Reportage is a term that is being misused by photographers. The definition of reportage is “the factual, journalistic presentation of an account.” It has also become a buzz word for photographers to use in their marketing, a bit like “bespoke” in the manufacturing world. I am of the belief that if you are advertising yourself as a reportage photographer then your photographs should not just be shot from the hip but offer a visual narrative of the day.
Reportage photography is a honest, journalistic way to portray your wedding and record what really happened. When I shoot a wedding I try to be as covert as possible, if you look through my wedding photographs you will notice that the only time I photograph someone looking at me, is if they are looking at me. I say covert because its not necessarily about hiding under a table or using a telephoto lens from the other side of a room, it’s about integration into the wedding and not standing out amongst the other guests.
Through experience I have come to the conclusion that people are much happier having their photo taken when they are unaware or at least under no pressure to preform. When shooting a session with a bride and groom I simply ask them to go for a walk and pretty much stalk them, but it’s ok, they are paying me to do it. The results from this are natural photos where they will remember walking not being instructed to smile and wait for me to set up some equipment.
Being remembered from shooting someones wedding is great, but I prefer to be remembered from the photos that I deliver not my presence on the day. Your wedding day will go so quickly and with a true reportage wedding photographer you wont miss any of it.