Play or not? – I love this image


One of the things that I love about weddings is being able to shoot in a documentary style. When I’m not shackled by group photos I can wander around the wedding party, flitting from conversation to conversation. Watching what’s going on. Listening out for laughter. Looking out for animated discussions that create great expressions and pictures. In essence, images that capture the emotions of the wedding day.

Everyone knows that the vast majority of weddings follow a prescribed format on the day, even if people try to be different from “the norm”. The wedding party gets ready. Guests arrive at the venue, followed by the wedding party. There’s the ceremony (obviously). A few formal photos, drinks and then the reception. Don’t get me wrong, the ceremony and the group shots are key elements of the wedding day. But after that, for me, the most important element of the day is the people. The people who you’ve invited to be a part of the most special day in your lives. That’s where the documentary photography comes into play.

So, who do I concentrate on when I’m photographing the people? Obviously there’s the Bride and Groom, but then everyone else is “fair game”. Even the children, which is the reason I’ve included this fun montage from a recent wedding in the Purbecks.

As I said, I always keep an eye out for a situation that might be developing. As the guests enjoyed the wedding breakfast the children got bored, and children are always a great subject for candid shots at weddings! I saw these two lads outside the marquee and the body language hinted that there might be something brewing. I love that expression on the little lad’s face in the top shot! A few seconds later, one of the boys carries the ball back to the marquee. The other? Well, he’s on the ground. Here’s the beauty of photography – it can tell a story, or, as in this case, lead you to create your own story. Was there a problem? Did they fight, or did one of them just stumble? In the end, it doesn’t matter, it just provokes the viewer into wondering what actually happened.

Oh, in case you’re wondering – no children actually were harmed in the creation of this montage! 🙂

© ianH photography | Dorset wedding photographer


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Documentary wedding photography

Documentary wedding photography across Dorset and Hampshire | © ianH photography


If you’re considering a wedding anywhere in Dorset or Hampshire (or indeed, further afield) then please get in touch to discuss your wedding photography requirements. I’m delighted to be a recommended photographer for a number of leading Dorset wedding venues and would love to hear about the plans for your special day. Get in touch with me now for a no-obligation chat.

Contact Ian Now


About Ian

Ian is one of Dorset’s leading wedding photographers. Based in Bournemouth and with over 20 years of experience photographing weddings across Dorset and Hampshire, Ian’s the perfect choice for couples who want unobtrusive, discreet wedding photography that captures the emotions of their special day. Read more about his own personal style of documentary wedding photography on this website.

Proud to be a recommended photographer for a number of leading Dorset wedding venues. 

Blog post: Play or not? I love this image

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Ian Hamilton - ianH photography - 07575 567408