Choosing the right wedding photographer is an important part of the wedding planning process, much like like choosing the right dress, or picking a color scheme. When it comes to wedding photography, most photographers fall under one or more categories with various editing styles.
Digital or Film?
Before deciding on a wedding photography style, you will need to hire either a digital or film photographer, or find a hybrid who can do both.
With the advent of technology, there is a saying in the world of photography that “everyone is a photographer.” While this statement may be true to a certain extent, it is not as simple as snapping a photo with your smartphone. Professional photographers spend years honing their skill and technique, and have extensive knowledge in regards to lighting, posing, and equipment.
That being said, digital is the most popular choice of most modern wedding photographers, due to its ease of use, speed in delivering photos, and price point. Digital photographs have the ability to be edited, uploaded, and printed in a matter of days, while film photographs may take several weeks.
If your budget allows for it, you may love the soft tones and vintage nostalgia of film photography. But, if a quick turnaround of your wedding gallery is more important to you, then digital may be the way to go.
Editing Styles: Light and Airy or Dark and Moody?
Another deciding factor in choosing a style of wedding photography is the type of editing your photographer uses. If you’ve been perusing bridal magazines lately, you’ve probably see tons of light and airy wedding images, which often have a editorial or commercial feel to them.
On the other side of the editing spectrum is the dark and moody style, portraying an adventurous, or dramatic look to traditional wedding images. Both styles are timeless, beautiful, and elegant, and really depend on your own artistic preference.
Whichever you decide, choosing the right wedding photographer depends a lot on their style of shooting, as well as their editing preference. The following are the most popular styles of wedding photography:
Traditional Wedding Photography
A traditional wedding photographer offers the best of both worlds by mixing candid moments with posed portraits. Traditional photographers typically focus on capturing little details, big moments, and generally stick to capturing photos from a list of important shots. Unlike the posed portraits from your grandparents’ wedding album, a traditional wedding photographer will put a modern spin on your wedding images, while creating timeless portraits that you and your family will love for years to come.
Journalistic Wedding Photography
The roots of photojournalism began in newspapers as photographers captured events in the raw, evoking an emotional response. A modern journalistic wedding photographer takes a similar approach when photographing weddings, avoiding staged photos, in favor of candid and spontaneous shots. While the journalistic photographer may still take a directed group shot of your families, this photographer generally prefers capturing moments and emotions, telling a story.
Fine Art Wedding Photography
While there are many conflicting definitions of fine art wedding photography, the general consensus is that this style takes an artisitic approach to regular photography. A lot of editorial shoots in magazines are considered fine art with their dramatic, and/or posed nature. A fine art photographer often pushes their creative limits, producing an image that is equal parts art and photography.
Which Photography Style Is Right For You?
When it comes to choosing a wedding photography style that is right for you, you’re going to want to choose one that meshes well with your lifestyle and personality, as well as your own artistic values. If you hate the idea of posed portraits, and staged shots, then you’re definitely going to want to look for a wedding photographer that takes a journalistic approach.
If you prefer the artsy side of photography, or are an artist yourself, you may consider a fine art wedding photographer. Or, if you prefer a mixture of posed portraits and spontaneity, then a traditional photographer is the one for you.