Wedding Documentary Photography

What is "Wedding Documentary Photography"?

Quite simply, wedding documentary photography should be all about telling a story. I firmly believe and strive to weave the images together to tell the visual story of your wedding day.

Wedding Documentary Photography by Cliff Etzel
You may look at my photographic work and see that it's different to the work of a traditional photographer who shoots weddings. I sometimes need to explain my creative process and "seeing eye" for the images that I create for my wedding clients.

Eugene Oregon Wedding Documentary Photography by Cliff Etzel

This genre of photography goes by several different names; wedding photojournalism, documentary wedding photography and reportage wedding photography. I don’t believe there is any difference between these names generally, apart from, perhaps, what bridal magazines see as the trendy way to describe authentic wedding storytelling photography.

Eugene Oregon Wedding Documentary Photography by Cliff Etzel

What sets the work I create apart from other photographers who say they are wedding documentary photographers is that I come from in depth experience in newspaper and magazine photojournalism.  As an experienced documentary wedding photographer, my goal is to make your wedding photos memorable, capturing moments that you'd never expect so that they can be remembered for generations to come. Each image goes through my post production process. I personally edit every one of the selected shots so that you're presented with only the very best photographs of your special day.

Eugene Oregon Documentary Wedding Photography by Cliff Etzel

My post-production style allows my photography to resemble that of classic film based images. I feel a classic black and white approach offers a timeless look.  The photographic images I capture are purposefully edited to look like they were shot on film. I use natural light and you will often see some "grain" in my images. That's a good thing in my opinion.  I also tend to do little to no retouching, preferring to show each moment as authentically as possible.

Eugene Oregon Documentary Wedding Photography by Cliff Etzel

Clients come to me because they appreciate the time and effort I put into the production of my finished images. They often have an appreciation of film style imagery - not the clinical, over processed digital images that you often see these days.  As a Documentary photographer, I "See" those unexpected moments most wouldn't give a second thought to, yet they speak both quietly and powerfully.

Eugene Oregon Wedding Photography by Cliff Etzel

I don't shoot thousands of images.  I learned this over 30 years ago when I worked in newspaper and magazine photojournalism to edit in the camera. This means you'll get the very best images of your special day in a way that captures the essence of what your day looked like through my lenses without having to look through hundreds, if not thousands of images.

The majority of the final images are in black and white, which hearkens to the classic days of documentary photography.  I can and do deliver in color, but in my experience,  the moments captured have a louder voice when the distraction of color is removed.

Black and White wedding documentary photography by Cliff Etzel

The goal in the work I produce for each of my clients as a wedding documentary photojournalist is to create authentic wedding imagery that not only tells the story of your day, but also as a tangible reminder of the emotions, feelings and details of your wedding day.

Eugene Oregon Wedding Documentary Photography by Cliff Etzel

My approach and style is to be as unobtrusive as possible -  meaning I won't ask you to pose for any photographs except for those you specify during the time I'm photographing your wedding day.  Consider me as a guest to observe and capture each of the decisive moments that occur as they unfold before me.  This is your day, not mine.  I consider it a privilege to be a part of your marriage celebration.

Does my style of wedding photography speak to you? Are you looking for a compelling visual record of your wedding day and are interested in having me document your wedding in this unique way? I'd be happy to speak with you.  Please contact me to learn more about my process and I can answer any questions/concerns you might have.