What to expect when booking a Documentary Wedding Photographer: 10 reasons why it might be right for you!

October 2, 2023

Natalia Baqueiro

Destination Weddings, Eloping, Engagements, Weddings

Documentary Elopement Photographer in Pittsburgh PA

I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of having a documentary wedding photographer, and wondered, what’s the difference between a documentary photographer and a traditional wedding photographer? That’s why I want to give you important facts to consider when looking into when you’re researching who might be the right fit for you.

For most people, your wedding will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with unforgettable moments, emotions, and stories waiting to be captured with your soon to be spouse, family members and your closest friends. So, If you feel like you’re seeking a unique and artistic approach to documenting your special day, then booking a photojournalist documentary photographer for your wedding day might be the right choice for you.

Let’s explore what you can expect when you choose a documentary artistic wedding photographer to preserve the magic of your wedding, and most importantly, having those photographs that evoke the emotions you that day leading up to those fleeting moments you were dreaming of for years prior.

What to expect when booking a Documentary Wedding Photographer

1. Unique Perspective

As a documentary wedding photographer, I have a knack for capturing your day from a fresh and unique perspective. I want to know your story, which is something I will be asking you about from pretty much the moment you inquire. I think your story and the vision you have for your wedding is what will make the day the most beautiful day. I go beyond traditional photography to tell the story of your wedding through my lens, and I’ll be providing you with a collection of images that are truly one-of-a-kind.

2. Storytelling

The hallmark of my style as a documentary artistic photographer is my ability to tell a visual story. Instead of just taking individual shots, I’ll focus on capturing the narrative of your wedding day with a heavy focus on the emotions of you and all the people you’re choosing to have as well as all the little details you carefully selected to have. Each image will become a part of a larger story that unfolds beautifully in your wedding album once you receive it.

Documentary Wedding Photographer: 10 reasons why it might be right for you!

3. Candid Moments

Expect a plethora of candid shots that reflect genuine emotions and interactions between you and the most important people in your life. As a Documentary photographer, I thrive on capturing unscripted moments, allowing you to relive the authentic joy and love that filled your wedding day by evoking feelings and letting you go back to re-living those experiences every time you see your photos.

I always put myself in your shoes, and if it were me, that’s what I would value the most apart from the experience and artistry of the shots. It’s important for you to remember those real moments that are in your mind from the day, not just the staged and overly posed moments where you felt uncomfortable and staged.

4. Creativity

Creativity is at the core of my documentary approach. The best way to describe this, is to let you know that I take each of my couples as a unique and special story and I’m fueled not only by their story, but also by the surroundings we have. Creativity is free flow, and I employ creative techniques, including unusual angles, dramatic lighting, and artistic composition, to create visually stunning images that will leave you in awe. That is my promise to you because that’s the testament of my work.

Bride and Groom walking after eloping in the streets of Lawrenceville in the city of Pittsburgh, PA.

5. Unobtrusiveness

Have you ever worried about your photographer disrupting your wedding day? As a documentary photographer, I’m always trying to blend in the scene rather than stand out. Me and my team strive to work as discreetly as possible. Not only do I not want to be distracting you and stopping the flow of your day, but I like to be documenting what’s happening and I’m the most successful at accomplishing that by being as discrete as possible.

6. Personalized Style

Apart from being a documentary photographer, I would say that romantic, emotive and soulful are the best three words to describe my style. In my opinion, It’s the little moments and what seems to be ordinary that make the story, and these moments you’re living now are all the dreams you only had one day, now they are happening in real life! My purpose in your story is to capture and document it all for you to have it for the rest of your life and re-live these moments over and over again.

7. Limited Formal Portraits

If you cringe when you see overly posed photographs of couples and their guests that look fake, you’re in luck, because while you will still get some formal portraits that are a staple in every wedding album, such as the family photos right after the ceremony, the emphasis is on candid and artistic shots rather than traditional posed photos. This approach allows you to focus on enjoying your day while I focus on capturing the magic that happens in real life.

8. Pre-Planning

You will very soon find out that I like to communicate with you, learn about your story, your vision and come up with a customized experience for all of it! We start off with having an incredible experience with your engagement photos. It doesn’t have to be grand such as going to Tulum to get incredible photos in the Caribbean beach in Mexico, or go hike and encounter a waterfall, although, I would be more than happy if this is what you’d like, because I’m always ready for an adventure! It can be something local, such as, let’s go to the strip district, grab a bite to eat, a drink and a coffee and finish off in the rooftop popping up a champagne during golden hour!

All of this is experiences are possible by us communicating and having discussions before your wedding day, and any other event we end up documenting. I want to understand your wedding details and preferences, so we can align the right approach with your vision.

9. Timeless Editing and Delivery

After your wedding day, I will be devoting precious time to meticulously edit and enhance your photos to not only maintain their artistic quality but bring that artistic flair to your photos. 50% of my work happens during post-production, so I take editing very seriously, and I don’t have a “preset” that works for all my photos, because that wouldn’t give me the results I’m known for in my work.

That’s why when it comes to the delivery of your gallery it may vary from 6 – 12 weeks after your wedding day. This depends on the season of your wedding, but some of my wedding collections come with sneak peek galleries to make sure you get a gallery ready to share within hours from your wedding day. That’s right! I don’t want you sharing just your iPhone photos, I want you to share the most beautiful photos of your day while you wait for the full gallery to be delivered.

Bride and Groom in a rooftop in Pittsburgh's Strip District after eloping in front of the city of Pittsburgh.

10. Cost

It’s important to note why it may seem like documentary photographers may charge more than traditional photographers, but let me explain why that’s a myth.

As a documentary photographer, I rely on my artistic approach, life experiences, and education that is a never-ending process to bring my most unique skills and artistic style to your wedding day and journey while we’re working together. The amount of time and energy I spend on each of my clients is pretty long, which is how I get the intimate, artistic shots I’m known for in my work.

If I see it pertinent, I will be using three cameras at once, and if you’re interested in film and polaroid photos, I can also bring that into your day. Not only that, but during the day of your wedding, I’m a hawk! Observing and going out of my way to capture those moments that happen in a split of a second.

Editing time is also long, and I pride myself on giving you photographs that tell your story in beautifully artistic moments, and all of that takes time and energy to create, so when it comes to the price, it’s not expensive. You are getting so much time with me, a personalized experience, and authentic moments captured in the most interesting and artistic way possible.  

Now that you know more about what to expect when booking a documentary artistic photographer and what your experience might look like, do you think this is for you? Not only you’re about to live a once-in a lifetime experience by marrying the love of your life, but you may also be looking into booking a once-in a lifetime experience with a photographer who is a visual artistic storyteller JUST FOR YOU!

If you’re interested in booking a documentary wedding photographer, you have my promise to have visually stunning photographs with an emotionally rich portrayal of your wedding day with an artist by your side–literally!

If you’re ready, feel free to inquire to check if I’m available on your wedding day. I travel quite a bit, and I try to have my travel dates updated, but if you’re wanting me to fly to you, make it clear in your inquiry form.

Each experience is different, and I want you to have the best for your day, so you will often hear me say, we can make that work, and let’s customize a collection that is just the right fit for you. To book your day, the only thing required is the retainer, which is $1,800. The remaining balance is due 8 weeks prior to your wedding day with payment plans available.

For more info, inquire here!

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