Selecting a wedding photographer to capture your big day isn’t as simple as you may of first thought, every photographer has their own style and preferences, so it’s highly recommended that you sit down and discuss different styles of wedding photography.
There seems to be three main differences in styles of wedding photography, reportage, traditional and contemporary, each with very significant differences, this is why we recommend you have a good chat with your photographer and see which style they prefer, and whether or not that is what you’d like to have for your wedding day.
Which style of wedding photography suits you
Many photographers can of course combine styles, providing you with a nice mixture of images from your big day, reportage photographers can easily take some formal group shots, where as many contemporary wedding photographers would also take some informal reportage style shots too.
For any brides reading this who are not too sure of the different styles of wedding photography and what they are, we’ll try our best to explain the three main styles.
Traditional wedding photography
Also well-known as posed, conventional or classic wedding photography, the traditional style of wedding photographs remains as popular as ever. Before the days of digital photography (and they weren’t that long ago) traditional photography was the style of choice mainly due to the costs of film, photographers simply didn’t wander around the wedding snapping away, that would mean developing hundreds of photos and pushing the costs high, when not all shots are perfect.
Posed group shots are the heart of conventional wedding photos, usually starting with the bride and groom, and adding family members, and friends to the long list of group photos capturing everyone stood still and grinning at the camera.
Traditional photography is not aimed at capturing candid moments between the happy couple or guests, they will focus on key moments such as at the altar, in the venue’s grounds, cutting of the cake and the first dance. Often the bride and groom will provide their photographer with a list of images they want from the day, and specific people to call forward for the formal wedding photographs.
Traditional wedding photographs may not truly capture or reflect the atmosphere or happiness of the wedding day, but they do make classic images to display at home.
Reportage wedding photography
Reportage wedding photography can also be known as journalistic or documentary, which has become very popular in recent years, mainly because it offers a completely different look to your wedding photos compared with guests stood still and posing for the camera.
This style is not particularly new, and is characterised by a more natural approach from the wedding photographer, who will follow the couple and capture images of them and their guests throughout the day, often without them even knowing they are being photographed. The idea of this unobtrusive style of wedding photography is to make a story line of the day, capturing natural and unusual moments rather than guests lined up side by side.
A good wedding photographer will capture some memorable moments of the day with their good eye for observation and spontaneity.
The photographer will have an artistic vision and perception to convey the genuine emotion of your wedding and all its charm.
Of course, any photographer who has the talent to record your wedding with reportage photography styles, is more than competent to accommodate some formal shots too, so you may want to enquire about both styles.
Contemporary wedding photography
Contemporary wedding photography can also be known as creative, modern, editorial or fashion style photography, with the emphasis on creating interesting, and high impact photos.
Different from reportage, contemporary wedding photos are posed for, however they are far less formal than traditional styles. The aim of your wedding photographer is to locate interesting or unique areas for backdrops, and capture unique angles with their shots, in a similar manner to fashion magazine images.
With much more time spent adapting the photos in post-production, contemporary photos are certainly a change from the norm, but equally may not capture the actual feel of your day due to their posed style.
The artistic flair of the wedding photographer will reflect in their images, and their ideas need to be unique to really give you some high quality wedding photos to show off for years to come.
If you are considering a photo book printed with all your wedding photographs in, then a contemporary style of wedding photography would really create a stunning effect for your book.
Whichever style you’d like to achieve from your big day, the best advice is to spend plenty of time talking to wedding photographers in Essex and see lots of examples of their previous work.
Be prepared to expect some very high quotes from top photographers, but as with anything, you get what you pay for. It’s worth remembering that couples often only end up with a few wedding photos on display around your home, and with the majority of your guests bringing digital cameras, capturing hundreds of images from your day, all from different perspectives and angles, the photos you want from your professional need to be quality over quantity.