What Are the Best Photography Styles for Weddings?

The wedding photography style and technique is a significant factor to consider regarding your wedding photographer. You need to know which one is the best photography style for your wedding, based on your wedding theme and the other plans for your wedding. Decades ago, we only had one style of wedding photography, but now, our wedding photographers are specialized in a good number of styles. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Below you will find the most common wedding photography styles & techniques that our professional wedding photographers might use.

Wedding Photojournalism

Wedding Photojournalism is storytelling the style of wedding photography that involves minimal involvement on the photographer’s part. A photojournalistic wedding photographer allows all of the moments to unfold around them while they just naturally use their creative eye to capture and interpret those moments through their photography. To read more about this style, please read our article on “What are Wedding Photojournalists?”

Fine-Art

Fine-art wedding photography involves using artistic angles, creative lighting, unique compositions and advanced post-production techniques to create imagery with a much stronger artistic flare. Our wedding photographers are very meticulous about researching scenes and anticipating moments to use fine-art techniques without interfering with our surroundings.

Fine-art wedding photography starts with an image shot with an artistic finish in mind, most likely not a “say cheese” moment. In post-production, these images are transformed into fine art using textures, filters, masks, and other advanced Photoshop techniques to create a visually stunning, emotional image. Fine Art photography is also known as Light and Airy wedding photography. Check out our range of wedding photography for your wedding day.

Fashion

Fashion photography is a photography genre and focuses on displaying clothing and other fashion items for commercial purposes. This style of photography is popular in large metropolitan areas. However, several unique photography techniques are employed in fashion photography, which we borrow in our wedding photography style. These techniques include the usage of unique off-camera lighting, fashion-Esque poses and expressions, along with dramatic backgrounds. Typically, our fashion influenced style of wedding photography will only be used at the bride and groom’s request during the engagement shoot/bridal shoot, as it does require some photographer involvement.

Traditional

Traditional wedding photography typically has quite a bit of wedding photographer involvement. The wedding photographer is seen almost as a type of coordinator and helps guide and direct the wedding. While Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photographers are not traditional wedding photographers, we do have extensive experience in directing and posing people for group formals when necessary. However, in general, our philosophy is to capture real moments and to remain as unnoticed as possible.

Digital

The first decision you’ll need to make is whether to go with digital or film (or a mix of both, which some photographers will do). Digital is the most common way of shooting. The biggest advantage? Time—depending on your photographer, you could see snaps just days after your wedding. 

Digital cameras can shoot in very low light—a perk when you’re photographing an afternoon-into-evening wedding. And thanks to a display screen, your photographer can preview shots and adjust accordingly. “A digital photographer has more freedom to explore lighting options and angles,” says Jasmine Star of Jasmine Star Photography. “You can push creative boundaries without the limits of film.” For you, that means lots of images to choose from when putting together your album.

Film

Images shot with the film have a soft, organic quality to them. “Film has a better range, from highlights to shadows,” says Braedon Flynn of Braedon Photography. But shooting with film is, well, more work and more money too. In addition to purchasing rolls of film, processing and editing images take time. “My costs in film and processing are around $1,500 per wedding,” Flynn says. “I wait to get photos back from our lab, and then I need to edit them, so there’s about a four-week turnaround.”

Classic

Once you’ve figured out the digital versus film dilemma, it’s time to consider the look of your photos. Like the ones in your grandparents or parents’ wedding album, classic images are those that stand the test of time—striking, gorgeous and a bit formal. These photos reflect reality (similar to documentary), but they’re infused with the shooter’s artistic license. “As a photographer, you’re always waiting and watching, and thinking what can I create out of ordinary moments,” says Genya O’Neall of Vue Photography. “When things happen naturally, it’s the best.” Love this style? Ask to have the simple moments captured. “It’s a photographer’s job to turn your ordinary into beautiful,” says O’Neill. “If you like a classic look, let them know you’d love a modern take on the shots you’ve seen for years.”

Artistic

What Are the Best Photography Styles for Weddings?

For many years wedding photography tended to be more conservative, with most sticking to posed shots, lots of makeup, lighting and styling to get the shots just right. The only problem with this method is that the photos can come out a little too staged and perfect, without much spontaneity.

Since then, a new phase has gained popularity known as the ‘photojournalistic style’. This allows the guests and the couple to enjoy their day without any interruptions since the photographer lurks in the background and takes pictures as the day wears on—this style results in much more real and interesting pictures with human, emotional flair. Many wedding photographers now employ a combination of these two techniques in their work when the situation calls for it.

However, a new style has emerged as an option, and that is a more artistic, creative and conceptual take on the wedding day. Photographers well-versed in this style can create shots full of drama, adventure and intrigue in a way that is simply impossible with a more standard, journalistic style. This often employs the heavy use of non-standard lenses, developing methods (yes, film at times), interesting post-processing and filters.

The artful combination of these can really make for some extremely eye-catching and unique works of art. Through heavy use of Photoshop, the results can even resemble oil paintings, old, cracked photos or even dreams. These photographers often borrow from landscape, architectural, portraiture, still-life or sports photography disciplines to add interesting textures and flavours.

As risky and edgy as these results can be, however, it can be quite important to make sure the standard photos are also captured. Parents would not be too impressed if the ring ceremony or vows weren’t captured. This style lends itself well to special moments after the wedding when things have calmed down, and the shots can be posed without interrupting the flow of the wedding.

This is the time to get experimental and have some fun, so don’t be afraid to make some suggestions or try something wild. If you’re an unconventional couple and like things just a little off-centre, then a more creative photography style might suit you perfectly. The couple’s personalities usually dictate the type of styles and looks that will work for their wedding. However, if the newlyweds have something in mind, it’s not too difficult to deliver it with some preparation. One option is to get the standard photographs to document the wedding in a pretty way, and of course to please your parents, then, have some fun and creative shots taken purely for yourselves.

Besides all the creative options, the real key to shooting any wedding is to look for the right body language. It’s vital to catch those magical moments where the couple’s eyes, hand movements, and gestures align to convey the emotion perfectly. This takes years of experience to get right, especially since there is a time limit for the ceremony’s various stages. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here. 

Black and White 

Black and White Wedding PhotographyBlack and White Wedding Photography

It’s been said that black and white photos are a reality, while colour photos are just an interpretation.

Black and white wedding photos are the way to go if you want to highlight your scenes’ emotion. The feel of a black and white image, when compared to a colour one, just feels a lot more dramatic. This is because the less colour in an image, the less work your eyes have to do to process it. This leaves the subject matter left as the main focus instead of all the pretty but sometimes distracting colours.

Black and white enable you to pay more attention to the details in a subject, so the shot’s character and the emotion behind it are driven home.

This makes the medium perfect for shots such as behind-the-scenes preparation, the first kiss and the first dance. The black and white will help highlight the nerves, love and celebration in each shot. When used with a powerful zoom to fill the frame with the couple’s lips meeting, holding hands or tears rolling down a cheek, the effects are even more powerful and exaggerated. A deep depth of field can accomplish something similar by blurring out the background and making the subject the obvious attention centre.

Black and white have some other great uses, too, such as making skin seem much less blotchy. Any redness tends to mix in with the rest of the skin’s grey tones and not show up at all in the final photo. This can be used in emergencies and for behind-the-scenes shots to great effect. Save the colour for when the hair, makeup and dress are all in place, and you’re looking gorgeous.

Colour photos on archival paper tend to start fading after about 50 years, whereas black and white photographs will last a lot longer. That’s not the only thing that dates with colour, however. Modern fashion is very dependent on colour, and this can make wedding photos look quite dated in just a few decades. However, those same photos in black and white will look completely timeless.

One of the best things about digital technology these days is that the photographer can choose whether the photos look better in black and white or colour after taking photos, thanks to Photoshop. The choice needs to be made with film before the first shot is even taken, as the camera needs to be loaded with monochrome film. With digital, it’s so easy, and a direct A/B comparison can be made with the click of a mouse. Many photographers use this to their advantage by shooting everything in colour, and only in post-processing makes decisions about which direction to go.

Many cameras don’t do this very well since the circuitry needs to process it fast to be ready for the next shot. Photoshop, however, can use the entire processor of the computer to perform the task and can take its time. The result? A much cleaner and more accurate conversion.

Candid

What Are the Best Photography Styles for Weddings?

When thinking about wedding photos, images that immediately come to mind are of the bride and groom cutting the cake, the first kiss and walking down the aisle. However, when couples first go through their photo album, these are not the shots that get the biggest response. These shots have been seen before many times, but of course, they are still nice to have.

The photos which everyone goes crazy about are the ones nobody knew were taken. All the shots taken in-between the bigger events of the day are the ones that turn out to be the most special. Since nobody was ready or prepared for them, the emotions in them are really powerful and evident. These are known as candid photos and often form the meat of the album.

Many people are simply looking for a relaxed and unobtrusive photographer to document their wedding day. When a couple mentions this, it’s pretty clear they are looking for a more informal or natural style. To pull this off, the photographer can’t stop people or make them pose every five minutes. This ruins the flow of the day and annoys people. It’s much better to stay in the background, use longer lenses if need be, but do plenty of running around to find good angles. It’s also smart to switch off any click sounds the camera makes and the flash too wherever possible. All this will keep the guests happy and not too self-conscious.

Even when taking strictly posed or prepared shots, the candid effect can be used to great effect. For example, when the wedding photographer is directing people to look this way, move their arm or stand a certain way, the first pose they strike is usually not the best.

They are somewhat stiff and trying to look perfect. This comes off as a little awkward. It’s often the second, third or fourth shot that comes out the best. This is because they think the photographer has what they need and can relax, which ironically works out much better.

Candid or natural style photography creates a real flow to the story and captures genuine emotions and vulnerability in a way that posing never can. One strategy which can work quite well is to have one photographer capture all the candid stuff, and the other covers all the posed shots.

Of the potentially hundreds or even thousands of photos taken over the day, the editing process can be even more gruelling than the day itself for the photographer. He has to sit down and hand-pick exactly which photos are good enough to be used in the final album. If he’s been shooting all day, this process can take days.

However, once it’s done, not only will the photos be incredible, but they will also linearly tell the story with great consistency shot-to-shot. Once this is done, it’s time to clean them, do colour correction and crop them if need be before making the final album. Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Documentary

This popular wedding photography style has a few different names such as candid, reportage, photojournalistic and observational. These names all mean the same thing, and that is to capture the wedding day as it happened with no posing, contrived shots or set-ups. This style was developed by photojournalists for covering real events for newspapers and has been borrowed for use in weddings since it works so well.

Black and white really suit this style of photography as it enhances the nostalgic and emotional aspects of the shots. This can help photos feel more timeless as a result.

The documentary philosophy is to capture genuine emotion by being in the right place at the right time, rather than trying to manufacture it by making people act in a certain way.

This method is not only more effective in capturing these magical moments, but it’s also a lot more conducive to letting the guests enjoy themselves without interruption. When a photographer asks guests or the couple to pose every 10 minutes throughout the day, the energy and atmosphere can quickly grind to a halt. This is obviously not ideal since everyone wants to have fun at weddings. This allows the guests, bride and groom to just enjoy themselves and go with the flow, knowing that the photographer will take care of everything for them.

A good wedding photographer needs to have a multitude of skills in order to capture these candid moments. They need to be invisible when necessary, so the subjects don’t become self-conscious as soon as they see a camera. They do this by having great social skills and blending into the crowd as if they were just another guest. In fact, many couples claim they noticed the photographer less than five times throughout their wedding day, and that’s how it should be. Make sure you choose a photographer that is not too loud, brash or aggressive, as these types will find it hard not to draw attention to themselves.

They also need to know where to be at all times to get the best shots. Since weddings move at a rapid pace, the photographer needs to be five steps ahead, always anticipating what’s about to happen. The best pictures are usually the ones where real, uncensored emotions are being shared. Classic moments like these include the groom nervously fidgeting with his cufflinks before the bride arrives, the father sadly handing over his daughter to the groom, and the couple sharing an intimate glance at one another. It takes years of experience and skill to capture these moments in a real and vivid way.

Documentary photography may seem like a lazy way to cover a wedding, but it’s actually a lot harder than when the shots are set up and posed. There’s a lot of running around, staying out of people’s line of sight, more focusing, lens changes and, of course, lighting challenges to deal with. However, the results are almost always worth the effort.

If you want to get a few group shots over the course of the day, make sure it’s no more than 6. If the photographer is busy setting up and taking group shots for hours, it means he is missing all the little moments happening at the same time that would otherwise be captured.

The resulting pictures are usually presented in the form of an album, with each photo telling the story of the day in a linear fashion. This lets the viewer relive the moments as they happened and experience all the same emotions again. It usually starts with the preparations in the morning and ends with dancing late into the evening.

Elegant

When one thinks of elegant wedding photography, images from top bridal magazines immediately spring to mind. These shots are usually set up and controlled down to the finest detail with plenty of Photoshop to get everything looking perfect.

However, elegant wedding photography is less about a specific style and more about a feeling that can be applied to almost any photographic discipline. You can have elegant photos taken in a church, on a tropical island and in both reportage and traditional styles too.

The key to elegant photos lies in the use of natural looks, great lighting and composition. All these elements need to be combined to create this elegant feel which is defined by class, prestige, glamour and timelessness. A good wedding photographer knows exactly how to capture these types of images in almost any setting. However, as a couple, you can contribute a lot too by choosing the right clothing and venue. Elegant weddings usually lean more towards a classic feel, with a sharp suit for the groom and a classic white wedding dress for the bride. A church would go a long way as well. White flowers wouldn’t hurt either, so a few vases of white flowers all around would work really well.

When shooting elegant photos, the lighting is absolutely key. These shots need plenty of light as dark, dingy pictures are definitely not elegant. So if the shots are taken indoors, and there is little natural light, a lighting rig will need to be set up in advance.

Most of our wedding photographers shoot with digital cameras, and this allows them to turn the photos into black and white afterwards with Photoshop. This is something worth discussing with your photographer as nothing says elegant, quite like black and white. It’s been noted that when compared to colour pictures, the eye has less detail to be distracted by monochrome photos. This lets the emotion of the image come through much more vividly and easily. It also has a timeless feel, so they will still look great in 50 years’ time, whereas colour photos are more likely to look a little dated by comparison.

To capture truly elegant photos, the photographer needs to find the most flattering angles at all times and use them as much as possible. Each person has their best angle, and this becomes a real challenge when photographing a couple as both need to be captured at the same time.

The final and perhaps most important element of elegant photos is to get the details right. This means that the bride’s hair, makeup and dress need to be refined to perfection as modern cameras will pick up everything. The same goes for the groom’s facial hair, hairstyle and suit. The decorations in the venue, like the napkins and tableware, make a big difference too.

However, keep in mind that if one strives to be too elegant, the intimacy of the shots can suffer somewhat, leaving the album feeling a little cold. Make sure you spice things up by including plenty of candid shots among the posed ones to get a nice balance of elegance and real emotion.

If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.

Conclusion

Wedding photos are one of those things that can be kept, cherished and enjoyed for the rest of your life. They say so much about the emotions of the day and the special moments that were shared that might otherwise be lost forever. A good wedding photographer will make sure to capture all these little moments so you can relive them over and over. At Wild Romantic, we have the best wedding photographer in Mornington Peninsula to capture every single moment on your wedding day.