How to Choose Your Wedding Photography Style
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 photography 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.
Here Are Five Popular Wedding Photography Styles You’ll Want to be Familiar With:
1. Classic wedding photography style
The classic or traditional style is often incorporated into most wedding day 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
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 wedding photo style
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 & 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.
3. Photojournalistic photo style
This style is also referred to as documentary or lifestyle photography. This kind of shoot is 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
The bathroom line!
Pro tip: Leave cameras out on tables, and some of these may just get captured on their own.
4. Fine Art photos for weddings
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 dress, 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 photos for weddings
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.
If no style pops out to you, try taking the wedding photography style quiz!