Documentary Wedding Photography

Storytelling is one of the most important factors in Documentary Wedding Photography. A picture without a story is just a superficial picture. Without a story, the photograph has no depth. No doubt, there are pictures that are beautiful to look at. Sunrises above the ocean can be heart-warming and look great at the wall. But do they speak to you? Do they tell a story other than those of beauty?

Sure those are nice images without a doubt, but they all are a kind of blob to us, in Project Unposed. We couldn’t even distinguish most of them. They don’t stick with us and we wouldn’t be able to remember them or come back, just to find another detail. Documentary Wedding Photography, on the other hand, is way more than what you see in the photograph. The picture is only the catalyst in triggering a chain reaction that lets you re-create a story in your mind.

These stories are what make them memorable and iconic. Impactful and emotional stories of people, families, and societies will stay interesting for future generations.

Creating Stories

An average movie has 24 frames per second. With a running time of about 90 minutes, this means that the director 129.600 frames to tell his stories. 129.600 frames to create a story from beginning to end. From introducing the characters to facing a challenge and finally solving a problem. How long would you need to photograph 129.600 wedding photographs? A month, a year or a decade?

A movie has the luxury of having a lot of room to convey a feeling. Storytelling in photography has only room for one frame. In a single frame, the wedding photographer has to create the same feeling, that a movie has 129.600 tries and opportunities.

I guess you can realize by now, how difficult storytelling in wedding photography can be. As a static medium, the photograph is frozen in a moment. You don’t know what happened before or afterward. This leaves room for the viewer to come up with a story himself. A movie director tells a story in 90 minutes.

The photographer shows one frame and wants to bind the viewer. He doesn’t tell the story. He creates enough room and inspiration for the viewer to be involved himself. Storytelling in Documentary Wedding Photography should have a basic structure with an interesting character or detail that catches the attention of the viewer. Then the focus be should lead to a “twist” that creates emotion and brings back vivid memories.


There are some details that are often talked about in Documentary Wedding Photography. The reason why wedding photographs with such details are more interesting is that they more effectively tell a story. They are universally understood and it is easy to come up with an interesting story for the viewer. 

Gestures are one of those details that often work well in Documentary Wedding Photography. As a form of human interaction, they naturally tell a story and often show emotions very directly. Gestures come in more handily when there are people directly interacting. Showing a portrait of a single person or a couple, usually doesn’t convey such a strong story.

Even when having strong characters in front of the lens, it becomes very hard to display a complete story. A Documentary Wedding Photographer, usually will look for persons that already communicate and display some sort of action because that's where the true story lays.


Storytelling in Documentary Wedding Photography can be very complex and difficult to achieve. We always, search for gestures, interactions or in general actions. A Documentary Wedding Photographer doesn't simply photograph people, photographs stories that already happen in front of his/her camera. Controversial pictures are more interesting and valuable than creating popular boredom to entertain a broader audience.