How do you choose between the different styles of Wedding Photography?
Traditional or Classically Posed wedding photography, Reportage or Documentary style Photography, Contemporary or Illustrative wedding photography, Artistic or High Fashion wedding photography… it is inevitably all in the eye of the beholder. But, with a few customizations can be a part of a well balanced wedding day adventure. Because quite often brides-to-be are confused as to the specific style or styles of wedding photography they’d like to have done, we have put together this article to provides a simple guide to the different wedding photography styles available; this will help you choose both the style of photography you would like – and also aid you in your choice of a wedding photographer.
Traditional or Classically Posed wedding photography. Traditional photography is characterized by a very formal approach. The images are usually highly posed and will require a good deal of intervention from the photographer (unless the bride and groom are experienced models and know how to pose). Be aware that this style will impact you in the following ways:
- The photographer will work on a time line – often with specific shots being organized at a very specific time directing and leading a series of portraits at each location
- In some cases – the photographer will seem like a film director on a movie set, constantly organizing individuals into posed groups to produce a set of traditional wedding images.
- Although considered out of date by many, traditional or classically posed images will still appeal to the older generation, so older relatives of the bride & groom are likely to be happier with this type of image.
- To make sure every detail of the shots is perfect, the photographer not only adjusts their equipment, but also the background, the subject’s body alignment, and even the attire.
Contemporary or Illustrative wedding photography. This style is characterized by a far greater degree of informality and a more relaxed approach by the photographer it is a pleasing blend of traditional and photojournalist, with an emphasis on composition, lighting and background. This can result in a greater level of spontaneity and is capable of capturing the spirit of fun, as well as some of the more formal elements. The photographer places subjects together in an interesting environment, and encourages them to relax and interact while still offering technical control of the posed shots.
- There is less need for the photographer to intervene – much less of the photographer as Director of the movie of your day.
- This style is likely to produce a unique record of your day – no two weddings will look exactly the same. As a result, this style has gradually gained in popularity in comparison to the more traditional approach.
- Gives a more artistic and spontaneous look to the image. The photographer will seek out great backgrounds and settings which can result in a stylized set of images which may resemble to a degree the kind of images you may see in a fashion magazine.
Reportage or Documentary style Photography. This style is characterized by a Journalistic or an extremely hands-off Candid approach by the photographer who will record the events of your big day as they happen in the manner of a fly-on-the-wall documentary television crew. Much of the time – the photographer will essentially be in the background; you may not even be aware of his presence! There will be very little in the way of posing or organizing of individuals and groups. For this reason – this style is increasingly popular with brides today – as it does allow a lot of freedom of movement and the bride and groom are essentially left to enjoy their big day. This style of photography:
- Is likely to produce a very candid record of your wedding with a high proportion of unusual shots that you probably would not expect from traditional or contemporary styles.
- An example may be you and the groom in an unguarded kiss or embrace.
- Reportage photography has a great deal to offer but inevitably – the drawback is that you simply cannot be sure what you may get in the end. So make sure your photographer has a a keen eye and a willingness to “do what it takes to get the shot.”
Artistic or High Fashion wedding photography. This, as the name implies, is led by the individualism of the ‘Artist’ or photographer. This style is therefore characterized by its ability to produce a unique set of images from your big day. Depending on the photographer – there may be a great deal of intervention – or there may be none. The only way to assess if this style suits you is by checking out the portfolios of particular photographers to see if their style is going to appeal. This type of Portraiture can produce cutting edge and stunning wedding photographs as a superb and individualized record of your big day. It may well be considered a little risky by some brides. And it is time consuming.
- Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the key decisions you have to make.
- Do your research – and check out portfolios.
- Speak to the actual photographer – and ask questions about what style they are able to offer.
- Make sure your photographer is adept at all types of lighting situations. Natural light doesn’t work if you have a very cloudy day or very dark lighting situations.
- Controlled lighting is used to enhance an environment or even create the illusion of natural light.
- Marrying multiple styles of Photography can enhance your wedding images.
- Consider choosing a photographer that customizes your personal style and tastes to the types of photography that you are leaning towards.