I've talked about the storytelling aspect of reportage wedding photography and how it tells the tale of the day, but I think that there is more to it than just a series of images. To me reportage can be broadly split into two categories : scene setting and action.
Scene setting is a way of capturing the atmosphere of the day, all the little details that give the wedding its own character. The couple will make all sorts of decisions when planning the ceremony and reception to stamp their own personalities on the day. Floral arrangements, outfits, table decorations and elements at the reception such as a sweet bar.
The guests will glimpse these as the events unfold and I believe that it's important to record them all as this will bring back memories of everything that happened that day. The images will (hopefully) also be seen by friends and family who were unable to attend, so including the little detail shots will give them a flavour of the day.
Action reportage is more self-explanatory, it's everything that happened during the wedding. A record of the interactions, moments, emotions and events of the day. Action reportage is candid. The subjects aren’t posed. I hang back as much as I feasibly can so that people don’t know they’re being photographed and act naturally. From bridal preparations, groom and guests gathering for the ceremony through to the reception and guest reactions to speeches and dances there are hundreds of little moments that come together to tell that story.
I also class the ceremony itself as action reportage as I’m looking to record the moments between the couple without them paying too much attention to me. Well, unless they want to. In practice that isn’t too difficult as most people don’t notice the world around them while they’re exchanging their vows.
I try to scatter the two different styles across my coverage of the day so that the viewer experiences (or re-experiences) the day as if they are moving through the events, noticing details and moments at they go.