By Louise Baltruschat Hollis
In the throes of searching for your dream wedding photographer but perhaps unsure of why wedding photography styles differ so wildly? Don’t worry, I am here to help with my wedding photo style guide, breaking down different styles into sections so you can see the difference in one place.
When we look to explain the different styles there may be more than meets the eye.
By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to go out there and find your photographer. YES!
David Weightman, documentary wedding photographer at Married To My Camera shares all about what wedding reportage photography actually is. As well as share some of his gorgeous reportage shots.
The concept of documentary wedding photography is to tell the story of your wedding day in an authentic way. This style of wedding photography has its origins in documentary photography and photojournalism, in which the photographer’s job is to bear witness to world events, without intruding, or influencing the scene.
Traditional storytelling in photography can be done within a single image, or by sequencing images in your album, and documentary wedding photographers won’t shy away from the quirky or less obvious moments of a wedding day, if they feel that it adds context to the story.
Weddings are such joyous occasions, but I can certainly think of times when moments in the day are tinged with profound sadness, and I feel that it’s the responsibility of the photographer to capture these moments sensitively.
It’s not just about the narrative of how a photographer works on the day, but there are some technical considerations to photography as David explains;
In line with the concept of truth in photography, documentary wedding photographers will, on the whole, try to use the ambient or available light to their advantage, rather than resorting to using flash.
This is both to reinforce how it felt to be there in that moment, but also to try and remain unobtrusive. Most of us will use flash when necessary, but experienced photographers will be very skilled at shooting in low light and you can expect documentary wedding photographers to deliver beautiful black and white images as a way of overcoming particularly challenging lighting conditions.
But does that mean that you can’t have group photos if you choose a documentary photography style?
It’s true to say that most wedding photographers, no matter their style, will capture moments in the day that are candid or unposed, and it’s also true to say that most documentary photographers will be happy to do some posed group photos and portraits.
Fine art wedding photography has a light, airy and bright feel to images.
Images have a luxury high-end editorial feel with images shot digitally and often on film, which has a beautifully grainy effect.
Photo: Jessica Davies Photography via Fine Art Bohemian Luxe Wedding Ideas
Low-light wedding photography has a dramatic and atmospheric feel to it. Think warm tones and all the deep moody vibes.
This photography style has been very on trend in recent times and it’s no wonder.
Bright and beautiful, colourful wedding photography allows for vibrant colour-saturated shots.
If you are planning a colourfest at your wedding, this may be the choice for you!
Photography from the air can be spectacular. Usually, drone photography is paired with shots from the ground for an aerial, birds-eye view of the celebrations.
These can be something to really look back on in awe. Sometimes wedding videographers will capture these types of images or film footage too.
Traditional photography styles often include line-up shots of family and friends. Classic weddings may wish to have posed shots in statement locations too.
Modern couples may wish to push the boundaries with their wedding photography. From special effects to striking locations, wedding photos can become a work of art.
It’s a great idea to have some black-and-white shots as a part of your gallery. Or it may be you wish to have all your images in greyscale.
Often the monochrome shots from your day will have a special and intimate feel that you will treasure. They have a timeless appeal.
When it comes to choosing your photography style, it really comes down to personal preference.
Take a look at the images you save and keep. Do they have a similar style you can nail down to help you with your photographer search? If they don’t start to take a step back and rather than look at the content of images, see how they feel.
When you’ve nailed down your photography vibe, it’ll be a lot easier to find your photographer.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to what photography style is best. It really comes down to what you want your wedding photos to look like. As well as considering what style of photography you are still going to love on your diamond wedding anniversary.
Wedding photography trends come and go, but beautiful, professional imagery will always be a winner. So don’t worry about labels on your wedding photography, and go with your heart.
There are plenty of ways to discover your wedding photographer. You could read wedding blogs and view real weddings for a fuller picture of the type of photography style you’re looking for. Alternatively, try taking a look at wedding supplier directories to see recommended photographers.
Next up, searching on Google for your preferred photography style and location can be a good way to discover wedding photographers. Take a look at a photographer’s Google Business reviews whilst you are there.
Then there is social media. On Instagram, look at your favourite wedding accounts and save photos that catch your eye before checking out the photographer’s profile. You can also search by hashtag, location or your venue page to find photographers that fit your brief.
If using Facebook, ask in your wedding groups or local Facebook groups for recommendations. You could even do a shout-out to your family and friends for a word-of-mouth recommendation. Be sure to check a photographer’s Facebook reviews too.
You could also ask your other wedding suppliers for photographers they like to work with, or head to a wedding fair or show to meet photographers in person.
It goes without saying that when searching for a photographer you should love the end photographs they produce. And not just a select few, but the whole gallery from weddings they shoot. It’s also always worth checking out their independent reviews page and their FAQ.
Be sure to have a chat virtually or in person. You want to get on with your photographer as you’ll be spending most of your wedding day with them. David from Married To My Camera believes that “it’s important for a wedding photographer to take the time to get to know their couples, not only to provide a professional service, but to build up trust ahead of the day, and find what is unique about every wedding.”
So there we have it, all the different wedding photography styles to allow you to choose your dream wedding photographer! Plus some answers to your most pressing wedding photo questions. Hooray!
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