Let’s be honest – deciding on your wedding photography can be tough. There are so many gorgeous styles out there from awesome photographers; and with Instagram, wedding blogs, and bridal magazines, choosing between them all can be overwhelming! How do we know what we’re looking at? What are terms like “Fine Art” and “Moody?” And what do they mean for your images, your wedding, and the way they tell your story?
In the years that I have been in the wedding industry, I have had experience with many different types of photos. I know how confusing they can be! And I think this is where education in wedding photography styles is so important – so that you can be 100% sure you’re making the right choice for your big day.
So let’s dive right in, shall we? 🙂
The Three Main Shooting Styles
There are three main styles of wedding photography: photojournalistic, fine art, and traditional!
The photojournalistic style is all about telling a story. Similar to being a news reporter at a big event, photojournalists do their best to capture what is happening, without a lot of interference from the photographer. This style is meant to show the true moments of your wedding day as it unfolds naturally.
2. Fine Art
With the Fine Art style, the photographer’s goal is to create a visual masterpiece within their images. They will take time to consider the subject, background, lighting, and composition to produce a beautiful vision! These photos typically have an “editorial” feel to them, and may even appear in high fashion and bridal publications.
The Traditional style is a mix between allowing events to unfold naturally throughout the day, but also letting the photographer step in and create an ideal situation to photograph. This doesn’t have to mean a rigid pose or a fake scenario, but guiding people into a situation that will allow them to get a more visually pleasing photo (based on lighting, backgrounds, etc).
Not every photographer falls exactly in line with one of these styles, and they can overlap a bit depending on the individual. But whether it is photojournalistic, fine art, or traditional; shooting styles will have a large effect how the photo is composed, set up, and the way in which the final gallery will tell your story!
In each of the types of wedding photography, you will also see different editing styles – the two main styles being dark and moody, and light and airy.
1. Dark & Moody
Dark and moody images lend themselves to a more emotional vibe – with deep shadows, higher contrast, and richer colors.
2. Light & Airy
Light and airy photos are more romantic, soft & whimsical – with lighter tones, blown out skies, and muted colors.
Here’s a side by side of the different styles. See how the image on the left is brighter and has lighter shadows. You can really see the detail in the Groom’s suit. The right image is a darker edit with deep shadows and rich contrast. Some of the detail is lost in the shadows but also allows for some richer colors.
Editing styles aren’t typically that hard to pinpoint, so you probably already have an idea of the look that you like! Shooting styles aren’t quite as obvious though, so don’t be afraid to ask questions of your potential photographer. Ask them things like, “Do you help us pose? Do you set up shots? Do you shoot mainly for the story?” Ask them their process on a wedding day! They should be delighted to answer any questions that you have! 🙂
So what is my style?
At Sarah Hill Photography, I consider my work to be a blend of Traditional and Fine Art photography. I love to compose my images so that they are visually pleasing, and take into consideration a lot of variables when shooting. But I will also allow things to unfold as they would naturally happen! I’ll just step in to help guide you in potentially awkward scenarios, so that you don’t feel lost or unprepared. My goal is to give you the best experience possible, so that you will LOVE your images!
As far as editing is concerned, I edit in a light and airy style! I love creating images that are soft, beautiful and romantic. This style is truly timeless.
When it comes to choosing the right wedding photography style for you, take into account your personality, what you are naturally drawn to, and your vision for your wedding day. Maybe you dream of getting married in a field under a million stars, or maybe you plan to tie the knot in the ballroom of an upscale hotel. Whatever you choose, your photos should embody everything you love most about your big day, and should be a beautiful reflection of your story. Just like you.
Happy wedding planning! 🙂