Photography styles are a way of describing the approach a photographer takes when photographing a wedding. Some of these approaches are commonly categorized as
* Fine Art Wedding Photography
* Wedding Photojournalism
* Classic or Traditional
* Modern Fashion-Glamour Wedding Style
There are many variables that impact these approaches such as the photographers’s personal style and picture styles. Below I briefly talk about each of the above styles.
In recent years the term Fine Art Wedding photography has become a buzz in the wedding industry. While there has always been an element of fine art wedding photography, more and more people are trending themselves as Fine Art Photographers. It is a hard term to define as there is no industry standard definition. It actually is a very subjective style as the art of photography is subjective to the viewer. I heard someone say “you will know it when you see it.” I think this is pretty accurate as what might be art to one person may not be to another.
Fine Art Wedding Photography is defined by the artist themselves, as it should be. One thing I have learned in all my years is that no two people see a picture the same way. Just as art is subjective, so is the style of Fine Art Wedding Photography. In the past, Fine Art wedding Photography was considered to be exclusive to high-end weddings. This is not so much the case anymore. I tend to see the style of Fine Art Wedding Photography more as an attitude, a perception, and a interpretation by the photographer of his subject(s) and environment. It is open ended and without constraint.
Journalistic wedding photography is a method of treating your wedding as a real-time event and aims to capture the moment by moment story in a candid, observational way. The job of a photojournalist is to tell a story without altering or influencing the story. Although many photographers who use a journalistic style will also offer the traditional posed shots you expect from your wedding photography, the majority of the rest of your shots will be taken “on the fly” as the events of your day unfold.
One searching for this style of photographer should always ask about the overall photography process of the photographer, as there are some wedding photojournalists who will not perform outside the scope of their style and take any posed pictures or even groups shots. The idea behind wedding photojournalism is that your photographer should attempt to be non-intrusive. You may also hear this style described as candid or documentary.
Traits of wedding photojournalism include;
* A realistic representation of your day.
* A more relaxed approach to photographers and not posing for pictures.
* A modern and fast-paced style that captures all the little moments of your wedding.
* Pictures that catch the uniqueness of your wedding.
* A good range of pictures that cover the whole of your wedding day from all angles and behind the scenes.
* A creative approach that thinks outside the box and tries new ideas to create original wedding photography
Traditional wedding photography has been around a long time. For some reason the word 'traditional' has become a buzz kill word for wedding photography. I think one reason is people confuse the traditional method with the post production process and style of the photograph. So when talking about the style of traditional, I find people are more referring to the picture style not necessarily the photography style.
For this reason I like to use the word classic over traditional because so many people have a negative reaction when hearing traditional wedding photography. However, after talking with them about their photography needs and preferred styles, most wedding couples realize they want some classic style of wedding photography they just do to want their pictures to look outdated.
Classic wedding photography can be described more as a series of groups shots, individual portraiture, scenes of the wedding along with a few standard details such as the wedding cake. It is a style of wedding photography that relies on direction from your professional wedding photographer. Direction comes in the form of working off group shot lists and setting up group shots. Typically what you would see with classic wedding photography is:
* Group photos of your friends and family
* Group shots to include your family, the bridal party, bridesmaids, groomsmen, the flower girls, etc.
It is a style that is clean, classic composition, straight forward color correction, and contains posed subjects for the most part. Photographs are taken in a series of setups. Not a candid style that photographs moments as they happen. It can be considered a classic and timeless collection of photographs.
Fashion Wedding photography involves similar aspects of other wedding styles, however the emphasis is typically on both subject and attire. Many of the looks involve more off camera lighting and control of light to create a little more dramatic look and presentation in the photo. Glamour fashion wedding photography can be expressed more as a modern look both in style and finish. I use more of these techniques in bridal, engagement, and bride and groom sessions as there is more set-up and photographer involvement where as wedding day coverage is a more organic process in how I approach wedding photography.
A photographer’s style is their own style of how they create within the common photography styles. This is more about the individual and their own style and approach to how they make pictures in camera. Every photographer is different in how they work, how they interact with wedding couples, how they use light and camera equipment. Camera gear and how they use it are part of their style. For example, a photographer using one primary camera for wedding photography has a very different style and approach to a photographer that may use 2 or 3 cameras. Contrary to the belief that it is not the camera it is the photographer, I agree and disagree. Photographing live events and utilizing 3 cameras is part of the creation process and is part of the photographers individual style.
Every camera and lens will creates a different look. So in essence, photography gear is a contributing factor to a photographer’s style. There is also lighting and how a photographer creates with it. See the example below. Same camera, same lens, same pose, all photographed within seconds of eachother. One with with natural light and one was with off camera flash.
The above illustrates that a photographers style and how they use of equipment will all play a role in the overall picture style. In addition to the type of gear and the way they use it, how a photographer navigates and directs your wedding is another component of their photographer’s style. The most influential part of the photographers style is their artistry and creativity. Just like our fingerprints, creativity and artistry should be individual to every photographer.
For example, two wedding photojournalists can both photograph the same event but have two very different wedding portfolios in the end. A photographer’s style will impact the photography style and the picture style.
Styles, style, styles… You will see on my website a blend of both photography styles and picture styles. These styles are influenced by the photographers style. I will define styles in how I explain them to everyday people looking for their wedding photographer. This is to help them better understand that all these “styles” have personalties and traits that will all play a role in both their interactions with their wedding photographer and the type of wedding photography that will be captured and produced. I wanted to spend a little time talking about styles in order to help: