understanding wedding photography styles

Understandouting Wedding Photography Styles | Wedding Photography Tips

When we first started shooting weddings in 2011, understanding wedding photography styles and types seemed a lot more simple than it is today. It almost seemed like two categories, old school vs new school.

If I look at my parents wedding photos, they are very traditional. A few posed portraits of the bride and groom, a few portraits of the groups of people that were there, and a few post ceremony candids.

Compare that to wedding photos of today where you often have the entire day documented. It seems that there were traditional wedding photographers followed by photojournalistic wedding photographers.

Traditional wedding photographers capture a wedding in a classic way. They direct the photo portion of the day and check all of the important photos off of the photo list. Conversely, photojournalistic wedding photographers tell a story in a more documentary style observing what happens while rarely interfering.

Let’s talk more in depth about wedding photography styles and types.

a variety of photography styles for wedding

Today, beyond that basic distinction (traditional vs photojournalistic), you can find photographers that specialize in a wider variety of styles: traditional, classic, documentary, photojournalism, candid, modern, fine art, editorial, high fashion, portraiture, natural light, artistic, dramatic, lifestyle, moody, trendy, timeless, and, adventurous.

I’m sure there are more. Take adventure wedding photography for example, I’m not sure it existed as a category when we first started calling ourselves adventure wedding photographers. We simply called ourselves that as a way to incorporate our skill and passion for landscape photography into our wedding photography.

We were inspired by the fine art and fashion wedding photographers that took their skill from a seemingly different genre and blended it into their wedding photos. Fast forward to now when many couples are choosing to elope in exotic places and have more of an adventure than a traditional wedding.

Who knows what the next wedding photography style trend will be. Therefore, rather than just define each particular style for you, I have a few key suggestions ahead.

1. traditional

more posing, more working from a shot-list

2. photojournalistic

more storytelling, more candids

3. fine art

more artsy and dramatic portraiture, often more heavily edited

4. timeless

classic photos that are shot and edited to stand the test of time

5. moody/trendy

photos edited in a moody or trendy way

6. editorial

lots of details and scene setting images to tell the story

7. adventure

scene setting with landscape portraits and adventurous elements

understanding wedding photography styles

wedding photography styles of approach and priorities

As you search for wedding photographers you’ll discover what style each one identifies with. This will give you a clue as to how they will approach shooting your wedding. Depending on what is important to you, you can make sure your photographer captures that.

You might want artsy getting ready photos, ridiculous dance party photos, or sweet shots of all of the details you planned. Perhaps you envision an epic portrait on your wall or a wedding album that tells the complete story of your wedding experience.

Look at the photographers style, branding, personality, and packages to see what they focus on. Look at a wedding album sample and see if it tells a story the way you like to view it. Then, ask them. Ask them how they handle family portraits or how they handle reception photos.

adventure wedding photography styles

wedding photography types of look and feel

Beyond making sure that what you want captured is going to be captured, it’s about how an image makes you feel. If you’re a light and playful person you might not want dark and moody photos. If you are trendy you might not want a traditional look to your images.

If you are ____ fill in the blank and make sure you are compatible with your photographer. When you look at a photographers images you want to be able to picture yourself in them.

You also want to be able to look back at them in 20 years and still appreciate and value the style.

documentary wedding photography style

wedding photography editing styles

One thing you are bound to see is a variety of wedding photography editing styles. Some photographers use presets that look natural, others grainy, and others airy.

Depending on your understanding of photography, the editing styles will varying levels of obvious. My main suggestion is to make sure the editing style is timeless enough that you’re not going to hate your wedding photos when a phase passes.

the best photography styles for wedding

This is going to be personal preference but you want a style that captures your day in the way you remember it. Or at a minimum, the way you want to remember it. In theory these are the same!

Documentary wedding photography is a great style for capturing moments and emotions.

Traditional wedding photography is great for having all the family picture combinations you want.

Don’t forget some nice wedding portraiture to hang on your wall.

understanding wedding photography styles summary

The main purpose of all of the various styles is to match you with a wedding photographer that will fit your own unique style. When it comes to understanding wedding photography styles, you are looking for someone who will capture what is important to you about your wedding day.

You can discover a lot by looking at your photographers website and the rest by asking them questions about their process on your wedding day.

Do you like the look and feel of the photos? Do they show examples of images that matter to you? Can you picture yourself in their images?

Cheers to your wedding planning, we hope that helps! All of our Colorado wedding planning advice is structured to help your wedding day be a great experience. If there’s a question we can answer, reach out. We also have tips for beginning wedding photographers like our ND filter guide.

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We are Marc and Brenda Bergreen, a husband and wife photography team specializing in outdoor weddings and other adventures. Capturing people in nature and the mountain lifestyle is a passion that became a dream that became a life.

Based in Evergreen, CO we travel throughout the state as Colorado mountain wedding photographers. We also frequently travel to California and other wedding destinations to document your love in a variety of memorable settings. Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know how we can help! Be sure to follow us (weddings instagram & adventures instagram) and/or like us (facebook) to stay tuned.

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