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Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Wedding Photography Styles Explained

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - Photography Styles Explained

You have selected your date, booked your venue and started shopping for dresses. Now you are looking for a wedding photographer. There are a lot of styles of wedding photography out there, and while people in the industry might know these styles back to front they be confusing for couples. Remember too that not only are you currently picking a style of photography, but a variety of wedding photography can make different demands on your time on your big day.

Picking the style of photography you would like at your wedding boils down to three things. What kind of images you want, how much time you want to spend with a photographer on the wedding day, and most importantly of most your own personality and luxury in front of the camera.
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There are many different photography buzzwords on the market. Vintage, editorial, artistic or contemporary are just a few. Perhaps more confusingly they are used by different photographers diversely. Ultimately it is approximately couples to ask plenty of questions and do a lot of research before selecting a photographer, and to count on seeing full group of photos from completed weddings Tend not to rely on the best 5 to 6 shots from several weddings to select.

Wedding photography styles really are a compromise between producing fantastic work and sticking to a timetable. A photographer might produce brilliant photos, but if he takes too long to create them you probably won't take pleasure in the experience.

Traditional (or Posed) Photography

A lot of people think of traditional photography as endless stuffy group photos where everyone looks stiff being a board. Worse still, different collections of people manage to go on forever. I do believe there is a fashion to get down on traditional photography, but the actual working framework continues to be same for most wedding photographers. The photographs may be more stylish but the actual experience marriage ceremony for the bride and groom is incredibly similar.

There is always a trade off between the type of work a photographer does as well as the time it takes to shoot it. More formal posed photographs will need longer to set up and get. Any photographer who produces artistic posed work will be needing a certain amount of time to produce his best product. It is important that you find out how much time he will need, and see how it will fit into every day. There are photographers who spend two or three hours on formal shots. Make sure you are happy with giving over that quantity of time on your wedding ceremony. If you are not that comfortable as you're watching camera you may find this type of photography more difficult. A good photographer should be able to assist you to and put you at the ease but for many people it can still seem a little daunting.

Reportage Wedding Photography (Wedding Photojournalism)

If traditional is all about posed photographs, then reportage photography is the opposite. It relies on capturing moments because they happen, and is more like a fly on the wall documentary. This form of photography means that the photographer spends almost all of his time in the background, and so has become popular with couples. Weddings are also increasingly less formal than they used to be. Documentary wedding photography demands a different set of skills from traditional photography so you have to make sure that your photographer has the correct photographic background can show you full weddings to back this up. Wedding photojournalism is much more about a complete group of pictures from the whole day than a set of a dozen highlights. You'll find photographers out there that will jump on the latest bandwagon to get business, but still utilize the same old style they also have. Wedding photojournalism is all about anticipation and finding myself the right place at the right time. It is not about closely directing people, so that it puts many traditional wedding photographers outside of their set of skills. There are some less ethical photographers which will use the latest buzzwords to boost their search engine presence, but nevertheless shoot the same tired old pictures.

If you're reticent about having your photo taken, wedding photojournalism is probably your best choice. The photography happens without you actually realizing and you'll look your natural best.

Although these two approaches might appear polar opposites, the truth is most wedding photographers offer a blend of these two styles. There are hardly any wedding photojournalists who don't shoot at least some formal photographs and traditional professional wedding photographers will shoot informal pictures at the same time. Find out what proportion of every a photographer wants to shoot, and better still question them what they like to shoot the most - chances are this is exactly what they are best at.

Vintage Photography

Vintage wedding photography can be a style that has been coming into vogue recently, but also in lots of ways its a difficult one one to quantify. Vintage often means anything from using old film cameras during a number of the wedding to just a different approach to post production to create 'vintage' looking digital files. There are many great photographers out there, but bear in mind that if you receive files that are heavily edited in a certain style, you have the risk of your photos looking rather dated many years later. If I was hiring a vintage style photographer, I would want at least a few of the wedding shot on film, I'm not really a huge fan of faking things. As always ask questions, see examples making an informed decision.

Editorial Wedding Photography

This wedding genre is inspired from the fashion editorials of glossy magazines, at it's a good idea it can produce fantastic high-end images. For it successfully on a big day the photographer should be highly organised, and would possibly need an assistant to help you set up some of the shots beforehand, although that would depend upon his or her style. Seek information to make sure that the time requirements for this type of shoot fit in with your plans. If you really like this type of photography but don't want to devote a lot of time to it on your wedding ceremony, consider booking another photo session following the wedding. Often describes as being a trash or cherish the gown shoot, a separate photo session would be the best way to get the wedding ceremony you want and the photographs you'll love without losing a massive chunk of your wedding day. It also means that you and your photographer can pick the ideal time of day for the ideal light and you have scope for rescheduling if it is pouring with rain. In several countries, particularly the US, high end wedding photography is evolving towards three shoots: the engagement shoot, the marriage day, and an editorial session. Don't necessarily feel that it all has to be completed in one day.

Artistic or Art work Wedding Photography

Essentially an evolution of traditional wedding photography, this type of photography offers a contemporary take on the regular set of posed photographs, although these are both terms that were somewhat over employed by the photographic community, so again shop around. At its best this genre can create moving romantic images, but a majority of photographers can over utilize the same poses, in order that it can feel a bit impersonal. Ask to find out lots of shoots and do not be afraid to input your own ideas at your pre-wedding meeting.


There are lot of styles of photographer available, but the main thing is always to look beyond the catchy buzzwords and appear long and hard at portfolios. Ultimately it's the competence of the photographer you might be hiring that really matters. Experience, personal service and professionalism are what ensure an even standard of photography from wedding to wedding, and the consistency and ability to handle the different shooting conditions present themselves throughout a special day. Their portfolio should show an excellent balance of shots from bridal preparations to the first dance. Seek advice about how much time they'll need to complete those valuable formal and couples shots, and work out how much time you are happy to give. Even with more observational styles, planning and communication prior to the wedding is vital for top level results and to get them efficiently. Keep to the guidelines and you are sure to have a memorable big day with photos to match.