

Documentary Photography in Ireland?

One of the Questions I get asked:

Documentary Wedding Photography Search in Google

so what is it

It’s a common question asked by newly engaged couples researching wedding photography. I will answer this question with an example, after all, a picture speaks a thousand words!

Documentary Photography is one of very high searched terms in Google.

Aunts emotional reaction in the morning of a wedding

It is this

There’s no bride obvious in this photo. You can’t see her face, and the bride is out of focus. But I’ve chosen this image to start off my wedding portfolio because it represents what I do best. It’s why my work as a wedding photographer is different from the hundreds of other photographers out there. This mental touch of reassurance from her aunt, that was raising her as the bride patiently awaits for her most important day in the life. Everything about this part of the day that Kristine will want to remember for the rest of his life.

My promise to you is that I will work ceaselessly to capture those special moments from your wedding day for you to treasure.

How will I deliver Documentary photography series?

I use my experience I’ve built up photographing people, in different scenarios, under different pressures. I see the expressions and I am creating a story – Your Story. Documentary Photography as a storyteller of your day, narrated by the photographer.

Documentary wedding photography is about capturing the day, as the events unfold with minimal interference or instruction from the photographer. We do not stop events and ask our subjects to smile for the camera and we do not set up moments so we can capture them. It is not something that can be condensed into a formula to be repeated at each wedding. You cannot sit down and plan out each shot the day before and use it as if “painting by numbers” and – above all else – you never get a chance to do it again! It is a record of family history that lasts generations: something grandparents share with their grandchildren. It’s a one-time орportunity to photograph one of the most significant and emotional days in someone’s life- their wedding day.

“You only get one chance to get the wedding photos you deserve. Read on to see if I’m the best documentary wedding photographer for you.”

What can Documentary Photography do for YOU?

  • Produce a beautiful set of photos that tell the story of your wedding day
  • Capture moments naturally and un-contrived
  • Record parts of the day you didn’t even know were happening
  • Allow you to relive the day every time you open your album
  • Provide your family with a valuable heirloom

Candid, Reportage, Documentary, Photojournalistic

What is the Difference?

You might be familiar with the terms wedding photojournalist, reportage wedding photographer or documentary wedding photographer. They broadly mean the same thing – an observational and unposed approach to photographing a wedding. But there is a subtle difference between a photographer who practices ‘candid’ photography, and one who uses photojournalistic techniques to tell a story.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of a candid photograph:

“A candid photograph is a photograph captured without creating a posed appearance.”

It goes on to suggest ways in which this can be achieved

  • when the subject is in motion,
  • by avoiding prior preparation of the subject,
  • by surprising the subject,
  • by not distracting the subject during the process of taking photos.

So we can see that this is only concerned with whether the subject appears to be posed or not.

Documentary photography and photojournalism takes this idea in a different direction. The two genres share similarities, but again, there’s a subtle difference.

Documentary Photography or Photojournalism?

The term documentary photography describes when photography is used to chronicle events, either historically significant, or part of everyday life. It’s usually associated with long term projects with complex story lines. If you’re interested in documentary photography, you should check out the work of W Eugene Smith and David Hurn to start with.

Photojournalism on the other hand, is concerned with shorter time-frames and usually with breaking news. It’s often commissioned by a news outlet, and consequently has a more commercial bias.

So How Does Documentary Wedding Photography Fit In?

Back to our original question – What does a documentary wedding photographer do?

A wedding day can be seen as a significant event in the lives of the couple as well as their family. It’s a concise ‘news event’ with a start and an end. Photographers can therefore use documentary and photojournalistic techniques and apply them to the wedding day. It’s slightly different, in that the couple are the commissioning clients, so there is usually an expectation of what the photography will show.

But the core elements employed by a documentary wedding photographer are to tell the story of the day, in an honest, natural way, using candid photography as well as portraiture. The complete set of images should be viewed as a single work, with the end result evoking the feelings of the day when viewed many years into the future.

Meaningful Moments, Not A Portrait Session

This philosophy of documenting a wedding is a powerful driving force for me. So I set myself a challenge when putting together a blog post for my end of year highlights. Instead of showing spectacular, well lit and highly stylised portraits of the Bride and Groom, I chose images without showing the Bride or Groom at all. Photos that concentrate on the guests. Ones that show the family members, and everything that makes a couple’s wedding day unique and special to them. These are the kind of pictures that define a wedding day. This is what shows their loved ones and what their relationships with them look like.

Top 6 Reasons To Hire A Documentary Wedding Photographer

  • Minimal posing on your part (no fake grins!)
  • No direction or interference from your photographer
  • Reportage photography is much more natural
  • Family and friends will prefer genuine pictures rather than anything posed
  • Story telling photography captures much more of the day
  • Photojournalism never goes out of fashion like Instagram filters

But do you know what makes me proud of the job I do?

What do I love about being a wedding photographer? It’s being able to hand to my clients, photographs of moments like the one above. If I had’t seen them, these moments would have been lost and forgotten before the first dance. That’s the strength of hiring a great documentary wedding photographer.

Scroll on to see some more beautiful wedding photography, of moments you’ll be expecting, and ones that will surprise and delight you.

Then consider whether you’d like your wedding album to look like the hundreds of others out there, or if you’d like your children and grandchildren to see you in these kind of images, and ask you to tell them all about your wedding day, just one more time…

And – every wedding also needs a few portraits!

As the whole day is documented we still need to allow time for your portraits. Those beautiful shots! 🙂

Although the portraits are “INTENTIONAL“, I try to get the most natural looking photos, that are MEANINGFUL and can speak.

It’s a compilation of photographs from the last couple of years and I know that any photographer will be able to put together a great set of pictures if they’ve shot enough weddings.

If you’re keen to see more, I post almost every wedding I shoot on the blog page. You’ll be able to get a feel for how consistent I am in different light and with different venues and couples.

If you’re planning your wedding, I’d urge you to get in touch with me as soon as you can. Popular dates will book up to two years in advance. Even if your wedding is in the next few weeks, please drop me a line. I may still be available!

Thank you for taking the time to look through my portfolio, I hope you enjoyed it. Why not check out some of my Documentary Family Photography.


Your Wedding deserves to be perfect. It is important that I am the right choice for you.

Your memories will fade away, as the time passes. Then you will look back at your wedding photographs with a high value. Having a privilege to save your memories in a set of images is really rewarding for me.

I would like to hear more about you guys. Fill out the contact form and I will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Remember – those Memories will forever stay with you

Request Detailed information and Availability.

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    5 Steps to wedding planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Covid-19 and Weddings in Ireland

    It’s safe to say no one expected to be wedding planning during the Coronavirus pandemic. If you’re finding yourself in this situation, try to remain calm and allow yourself some grace to process all your emotions. While the situation is causing a lot of changes, it’s important to realise you still have options. Here are some things to think about!

    What Can You Do?

    It is not nice and nobody wants to be dealing with all the suppliers and having the conversations about the date changes or cancellations etc.... Here are some options that will hopefully help YOU in smoother scheduling process during these times.

    Postpone the Wedding

    If your wedding date falls within the Irish Government recommended reopening time frame of wedding cancellations, you are probably unsure of what will happen next. It’s best to start reaching out to vendors, venues and guests to discuss dates for postponing.

    Keep in mind that changing the date may cause you to lose out on vendors/suppliers you already have since they may be booked for a new date. To counteract this, reach out to your vendors to see what dates they have available before officially choosing a new one. This way you can see if any vendor availability matches up!

    If you’re postponing, it’d be beneficial to get in contact with a wedding planner if you don’t already have one. With day-to-day Coronavirus updates, it can get overwhelming for one person to take on re-planning an event. Having someone helping you through this period can alleviate some of that stress.

    • I managed to accommodate 90% of new dates for my couples.

    Here is a list of popular Wedding Planners in Ireland

    Carry on with an ELOPEMENT

    Unfortunately, no wedding can continue on totally unscathed. If you can’t bear the idea of postponing the wedding or switching to a livestream, you can move forward with an elopement.

    If you decide to elope with immediate family or only a few close friends, you’ll still want to practice social distancing at this time. It’s a great idea to set up a sanitation station and revise food options, as self-serve food should be refrained from to reduce spreading the virus. For more tips on social gatherings, check out the Irish Goverment guidelines. Although, there is going to be restrictions in place in to the amount of people allowed to gather.

    During all Levels of restrictions you are able to Elope. As long as the numbers of guests do not exceed the guidelines.

    • An Elopement option seems to be the one that can happen at any level of restrictions.
    • A Wedding – you’re risking with numbers of guests and if you have a large wedding venue – you will end up paying for this.

    Be Mindful of Contracts

    It can be the case that you have deposit paid for your vendors and they are not available on your new date.

    In this case I suggest  – take note of few potential dates that you would be happy with and ask them for their availability. Most Vendors are happy to provide change of date without additional cost or without losing your deposit. For some, however, it may not be possible.

    Be smart about your NEW DATE

    What if your Wedding or an Elopement was in the middle of the week?

    I am sure that new date will have an impact on the prices, if you are re-scheduling from Spring to Summer, wedding venues have sometimes higher cost on Peak times which tend to be Summer.

    What if it was still SUMMER, but it was a MID-WEEK? or a Thursday? I am sure many of your guests can make it on a Thursday and it will make such a difference to your vendor availability.

    • I have re-scheduled some of my couples to MID-WEEK! So I was able to re-schedule 90% of weddings and couples did not lose their deposits.

    Tips on PLANNING postponed wedding

    For those of you outside of the 5-level restriction time frame and still in the process of planning your wedding, there are still many things to keep in mind. With so many couples having to reschedule their weddings, prime 2021 dates are quickly filling up for many vendors. If you’re worried about your date being taken, reach out and book your favourite vendors as soon as possible!

    As everything changes daily, it can add more stress and uncertainty to an already overwhelming time. This is a hard time for everyone and know that you aren’t alone. If you’re looking for more direction when it comes to COVID-19 and planning, I created this 25-page guide to help you through: The Ultimate COVID-19 Wedding Planning Guide. It’s packed with more advice, email templates for your vendors and guests, and what I’m doing to help during these times.

    • The World is in a difficult place and it will take time to recover from this.
    • You may see increase in prices from some vendors, so be wise and maybe try to PLAN FOR A MID-WEEK? Thursday?

    Current Status

    Ireland is now at Level 5. See all of the measures that are in place at Level 5 here.

    National Framework

    Ireland Covid Wedding Framework Levels

    Stay safe, guys!

    Stay positive!

    bridal party walking in Galway Wedding Photography

    7 Tips for choosing a Wedding Photographer

    Choosing a wedding photographer can be hard.

    Not decided yet?
    Let's do this!

    Most of the emails I get from brides ask me questions on the process of choosing a wedding photographer. They have never done this wedding thing before and Pinterest will lead you astray in the mist of your decision making.

    7 Tips for choosing a Wedding Photographer

    When the guests are fed, cake is cut, feet are sore from dancing – all that is left with you and people around is “memory”. Wedding photographer creates a story of this memory and lets you re-live those moments over and over again. Those memories are cherished and passed over for generations to come and leave a landmark in your family history. Think about the times, when you see photos printed on a wall at the fireplace of your parents, grandparents and the cute photos of when you were little. Those moments are special and priceless.

    This post is meant to be a guide that serves you and the Wedding you have always dreamed of! Want to make your wedding photography dreams come true? 7 Tips for choosing a Wedding Photographer

    Let's dive in

    1. When is the right time to book your photographer?

    After he proposes, and venue is picked and the date is booked, you are ready to book your photographer. Usually, couples spend the most on engagement rings, venues and photographers so knowing that you’re investing in the big things first can help you set a realistic budget. Don’t delay in choosing a wedding photographer as they book clients pretty far in advance and your date may not be available by the time you decide to inquire.

    2. Where do I start researching photographers?

    If you know a friend recently married, ask them first! Or ask your venue for recommendations. A lot of photographers have referral programs that might benefit you. Google local photographers and hashtags like #DublinPhotographer or #MeathPhotographer and click on the pictures that make you feel something. If you notice that you click on the same person’s photograph’s, reach out- that’s a match! 🙂

    You can check selected photographers galleries to see if the story unfolds in the way you like it to see. I always say to my brides that every story has a beginning. So I strongly recommend starting with morning preparations and capturing the fun, the worry, the emotions. Choosing a wedding photographer based on how you would like your story to be told

    3. Should I reach out to all the photographers I like?

    You should narrow down your search by your style and preferences. Ask yourself: What similarities do you see in the images you like? Dark and moody? Candid or posed? Dramatic flash lighting? Does this photographer flatter his/her subjects? If it looks natural? Has the photograph let you be part of the event? Can you feel it? Learning what you like helps you communicate style preferences with potential photographer. Pick about 4 favourites when choosing a wedding photographer and contact them to get a conversation going.

    4. Should I ask them for their pricing first?

    Aside from providing your wedding date, photography budget range and venue info, you should include a nice message that gives insight to relevant points of your day. Remember, you’re going to have this person with you on the most important day of your life, having a connection with your photographer is the start of a trusting relationship. Opt-in for an in person meeting or via video call to get all your questions answered and see the pricing list. By meeting him, you’ll get an idea of what it will be like to spend your day with them and actually see what he is offering. Email conversations can delay the process of choosing a wedding photographer and you might not know if you like them or not.

    To conclude – price does matter, but equally the quality matters. To have a photographer that you trust is essential. Only then he/she can create stunning Documentary series of the day.

    5. What should my budget be?

    Having a realistic budget is crucial because when the cake is eaten, the flowers wilt and the dress is hung, all you have left are your wedding pictures. I’m a believer that you deserve the wedding photography of your dreams. For reference, wedding resources (One Fab Day) say that at least  10%-15% of you wedding budget should be allocated for wedding photography. If you’re like me and think that photography is the most important item of your day, you will increase that percentage. Mine was 15% of my budget. According to UK/Ireland statistics- weddings are estimated around EUR 28,000. Be upfront about your photography budget range with your photographer. Understand that “you get what you pay for” is true. The higher the skill set and experience of the photographer, the more expensive it will be. Consider cutting costs in areas and things you don’t value as much to increase the photography budget. Ask about payment plans if available.

    6. What questions should I ask my photographer?

    This part is crucial to your consultation with photographer. Should I hire a second shooter? Second shooters are helpful when your wedding has a large guest count or you have multiple venues the day of. Also if yourself and your H2B want to have really good focus on preparation photos of the day. A lot of people recently are asking for a second photographer to cover the groom preparations. Ask the professional about what they recommend. How much coverage will I need?

    Most weddings have a 10 hr coverage with a comfortable timeline but you might need more or less coverage than that. What wedding packages are most popular and why? Packages save you money instead of a-la-carte custom pricing. Having prints and albums at the end of the wedding experience is ideal because you don’t have to worry about those things after the honeymoon and it will save you money in the long run. It took me 3 years to purchase my own wedding album because it wasn’t a priority. I regret not purchasing it when I booked my photographer. It’s our favourite thing to share with friends and loved ones. My daughter loves going through it 🙂

    7. What about engagement photos? Engagement Shoot?

    Engagement session is going to set the pace for what your pictures will be during the wedding. It’s like a stress free trial on the experience. You’ll end up feeling comfortable in front of the camera, trusting your photographer and be much more relaxed when the day comes. Consider the main benefit of the engagement session as becoming comfortable with your photographer and photos secondary. This will ensure your wedding images are the best they can be. Also this is a great opportunity to talk about some specific shots you have imagined to have for your wedding. This can also be an adventure Engagement session, hiking, boots etc…

    An End Note

    Making the final decision over the wedding photographer should be between you and the fiance. If someone else is paying for the photographer, I suggest inviting them to the consultation so that they have the opportunity to ask questions and set expectations. Did you connect with the photographer and love their photos? If your answer is yes, ask for a contract to pay the deposit for the package you want. Deposit is normally in an around EUR 300, depending on the coverage and package you choose.

    Photographers are hired as first-come, first-serve basis and once they book, they’re booked! You don’t want to lose your first choice because you took too long to decide. I recommend 7-14 days to have a response. And finally, if you talked to other photographers and ended up not choosing them, let them know. You’re not hurting their feelings, they appreciate not being “ghosted”. Go the extra mile and provide feedback on why you didn’t choose them. That information is valuable to their business and helps them serve clients better. They will love you for it!

    I hope this guide helped you in choosing a wedding photographer for your wedding day!

    Good luck and happy Wedding Planning :)

    If you would like to get in touch and discuss more questions you might have in relation to the above - feel free to reach out to me!!
    I am here to Help!

    Cake Topper Galway Wedding

    What Creates an Emotional Wedding Moments

    What makes emotional wedding moments?

    Personal thoughts over “what makes emotional wedding moments”. One of obvious factors are the Bride and Groom. Some couples are very emotional by nature and that is beautiful.

    However there are few other factors that can influence the overall feelings, emotions and the memories of a wedding.

    At the wedding we can attract the best professionals in the industry, rent the most luxurious decorations, or hire the best event manager, but there is one thing we have to answer ourselves at the wedding. That is- the emotional mood.

    People love real love, they are ready to drop more than a single tear, so one of the keys to emotional wedding moments is certainly true words from the heart.

    Photography Style

    Photojournalism (Documentary Photography) - the story is described with the help of photographs.

    Although it may seem simple at first, it is not. The fact that the photographer mechanically captures the moments with the help of a professional camera is not enough. In order to create a complete story with content, the photographer, emphasizing the most important, must be able to capture the link between the pictures. Creating a logical chain of events. In other words, easily give the viewer a hint of what is happening. Directing viewers attention to the desired direction.

    The advantage of this type of photography is the natural, emotional pictures that make up the documentary wedding day narration. Capturing true, not perfect, but co-ordinated and in some way artificial moments.

    The morning of the Wedding

    It all starts in the morning. When you wake-up. If you have slept at all, lol. The morning of the wedding needs to have a positive vibe. Emotional thoughts like "this is one the most important days in our lives" and "one of happiest days" and "omg - I love my other half more than anything on this planet" will only help you realise the day. Morning runs fast, so it is too late to be worrying about anything at all. This is the time to let everything happen as it is meant to happen. So just relax, breathe and feel the magic :)

    First Look

    Those who have been at a wedding several times will know that during the marriage ceremony, the gaze should not only be at the beautiful bride, but also the groom who is faithfully waiting for her at the altar. The groom’s face expression can often become the most emotional wedding moments in the day not only for the bride, but also for the guests.

    Wedding Ceremony

    One of the most emotional wedding moments is, of course, the marriage ceremony. However, they may also differ. Most likely, if the couple themselves have written their own vows to each other, it will be much more emotional than a poem read by the registrant.

    Ceremony Music

    Music has a great ability to influence people’s emotions, to create emotional wedding moments – everyone who works in the cinema industry knows it. That is why choosing the right song during the wedding ceremony will also determine the overall emotional mood of the guests. Choosing the right song for your ceremony is very important

    Those first few strings of music can catapult you back to a certain time or place and leave you feeling elated or teary eyed depending on the tune. So to say your musical choices for your wedding ceremony are important is an understatement.

    Top wedding ceremony songs to walk down the aisle

    Wedding Portraits, time to relax

    This part is a moment for you guys. This is the part where Bride and Groom can relax and have a little moment for themselves. The moment of realisation of what just happened in the church and the moment of realisation that the ceremony is over and "omg - we are married"


    In many years, this tradition has strengthened its quality in Ireland. Perhaps because wedding celebrations are increasingly entrusted to be organised and directed by professionals who are there to create an emotional mood?

    Couples want to hear not only traditional speech, but also emotional stories and speeches that take time to prepare. That is why the closest guests, family members are often highlighted by the couple’s desire to hear a speech so that their speaker can prepare in time.

    How to prepare a wedding speech?

    First Dance

    Mother/Father – Daughter Dance

    This is definitely an emotional wedding moment that will make any wedding more emotional. Dad and daughter dance is touching, especially when looking at the bride’s father’s face, which only prides itself on his daughter.

    Those strong emotions in the parents when they dance with their child. Such activity is not happening every day – if even it ever happens. As a father I can only imagine this moment to be very powerful and emotional for me.