Deciding your wedding photography style is one of the most important decisions you will make while planning your wedding day.
In these days we have many beautiful styles out there from awesome photographers; and with wedding blogs, Instagram, Pinterest and bridal magazines, choosing between them all can be overwhelming! How do we know what we’re looking at? What are terms like “Moody” and “Fine Art?” And what do they mean for your images, your wedding, and the way they tell your story?
In all these years that I have been in the wedding industry, I have had experience with many different types of photos. I know how confusing they can be! And I think this is where education in wedding photography styles is so important – so that you can be 100% sure you’re making the right choice for your special day.
Other than your new husband and the ring, your photos are the only thing you have left when all the events of the day are over! These simple explanations will help you choose the right photography style for your big day!
Choose a Style
It is important that the couple planning a wedding come up with a wedding photography style. There are nearly as many styles of photography as there are photographers!
1. Documentary / Photojournalistic / Reportage / Candid
These terms are all interchangeable and mean pretty much the same thing – telling a story. The photographer will follow you around and capture all the events of the day as they unfold, not just the planned moments. They give no direction and don’t pose people, preferring an informal approach. A good documentary photographer will blend into the background and photograph without you really knowing they’re there, generally focusing on authentic, emotional and natural moments. This style is meant to show the true moments of your wedding day as it unfolds naturally.
2. Fine Art
With the Fine Art style, the photographer’s goal is to create a visual masterpiece within their images. They will take time to consider the subject, background, lighting, and composition to produce a beautiful vision! These photos typically have an “editorial” feel to them, and may even appear in high fashion and bridal publications. Many fine art photographers will shoot using film, or a mix of film and digital.
3. Classic / Traditional / Formal
These styles are a mix between allowing events to unfold naturally throughout the day, but also letting the photographer step in and create an ideal situation to photograph. Many traditional wedding photographers work from a shot list at every wedding, seeking to create specific images each time to ensure they have everything covered that the couple have requested, including all the key events of the day and the details. Plus posed images of the couple on their own and with their families.
If you have already defined your wedding vision, you should have a general idea of the kind of look and feel you would like your wedding photos to represent, so this is usually a good place to start.
Photography Editing Styles
In each of the types of wedding photography, you will also see different editing styles – the two main styles being moody and dark, and light and airy.
1. Moody & Dark
Moody and Dark images lend themselves to a more emotional vibe – with deep shadows, higher contrast, and richer colors. These photos can look very romantic and bring a very cinematic feel to a photo.
2. Light & Airy
Light and airy photos are more romantic, soft & whimsical – with lighter tones, blown out skies, and muted colors. Everyone looks better when edited with a light and airy style- wrinkles are less visible, blemishes nearly dissipate, and skin glows.
Here’s a side by side of the different styles. See how the image on the left is brighter and has lighter shadows. You can really see the detail in the Groom’s suit. The right image is a darker edit with deep shadows and rich contrast. Some of the detail is lost in the shadows but also allows for some richer colors.
Don’t Afraid to Ask Questions
You probably already have an idea of the look you love! But if you are having some doubts don’t be afraid to ask those questions of your potential photographer. Also take a time and ask them things like, “Will you help us pose? Do you shoot mainly for the story?” Ask of whole process on a wedding day! Photographer should be happy to answer any questions that you have!
What is My Style?
I would describe myself as Fine Art wedding photographer. In fact I’m a mixture of all of those photography styles mentioned above, all combining and complementing each other to create what I think of as beautiful, romantic, natural and timeless photographs.
While I predominantly shoot a wedding day in a documentary style, I also love to create a beautiful imagery of wedding details, like bride’s wedding dress, accessories and others meaningful details and work with you as a couple to create some beautiful, light and airy fine art style portraits. It is extremely important to me that these portraits are still natural and authentic which works alongside my storytelling approach for the rest of the day. Here I create a balance between finding the perfect light, the perfect location and creating the perfect moment between the two of you. My focus is on you interacting with each other naturally with minimal posing in an environment I have created to produce my signature light, romantic and soft fine art style portraits.
My goal is to give you the best experience possible, so that you will LOVE and CHERISH your images! I edit my photos in a light and airy style! I love creating images that are soft, beautiful and romantic. This style is truly timeless to me.
When it comes to choosing the right wedding photography style for you, take take a moment and create a vision of your wedding day. Maybe you dream of getting married in a field under a blue skies, or maybe you plan to tie the knot in the ballroom of an exclusive hotel or in the backyard of your parents house. Whatever you choose, your photos should be a beautiful reflection of your wedding day’s story.