Documentary or reportage style photography has been around in the wedding industry for a long time now. Lots of couples like the more natural un-posed photographs that can be achieved through having someone snap wedding moments through a longer lens or by using a more subtle approach.
It’s certainly true that photographers and videographers being less obtrusive in your day allows for moments to unfold more naturally and for the flow of events to be more free. But is it also true that some hands-on approach can make for better results?
I personally advertise myself as being unobtrusive in my approach because I feel that couples want to experience their day for what it is – a wedding, not the making of a movie. If a videographer is constantly asking you to stop and wait, or repeat something, then that moment stops being something authentic, and becomes something rehearsed.
My guess is that couples want their day to flow without worrying about the details – after all that’s what you’ve done for months on end in the run up to the wedding day! On the day itself, you just want to be able to hand all that pressure off to the people you’ve hired to do a job.
However, to be completely hands-off all day long is a risky business for a videographer because there are certain times when direction is very much needed to get the best shots for the final result they’ve been hired to make. Brides and grooms are not professional models, and in the times where you are actually doing a bridal portrait session, that’s when you need some direction. No one wants to look awkward in their wedding film. Creating natural looking footage is often the result of a skilled videographer directing his or her couple into the most flattering positions, in a way that is fun and easy going and in itself is the making of good memories.
So the answer for me at least, is a mixture of hands-off and hands-on, let’s call it the Mr Myagi approach! It’s important that you get to live your wedding day, rather than be actors in the making of a film. At the same time, you’ve employed someone to make a film and make you look beautiful so you can remember that day forever and hand it on to future generations. So a skilled videographer knows when to get involved, and when to butt out.
Ask your prospective videographers about their approach to find out how they like to do things – it could be a make or break scenario.