What style of wedding photography is true to YOU!
Wedding photography styles vary so much from photographer to photographer. Even two fashion photographers can have completely different styles. Most photographers are experts in a couple of different styles and then sprinkle in a bit of everything else. Some less experienced photographers only do one style. Nonetheless, here they are explained.
Traditional Wedding Photography Style
Traditional photography is the least popular style of photography today. Although it can be sprinkled in with other styles. These are called parent favorites. Normally the posing is not too forced, the lighting is natural, minimal or traditional. The bride and groom's faces are towards the camera and normally the subject is smiling. Most photographers take traditional family portraits. These are the images that your family will usually frame. Although I am not personally a huge fan of traditional imagery, it does have a small place in modern photography. Like the image above, this image will be the image that Mom and Grandma will like best. It may seem simple, but it can be timeless if done well.
Below is a sample of a traditional family portrait taken at a wedding.
Here is a side by side sample of a traditional groomsmen pose and a fun/silly groomsmen pose
This is a good example of how you need a bit of both images. Most couples don't want every pose to be silly or dramatic, most couples want at lease one photo of everyone looking at the camera.
Documentary Style / Photojournalism Style / Reportage Style Wedding Photography
I often have couples request this style of photography. Although I always make it a point to clarify what exactly that means. There are photographers that strictly shoot documentary style photography. In the strictest meaning, they are only capturing moments, not interfering with the couples day. Usually using longer lenses, so that you are not close to the moments that are happening and are not interfering with the day. A looser definition allows for coaching or coaxing clients into an area or a particular type of light or set up. Allowing emotions and expressions to happen naturally. For instance, asking clients to walk towards you and just smile as they are walking or chat with each other. Most photographers even the least photo-journalistic style photographer shoots the entire reception in this documentary style. Most are just capturing the moments as they happen and do not interfere much.
On a bit of a negative note... many of my clients don't know how to act naturally in front of the camera or may feel awkward. Most may not look their most attractive in a particular angle of a particular way so they may not always be the best option for everyone. In my opinion, it's best to coach a client into a natural pose or a set of movements that not only allow them to feel attractive, but also brings about laughter and natural moments.
Below are samples of photo-journalistic or documentary style wedding images.
The photo with the couple running across the street is semi set up.. I asked the couple to run.. really really run across the street while i photographed from the other side of the street. She took off her heels and the adrenaline rush made them laugh their way across. A sample of a set up documentary style photo. The image with the bridemaid's first look was also semi set up. I needed the brides to be standing in a particular area when they bride walked in so that I can capture all of them well. The rest of the images were true photojournalistic images.
Modern Style Wedding Photography
There are many beautiful wedding photography styles that are modern. Modern style photography actually changes constantly with the times. Do you remember in the 90's when it was really trendy to have an image in black and white and roses in red. Although that trend is mostly dead there are trends that are very hip right now.
One of the main trends that I have been seeing for the last 5 years is the back-lit image. Normally the photographer shoots in into the light with a light flare either being there naturally or placed on the image through photoshop.
Another modern wedding photography trend is the static person or couple with very little emotion on the face standing in the center of the photograph with their bodies and faces turned toward the camera. This was made very famous by fine art photographer Jose Villa and was then copied endlessly.
Negative space is a huge trend. Negative space in photography is the space that is not being used by the main subject If used well it actually draws more attention to the subject. It's a quirky way of taking a photograph. It can give an image breathing room and yet still draws the eye to the subject.
Another trend that is fairly new in wedding photography is the Miniature/Tilt Shift, Blurry Edges Style Wedding Photography. I have being seeing this is style quite a bit in Orange County. Mostly is some communities. This style can be done in camera with a tilt shift lens or can be an effect that is added in Photoshop. This can be used to remove distractions on the edges of images, to draw the eye to the subject or just as a fine art treatment.
Another trend that I have been seeing lately in a Photoshop treatment that adds yellows or pastels to an image. I have seen in hit huge in the kids portrait community but it has also crept it's way in to wedding photography especially here in Orange County.
High Fashion/Fashion/Editorial Style Wedding Photography
One of my favorite styles is High Fashion Wedding Photography. It is absolutely stunning to see a wedding image that looks like it came out of a glossy high end fashion magazine. This style of photography is definitely for a bolder bride and does not belong in a Bohemian wedding. It takes more equipment, manipulation of lighting, a higher knowledge of photography and an artistic eye. Not all images are usually shot in this style but its nice to add a few of these images to your album especially as a large image by itself in your wedding album. Not all photographers can shoot in this style as it is technically more difficult and you will normally pay a premium for a photographer that is capable and artistic enough to shoot in this style.
Romantic / Natural Light / Lifestyle Wedding Photography
This style of photography is best for outdoor scenic weddings. The best time of the day to shoot these images are no more than two hours before sunset and during twilight. These photographs are normally naturally lit by the light that is available. Normally they are posed in a sweet natural way. Unlike high fashion they are not overly posed and more natural. Some more technical photographers may add off camera lighting but it normally blends into the natural lights and is just used to fill the subject not as a main light source. Most high fashion photographers will also shoot a mix of this style. This photography is focused on intimacy and cuteness!
Fine Art Style Wedding Photography
If you happen to get lucky you might find a true fine art wedding photographer. What sets apart a fine art wedding photographer from other photographers, you ask? Well most photographers... if they are really good they can copy just about any other photographer or artist. When you find a fine art photographer that person can CREATE! That photographer has the capacity for abstract thought and creation and can create new and innovative poses, lighting and ideas. They can bring ideas to your wedding that you have not seen a million times on Pinterest. They will stretch your thinking to bring innovation. So that you wedding will not look like everyone else's. They are bold and will empower you to think beyond the standard cookie cutter poses and looks. This photographer has a keen eye for the beauty and aesthetic. Many times this person is also well versed in other forms of visual art.
Most photographers offer a mix of styles. I am primarily a fine art wedding and portrait photographer for the Orange county and LA county areas.. and of course the world! I mix Documentary style, fashion style and some cute/ romantic. Most experienced photographers offer a mix of styles with an emphasis on one. I have been a professional photographer for over 23 years so my flexibility and expertise can range greatly. Although my favorite images always tend towards fine art and romantic.. passionate!
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