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Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Wedding Photography Styles Explained

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Wedding Photography Styles Explained

You've selected your date, booked your venue and started shopping for dresses. Now you are considering a wedding photographer. There are tons of styles of wedding photography out there, and while folks the industry might know these styles really well they be confusing for couples. Remember too that not only have you been picking a style of photography, but different types 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 design of images you want, how long you want to spend with a photographer on the wedding day, and most importantly coming from all your own personality and comfort in front of the camera.
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There are numerous different photography buzzwords around. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are only a few. Perhaps more confusingly you can use them by different photographers in another way. Ultimately it is up to couples to ask a good amount of questions and do plenty of research before picking a photographer, and to depend upon seeing full list of photos from completed weddings Do not rely on the best 5 or 6 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, however, if he takes too long to create them you probably won't benefit from the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Wedding Photography

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

There is always a downside between the type of work a photographer does as well as the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will take longer to set up and attain. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will be needing a certain amount of time to produce his best performance. It is important that you find out how much time he will need, and see how it will fit into your mood. There are photographers who spend a couple of hours on formal shots. You should always be happy with giving over that amount of time on your wedding ceremony. If you are not that comfortable in front of the camera you may find such a photography more difficult. A fantastic photographer should be able to allow you to and put you at your ease but for a lot of people it can still seem a bit daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

If traditional is all about posed photographs, then reportage photography is the opposite. It relies upon capturing moments since they happen, and is much more a fly on your wall documentary. This form of wedding photography means that the photographer spends most of his time in the history, and so has become popular with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal compared to they used to be. Documentary photography demands a different experience from traditional photography so you have to make sure that your photographer contains the correct photographic past and can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is more about a complete group of pictures from the whole day compared to a set of a dozen highlights. You'll find photographers out there which will jump on the latest bandwagon to gain business, but still use the same old style they always have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and being in the right place at the correct time. It is not about closely directing people, so that it puts many traditional professional wedding photographers outside of their expertise. There are some less ethical photographers who will use the latest buzzwords to further improve their search engine presence, but nevertheless shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you're reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is most likely your best choice. The photography happens without you undoubtedly realizing and you'll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, in fact most wedding photographers offer a blend of these two styles. There are hardly any wedding photojournalists who don't shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures as well. Find out what proportion of each and every a photographer wants to shoot, and better still question them what they like to shoot one of the most - chances are itrrrs this that they are best at.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Vintage wedding photography is really a style that has been getting into vogue recently, however in lots of ways its a hard one one to quantify. Vintage can often mean anything from using old film cameras during some of the wedding to just a different approach to post production to generate 'vintage' looking digital files. There are several great photographers around, but bear in mind that if you get files that are heavily edited in the certain style, you take the risk of your photos looking rather dated a few years later. If I was finding a vintage style photographer, I personally would want at least a number of the wedding shot on film, I'm not a huge fan of faking things. Of course ask questions, see examples to make an informed decision.

Editorial Wedding Photography

This wedding genre is inspired by the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it's advisable it can produce fantastic high-end images. For it successfully on a special day the photographer needs to be highly organised, and may possibly need an assistant to assist set up some of the shots ahead of time, although that would depend upon his or her style. Research before you buy to make sure that the time requirements with this type of shoot are part of your plans. In the event you really like this type of photography but don't want to devote too much effort to it on your special day, consider booking a different photo session as soon as the wedding. Often describes as a trash or cherish the gown shoot, a separate photo session might be the best way to get the special day you want and the photographs you'll love without losing a tremendous chunk of your wedding day. Additionally, it means that you and your photographer can pick the ideal time of day for the best light and you have scope for rescheduling if it's pouring with rain. In several countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, wedding ceremony day, and an editorial session. Don't necessarily believe that it all has to be completed in one day.

Artistic or Fine Art Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography offers a contemporary take on the original set of posed photographs, although they are both terms that were somewhat over used by the photographic community, so again do your research. At its best this genre can create moving romantic images, however, many photographers can over make use of the same poses, in order that it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to see lots of shoots and do not be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.


You'll find lot of styles of photographer around, but the main thing is usually to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and search 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 a regular standard of photography from wedding to wedding, and the consistency and ability to handle different shooting conditions that present themselves throughout a big day. Their portfolio should show a fantastic balance of shots from bridal preparations towards the first dance. Seek advice about how much time they'll need to complete those very important formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are thrilled to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication before the wedding is vital for the greatest results and to have them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you're simply sure to have a memorable special day with photos to match.