The natural look

The term natural wedding photography is brandished around the globe, almost every wedding photographer. So many photographers websites are full of the term, natural wedding photography, often embellished by terms like unposed, photography, or non-posed photos, documentary, photography, candid photography, photography. Yes, natural wedding photography with embrace all of these terms, but what exactly is it?

Firstly, let’s look at those terms I mentioned starting with posing. Generally speaking, if you are posing for a photo it’s gonna look pretty much like a posed photo, and this word conjures up, horrors such as artificial, smiles, the prison, mugshot, and awkward positions. Who wants that? Natural wedding photography on the other hand is very much the opposite, and a good photographer will capture the right expression at precisely the right moment, and will do this day in day out for every wedding he or she works at.

Natural wedding photography | Mother of bride signing the register

So what about documentary and candid wedding photography?

And what is documentary wedding photography? Rather like a television documentary this style of photography will document your day as it happens and your wedding photographer will be there to capture the right moments at the right times, from beginning to end. A documentary wedding photographer is therefore unobtrusive and will be out of the way, and in fact you may not notice them for much of the day as they go about their work.

Candid wedding photography is similar to documentary and certainly is a natural way of photographing people. The Oxford English definition back this up as “a photograph of a person taken informally, especially without the subject's knowledge”. Bang on!

Natural wedding photography | Mother of bride looks as bride signs register

So for documentary or reportage wedding photography the photographer works unobtrusively throughout the day, capturing those lovely moments as they happen and making sure that they are in the right place at the right time to do so.


Experience plays a strong part here, and it takes many years to hone the skill of attempting to see what is going to happen before it has happened. This could be a moment where the bride and groom are greeting the guests. Having been married, only a matter of minutes while in the corner of your eye you spot the bride’s grandmother walking towards them. You know how much she loves her from previous conversations leading up to the wedding and before the bride clocks her you have a few moments to get in position, bearing in mind the exodus of the people from the church for ceremony. If you are too close, they might realise that they are being photographed and that magic moments is tarnished. Too far away and is there is a risk that someone walks between the camera and the subject causing you to miss the moment.

These sorts of scenarios happen at every wedding from the very beginning to the very end, and I mean it when I say it is a privilege to capture them. And I must add, a proud moment every single time one is captured.

Natural wedding photography | Bride and groom in first dance


Another way of viewing natural wedding photography is considering what as photographers are actually doing on the day. The desire is to capture a record of who you are right now not an unnatural expression, not a cheesy smile or unflattering pose. Rather you looking your very best having been caught unaware and feeling natural. This way when you look back at the photographs years later, you won’t tell me see how you will feel. Feel the emotion feel a sense of what the day was about, and ultimately love these memories that will endure forever.

Natural wedding photography | Bride an mother talking just before the ceremony

Three styles of photography in one day

One thing that I always explain to couples when they ask me about photographic style, is that for every wedding that I photograph, there are actually three distinctly different styles of photography in play: reportage, official group, photos, and editorial. Many photographers. Have a variation of these and will offer each one in varying amounts throughout the day and some not at all.

Group photos, generally speaking or an excepted part of any wedding day. People have gathered often from afar can be one of the few occasions where everybody is in one place at one time. So this needs to be documented, sometimes in a formal way and sometimes less formally. Editorial photography is what best describes the bride and groom couple shoot. This is where we spend some time aside from the main wedding party and concentrates on those beautiful romantic and intimate photographs that take your overall photo collection to the next level.

Natural wedding photography | Explosive moment on head table with bride and groom and operatic singing waiters