Jeff Ascough wedding documentary: Less is more

by Enche Tjin on July 18, 2009

There is no doubt that photojournalism style in wedding has been increasing substantially these years. Different with traditional style which is focused on directing, posed shots, photo journalistic /documentary style tries to capture the moments as it is.There are plenty wedding photographers who advertise as a photojournalist or candid photographer. Actually, there are only a few who is really a photojournalist. One of them is Jeff Ascough. He is regarded as one of the best wedding photographer in the world by American Photo. He was influenced greatly by work of street photographer such as legendary Henri Cartier-Bresson.

His philosophy is actually very simple, less is more.In the past several years, digital SLR cameras has been replacing film cameras. SLR cameras are so popular because photographers can view directly the image, and also reduce the cost of film or printing development. Because of that, many photographers employ “machine gun style” and expecting from the large number of photos, there are some that are exceptional. But these improvements has also caused many wedding photographers to forget what constitute a good event photograph: solid composition and moments.

Jeff reminds us once again about this, the important of observing and composing photos carefully and anticipating the moment patiently. Quality of photos are more important than quantity.

Not only that, Jeff’s idea about less is more also apply to photography gears. Small size cameras and lenses are preferable than big cameras and lenses. This idea make sense because carrying many gears especially heavy cameras and lenses, big strobes, etc in the long wedding day will cause fatique, and as a result, photographers will potentially miss important moments.

As a result, his wedding photography equipment is very simple. 2 compact digital cameras bodies (Canon 5D mark II instead of larger 1D cameras), and 3 prime lenses such as 28mm, 50mm and 85mm. Note that Jeff uses 85mm only if he needs more reach such as covering speeches and close-up portraits.

Isn’t that cool? that is proof that expensive and heavy gears are not really necessary to get be the job done wonderfully. If you like this philosophy, you can visit his blog here and his recent interview with and member Q&A also at

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