Wedding Photography Styles - Which one is best for you?
Documentary, reportage, artistic, contemporary, traditional, formal. These are all styles of wedding photography you may have seen or heard about whilst searching for a wedding photographer. You don't want to be left with wedding photos that do not reflect your vision or expectations. So, which one is right for you? Here is my take on the most popular styles.
This style of wedding photography is for the bride who wants a very formal approach throughout the day. Typically, the photographer will 'set up' shots, or stage different scenarios during various parts of the day. There is often a great deal of arranging and posing involved to achieve these shots by the photographer and to some brides, the photos can look a bit 'stiff and rigid' and quite unnatural, a bit like their parents wedding photos! However, when done well, this style of wedding photography can achieve a fun timeless/classic look to photos. If you are a bride, you need to consider whether you want to be directed or completely left alone by the photographer to get the desired look to your photos.
When I meet brides-to-be, they often tell me they are looking for their wedding photos to look natural, unposed, whilst capturing real moments as they happen throughout the day. This style of photography has minimal involvement on the part of the photographer who works on the periphery, not staging anything (apart from the formal group photos) and telling the true story of the wedding day. I believe a true photojournalistic photo in this style must show one or more of the three E's, Expression, Eye Contact, or Emotion. I explain this in much greater detail in the My approach to weddings section of my website. If you are looking for a set of photos showing a real, honest interpretation of your wedding day, this style is probably for you.
This style of wedding photography is not as straight forward and easy to explain as the two aforementioned. It can however, contain elements of both classic and documentary photography. While the photographer may also set up some shots and pose people, it's not too overly done, creating a more natural, less rigid look to the photos compared to the traditional style. The resulting photos can often look quite artistic, stylised and quirky (unusual angles etc) based solely on the vision of the photographer. This type of photographer tends to keep up with the latest trends in artistic photography styles and may use quite a bit of post production work (photoshop/filters) on their photos to achieve their desired look. Occasionally, the finished set of photos may contain too much of the vision of the photographer and less the true reflection of the wedding day. For some, the photos have real impact and are a true work of art! If you go for this style you need to choose carefully and make sure your vision of your wedding photos fits with that of the photographer.
Where do I fit in with all these different styles of wedding photography? Well, first and foremost I tend to shoot in a documentary/photojournalistic style for 95% of the day, but I also dabble with a bit of the contemporary approach for the bride and groom portraits. Either way, each style definately has it's place in wedding photography. I hope reading this has helped explain things a little clearer......
MK Collins Photography, North Devon Wedding Photographer