My Wedding Style: Reportage Wedding Photography
The Gang @ Kinnitty Castle

Reportage Wedding Photography


Reportage VS unposed wedding photography

The first and easiest way to understand the different wedding photography styles is by considering posed vs unposed photos. In the past wedding photography was all posed. These images were generally of groups of family & wedding party looking directly to camera. The photographer traditionally took a couple of rolls of film, on the church steps, after the ceremony and that was all! Most weddings I shoot include family and wedding party group photos as part of the overall story of the day.

Another posed type of photography is the current popular stylised photos of the bride and groom at their wedding venue or on location e.g. dramatic photo on cliff edge by the sea. If you have been researching weddings you have likely seen many of these images featured on wedding blogs and instagram. Think of images of a happy couple embracing, walking in the distance or an epic photo on a mountain top. These shoots can take 1 – 2 hrs, depending on location and your preference for photos in this style. The couple shoot is the main reason bride and groom may be late arriving to their reception. My approach is to limit the time for this to 10-15 mins, which I feel is plenty of time to capture plenty of beautiful couple photographs.

Reportage Wedding Photography

Catch the moment
Unposed wedding photography is my specialty. This is called reportage wedding photography or documentary wedding photography. Essentially this style is hands-off, fly on the wall. Reportage Wedding Photography is all about capturing the moment. It’s natural. It’s real. And it requires no posing. My inspiration for reportage style photography is Henri Cartier Bresson, known as the godfather of catching the moment. You can see more photos and read more about the benefits of reportage wedding photography below.

The Benefits of Reportage Wedding photography

Natural, Real, Unique

There are many styles of wedding photography and lots of wonderful photographers to choose from. You might find, like most couples, as they start their search for a wedding photographer you can find the decision making process overwhelming. This purpose of this guide is to explain what Reportage Wedding Photography is and what the benefits are for you.

Reportage wedding photography is fresh, unique and natural. The photos aren’t posed, and they aren’t directed. The photos capture what happens on your day and how you are feeling. That is why they are unique! The difference to other wedding photography is that your photographer doesn’t tell you what to do, where to go, how to stand or how to feel. When you have invested so much into your wedding, being there to fully enjoy the magic of your wedding day without being directed all day long is priceless!

And there are many other benefits to you. Here I will explain what I feel are the best reasons for you to choose reportage wedding photography.

Bring back memories of your day

There are many wonderful styles of wedding photography and lots of great photographers creating stunning images. You have probably seen them as you browse social media and different photographers’ websites. These photos are often beautiful and stunning. The main difference between these styles and reportage/documentary wedding photography is that reportage photography is completely unposed. You aren’t told to stand or look a particular way.

You are free to fully enjoy your day

This one, for me, and all my wedding couples is huge! We’ve all experienced weddings where we haven’t gotten to speak to the bride and groom before dinner as they have been busy away somewhere with their photographer. Depending on timings on the day this can sometimes even delay the dinner start time! Think too about fully enjoying the fun moments as they happen all throughout the day and having photos capturing these real moments. A skilled photographer will be able to be in your presence without affecting what is happening. He or she will be unobtrusive. The key to capturing these images is getting close enough without affecting what is naturally happening. Trust and feeling at ease with my couples is so important as that translates to moments where you can look at the camera without feeling self-conscious. It’s like you are looking at a friend and sharing how you are feeling.

It’s ideal if you are camera shy

On almost every wedding I shoot the bride and / or groom says they don’t like posing for photos. I’ve heard that so often I come to the conclusion that almost everybody feels that way. Even professional models must work hard to create a look and that’s their full-time job! You might also think you don’t want a photographer taking photos of you all day long. That’s where the real skill of a reportage photographer comes into play. It’s not about camera technology. It’s not about technique. It’s about presence and building a rapport with couples so they feel completely relaxed with their photographer being around. You will hardly notice your photographer as you will be busy getting married, lovingly connecting with your partner and having fun with everyone. And when you do see your photographer you’ll probably just think, “Sure there’s Tadhg there doing his thing” and smile.

You will look your best

It’s simple really: when we feel fab, we look our best. A beautiful dress, hair and make-up helps of course! Add to that the the spark inside you radiating out that leads to the best photos. The spark of joy you are feel on your day, the intimate connection between you and your beloved, the embrace of a cherished friend. These are the magical moments, when photographed naturally, that will elevate your wedding photography to the sublime!

The photos will be of real emotional moments

It’s simple really: when we feel fab, we look our best. A beautiful dress, hair and make-up helps of course! Add to that the the spark inside you radiating out that leads to the best photos. The spark of joy you are feel on your day, the intimate connection between you and your beloved, the embrace of a cherished friend. These are the magical moments, when photographed naturally, that will elevate your wedding photography to the sublime!

The photos will capture things you didn’t see

It’s a privilege for me to be invited to photograph your wedding day. Being there for bridal preparations, groom preparations, your ceremony and moving among your guests gives me a perspective of your whole day like no other. You simply can’t be everywhere at once! The moments of your aunts and uncles playing Jenga, kids eating ice cream, the groom drinking a whiskey with the groomsmen, flower girls getting ready and passing the time doing twirls in the next room. All these moments add to a complete and magical story of your day.

The photos capture the fun

Reportage photographers don’t create fun they photograph the fun. Real fun isn’t staged, it’s spontaneous and unique. Being present and aware of what is happening and ready to shoot at a moment’s notice are the skills your reportage photographer uses to capture fleeting fun moments.

The photos can be arty

If you’ll kindly bear with me for a moment I also want to say that reportage photography can be abstract too. Photography from a different perspective, telling a story in a different way. It shows a bride admiring her dress unseen by others in the background. The out of focus bridesmaid in the foreground symbolises the flurry of activity of the wedding morning and beautifully juxtaposes the quiet moment the bride has to admire her dress, perhaps she’s thinking about all that’s brought her to this moment.

"If you do not love me, I shall not be loved,
If I do not love you, I shall not love.

Samuel Beckett

It Doesn't all have to be Reportage

POsed wedding photograPhy

Stylish, modern natural-posed photography and post-processing to create stunning images of you on your special day. These posed photographs are usually taken in your venue & surrounding grounds. The process is relaxed and typically takes approx. 15 mins on your day. The rest of the time I will shoot reportage style.

This is a longish read, so please feel free just to scroll and look at the images or go to my wedding blog where you can see lots more photos from single weddings! 

Eloping couple kissing on avenue at Kinnitty Castle

This shot helped me understand how symmetry can be very pleasing to the eye. I see the couple first, which is always most important. They are bathed in green. The fence, trees and avenue frame them beautifully. If you aren’t big into posing this is type of contemporary wedding photo is a winner as all you have to do is embrace and kiss!

Smiling Bride at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort

Another way to get great posed photos is to use eye contact. When you look at your beloved, on your big day, there is magic in the air. Even though I have posed (just told them to look at each other really!) the couple here look completely natural and their loving and happy connection shines through. This is romance!

Wedding couple at Carton House

There is a beautiful tree on the long drive into Carton which has a lovely view of the main house and boat house. When the weather is good, and we have time I often stop there to capture a few contemporary shots. Walking hand in hand is great for having a natural look in your photos.

Wedding couple at Connemara Coast Hotel

Fair play to the lovely couple here for wanting to venture down to the rocks behind Connemara Coast Hotel. I love how the shot turned out with the texture of rocks and sky surrounding the couple in the middle.

Wedding kiss in Kinnitty Castle

It was a rainy day in Kinnitty, so we did a few shots inside. This lovely moment reminds me of Klimt’s “The Kiss”. The bride’s beautiful dress here is by Que-Va.

Snowy Winter walk at Clonabreany House

A snowy winter wedding at Clonabreany House. Again, strolling around is a wonderful way to capture lots of relaxed moments.

Wedding couple laughing on K Club white bridge

Another example of a relaxed couple during their photoshoot at The K Club.

Wedding day fun on Tulfarris swing

I always work with the bride and groom on the day so the contemporary shoot flows around you as a couple as we go on a brief stroll. There is a swing near the lake in Tulfarris and the bride wanted a photo with it. One minute later the groom was pushing her on the swing. It’s a lovely fun moment. When you are having fun, you can look straight at the camera with a natural smile on your face.

Love in a Mausoleum

I love how the light outside the mausoleum at Cliff at Lyons gently lights the bride and groom's faces in this shot. Although posed, I feel there is a lovely connection captured in this image.