Styles of Wedding Photography
When researching wedding photography, you may hear the word “style” come up and not know exactly what that means. Isn’t wedding photography just wedding photography? The answer is a ‘polite’ no. What is the difference in “styles” of wedding photography and what does this even mean? Simply put, the style in which a photographer shoots refers to the look, feel, posing techniques, lighting and even the types of photos they will be focused on taking during the wedding day. We feel that today’s wedding photographer should be versatile and knowledgeable in all styles of wedding photography, and perhaps specialize in a few styles that really set them apart from the rest.
For instance, when you look at our images, you will see a blend of styles.We always start with a Photojournalistic approach (capturing natural candids of friends and family, decor and details). If there is a first look involved, we will introduce our illustrative technique below and choose a beautiful location to let our couples enjoy the moment of seeing each other privately for the first time. All those pretty scenic shots on our website are shot with our illustrative style. Our background in photography comes from working on set with some of the most famous fashion photographers in the world and we love to incorporate some of this influence into our contemporary wedding portraiture. Who doesn’t want to look amazing on their wedding day and perhaps strike a fun pose? This is also a fun technique and a lot of fun to set up with wedding parties to look like they just came out of Vanity Fair or Vogue magazine.
Wedding Photojournalism: Originally favored by the news media, this informal, reality based approach is the current rage in wedding photography. Rather than posing your pictures, the photographer follows you and your guests throughout the wedding day, capturing events as they unfold in order to tell the story of your wedding. The photographer has to be able to fade into the background and become “invisible” to the crowd in order to get these candid or unposed shots. Since the photojournalist does not give direction, he’ll need a keen eye and a willingness to “do what it takes to get the shot.” We find that most of our couples prefer a blend of styles with this being the foundation.
Traditional, Classic: The main idea behind this timeless style is to produce posed photographs for display in a portrait album. The photographer works from a “shot list,” ensuring he or she covers all the elements the bride and groom have requested. To make sure every detail of the shots is perfect, the photographer and her assistants not only adjust their equipment, but also the background, the subject’s body alignment, and even the attire. This style is most common for the family portraits.
Natural Light: Rather than using a camera flash, photographers use the natural light found in a setting, usually daylight. The look is warm and, well, natural—yet the photographer must be skilled to deal with shadows and other lighting challenges. The thing to watch out for are the photographers who express that they are strictly a “natural light photographer”. This is great if you like this style…but what happens when the sun goes down? We’ve found many of these photographers struggle and have very little experience when it comes to using flash correctly at the reception and knowing the correct camera settings.
Fashion: Commercial photographers excel at creating striking photographs that dramatize the subject—and, of course, her clothes! Though not a style generally included in wedding photography, you may want to choose a photographer with high fashion experience if looking artsy and glamorous while showing off your dress is important to you. If you like the way the photos look in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Bridal Magazines, look for a photographer with a background in shooting Fashion.
Portraiture: Traditional photographers generally excel at the precision required in portraiture—formal, posed pictures that emphasize one or more people. Couples interested in a more edgy result may prefer Fine Art Portraiture, with its dramatic lighting, unique angles and European flavor.
Illustrative Photography: This style, which we often use for engagement photos and wedding day, is the perfect blend of traditional and photojournalistic, with an emphasis on posing, lighting and background. The photographer places subjects together in an interesting environment and encourages them to relax and interact and have fun. Illustrative captures some of the spontaneity of candids, while offering the technical control of posed shots.
So now that you’ve read about the various photography styles..how do you communicate to your photographer which style you like? Simply show them images from weddings that you love and they will get a sense of your style!
To inquire about our wedding photography services please Email us or call us at 805-222-5064