Documentary style wedding photography

Posted by on Sep 24, 2012 in Blog | 3 comments

Some of my followers might know that i’ve been rather busy with wedding shoots this season. For the most part of the year i’ll be in Singapore, but i usually spend couple of months in Finland shooting weddings. This year has been rather interesting because most of my current clients have found me via their friends. In other words, they might have been guests at a wedding i’ve been shooting, or just hearing something good about my wedding photography. I believe marketing is the key in pretty much any business, but there is no better marketing than a job done well.

Sometime in January 2012 i got email from Eeva, and she was asking if i still have free dates for the coming summer (summer being june-july-august in my native Finland). She had seen some wedding images i shot the previous year at her friends wedding, so it was easy for her to contact me. After all, we “almost” knew each other already 🙂 Eeva described her wedding to be very relaxed, mostly with adult guests with great food + drinks and dancing till late night. I would say that is the recipe for a great easygoing wedding party. Naturally they wanted the photographer to capture all the small details along with the big emotions of the day.

My day of shooting started early, as usual. I went up to Glo Hair in city center and i was there a bit earlier than the bride and bridesmaids. At the pre-wedding consultation i usually advice the bride to bring some friends or moms with her, that way the morning becomes more relaxed. It is also a convenient time to go through all plans and take care of small errands if there are any. And of course, from the perspective of wedding photographer, it is always better when there is more people and action.

Glo Hair hairdresser and wedding gown

magazine with the title "I left everything for love"

bride early at hairdressers

beautiful flower for the hairdress

bride and bridesmaid seen behind shelves

hairdresser finishing up with some hair spray

bride checking her hair with a mirror

champagne bottle cork

osis hair products and champagne in the middle

We were still running on schedule after finished at the hairdresser and then moved to the makeup place couple of blocks away. Once we reached the place, i was happy to see a familiar face working there. I’ve worked with Raisa earlier on weddings as well as commercial shoots. I knew the bride was in good hands now and naturally good makeup makes my work easier too.

bride starting with the makeup

small pearl details on brides hair

closeup of brides brows being done

makeup tools of the trade

younger face in 10 minutes, promise by makeup company

After the makeup we did not have much time and were actually very rushed to go back to bride and groom’s apartment for dressing up. Luckily Eeva’s dress was not too complicated and the guys managed with their suits very fast as well, and we were off to do some “official” portraits. In my own schedule i had reserved some 30 minutes for the portraits before ceremony, but the reality was that we had to do them in less than 10 minutes. I think we pulled it off quite nicely, but already at the time of shooting i decided that i’ll have another mini-session later on in the evening.

groom and bestman parking Vauxhall Viva

bestman helping the groom with his tie

beautiful ring with black diamonds

bridesmaids helping the bride to dress

bridesmaids zipping up the brides dress

fixing the wedding dress train

groom sitting on a sofa

beautiful black and white images of the bride and groom

The wedding ceremony was held in the Tampere Cathedral which is on of my favourite churches. The building is big and gloomy from the outside, but inside its rather bright and plenty of space to move around. After all, i would not want to interfere with the ceremony when shooting. I knew already in advance that there will be music performance, so i was preparing myself mentally to be super alert with the bride and parents. Usually it is the musical performance that touches the heart so strongly that there is no holding back with the tears 🙂

The Cathedral of Tampere

the pastor in backroom signing documents

bestman checking he has the ring

bride and her father going down the stairs

groom and bestman waiting at the church altar

wedding guests in the church and the couple at the altar

bestman giving the ring to the pastor

a man singing in the church for the bride and groom

bridesmaids listening the singing teary-eyed

the bride and groom kneeling at the altar

the bride and groom kissing on the church steps

wedding guests throwing rice onto bride and groom for good luck

After the ceremony we took the car, and drove up from Tampere to Ylöjärvi. The married couple arrived with a very cool and old Vauxhall Viva that you can see in the pictures. The venue was Villa Näsirinne, a very nicely restored old place just by lake Näsijärvi. I personally know the staff and managers at Näsirinne, so i knew again that things were going to go smoothly and professionally.

the wedding couple arriving with Vauxhall Viva

wedding guest taking a picture with a toy camera

bride and groom mingling with the wedding guests

delicious looking wedding buffet foods

the wedding couple and guests around buffet table

lake Näsijärvi view

table decorations at a wedding

bride making a speech to the groom

traditional wedding cake cutting ceremony

After some short speeches it was time for some good food and drinks. The later part of the day was reserved for music, dancing, some more drinks and funny games. I would say that at a typical (finnish) wedding there are only a couple of important things that need to happen more or less according to the schedule. First would be obviously the ceremony, and the second is the starting of the wedding buffet. Everything else can be adjusted along the way. The main idea is not to stress too much about the timetable, after all, the wedding guests dont have all the details about what is going to happen and when. At Eeva’s and Ari’s wedding, the band started around 9pm and they played 3 x 45minute sets with 15 minute breaks in between. I have to say that the original plan of having relaxed wedding party for friends and family came true like a textbook example.

shots of cognac to be had with coffee and cake

bride and groom holding hands

bride and groom sharing a kiss

dance hall for evening party

bride and groom first dance

guests signing the wedding book

wedding band on stage starting up

bride and groom on the dancefloor

groom with "throwing the suspender" ceremony

closeup of the wedding band guitar player

bestman showing off his dance moves

bride and groom showing off their dance moves

groom with guest partying wildly

funny dance by all the wedding guests

From the pictures you can see what does my documentary style wedding photography mean. If you are looking for a photographer and think my style would be a good match for you, please contact me as soon as possible.

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  1. Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out till now.

  2. Thanks for the great info. Love the site! 🙂

  3. Love looking at the photographs. Way to capture the emotion!


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