Wedding Photography Styles

It’s fair to say that photographers sometimes baffle people with jargon—especially when describing our styles of photography, such as traditional, reportage, contemporary, documentary, photojournalistic, etc. So, here we have set out the three main styles on offer today. Of course, some photographers offer hybrids that pinch elements from all three of these styles, but most offer one main photographic style.

Traditional Wedding Photography

This is a style you will all be familiar with. Carefully posed shots of groups ranging from the whole guest list right down to just the bride and groom themselves. The poses will be more classical that contemporary so don’t expect any quirky shots including running or jumping, for example. This style was very much all that was on offer up until the arrival of digital photography and it’s fair to say that it is a much less popular style these days. Without wanting to stereotype, this style is favored more by the older generation whereas younger couples are more likely to favor a more contemporary style.

traditional wedding photography

photo by Gary Walters

Documentary, Journalistic, or Reportage Wedding Photography

This style of wedding photography is nothing new in terms of being a general photographic style, but it is relatively new to wedding photography. This style is informal when compared to traditional wedding photography as the photographer is likely to have little or no interaction with the bride, groom, or guests; the primary focus is to document the day as it happens. Don’t expect set poses with this style; it’s all about capturing your wedding day in as natural a way as possible. The photographer will try to remain as unobtrusive as possible and this will mean the avoidance of flash photography, too. When done right, this style produces the most emotional and naturally captivating photography, and albums produced from this style are absorbing and addictive.

journalistic wedding photo

photo by Tatiana Garanina

Contemporary Wedding Photography

This style sits somewhere between traditional wedding photography and the reportage styles. In many ways, this style could be considered a hybrid of the two and that the only true styles are traditional and reportage. The reason this is a style in itself is because you will get the usual posed group shots but mixed with a much more fun and contemporary posing style. Often the photographer will look for interesting way to use locations and settings in the setup of a shot and take advantage of the willingness of the bride and groom to create something extra special. The photographer will look to use unusual and interesting viewpoints in the shots in order to set them apart from being in any way traditional.

comtemporary wedding photography

photo by Elena Zotova

Quite often, in addition to the contemporary posed shots the photographer will mix in some reportage style of shooting to make a balanced album that creates the story of a wedding day. The photographer will also spend longer editing the photos in post production so as to give the finished album the optimum impact.

About the Author
Robert D Pearson –

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