4 Reasons Why A Mix of Documentary-Style and Editorial Wedding Photography Can Be the Perfect Approach


November 8, 2022

Jasmine Anderson

Groom and best man on the dance-floor captured with a documentary-style wedding photography at National Wine Center Adelaide

Your wedding day will arguably be one of the most memorable and important days of your life. You’ll spend many an hour planning everything from décor and attire to timings and what to feed your hungry guests. And when it comes to the biggest party you’ll likely ever throw, you’re understandably going to want some badass photography to back up your memories. So, here are 4 reasons why a mix of documentary-style and editorial wedding photography can be the perfect approach.

As couples often spend their wedding wrapped up in the celebrations and hanging out with guests, it’s common to feel as if the event took place within an hour rather than a whole day. This is where the style of photography you choose for your wedding will make all the difference. You want to remember every little nuance of your big day and the photos captured will be key to reliving those nostalgic moments long after the ceremony has been and gone. So, what’s the best style of photography to achieve those long lasting memories? Hands down, my choice would be documentary-style and editorial wedding photography.

So, what is documentary-style wedding photography? 

With roots stemmed in photojournalism, documentary-style photography brings a sense of realness to the big day by accurately depicting the events as they happened. Instead of posing for pictures with a forced smile on your face, this style of photography captures all the candid moments that happen behind the staged poses. The ability to capture all the love and happiness in a more natural way lends an organic and unobtrusive perspective of the event.

Why a documentary-style wedding photographer is the best choice comes down to four main points—experience, narrative, authenticity and candidness. 

Wedding party before the ceremony captured with a documentary-style wedding photography in Port Willunga


Everyone wants their big day to be awesome, and you’ll be no exception. I mean on the day that you’re marrying the one you love, it can’t not be awesome. Having said that, it certainly helps when the vendors do their job to make things run smoothly – and that includes the photographer. Documentary-style photography takes the whole awkward staging part out of the equation and lets the day run as naturally and uninterrupted as possible. So, all you need to do is enjoy yourself – one of my favourite quotes is

“you just have to live and life will give you pictures…” 

Henri Cartier-Bresson

The idea is that if you’re living your best day, the documentary style photos will bring you back to that specific moment in time, allowing you to feel that rush of emotion all over again. 

Bride and groom after their ceremony at the Adelaide Botanic gardens captured with a documentary-style wedding photography


Instead of trying to capture only a few special moments – such as the cake cutting or posed photos in front of the venue – documentary-style photography has a unique way of telling a story of the day that you may not have had time to notice. 

Things like your smile when you and your new spouse exchange inside jokes at the reception and the flash of joy in your eyes when your best friend makes the sappiest speech you’ve ever heard! Being aware of these intimate moments are why having an experienced documentary-style wedding photographer could be the best choice you make when planning your wedding. These small but impactful moments of the big day are the ones that will tell the real story of why you got married in the first place and this will come flooding back when you revisit them years later. 

Groom walking his mum to his ceremony captured with a narrative-style wedding photography
Narrative: Ben walking his mum to his wedding ceremony


Every couple is unique and every wedding will have an air of personality that can’t be matched by anyone else. Therefore, capturing your day with authenticity is key (in my opinion). Sure, certain themes can be similar and wedding venues exist for a reason, but let’s be honest – you want your wedding day to look like you…

This is where a documentary-style wedding photographer in Adelaide will work their magic to give you a timeless showcase of you and your partner’s unique love.

Bride and groom candid portraits at the Adelaide Botanic gardens
Tayla and John’s candid moments at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens


Not everyone likes to be the centre of attention, nor do they like to stand for an hour trying to pose with a forced smile in order to fill a wedding album. From the awkward “Cheese!” to the unnatural poses, traditional wedding photography isn’t the best option for a couple who can’t stand those types of situations—or for the (probably bored) wedding party. Overly manicured photos often come off as rigid and cold, and can evoke feelings of discomfort. This is the exact opposite of what you want when looking back on your wedding photos and why a candid photography style is almost always the best choice to keep you and your guests feeling at ease. 

You want to look back at photos that you didn’t even realise were being taken. This will help to take you back to how you were feeling on the big day as opposed to simply how the event looked. Having a documentary-style wedding photographer on your day with a keen eye for these candid moments will be one of the best decisions you make. But, it is the love, fun, connection and inside jokes you have between your partner and your wedding party that becomes the ultimate key to success when trying to nail these shots. As I mentioned when you’re living your best life that is when the best candid photos are created. 

The candour and beauty you’ll experience while living through one of the most love-filled days of your life will be captured with a level of intimacy that you may not have believed possible through photographs. With the right photographer—and style of photography—anything is possible. 

Bride and groom portraits in The Regal cinema Adelaide candid style of wedding photography
Adam and Emily’s candid portrait at their Adelaide cinema wedding

With a touch of editorial wedding photography 

The above reasons are all huge selling points when it comes to making your decision to book a documentary-style wedding photographer in Adelaide for your big day. However, the cherry on the top or the pièce de résistance is a photographer who can also nail editorial wedding photography. 

What does editorial wedding photography even mean? It means your wedding photographer will also help plan your wedding portraits with you during the lead up to your wedding. They will take inspiration from your Pinterest board (if you have one) or leading magazines to style your portraits in a way that reflects you and remains timeless.

Bride and groom hugging while sitting on a bed at an Adelaide Airbnb Cremorne street coach house
Wedding editorial portraits at Adelaide Cremorne street coach house

You will have lots of beautiful things on your wedding day so you want a photographer who also knows how to bring out the best when the moment calls for it.

Check out Dianne and Tim featured by Together Journal and Ben and Charlie featured by Theodore Magazine to see this documentary-style and editorial wedding photography approach in action and why it is so awesome for unique weddings.

If you want to start chatting and planning for your special day – jump over here to get in touch

Ben and Charlie at The Regal Cinema before their wedding ceremony