Choosing a wedding photographer: Styles

I can’t believe we are already into the second week of the new year. If you got engaged over the holidays, congratulations to you. The fun starts here!

Whether you have a few months or a few years to your big day, planning a wedding can be daunting as much as it is exciting.

With this in mind, over the next few weeks I will share some tips and information to help you find your perfect wedding photographer.

This week, I am going to focus on the different styles of wedding photography.

When looking at wedding photography websites or talking to wedding photographers, you will hear terms like photojournalistic, reportage, documentary, traditional, contemporary or candid to describe the style of photography they shoot.

It sounds like there are lots of different styles of photography to understand but essentially, there are three main, distinct styles: Traditional, Photojournalistic and Contemporary.

Traditional If you look through your parents' or grandparents' wedding albums you will see traditional wedding photography. It is quite formal and structured which can have its advantages. Your photographer will shoot a set list of images and ensure they are of the highest quality.

A traditional wedding photographer will endeavour to get all key images, for example, cutting the cake and signing the register in a posed style. This usually means those in the photograph smiling at the camera.

One advantage of traditional wedding photography is that you know what you are going to get as your photographer will be working through a list of photographs that either they set or you had some input too.

However, a lot of control of how your day will flow is handed over to your photographer as they will be directing you where to look, stand and so on in order to make moments happen to get the photographs they need. Posing for photographs is time-consuming and can be stressful if you have a tight schedule to follow.

Bride and groom hugging

Photojournalism Also known as documentary, candid or reportage photography, this style of wedding photography is about capturing your day as it unfolds without interference or control by the photographer. Your photographer aims, through their photos, to capture emotion, genuine expressions and special family moments.

Your photographer has to be able to anticipate the unexpected in the chaos of a wedding day which is much more challenging than following set poses. If you do not like being photographed, this could be the best style for you as there will be no forced smiles.

Your resulting photographs will be natural and full of memories that will tell the story of your day. The photos will be unique and allow for the real story of the moment to be captured while allowing you to spend more time with your friends and family enjoying your day. Your wedding album will have a few pictures of people looking directly at the camera posing.

Bride tossing the wedding bouquet

Contemporary This style has a more fashion and artistic approach. Similar to the traditional style of wedding photography, it does involve posing for the camera. This style is inspired by fashion magazines and editorials and each image will be retouched to bring out its best. Your photographer may spend a lot of time in post-production using creative techniques in Photoshop to create visually stunning, emotional photos.

These are the photos that grab people’s attention and win awards. You will look and feel like a movie star, which is only fitting on your wedding day!

Check out Adam Alex for examples of truly exceptional contemporary wedding photography.

Bride and groom

The main thing to decide is the style of photography you would like and how long you would like to spend posing for photographs on your day. Many photographers will combine a mixture of styles to ensure the best coverage.

For example, most photojournalistic wedding photographers will also shoot a small number of formal group shots, and a contemporary wedding photographer will also shoot some candid photographs throughout the day.

So what’s my style? My style of wedding photography is a hybrid mainly of the traditional and photojournalistic photography styles to ensure your wedding day is covered completely. Taking portraits of everyone looking their best as well as capturing the moments that happen on your day that you may not see, but you can relive looking through your wedding album.

Choosing a photographer that matches your own style is critical. It is important that you not only like the style of the shots in your photographer’s portfolio but also that you like the method the photographer will use to capture those type of pictures at your wedding.

If you want to see more of my work, then head over to the Galleries. If you like my style of wedding photography and want to discuss your wedding day then please get in touch.

See you next week for part 2!