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Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Wedding Photography Styles Explained

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Photography Styles Explained

You've selected your date, booked your venue and began shopping for dresses. Now you're looking for a wedding photographer. There are plenty of styles of photography out there, and while individuals the industry might know these styles inside out they be confusing for couples. Remember too that not only have you been picking a style of photography, but various kinds of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your special day.

Picking the style of photography you desire at your wedding amounts to three things. What style of images you want, how long you want to spend with a photographer in your wedding day, and most importantly of all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.
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There are several different photography buzzwords on the market. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are utilised by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately it is as much as couples to ask lots of questions and do plenty of research before choosing a photographer, and to rely on seeing full group of photos from completed weddings Do not rely on the best five or six shots from several weddings to choose.

Wedding photography styles are a compromise between producing fantastic work and sticking to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, but if he takes too long to generate them you probably won't enjoy the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Photography

A lot of people think of traditional wedding photography as endless stuffy group photos where everyone looks stiff like a board. Worse still, the various collections of people appear to go on forever. I do think there is a fashion to be down on traditional wedding photography, but the actual working framework is still the same for most professional wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish though the actual experience on the day for the bride and groom is extremely similar.

There is always a potential downside between the type of work a photographer does and also the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will require longer to set up and have. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will need a certain amount of time to produce his best work. It is important that you find out the time he will need, and see how it will fit into your entire day. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours on formal shots. Remember to be happy with giving over that amount of time on your special day. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find this kind of photography more difficult. An excellent photographer should be able to assist you to and put you at your ease but for many people it can still seem a little daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

If traditional is focused on posed photographs, then reportage photography is the opposite. It utilizes capturing moments because they happen, and is much more a fly on the wall documentary. This form of photography means that the photographer spends the majority of his time in the backdrop, and so has become more popular then ever with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal compared to what they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different experience from traditional photography so you have to make sure that your photographer has got the correct photographic background can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete set of pictures from the whole day than a set of a dozen highlights. You can find photographers out there who will jump on the latest bandwagon to achieve business, but still utilize the same old style they also have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and finding myself the right place at the right time. It is not about closely directing people, in order that it puts many traditional professional wedding photographers outside of their set of skills. There are some less ethical photographers that will use the latest buzzwords to boost their search engine presence, but nevertheless shoot the same tired old pictures.

Should you be reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism might be your best choice. The photography happens without you truly realizing and you'll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, in fact most wedding photographers will give you a blend of these two styles. There are few wedding photojournalists who don't shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional professional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well. Find out what proportion of each one a photographer would rather shoot, and better still inquire what they like to shoot the most - chances are this is exactly what they are best at.

Vintage Photography

Vintage wedding photography is really a style that has been being received by vogue recently, however in lots of ways its a tough one one to quantify. Vintage can often mean anything from using old film cameras during a number of the wedding to just an alternative approach to post production to make 'vintage' looking digital files. There are several great photographers around, but bear in mind that if you receive files that are heavily edited within a certain style, you have the risk of your photos looking rather dated quite a while later. If I was hiring a vintage style photographer, I would want at least some of the wedding shot on film, I'm not really a huge fan of faking things. Remember ask questions, see examples making an informed decision.

Editorial Photography

This wedding genre is inspired by the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it's best it can produce fantastic high-end images. For it successfully on a wedding ceremony the photographer needs to be highly organised, and would probably need an assistant to assist set up some of the shots ahead of time, although that would rely on his or her style. Research before you buy to make sure that the time requirements with this type of shoot participate in your plans. If you really like this type of photography try not to want to devote a long time to it on your big day, consider booking a different photo session following your wedding. Often describes as being a trash or cherish clothing shoot, a separate photo session could be the best way to get the wedding day you want and the photographs you'll love without losing an enormous chunk of your wedding day. It also means that you and your photographer can make the ideal time of day for the right light and you have scope for rescheduling if it is pouring with rain. In many countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the wedding ceremony day, and an editorial session. Don't necessarily believe that it all has to be done in one day.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography supplies a contemporary take on the standard set of posed photographs, although these are generally both terms which were somewhat over utilised by the photographic community, so again do your research. At its best this genre can establish moving romantic images, however, many photographers can over utilize the same poses, therefore it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to find out lots of shoots and don't be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.


You'll find lot of styles of photographer available, but the main thing is usually to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and appear long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it is the competence of the photographer you are hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure a frequent standard of photography from wedding to wedding, along with the consistency and ability to deal with the different shooting issues that present themselves throughout a special day. Their portfolio should show an excellent balance of shots from bridal preparations on the first dance. Inquire about how much time they will need to complete those very important formal and couples shots, and see how much time you are pleased to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication before the wedding is vital for top level results and to make them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you're sure to have a memorable wedding day with photos to fit.