There are basically three major wedding photography styles that are common within the wedding industry. However, in today’s world, it’s easy for engaged couples to get confused.
Sometimes the terminology is used interchangeably and (not intentionally) wedding professionals forget that couples don’t always understand those technical terms.
Wedding Venue Map asked Anesha Collins, Central Florida wedding photographer and cinematographer, of Unashamed Imaging to help explain the different styles.
Not all photography is the same.
As a couple, you’re probably thinking that all wedding photography is the same. The truth is, there are different wedding photography styles and different elements that can differentiate the styles. You may have heard the terms “light & airy”, “dark & moody”, or “double-exposure.” Well, this is where they come into play.
After a few years of shooting weddings and being a part of many couples’ journeys to getting married, one of the most common statements made by couples is, “I get overwhelmed looking at these different photographers and I don’t know the difference between a documentary-style photographer and a fine-art wedding photographer…”
Does that sound familiar?
For couples, choosing a wedding photographer that shoots in the right style for them can be very confusing. At the end of the day, it’s important for couples to—at the very least—have a basic understanding of the different types of wedding photography styles that are out there. This will reduce the confusion and avoid as much stress as possible.
This list breaks down the three major wedding photography styles so you can find the perfect wedding photographer to document your special day.
1. Fine-Art Wedding Photography
Unashamed Imaging is a great example of fine-art wedding photography. Her shooting style is very clean. This is the type of wedding photography published in luxury wedding magazines, like MunaLuchi Bride Magazine, The Knot, and more.
Fine-art photography is very heavy in capturing details, such as close-ups of florals, bridal accessories, bouquets, etc., while also incorporating an element of emotion.
This type of photography, when showcased, is less about candid and natural moments, and more about very emotional or dramatic feels.
It’s best not to confuse “dramatic” in this description with any form of negative connotation. In this case, “dramatic” showcases a love story between the couple through moments frozen in time. Think The Notebook meets wedding photography.
These are the wedding photos we see online that have a lot of pretty details and emotions, all at the same time.
2. Lifestyle Wedding Photography
Lifestyle photography focuses on capturing genuine moments to tell a story in a creative way. It is a mixture of photojournalism and traditional wedding photography.
This type of wedding photography allows for natural and genuine moments to occur with a creative interjection from the wedding photographer.
Because this is done in a professional and creative manner; most couples don’t even notice the interjection. Lifestyle photographers are very skilled at not being in the way, while still being able to capture unforgettable moments.
Clearing out clutter, opening windows, or turning off lights to set up a shot in advance is a normal practice. It also means giving posing direction, such as what to do and where to stand, but in a way that produces natural, relaxed moments. But it also means knowing when to stand back and just let things happen.
Lifestyle photographers can also add elements of flash photography to their shooting style. Here are some examples of details that are often captured by lifestyle wedding photographers.
The moments seen here start with direction from the wedding photographer, but leave room for natural and candid posing, which makes the imagery more lifestyle/fine-art in this particular wedding portrait session.
3. Documentary or Photojournalistic Wedding Photography
Documentary-style/photojournalistic wedding photography is very candid and natural, but don’t confuse it with being “a fly on the wall.”
A lot of great moments are captured with this type of photography. Oftentimes, when looking at this type of photography, you feel as if you are in the moment in real time.
Here is an example of documentary-style/photojournalistic wedding photography during a wedding reception.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s OK if you aren’t sure what “style” you prefer.
Take the time to look through the galleries and social media of the photographer to see if you connect with their pictures. Chances are, you’ll figure out the style that fits you both best by looking through the photos.
LEARN MORE – WATCH ANESHA’S FACEBOOK LIVE DIGGING DEEPER INTO THIS TOPIC
ABOUT UNASHAMED IMAGING
Anesha Collins is a wedding & events photographer, cinematographer, educator and speaker currently based in Orlando, Florida. She also specializes in video marketing and content creation.
Anesha is the founder of LearnWithAC, where she empowers small business owners and creative entrepreneurs with the knowledge they need to incorporate video visual presence within their brand. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Knot, MunaLuchi Bridal, NFL, The Knots-HowHeAsked, Harness Magazine, Catalyst Co., BlackBride 1998, Orlando Magazine and more.
She is also the recipient of Orlando Florida’s 2017 & 2018 Best of Weddings Award for Best Videographer & Best Photographer.