October 27, 2019
If you’re in the process of choosing a wedding photographer, you may know there are many facets to consider. One of the many steps that comes with narrowing down your dream photographer is nailing down the exact style you love. If you’re not familiar with the photography-related jargon, allow us to break it down for you.
First, let’s try to very broadly define what appeals to you visually:
I often look to pop culture when I need an extra boost of inspiration, and it can be super helpful to look more closely at your favorite tv shows & movies to figure out exactly why you love them so much. Is it the color palette? The in-between-the-lines story? What makes the cinematography so compelling? Being conscious of why your favs are your favs is a really fun exercise and it gives you an excuse to have an all-day movie marathon.
Okay great, now you have a better understanding of what makes the right side of your brain do a little happy dance. Now, let’s translate into photography terms. Here we go:
Fine art wedding photography is a style that very much encourages the viewer to appreciate the images as a visual art. The term has become super popular and more and more photographers are defining their work as fine art and taking a different approach to traditional wedding photography. Fine art begins with a specific narrative or vision, and the photographer intentionally sets up the scene while paying very close attention to composition, lighting & emotion.
Why choose a fine art wedding photographer?
Fine art wedding photography is for those that want to place an emphasis on the decor, color & aesthetic of their wedding day. Each image will be sensitively & artistically crafted, and you’ll totally feel like a Vogue model the whole day.
(^ one of our fav images)
Photojournalism has a place near and dear to our hearts; we studied in the General Studies program at the International Center of Photography where, whether you intend to or not, you end up having a love affair with documentary photography. When it comes to wedding photography, photojournalism is a very “edgy” way to capture two people tying the knot. It focuses more on the emotions than the traditional “stand here, pose like this, chin down, etc” approach. The goal at the end of the day is for you to forget we’re there; we want to be flies on the wall, capturing every detail in a super raw, human way.
Why choose a documentary wedding photographer?
Documentary wedding photography is for those who want their images to tell a compelling story. Instead of receiving a gallery of planned, composed images, you will receive a selection of images that truly depict each event – planned or not – of your wedding day. The eye of a true photojournalist sees things slightly different than a traditional wedding photographer, and that may be something to take advantage of.
Natural light is not so much a stand-alone style as it is a vehicle for other styles. It works best in outdoor settings as opposed to ceremonies that may take place in a church or reception hall. Natural light wedding photography requires the photographer to be extra conscious of shadows & low light since there is no flash to fill in any dark spots.
Natural light wedding photography can also be utilized during the indoor portions, but that involves a bit more posing and attention to detail. The getting ready process very commonly uses natural light, and there are usually very large windows that play a role in filling the room with some beautiful sunlight, like these images of Grace:
Why choose a natural light wedding photographer?
Natural light wedding photography is for you if your wedding day will be taking place outdoors, as the natural sunlight and shade can provide a setting that is very romantic, dramatic, and of course, natural. Be sure to view some full galleries of a natural light wedding to ensure your photographer is confident enough to capture the details that might be tricky to get as the sky gets darker.
Traditional wedding photography is exactly as its name implies – no bells and whistles, but all the essential moments of your day will be captured. There is a time and place for traditional wedding photography, as I’m sure each couple wants at least a few posed images with family, friends and bridal party members, so this is another style that could be used in conjunction with another. Those classic bridal party images fall under the traditional umbrella, but it could vary depending on if the photographer wants to put a bit of a twist on it. An example of this would be this image of Georgia & her bridesmaids that is in every sense a traditional bridal party portrait, but it’s unique in that it is framed by the surrounding foliage:
Why choose a traditional wedding photographer?
If you want to make sure every essential detail of your wedding day is captured in a clean, modest way, traditional wedding photography is the way to go. The photographer may work from a “shot list,” guaranteeing any and every image the bride or groom requests is covered. The focus will be on your prep details, group shots, and posed portraits of you and your sweetheart, as opposed to assigning a narrative to specific shots.
It could be a bit overwhelming, especially since each and every photographer sees the same event (your wedding) so differently. Have open communication with whoever you’re inquiring with; make sure you view a full wedding gallery, ask them why they favor the style they do, and narrow down the most essential parts of your day to be captured. As long as you communicate the importance of your personal wedding day traditions, your photographer will have those covered, and the rest of your day will be captured with a hyper-specific artistic lens in order to bring your photographic dreams to life.