Recently, I wrote this blog post with some tips for new bride-to-be’s on budgeting for your wedding. As a wedding photographer, I thought I’d continue the series— focusing on, of course, photography. But before you can pick a wedding photographer, there are some basics to learn about the artistic side. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you sit down with me and learn how to sketch or anything!) Part Two here will share some insight into the various styles of photography you may encounter on your search for the perfect wedding photographer. Of course, your budget largely may influence who you can pick from to hire. Hopefully, this post will serve as an educational tool for brides!
Let’s start with photographic styles. This is less about the editing (colors and tones) of the images created, and more about the way an individual interacts with the camera, and with people through the camera.
-Formal photography: Traditional, with lots of flash and posing. This is probably what your parents had! Haha.
-Fine Art photography is a bit more soft, with touches of traditional work. Today, fine art photographers often shoot film to create a specific and consistent aesthetic. Often, individual images will feel like little pieces of art. Jeremy Chou’s work is a great example!
-Photojournalistic photography has roots in, you guessed it, the world of journalism. Newspaper photographers aren’t allowed to manipulate their images, so what you get is what they saw. Candid moments without much direction or managing from the photographer. Check out Pavel Kounine for some great examples of this style.
-A modern photography style may be a blend of some of the above. Usually, there will be images that aren’t fully photojournalistic, but still feel candid. A modern photographer probably guides couples into poses or interactions together, to create moment that is genuine! One of my favorites, Jamie Delaine, holds true to a modern style. (In case you’re wondering, this is also what I consider myself!)
-If you love about art, or just aren’t tied down to the more classic styles of photography, you may be looking for an Artistic Photography style. Two of my favorites would be The Parsons and the Mullers.
-Finally, you may occasionally find a wedding photographer who considers themself to be “cinemagraphic” in style. Like the name suggests, a cinemagraphic wedding photographer draws inspiration from film. They may also work as or alongside a videographer. Often, their images are dramatic and stunning. Here’s a great example!
Any photographer can be a blend of these styles, and looking at a wedding gallery of their work will definitely help you understand that better! I often email potential brides a recent gallery of my work so they can see not just highlights, but a full day’s images.
The second element of style is editing! There are countless editing options, and whether your photographer shoots digital or film will also play into the style of the finished images. Some photographers are even hybrid, using both mediums to capture wedding days. A good photographer will have a consistent editing style, & you’ll be able to tell their work quickly (even if you don’t see their name!).
How crazy is that?!
-Moody editing is currently a pretty trendy thing. I actually do like it! But I currently don’t exclusively edit in a dark/moody style just because I fear that just as it is popular now, it will go out of style (as trends do) in the next 5 years. 50 years from now, it’ll look very “2020”. ;) You can see more of what it looks like on this Pinterest board.
-Classic editing is pretty middle of the road. It tweaks tones a little bit to make them “pop” but overall, stays true to the honest colors of the day. It is more middle-of-the-road, and largely what I lean towards thanks to my photography professors in college making sure I knew not to blow out highlights (the white parts, in the wedding dress or skin) or edit things too dark so that you lose detail. I may be biased. ;) This is currently my editing style, although I sometimes thrown in a moody or super light/bright edit if the image/moment calls for it. Check out more on this Pinterest board!
-Light & Airy is the final editing style that I’ll highlight today. Interestingly, this is the other really popular editing style! Tones are usually more pastel, and often skin or highlighted areas are blown out some. (Probably due my classic photography training, I’m hesitant to edit so blown out, although I do think it can be beautiful and classy, when done well! After all, you don’t buy a wedding dress to have it show up with no detail in photos!) Again, you can see more examples here.
Alright! Whew. Was that helpful!? Do you think I hit the nail on the head? Or did I miss anything? Leave a comment below!
I’d love to hear your feedback— and also, I’d love to hear what styles you gravitate towards!