Wedding Photography styles explained!
Alright! You said yes, the date is picked, the venue is booked, you have your colors, and you have your vision. Now, it's time to find a wedding photographer that can bring that vision to life! Finding the photographer for your wedding can be one of the most important decisions in the entire process of wedding planning. If you've already embarked on this journey, you know it can be quite the task finding a photographer or photography team (like JCM Photography) to fit your style, fit your budget, willing to travel, and on top of all of this, when you finally find the one you've been looking for, you find out they are booked by someone else looking for the same thing! Nevermind specifics like printing rights, photo editing, prints, and other fees that companies tend to charge for. If you've made it this far, chances are you know what you are looking for, but for those of you just now looking, here are a few things to consider when it comes to style. Specifically, the 3 major styles that make up the majority of weddings.
Photo-journalistic Style: This style is very popular for many of today's weddings and a lot of the couples we work with. In a nutshell this style intends to capture the days events as they happen. The photographer may follow the bride and groom around as well as other members of the wedding recording the day's events in a very unobtrusive what we call 'fly on the wall' style. This style intends to capture mainly candid shots or non-posed. Done right, this style tells a story from beginning to end and can be very powerful in terms of the raw emotion of the day and the little moments that are captured that you wouldn't necessarily think of or might not even be aware anyone was looking when 'that happened'. (The photo below of Mike and Alicia is a great example of this style)
Traditional Style: This style was THE style in weddings for many years due to certain limitations and considerations when working with film. Fast forward to today, and the market is ruled by digital photography, though there are some photographers who still utilize film cameras as a part of their repertoire as it gives a certain look that is hard to replicate with out good photo editing. This style is marked by many traditional or conventional moments as well as certain poses. This may be shots of the entire bridal party or include family, or it may be just the bride and groom. More often than not these shots will also be looking at the camera directly as opposed to our previously described style where the subject is likely looking elsewhere. (The photo below is text book traditional style shooting of the beautiful Angela and her lovely daughters.)
Contemporary Style: Contemporary wedding photography seeks to blend the best elements of traditional style (and in some cases photo-journalistic as well) with the photographer's own artistic sense and style. Though it may be 'posed' or set up, it's not completely like traditional, but the fact that most of these moments are artificially created, at heart, they aren't quite photo-journalistic. This being said when done right, they can deliver some of the most amazing and creative images. This style sometimes referred to as modern style, will see the photographer utilize different and unique elements of lighting, landscapes, decor, fashion, photo effects, and sometimes props to add to the overall wow factor of the image. This style is more heavily dependent on the photograher's own sense of creativity and sometimes their ability, although not all will prefer to take these kind of photos. Sometimes it's preference or by request. (Because artistic style is open to so many interpretations we've posted 3 different photos as examples)
(Utilizing the sun to take an already beautiful moment and make it shine.)
(Utilization of the mountain landscape and sun rays to make this a magical moment.)
(The ladies of the Franklin Wedding showing you what southern style weddings are all about.)
Most wedding photographers will emphasize their particular style. Many will lean more heavily towards one style or another so it is important to look at their portfolio when you have your vision and ask yourself, "Is this what I'm looking for?" One of the things we've learned about most about the couples we work with today and in the past, is that most are looking for a hybrid of all 3 major styles. Most couples want a good mix of media with some traditionals, candid/natural photos, as well as some artistic/contemporary styled photos thrown in the mix. If you find youself in this boat, make sure to ask to see your photographers work with regards to albums and particular styles. One of the benefits of working as a husband and wife team is it allows us to capture all of these moments for our couples with seemless ease and efficiency which is important when it comes to the natural flow of a wedding and making sure all of these beautiful moments are covered.
Joe & Jenny