I was thinking how to explain reportage photography and then I thought maybe I should change this from what is the difference between reportage photography and snapshots.
In today’s market when you look for a wedding photographer, they are all offering this service, its either, wedding reportage photographer or documentary style wedding photographer.
So let’s first look at the dictionary and see what it states about the word “reportage” the English dictionary says “Factual, journalistic, documenting, not interfering, unobtrusive” the list is endless however I think that provides us with the basics.
When your wedding day arrives and you have booked a reportage photographer, you are in fact booking a photographer that will be a “fly on the wall” looking for those moments that are happening in front of the lens, photographing moments in a millisecond without changing history.
So how does this work? Well let’s just say, that a small child is looking up at its parents and at that moment there is a beautiful smile, the eye contact shines through; as a reportage photographer, I want to capture that moment, I will not stop the interaction, the moment by moving items, objects or people in order to capture this magical moment or the moment would be gone as quickly as it appeared, I utilize a very narrow depth of field (Technical speak) but basically the focus will be very narrow in order to focus all the attention on the moment, other items maybe in the image however this enhances the image, the viewer then understands the full scene without everything being sharp and in focus, if this was the case, the impact would be lost, this is very much the basics behind reportage, on occasions a wider depth of field may be used but on my majority of photographs I use this style.
Let’s now look at the image I have attached with this article, please take a look at the first image, this is what I would call a snapshot, ok the Bride, but why take this image, hand over her mouth, eyes looking tearful, , pretty good exposure, in focus but doesn’t really say anything about the moment or provide any story! Um! Maybe I shouldn’t have taken this image, perhaps it’s not the most flattering photo for the Bride. however now let’s look at the full scene, just move onto the next image, the full shot which tells the whole story, now do you feel drawn into the scene, It’s about reading the scene, looking and anticipating these moments and documenting these without changing, moving or as a photographer, impacting on the photograph, if we were really critical about the shot, we could say, the Groom is out of focus, the Father is looking down at the floor but this photo is about the moment, not about perfection, it’s the emotion, The Bride absolutely loved this image, because it expressed everything she was feeling!
This is why I offer reportage photography; it’s not snapshots, its documenting your wedding through the art of photography.