A Bride's Guide to Photography: Styles

Welcome back toA Bride’s Guide to Photography” series!  If you’re new to the blog, take a look back at Part 1 where we introduced the series, made possible with incredible insight from photographer Alex Thornton!  Last week we discussed the importance of hiring a professional photographer for your wedding and the value that the are.  If you’re returning, we’re continuing the series this week talking about photography styles!

When it comes to styles of photography, there’s a lot to be said and a lot to get confused over.  Maybe you have seen photographic work that you love but don’t know how to pursue a similar photographer. Or perhaps you are totally clueless at what you want in a photographer and simply need a boost to get started searching!   This is where understanding some style basics can be helpful and ensure that you and your photographer are completely on the same page!

Within wedding photography, there are three main approaches different photographers will take to capture your day.  Some have a traditional style, tending to capture more posed or staged moments.  On the flip side, others will take a photojournalistic/editorial approach, focusing on catching more genuine, candid moments. Then there are the photographers who will include both in their style, taking many posed portraits while also keeping an eye out for the rawness and intimacy that candids can portray.  This blend of styles is sometimes referred to as “illustrative”.  If you’re unsure of which approach yours takes, never be afraid to ask!  

Additionally, there are many styling phrases used among the industry to describe the overall feel of images.  Perhaps while browsing online you have seen phrases used such as “light and airy” or “warm and moody”.  What these words are describing are the different amounts and types of light in the photos.  Some photographers prefer their images to have more light and some prefer less, simply depending on what their style is.  Also, some photographers like to work mainly with natural light whereas others will create light with special equipment. These differing tones can also be dependent on location!  Here in Nashville, there’s a bigger push for the warm and cozy images, whereas coastal weddings may tend to have brighter, color-popping photos. Be sure to consider these differences in styles when looking for someone to hire!

When searching for a photographer that fits your vision, its important to note that each operates uniquely, seeing the world in their own special way.  Photography itself is all about having a personal perspective on a moment and aiming to capture exactly that. With this in mind, don’t book a photographer and tell them how to do their job.  Instead, go look through portfolios, and find someone who already flourishes in a style you love!  Also, remember that every couple is different!  You and your future husband may interact in a completely different way than a couple in sample pictures, so never expect to have pinterest/instagram pictures recreated.  Instead, take inspiration from them to find a pose you like, for example!

At the end of the day, never forget that your wedding photos are about you and your day.  When you get the images back, they’re going to portray your relationship, not somebody else’s.  So when the time comes, simply relax, embrace the couple that you are, and enjoy your joyous day!  Let your photographer do what they do best, and thank them for all that they do.  Their work is important, and we hope you’ll agree!

Stay tuned for Part 3 next week where we’re covering questions you should ask your photographer!

Part One: The Investment