I’m Simon Atkins, a documentary wedding photographer, the key to my style is natural storytelling photographs, the essence of what I do is to capture what really happens at your wedding.
What is documentary wedding photography?
Documentary wedding photography chronicles a wedding in a way that tells the story of what really happened at the wedding, each image tells part of the story and the photographs also work together. It isn’t simply a case of taking unposed candid photographs, instead the photographer looks for compositions that say something about the moment captured.
My approach to photographing weddings
I started my photography career in photojournalism working for newspapers after completing the National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ) photojournalism diploma course in Sheffield. This background gives me a unique insight into documentary photography and lends itself to this style of wedding photography, I’ve never had any interest in posed wedding photography as I love photographs of real moments. That doesn’t mean I won’t take some portraits or group photographs but these are not the main focus of what I do.
I work with small Fuji cameras like the rangefinder style X-Pro3 which allow me to blend in and capture photographs without my presence distracting from the moment, this is very important to me, I don’t want camera aware subjects as this would result in me interfering with the real moment.
Is documentary wedding photography right for me?
I presume you are here because you are looking for a photographer who will capture your day without taking over, in which case you are a good fit for what I do! My style works best with couples who leave me to just get on with it, if you are looking for a lot of posed photographs or a long list of formal groups I am not going to be the best photographer for you.
Blending in. I dress like a wedding guest and blend in like a wedding guests. You’ll find me in the heart of the action, mingling with the guests, with small and virtually silent mirrorless cameras. I talk to people and fit in with the wedding – this is how I capture to sort of documentary images you will see on my website.
I love emotion! I love capturing documentary moments that will make you cry when you look back on them. I don’t shy away from capturing emotion. The resulting photographs have real meaning for you and real memories attached to them. Wanted: more grooms like Jon above who became very emotional on seeing Jasmine in her dress. You might recognise Jasmine Harman from Channel 4 where she presents a place in the sun.
Getting down on the dance floor. Book me for extended coverage and you’ll find me on the dance floor capturing fun images. I was recently photographing this image from an Asian wedding and decided I was close enough to the action when I felt a drum stick smack the side of my face. I love capturing all the fun moments from the dancing and this is where documentary wedding photography really shines.
Portraits. I like to spend around ten minutes with you creating some relaxed portraits, I do not rigidly pose these and instead prefer to put you both where the light is good and let you have a moment together.
Don’t like having your photograph taken? That makes two of us! But I promise the short portrait session will be relaxed and painless.
The group photos. I’m often asked if as a documentary wedding photographer I take group/family photographs as I don’t show many of these on my website, the answer is yes.
Generally I recommend keeping your groups list short, maybe around 6 or 7 groups in total in order to keep the time taken down to about 15 minutes. Nobody likes standing around for photographs for long drawn out sessions and while I am doing this I am missing out on all the great documentary photographs of you enjoying your day!
What I do best. My signature style is capturing story telling documentary images, I’m on the look out for these all day. I also like the photographs to sit together as part of the overall story rather than a disconnected series of candid images.
All good so far? Why not pop over and have a look through my portfolio and then get in touch to see if I’m available for your date.