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Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Wedding Photography Styles Explained

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Wedding Photography Styles Explained

You've chosen your date, booked your venue and commenced shopping for dresses. Now you are considering a wedding photographer. There are plenty of styles of wedding photography out there, and while people the industry might know these styles back to front they be confusing for couples. Remember also that not only do you think you're picking a style of photography, but different types of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your big day.

Picking the style of photography you want at your wedding amounts to three things. What type of images you want, how much time you want to spend with a photographer on your own wedding day, and most importantly coming from all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.
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There are many different photography buzzwords available. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are utilised by different photographers in different ways. Ultimately it is around couples to ask plenty of questions and do lots of research before selecting a photographer, and to rely on seeing full set of photos from completed weddings Don't rely on the best 5 or 6 shots from several weddings to choose.

Wedding photography styles can be a compromise between producing fantastic work and keeping to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, in case he takes too long to make them you probably won't take advantage of the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Wedding 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 different collections of people apparently go on forever. I do believe there is a fashion to become down on traditional photography, but the actual working framework remains the same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish nevertheless the actual experience right then and there for the bride and groom is quite similar.

There is always a trade off between the type of work a photographer does along with the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will need longer to set up and get. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work need a certain amount of time to produce his best product. It is important that you find out the span of time he will need, and work out how it will fit into your mood. There are photographers who spend an hour or two on formal shots. Remember to be happy with giving over that quantity of time on your wedding day. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find this sort of photography more difficult. A great photographer should be able to help you and put you for your ease but for many people it can still seem a little daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

If traditional is centered on posed photographs, then reportage photography is the opposite. It utilizes capturing moments while they happen, and is a lot more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends nearly all of his time in the setting, and so has become more popular then ever with couples. Weddings can also be increasingly less formal compared to what they used to be. Documentary photography demands a different experience from traditional wedding photography so you have to make sure that your photographer gets the correct photographic background can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete pair 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 get business, but still make use of the same old style they always have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and in the right place at the perfect time. It is not about closely directing people, so that it puts many traditional wedding photographers outside of their expertise. There are some less ethical photographers that will use the latest buzzwords to further improve their search engine presence, but still shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you're reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is probably 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, actually most wedding photographers offer a blend of these two styles. There are not many wedding photojournalists who don't shoot at the very least some formal photographs and traditional professional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well. Find out what proportion of every a photographer likes to shoot, and better still question them what they like to shoot one of the most - chances are this is exactly what they are best at.

Vintage Photography

Vintage wedding photography can be a style that has been coming into vogue recently, but in lots of ways its a hardcore one one to quantify. Vintage can mean anything from using old film cameras during a number of the wedding to just some other approach to post production to generate 'vintage' looking digital files. There are many great photographers out there, but bear in mind that if you will get files that are heavily edited in the certain style, you operate the risk of your photos looking rather dated a few years later. If I was employing a vintage style photographer, Personally, i would want at least a number of the wedding shot on film, I'm not really a huge fan of faking things. Keep in mind ask questions, see examples to make an informed decision.

Editorial Photography

This wedding genre is inspired through the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it's advisable it can produce fantastic high-end images. To produce this successfully on a big day the photographer has to be highly organised, and would possibly need an assistant to help set up some of the shots upfront, although that would rely on his or her style. Research before you buy to make sure that the time requirements for this type of shoot are part of 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 another photo session following the wedding. Often describes as a trash or cherish clothing shoot, a separate photo session could be the best way to get the wedding ceremony you want and the photographs you'll love without losing an enormous chunk of your wedding day. Additionally, it means that you and your photographer can select the ideal time of day ideal light and you have scope for rescheduling should it be pouring with rain. In several countries, particularly the US, top quality wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the wedding ceremony day, and an editorial session. Don't necessarily feel that it all has to be completed in one day.

Artistic or Art work Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional photography, this type of photography comes with a contemporary take on the traditional set of posed photographs, although these are generally both terms which have been somewhat over used by the photographic community, so again research before you buy. At its best this genre can produce moving romantic images, however some photographers can over make use of the same poses, therefore it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to view lots of shoots and be afraid to input your own personal ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.


You'll find lot of styles of photographer out there, but the main thing is always to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and appearance long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it's the competence of the photographer you are hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure an even standard of photography from wedding to wedding, along with the consistency and ability to handle different shooting conditions 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're going to need to complete those important formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are pleased to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication prior to the wedding is vital to get the best results and to make them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you really are sure to have a memorable wedding ceremony with photos to fit.