Moment on the dance floor
February 1, 2013

What Kind of Wedding Photographers We are – And What We are not.


Some wedding photographers try to be everything to everyone. The best photographers I have know who have come closest to being all things to all people have been photojournalists. For me, photojournalism translates well into wedding photography.

The Sanctuary Denver Wedding
I think it comes from shooting so many different assignments in rapid succession while learning their craft at newspapers or magazines. The sheer volume of work coming at you on a daily basis is enough to separate the wheat from the chaff in a short amount of time. That being said, there are so many photographers with such different styles out there that it is important to do your research prior to selecting one for something as important as your wedding day.

The Sanctuary Denver Wedding

Wedding photography – specifically wedding photojournalism – is a relatively new concept that has become popular recently for a number of reasons. One reason for this popularity is the photographer no longer dictates the schedule of the wedding like they used to. Back when my parents were married, the photographer had a lot of say in when the cake was cut and when the first dance happened. This had more to do with the technical limits of the day than the photographers need to be a tyrant. Film was slow. Flashes were hard to work with. The photographer needed more time to make sure he got the shot. Now, with cameras that work well in low light and an increased sophistication when it comes to what people expect from photography, photojournalism is becoming one of the most sought-after types of photography when it comes to weddings.

I once went to a friends wedding where the photographer ran the show. He was pretty involved, down to the moment when he told everyone to throw the rice at the bride and groom on the count of three as they acted like they were coming out of the church. This was his way of making sure he got the shot. There are still photographers out there who work this way. They have a set formulaic way of doing things and they come away with respectable photos. That’s one way of doing it but it’s not what we do. We would rather get the shot as it happens, imbued with human emotion and vitality that is hard to replicate. And you get the added bonus of knowing we will not tell you when to cut the cake or step out on the dance floor for the first dance. You can let the magic of your day unfold naturally and rest assured that Eric and I will have the angles covered.

The Sanctuary Denver Wedding

Wedding photojournalism may not be the style for you and that’s OK with us. We realize we will not fit with every client. And some clients won’t fit with us. We want you to find the photographer that works best for you because ultimately, that will make you happier. Just be sure you know what you sign up for when choosing a wedding photographer. Ask to see their work. And, if you want to know how they get the photos they do, just ask them. If they say they pose every shot to guarantee that they get every moment of the day just know that it will take extra time to set up each shot. If you decide to go with Stark Bellamy Photography, we let your day roll out the way it naturally would even if we weren’t there, and document it as it happens. We may take some time to pose formal shots if you want them but the rest of the day is yours.


Chris Stark
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Chris Stark is an award-winning photojournalist and former news photographer who honed his craft at several Colorado newspapers. Documentary wedding photography translates perfectly into Chris' fly-on-the-wall style. Chris lives in Longmont, Colorado with his wife and daughter and spends his free time on the bike or hiking with his family.