Which Type of Wedding Photography is Right for You?

 Photo courtesy of Carlos H.

Some wedding photos stand out more than others. But when you are looking for a wedding photographer, do you know what style appeals to you? This is an important part of choosing a photographer. If a photographer doesn't cater to the style that you crave, you may end up with results that are only satisfactory, not exceptional. Knowing what you like, can also help when you interview a photographer. You can share your ideas and work together to create a blend of images that meet your expectations. Consider the different types of wedding photography before you start narrowing down your options. 

Wedding photography stands out from other genres because it includes almost every other style of photography out there. Portraiture, documentary, action, glamour and even product (think rings or flowers) photography is implemented during a wedding. Within that, two basic types of wedding photography are frequently used in the industry: traditional (or classic) and photojournalistic.

Traditional wedding photography is the kind that you see in your mother’s, grandmother’s and maybe even your great-grandmother’s wedding photos. These are planned and posed shots. Each image is carefully thought out by the photographer so that all the key moments and people are included. The only unposed moments might be at the altar when the couple is saying their vows. Some traditional images might be the wedding ceremony, images of the bride with her husband, her family, her in-laws, all the women in her family, and all the men, etc. The same would happen for the groom. You’ve probably seen images of the bride and groom on a bridge kissing or gazing lovingly at each other. This is another example of traditional wedding photography. Most of these poses were created by well-known photographers over the years and are now considered “tried and true” by modern photographers. Traditional wedding photography is still used by many professionals. This style is particularly useful to film photographers because the planned, controlled shots use less frames and the photographer knows what to expect. 

Check out this example of a classic family photo from the 1950s of the bride and her female relatives. 

Photo courtesy of Fashion-Era

And here is a modern take on this classic set-up. 

Photo courtesy of Julie's Gallery Photography

Photojournalistic wedding photography has different meanings to different photographers. Generally, photojournalistic photography is about catching candid photos and documenting the real events that happen during the wedding day. A wedding photographer that shoots in this style will look for real, raw moments such as a child playing under the bride’s dress, tears on the groom’s cheeks or humorous mishaps like someone stepping on the bride’s train. Some photographers feel that photojournalistic wedding photography is about capturing wedding photos without staging any pictures. Others feel it is creating editorial-style photos like the kind you would see in a magazine. These are often staged to look like candid moments.

Here is a moment that wouldn't be caught at every wedding. 

Photo courtesy of Carol Lundeen This image catches the atmoshere as well as the bride. 

Photo courtesy of Ron Pownall Photography

Most modern photographers use a blend of these styles; a hybrid of photojournalism and traditional wedding photography. Some photos are staged in classic poses so the couple has a photo with everyone in the family, while many candid moments are caught to capture the unexpected. This is the most versatile way of shooting a wedding.

I said there are two types of wedding photography. However, there is a third that is not usually considered. Fine art photography is a style that is created by advanced professionals. It is usually more expensive and harder to find these photographers. Fine art photographers create unique, intriguing images that are finely polished. These days they are usually enhanced or manipulated in Photoshop. These photos are meticulously planned and well-thought out before the wedding because the photographer has an idea in mind for the type of image he wants to create. Fine art photography is really stands out and if you can find a photographer that will create a few fine art photos, you will have truly special album.

Here is an example of a fine art photo. 

Photo courtesy of Roger Tan Pin Hwa

Knowing the type of photography that appeals to you can help you get exactly what you want from your photographer. Talk to us to see how we can meet your needs.