Documentary Wedding Photography: Inspired by the Legacies of Parr, Eggleston, and Visionaries
Martin Parr, England. 1986-89
The documentary photography approach weaves a captivating narrative of your big day, celebrating the beauty in its fleeting moments. From tender exchanges to grand displays of emotion, this unobtrusive style cherishes the un-staged and unscripted, and in the hands of a skilled documentary wedding photographer, can capture fleeting wisps of emotion and meaningful rituals as they unfold. They show us the imperfect, intimate and intensely human – and turn them into works of art.
William Eggleston, Memphis, Tennessee. c1975
Wedding photographers often capture fleeting candid moments. Yet there remains an emphasis on pristine beauty over ethereal magic. By emulating the likes of Martin Parr, William Eggleston and Chris Killip, we see that weddings offer so much more. They show us communities coming together, connections being born. When we shift focus from flawless arrangements to the power of a fleeting instant – a feeling, a story, rather than a pretty picture – we glimpse the true beauty of a wedding. We catch the narrative of a joyful community rite as it unfolds.
Bruce Davidson, Los Angeles, California. 1966
In the realm of photographic art, few individuals have been as influential and celebrated as Martin Parr and William Eggleston. Both photographers have made their mark by capturing the essence of everyday life and social events in more commonplace settings, shedding light on the beauty and emotion present in seemingly ordinary moments. Their abilities to tell a story whilst imprinting their own stylistic signatures has inspired a fresh approach to alternative wedding photography that goes beyond the conventional.
Untitled, date unknown, photographer unknown, credit: Stephen Gill
Parr is renowned for his unique and humorous perspective, infusing his photographs with a sense of whimsy and playful mischief. He has a keen eye for the absurd, the ironic, and the eccentric, which brings a vibrant energy to his work. On the other hand, Eggleston’s approach can be summarized by his mantra of being ‘at war with the obvious.’ He masterfully employs the subtleties of colour and composition to uncover the poetic beauty hidden within the mundane and ordinary aspects of life. Their incisive visions can inspire a fresh perspective on wedding photography – emphasising atmosphere over aesthetics and story over stunning visuals.
Chien-Chi Chang, Taiwan, 1997
Colin Jones, from The Black House, Holloway Road, London, UK. 1973-76
I hope to bring this alive for you by documenting your wedding day through the eyes of an artist, finding joy and grace in the small yet significant details that define your story.
Photography possesses a unique power to halt time, immortalising precious memories in a way that transcends a simple, ‘that’s a pretty picture’. It stirs curiosity, provokes inquiry, and ultimately elicits emotions, allowing us to experience our past with connection – and feeling.
I’d love to hear from you.