5 Popular Wedding Photo Styles to Know

5 Popular Wedding Photo Styles to Know

Wedding photography is unlike most other kinds of photography. If you miss a special moment, it’s gone and there are no re-do’s. So keep in mind that booking a photographer shouldn’t just be another pesky task to check off of your wedding to-do list. Like every couple, no one photographer is the same. Each has their own style and when it comes to capturing every important moment of your special day, you want to be sure you’re in good hands.

If you don’t already know your preferred wedding photo style, or you’re unsure of how to choose one, consider looking through some photographers’ online portfolios and take note of the images you like.

Explore 5 popular wedding photo styles you should know:

1. Classic.

The classic or traditional wedding photo style is often incorporated into most shoots in one way or another. With this style, you’ll see full-body group and solo shots of the bridal party members, friends and family, and the couple. These are planned shots with perfect poses and lots of direction from the photographer. You won’t necessarily have many in-the-moment shots, but they will be careful and sure to capture everyone looking their very best. Most importantly, you’ll have those key moments throughout the day that you want to remember forever shot to perfection.

Examples of a great time to snap these photos include:

  • Cutting the cake

  • First kiss

  • Wine toasting

  • Bridal party speeches

Pro tip: Lock down your “shot list” ahead of time with the photographer, so you have photos with all the right groups of people.

2. Portrait.

You’ll likely see at least a few of these in almost every wedding album as well, regardless of the overall style. The main focus will be capturing posed close-ups of faces and expressions. If these shots are taken on the day of, they will typically happen immediately after hair and make-up is complete and just as the subject has gotten dressed to ensure they look fresh and haven’t had a chance to get misty eyed!

Examples of the best time to snap portrait photos include:

  • Hair and make-up finished

  • Dress or suit put on

Pro tip: Ask the photographer ahead of time to get a couple of these right after you tie the knot.

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3. Photojournalistic.

This style is also referred to as documentary or lifestyle photography. It’s meant to capture those candid moments that are unposed, unplanned, and totally organic. The photographer will try not to intrude on events as they happen and they’ll be experienced, quick to aim, adjust, frame, and shoot at a moment’s notice. The final product of this show-don’t-tell style will look like stills of vivid flashbacks.

Examples of a great time to get photojournalistic photos include:

  • Everyone on the dance floor

  • The couple as they wait to enter the ceremony

  • Cutting the cake

  • The newlyweds’ exit

Pro tip: Leave cameras out on tables, and some of these may just get captured on their own.

4. Fine art.

Such as the name implies, shots in this style are meant to be utter works of art, carefully thought out, unique, and creative. Fine art photography is about creating images, making scenes and evoking emotion, and less about capturing the raw moments that happen organically. These shots could be magnificent images of the couple in natural light against a picturesque landscape, shot with a wide lense or even with aerial photography, or you could get black and white shots of the wedding rings, shoes or dresses, capturing even the most minute details. You might even consider a photographer who will shoot on film to perfect this style.

Examples of a great time to take fine art photos include:

  • While everyone is getting dressed

  • When the couple first sees each other

Pro tip: Ask the photographer to capture the texture of the wedding dress.

5. Editorial.

Think high fashion, but make it bridal. Editorial photographers will capture your day with a bit of edge and attitude. The shoot will be meticulous and there will be a lot of instruction from the photographer and their assistant in order to capture shots with the highest level of precision.

Examples of when to snap editorial photos include:

  • Right before getting ready for the wedding

  • After the ceremony

Pro tip: Identify a fun backdrop ahead of time with a muted color.

You’re on your way to picking the best wedding photo style for you!

If no style pops out, don’t worry! Try taking the wedding photography style quiz.

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