Here’s a few photographs from a recent West Tower Wedding in Aughton, and they’re a great example of what documentary wedding photography isn’t. The wedding day was at West Tower from start to finish and the couple utilised the space well for their special day. West Tower is an exclusive venue that only hosts weddings which can provide an advantage over some other venues in the Lancashire area.

West Tower Wedding

The Venue

Once a family home built in 1885, West Tower is now an exclusive venue which can be a great benefit as you know that you will be the only bride and groom at the venue. Some venues do have multiple weddings taking place at the same time and you run the risk of bumping into the other couple. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s still nice to think that you’re the only people getting married on that day. West Tower also has 19 bedrooms for your accommodation, which can improve your wedding day experience from start to finish.

Wedding Photography Style

So, let’s get back to wedding photography style (I like to talk about that 😊). I have said in previous blogs that it’s tricky choosing a wedding photographer, and a style of wedding photography. It’s so complicated as there is so much information to digest from Bridal Magazines, Bridal Websites, Friends, Family, and what other photographers say. There doesn’t appear to be one truth so you can understand a true definition. So, let’s make a judgement about the West Tower wedding photographs on whether it’s documentary wedding photography or if it’s traditional wedding photography

Documentary Wedding Photography

Researching Documentary Photography

I started my research for some good descriptions by “Googling it” and here’s what I found:

The Tate

“Documentary photography is a style of photography that provides a straightforward and accurate representation of people, places, objects and events, and is often used in reportage”


What is documentary wedding photography?


Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life. It is typically covered in professional photojournalism, or real life reportage, but it may also be an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit.


A Blog Post

Documentary Photographers are our eyewitnesses with their observations of the world and its people. They use their knowledge, skills and trained eye to see the hidden messages in our societies and captures the moments of time for all of us to see, now and in the future.


Documentary Wedding Photographers

Summary of the Documentary Photography Research

Hopefully you can see from the above examples that documentary photography is about story telling and recording what really happened with no influence on the situation. Personally, this is why I think this style of photography works so well for weddings. A wedding day is for celebration, fun, chatting about the past and future events with pure excitement and joy.

Why the West Tower Wedding Wasn’t Documentary Wedding Photography

If we apply what we have learnt from the above examples we know that documentary wedding photography can use these descriptive words: Natural, Real, Not Fake, Honest, No Posing, and Without Interference. Those words are not what you think of when you look at someone posing in front of a landscape. I completely understand that some bride and grooms’ really like this style, but to be honest, I don’t. Personally, I would feel and look awkward posing for a photographer with my new wife, and I would rather be enjoying myself with my family and friends. What it will boil down to is that some people like to show off, and present their version of reality to the public domain, and those people are perhaps not suited to candid wedding photography.

The Wedding Guests

The style of wedding photography that you choose will ultimately impact the wedding experience for your guests. How? Well, your wedding guests (friends & family) are there to celebrate your special day, your love, and your future together. If you choose to go and have photographs for an hour or more, do you think that’s the best experience for your guests? Remember they’re there for you.

The other side that impacts your guests is how the photographer works around them. Guests do not want to stand in a line for group shots, they don’t want to be taken away from a fun conversation, and ultimately have their photograph taken. When possible, guests will hide behind other people to avoid being visible in a group photograph. With documentary wedding photography there is no need to disappoint your guests as they can spend more time with you and not have to stand like a Madame Tussaud’s Wax Work for a forced photograph.

Benefits of Documentary Wedding Photography

I have created other blog posts regarding my thoughts and the benefits of documentary wedding photography, but in a nutshell it comes down to having the opportunity to enjoy your wedding day, not feeling awkward in front of a camera, nothing being fake, and the photographer telling a real story from your wedding day. I have also created a blog on how well unplugged weddings really compliment documentary wedding photography; Quite frankly I think they go hand in hand for the best wedding experience for both you and your guests (mentioned above).

The West Tower Wedding venue is a exclusive and beautiful location for a wedding day with plenty of indoor and outdoor space to host your special day. Please contact me when looking for documentary wedding photographers.

Bride and Groom laughing at the bestmans speech.

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