East London Reportage Wedding Photographer
Hi, thanks for checking out my London wedding photography. I hope you’re enjoying my low key and natural approach to weddings. I have been photographing weddings in London for a number of years, I’ve won a few awards along the way and have the knack for being in the right place at the right time. You can check out my Portfolio for examples of some of my Real Weddings, and drop me an email to Check My Availability. I hope you might read on and hear my thoughts on wedding photojournalism while enjoying some of my fave images from the last few years.
Award Winning London Wedding Photo Journalist
“What in the world of crazy is a London Wedding Photo Journalist?“…Well, a wedding photojournalist is exactly who you’re looking for to photograph your big day. And to make things even easier for you, I am one! I’m an award winning member of the WPJA (Wedding PhotoJournalist Association) I like to capture personalities and rich moments at a wedding. I try to tell a story with my images. As I float about a wedding I am constantly on the look out for beautiful, emotional and often missed moments. I love the idea that a couple will look through their wedding images and not only relive their wedding day but also see wonderful and often daft moments that they’ve missed in all the excitement.
Is Reportage the same as Documentary Wedding Photography?
The answer is Yes, Affirmative, Roger That. Most wedding day celebrations are built around a series of wonderful wedding pillars. The main and most important being the wedding ceremony itself. There are plenty of other key moments throughout a wedding including confetti, group pictures, first dances and of course, Mr and Mrs portraits. Outside of these ‘set pieces’ are drinks, celebrations, speeches and dancing. As a London Reportage Wedding Photographer I love these less organised moments where I can wander around a wedding. I look for the noise, the rowdy table. I search for the quiet moment of a grandparent reading to his grandchild. I love emotion and often capture moments at a wedding that you will not know happened until you receive my gallery.
Black and White Documentary Wedding Photography
I take a lot of black and white images during a wedding day. I love a stylish and elegant black and white photograph. It’s not that I don’t like colour images because I very much do, its just….there’s something about black and white. I reckon I deliver about a quarter of my images in black and white and think very carefully about which images are best suited to mono chrome.
Best Cameras for Documentary Wedding Photography
I’ve been a photographer for over twenty years and have a ton of experience in most formats of camera’s particularly medium format (if your asking I owned a Mamiya Pro II 6×7. Ah, you weren’t asking were you? Totally fine…). I’m not a camera nerd but (here we go!) I am loving my current camera system! For 35mm I have always been a Canon guy. I use two Canon R5’s with a series of stunning len’s including my work horse of a 50mm f1.2 and a delicious 85mm f1.2. I need two cameras at all times so I can have different lens attached (a wide lens and a usually a long lens too). Having two cameras is also an obvious help if one cameras gets bashed or simply stops working. This is me last summer rocking both my cameras and a natty linen jacket too.
Photographing London Weddings in Low Light
During the wedding ceremony I tend to stay to the periphery of a room in order to stay out of eye-lines. Therefore I need an excellent long telephoto lens. My choice is the Canon 70-200mm f2.8. One of the benefits of my gear choices is the low light ability. I tend to prefer not using flash during the day (it can be very distracting) so fast prime lens and wide apertures enable me to produce bright and sharp images in very low light. One of my favourite churches is St. Bartholomews The great in Smithfield. This church is ancient and has tiny and very high up slit and stain glass windows. The entire church is basically candle light. Most cameras including you smart phones massively struggle in this low and moody lighting. Not me, I’m able to get on with photographing your big day quietly and efficiently with a grin on me face.
Natural and Unposed London Wedding Portraiture
Wedding portraits can be a source of some anxiety in the lead up to your big day. I urge you not to let it worry you. I approach my wedding portraits in the same low key fashion that I do the rest of my documentary wedding photography. Often after confetti and some family groups I suggest a little stroll around the grounds of the venue or the streets around the Town Hall. I certainly found during my own wedding (many moons ago!) that my wife and I enjoyed our removal for a quarter of an hour or so from the hyped up emotions of the wedding party. I’ve never shot a wedding without knowing the surrounding area. If necessary I arrive early to scout out the cute woodland or cobbled streets. During the walk, a couple need not look at my camera or even acknowledge me being there. I like a captured moment rather than anything posed.
Do Documentary Wedding Photographers Organise Family Group Portraits
I’m not sure about other Documentary Wedding Photographers but I certainly do photograph formal family group portraits. In fact, I believe family portraits to be very important. A wedding is often a rare opportunity for an extended family to get together, particularly with ageing relatives. Personally I have a treasured picture of my wife and I with my grandparents, who are no longer with us. It’s fair to say that most of a wedding day I will be floating about but I am always happy to politely coordinate some set piece photographs too.
Best London Documentary Wedding Photographer
If you are planning a wedding for this year or next then I would love to hear your plans. Please feel free to check my availability through my Contact Form. My London Wedding Journal is updated regularly and has a bunch of fun features that might interest and inspire. I live in Stoke Newington which is a cute area in Hackney. If you would like to meet and chat through your plans then it would be a pleasure to buy a coffee. If you prefer a video chat cause you live outside London then I can ping over Zoom, its all easy peezy. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my images and a tickle of knowledge, all the best, John. x