What Are Wedding Photography Styles?

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From dresses to décor, style preferences vary from couple to couple. One of the most important stylistic decisions all couples have to make is choosing a wedding photographer. You should choose your wedding photography style even before you reach out to potential photographers. If you go the other route—book first, learn about the type later—you may end up with photos that don’t match your vision. Here at Vines of the Yarra Valley we have compiled an exclusive list of Melbourne Wedding Photographers to help capture your special day.

According to wedding photographer Jainé Kershner, this preliminary research will help you make a suitable photography investment. “You want to love your photographer’s style,” she says. “They worked hard to figure out how they shoot and edit, so couples need to make sure their style is exactly what they want.”

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Today’s most popular wedding photo styles include fine art and even dark and moody images, but classic images remain constant as well. But what if you like, say, traditional and dark and gloomy photos? Do you have to choose one or the other? Don’t worry, Kershner says, because many photographers offer a variety of styles throughout the day.

It’s tricky to choose precisely what wedding photography style is best for you with so many options. But Kershner says there is one easy way to find out: analyze your social-media saves. “Look at Instagram or Pinterest and see which types of images you’re liking and saving the most,” Kershner says. “If you can see a pattern where everything is similar or in the same family, that’s great. Otherwise, you can create mood boards or start Pinterest boards to see what you like most. After a few weeks of going through and pinning, you’ll start to see a trend.”

What Are the Different Wedding Photography Styles?

From candids to classics, here’s everything you need to know about wedding photography styles to inform the decision about your photographer.

Having a wedding photographer is essential and so much fun to choose from. When else do you get to splash out on incredible snaps! To help you find what you’re looking for, let’s take this back to basics. There are three types of wedding photography: reportage photography, traditional photography and contemporary wedding photography. Whether you are looking for some budget photography or you want to splurge, your wedding photographs will be one of the few solid mementos from W-Day, and you want them to be epic! So let’s work out which type will suit you and your wedding theme.

Contemporary Photography

Contemporary, fashion, editorial or creative photography takes its inspiration from fashion photography. Modern wedding photography does have some posed shots, but they are slightly more relaxed, as the photographer will be looking for exciting lighting and angles. While stunning, these shots may be less about the mood of the day or the couple as characters, but instead, the photographer’s vision and artistic stance – which might or might not be what you are after!

Traditional Photography

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Traditional wedding photography, also known as posed, conventional or classic photography, used to be the most popular category of wedding photography until the digital era, at which point, both photographers and newlywed couples stopped worrying about the costs of the film. The traditional style focuses on taking posed shots of the team and the group at large and involves a lot of direction from the photographer and time from the wedding party. It may not necessarily capture the day’s emotions as a whole but will give you some beautiful traditional shots to keep forever.

If you look at wedding photo albums, they tend to include a lot of traditional shots. These are usually classic and posed, such as group shots of the couple with the entourage and their families, shots of the cake cutting and wine toasting, and the couple’s first kiss as husband and wife. Though photographers have been practising this style for decades, both shooters and clients find that it’s the best way to achieve “key shots” of the day and timeless photos of the couple’s friends and family together.

This style typically requires the photographer to guide and direct and pose the wedding party for photos. Hence, the photographer needs to gain experience beforehand and be comfortable with taking charge. But to take more priceless images, it also helps to capture authentic and unguarded moments.

Timeless classic – that is traditional wedding photography style. Yes, all the fancy trends are excellent, and technology is giving us many benefits. Yet, for lots of you, the wedding is still the traditional and formal celebration.

And photography should follow the same ethics. This is the complete opposite of candid photography, and all the shots are planned.

This is also the safest and most universal type. With the traditional style of wedding photography, you will have all the essential shots.

The preparation, personal photos of groom and bride, photos of bouquets, shoes, rings and all the group photo variations. Choose this one, and you’ll be safe and sound.

Reportage Photography

Reportage, also known as documentary or journalistic photography, is not a new approach altogether. Still, it has come into vogue in the last couple of years in the world of wedding photography. This type of photographer aims to document your special day unobtrusively, telling a narrative. Whilst this will provide stunning shots and genuine emotion, brought to life by the photographer’s artistic vision, this type of wedding photographer is usually more than happy to conduct some formal photos too. However, it is worth checking with your chosen photographer what their attitude towards traditional shots is.

These approaches are not strict standards followed by wedding photographers, especially since every style tends to blend with other types. But of course, it’s a good idea to understand them if you’re interested in becoming a wedding photographer and developing a unique style of your own.

Other Wedding Photography Styles

If you’re trying to get into wedding photography, you may want to try out these ten different wedding photography styles. Aside from allowing you to hone your talent and skills, these will help you discover your technique along the way. Looking for a wedding photographer in Melbourne? Look no further. Vines of the Yarra Valley has compiled an ultimate list of wedding photo companies to help you choose.

Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

Many wedding photographers follow another popular shooting style, even as beginners, which is wedding photojournalism. Often mixed with traditional wedding photography, this style resembles reportage and documentary shooting, in which the shooter takes on a more informal approach in telling the story of the day.

A lot of creativity is required for this wedding photography style, not to mention some great skill in quickly aiming, adjusting camera settings, framing, and shooting as moments unfold around the photographer. Aside from that, photographers will have to blend in, sometimes with a telephoto camera, to capture candid moments from afar quickly.

The results are accurate and natural images that will evoke a flood of emotions.

Illustrative Wedding Photography

Often used for pre-nuptial photoshoot sessions, illustrative wedding photography emphasizes the composition, lighting, and background. The couple is asked to pose “candidly” in an often picturesque environment, making this style an exciting blend of traditional and photojournalistic wedding photography.

More often than not, illustrative wedding photography requires some skill in landscape photography and the use of wide-angle lenses and sometimes even aerial photography. Once you’ve got these down pat, you’ll also need to learn how to help your subjects relax and direct them to create more spontaneous-looking moments for the camera.

Portrait Wedding Photography

Portraiture indeed yields some of the most beautiful images, more so when it’s of the blushing bride or the happy couple on their wedding day. This style is also considered formal wedding photography because subjects are usually directed and posed for the camera. It’s not commonly recommended for solo shooters as it can limit your photographic results, but it’s a must to include when shooting an entire wedding feature. After all, these images end up showing the most emotion, and they’re usually the ones that the couple end up framing and displaying in their home.

Critical moments for portrait wedding photography are those meaningful moments after the bride finally has her makeup on. Once the couple has gotten into their wedding gown and suit when they can privately pose for pictures with their parents, the first real moments after tying the knot—you get the picture.

Natural Wedding Photography

Often mixed with other styles, natural wedding photography involves taking photos using natural light rather than with your camera flash or other artificial light sources. The result is more realistic, although it’s usually best for outdoor weddings after sunrise and before sunset, or anytime in the day wherein the sun isn’t too harsh to avoid unflattering shadows on the subjects’ faces. However, the photographer will have to be very skilled in dealing with shadows and other lighting difficulties.

For this photography style, it’s usually best to use a bright lens with a wide aperture that allows more light to achieve more well-exposed images. As long as you’re using the correct white balance setting, the colour temperature of sunlight will naturally result in warm photos and excellent skin tones.

Fine Art Wedding Photography

Another style that often gets mixed with other styles is fine art wedding photography. This one usually involves creative framing, lighting, composition, and post-production techniques. Photographers who do artistic wedding photography always anticipate moments where they can use fine art techniques and capture unique images. There’s no natural posing involved, although it’s common for shooters to slightly change their subjects’ posture and the placement of items—particularly wedding paraphernalia like rings, bouquets, and outfits—to achieve their desired composition.

This style is similar to portrait wedding photography. It’s not commonly preferred to be the only approach used for a wedding as it can significantly limit your results. However, suppose you’re going to be a secondary or tertiary shooter in a wedding photography team. In that case, you can execute this style with confidence that others will secure other critical shots of the day, mainly traditional and photojournalistic ones.

Fashion Wedding Photography

Also considered a genre in itself, this wedding photography style focuses on bridal fashion for commercial purposes. However, we’ve seen this style cross over to many actual wedding and engagement photos in the past few years. With the use of lighting setups, fashionable poses and expressions, and beautiful backgrounds, this style gives photographers a chance to be creative with their posed shots and for couples to be “models” for a day.

Even without experience in commercial photography, it’s pretty easy to try out. Look for inspiration in fashion magazines and find ways to dramatize your subject and the clothes. It’s always a plus for couples if you can make them look extra stylish and glamorous on their wedding day!

Black and White Wedding Photography

Black and white wedding photography is an excellent way to capture classic and timeless images. Some clients prefer coloured images while others greatly appreciate how lack of colour can enhance their photos’ mood—it’s all a matter of preference. Monochrome imagery may not be appealing to some people, but it can yield vastly more compelling images as it allows the subject and the composition to shine.

It’s a great technique that all photographers are encouraged to practice, but many shooters often use it to salvage images taken under mixed and complex lighting conditions. In many cases, the photos end up looking even better. Take the picture above, for example. By taking out colour, the image becomes less distracting, and the viewers’ attention instantly goes to the couple.

Vintage Wedding Photography

Thanks to vintage photo filters’ popularity, there’s a massive market for couples who prefer vintage wedding photography. There’s just something about old and timeless images that appeal to people—perhaps due to the feelings of nostalgia that they can evoke. This kind of photo treatment using colour distortion filters instantly turns mundane images into artistic works of art, which is why people keep on using them even for daily snapshots.

Today’s weddings incorporate rustic themes, further proving that there’s a pretty massive market for retro-loving clients. This is a good wedding photography style to learn aside from others at the top of this list.

The vintage style of wedding photography is much more than a sepia filter and brown tones. It’s about the full retro – vintage experience of the wedding. This is one trendy option among the different styles of wedding photography. People prefer this type of photography, even for everyday activities. There indeed is something appealing in these photos.

Or it’s because of the feeling of nostalgia they are waking. You can go one step further and give a retro feel to the whole wedding through the decor and ambience.

Aerial Wedding Photography

If you’re aspiring to be a modern wedding photographer, it helps keep up with the latest trends. One photography style you may want to learn is aerial wedding photography. This one will require more equipment, particularly an aerial drone with a pretty decent HD camera mounted on it.

Aerial shots are great for showing outdoor wedding locations and the couple in a remote area with beautiful sceneries. Image composition is not that crucial as bird’s eye view shots are usually always exciting, as long as you exclude elements that look out of place.

If you’re limited to indoor shots, you can always take photos from a staircase and still yield pretty magnificent images.

Wedding Photography Styles Every Couple Should Know

How Important Are The Wedding Photoshoots 2

A wedding is for sure one of the most critical moments in everybody’s life. You will be glad to remember those beautiful moments decades later. And the best way to wake up the nostalgia is with all these stunning photos you’ve got.

But before the selection of a photographer, let’s do some homework. It’s essential to learn about different wedding photography styles. There are many types and options to choose from, and you’re going to enjoy the process. Let us introduce you to the kinds of wedding photography.

Artistic Wedding Photography

There is something more in artistic photography than capturing the moment. Here, the goal is to document the event and show a creative element of the story.

The artistic style of wedding photography reflects the views of the photographer. Yet, you, as a model, play a crucial part in the process. With the right level of cooperation, you will end up with a unique and magical memory, and not only a good photo.

Since all the weddings are not traditional, neither the photos have to be. Artistic images often have a nostalgic moment, unusual composition and aesthetic feel. And they for sure transfer the emotion.

Candid Wedding Photography

Just the opposite of the traditional and artistic styles of wedding photography. In candid photography, there are no posed appearances, directions and guidelines. Shots are spontaneous, and subjects may not be even aware they are photographed at the moment.

The result is a natural posing and honest facial expression. The photographer is constantly moving around the venue. His job is to capture the rituals, reactions, and emotions most realistically. The beauty of candid photography lies in the ability to show the entire ambience in the venue, precisely like you and the present guests used to perceive it.

Documentary Wedding Photography

Here’s the one that captures the story. Like candid shots, documentary photography is not posed or prearranged. The goal is to transfer the beauty of your wedding’s tale through a connected sequence of spontaneous shots.

In all the styles of wedding photography, the most important is to take all the key shots. But this one tells even more. Have you seen this shot of a father lifting the bride’s veil in front of the future husband? Or the unique facial expression on guests looking down the aisle when the couple is about to kiss? These are valuable photos.

Dramatic Wedding Photography

In dramatic photography, it’s all about lighting and post-production, about the technical abilities and the experience of the photographer.

These are essentials within this style of wedding photography. When you see one, for sure, you know that you’re looking at the dramatic type of photo. The contrast is high, with many blacks, and usually, there is an evident focus on the subject. They are bold, solid and not for everyone.

They may not be your first choice when you think about different types of wedding photography. Yet, it won’t be a coincidence if you choose a dramatic photo as a favourite one from the celebration.

Drone Wedding Photography

Whoever invented drones, we’re thankful. Only a couple of years ago, aerial photography was an exclusive privilege.

It was reserved only for the wealthiest ones. And now, it’s an essential part of the portfolio of lots of commercial photographers. The styles of wedding photography expanded dramatically with this one. The possibilities of drone photography are endless.

The only rule is to shoot outdoors. Capturing from the sky may be more challenging. It will need a proper plan. Having a nature fight on your side will make this job easy. Fields, gardens, old churches, ancient buildings, sandy beaches. The inspiration is endless, and you, as a couple, will be shown in an exhilarating feeling of closeness.

Film Wedding Photography

What is a violin for music is the film for photography. The colours in the film photos are rich and delicate, and there’s something extraordinary about it.

There will be some imperfections; someone may blink, the pose may not be just perfect, but hey, neither are we.

Shooting with film may need more work. You will wait longer for the photos to be finished. This one is the most time-consuming among all the styles of wedding photography.

Still, a couple of hours will be saved since the editing is minimal. Do you feel like an old school person, and all this new age Instagram, photo filters, and such isn’t your thing? You may consider actual retro film photography.

Modern Wedding Photography

In contrast to film and traditional photography, here comes the modern one. Modern photography knows no rules and doesn’t have established methods.

It’s about pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box. Since the wedding trends shape the modern type of wedding photography, it’s on a constant change.

Here are some famous examples you may consider right now:

  • Choosing a second shooter: The photographers can follow both of you. Let the bride and the groomsmen start the story separately. Later on, as the wedding ceremony approaches, you may merge.
  • Hire a wedding videographer: Maybe you’re the type of person who prefers video instead of photos. Who doesn’t like good looking, cinematic footage of a fantastic event?
  • Day-after shoots: A wedding day can get a little exhausting. For you, the guests and the photographer. So why wouldn’t you take some shots tomorrow? Or make a spontaneous after-party?

Photojournalistic Wedding Photography

Do you want your wedding photography style to look like your wedding and not the cliché Instagram post? Then the photojournalistic style of wedding photography is for you.

Try to imagine what your wedding day looks like. From the start to an end. Okay, what have you got? You woke up in the morning, drank a coffee with the loved one. Later you went to the salon to get your hair done. Then you invited the closest friends to prepare together. Let’s not forget all the faces, smiles, hugs. Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.

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