In this post, you will learn about the four main wedding photography styles every bride should know. It is no secret that the Internet is filled with a lot of information on wedding photography styles. However, suppose you are not a wedding photographer. In that case, it could drive you freaking crazy, trying to make sense of all the inconsistent information. I don’t want this for you! I want to empower you to have an intelligent conversation with your prospective photographer about your desired wedding photo style.
Before I jump off into the deep end, let me take a quick minute to tell you why I think it is essential to understand the four wedding photo styles.
Well, your wedding day is undoubtedly a significant milestone in your life.
You will spend a lot of money on that perfect bridal dress, beautiful flowers, romantic venue, and many other things to make your perfect wedding day magical. Therefore, you will want to have your wedding day photographed in a meaningful and unique style.
Different wedding photographers have preferred wedding photography styles. It is essential to cut through the sales pitch and the fancy jargon to discover if your potential photographer will understand your vision and create photographs to your liking. You need a photographer who will be a creative partner and help bring your wedding-day vision to life with photography.
Traditionally, weddings are usually an all-day event occurring in multiple locations with multiple lighting and photography challenges. Your prospective wedding photographer should be well rounded in all wedding photography styles. They should be able to adapt to the challenges presented throughout your wedding day. With that said, let’s get on with learning about the styles.
Traditional wedding photography, also known as Classic Wedding Photography, has been around for a while. It is a more technical and formal style that incorporates lighting, composition, posing, and directing.
In today’s wedding industry, couples expect their photographers to be fast and create a high volume of pictures. The traditional style requires more time with a smaller production volume. For this reason, family and group photos are often times created using this style. The photographer will tell you where to stand, sit, look, and be very hands-on.
When done correctly, the quality of traditional wedding photographs is very noticeable and timeless. These are the kind of pictures that mom and granny will love and treasure.
Also known as candid wedding photography, Photojournalistic Wedding Photography is another style of wedding photography preferred by many brides and grooms. For this photography style, the photographer blends into the background and captures the wedding party, guest, and events without being noticed.
To have your wedding day photo coverage entirely in this style requires a lot of planning with your photographer. The photographer must be fully aware of the chain of events that will occur to be best prepared to capture the moment.
On the other hand, the bride should be fully aware that these photos will be significantly different from photographs created in the traditional style. For example, the bride may not like the distracting background but with candid wedding photography style, what you see is what you get. Grant it, a professional photographer will take every possible measure to ensure that the photos are the best they can be.
Contemporary Wedding Photography is a style that is reflective of current trends. It is modern and has an editorial fashion feel. These are the types of photographs you see on covers of magazine and wedding editorial blogs. Contemporary Wedding Photography requires mastery of posing, lighting, composition, and styling.
Brides and grooms who are not comfortable in front of the camera should consider a different style. This style is best used for bridal portraits, groom portraits, and couple’s portraits. It requires more time to create in-camera plus post-production.
Fine Art Wedding Photography Style is the most subjective and can be created in-camera or in post-production. Different photographers will have their preferred fine art taste, such as black and white, sepia, composition, or maybe a special filter.
When it comes to black and white and sepia photos, it is more cut and dry, you either have good quality black and white, or you don’t. Not every photo makes a good black and white or sepia.
So you have to ask yourself if you want all your wedding photos in black and white. Perhaps your wedding is really colorful, and you want to show off those colors. On the other hand, if the fine art is approached from in-camera instead of post-production, the possibilities are endless. Your photographer can control camera settings to create photos that are creative and different. Also, your photographer may do an in-camera crop, such as only showing from the waist down.
The bottom line is that this style’s possibilities are endless, and what may appeal to one bride may not appeal to another.
In essence, every photographer will have their preferred style or a style that they or strongest in. However, experience has taught me that it is next to impossible to capture an entire wedding day in one particular style.
It is impossible to capture the entire wedding day in one style because the wedding day is significantly challenging. The typical wedding day will have multiple locations, multiple lighting situations, and various subjects requiring different photographic approaches.
For example, group shots of family members and bridal party can only be done through the traditional style. You have to position everyone in the group, and you have to properly light the group. This can’t be done candidly.
My recommendation for brides trying to decide what wedding photography style they would like to have is to:
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