If you search “wedding photographer near me” on Google, you will undoubtedly find over 10 pages of wedding photographer listings. And then there’s Instagram, Pinterest, bridal blogs, and bride magazines which will uncover even more wedding photographers for you to choose from! So, where do you start when you’re newly engaged? You’ll see terms like “Lifestyle” or “Fine Art” and it can all be so confusing. How can you choose from so many amazingly talented photographers and how do you even decide what your style is? Well to help you do that, I’ve compiled a list of the most popular styles for wedding photos, as well as describe the type of couples that are best suited for each style. so you can choose which one is right for you. Keep in mind, that whatever style you pick will have to stand the test of time. We’ve all been there and done that with clothing trends and you want to love your wedding photos for many years to come.
Fine Art Wedding Photos –
The couples who typically choose Fine Art Wedding Photographers are those that value glamour and high fashion. The photographer is most concerned with making every image a work of art where the lighting, composition of people and objects are given top priority. Often the photos are staged so they fit in a certain aesthetic. The goal of wedding photos is to achieve perfection and sophistication. You will often see fine art wedding photos in national bride magazines and blog sites such as Martha Stewart Weddings. If you are planning a large and elegant wedding either here in Central Florida or are planning a destination wedding, then hiring a Fine Art Photographer could be a good choice for you.
Documentary AKA “Lifestyle” Wedding Photos –
With this style, the wedding is treated like a news event where the photographer lets things unfold naturally and is more concerned with being at the right place at the right time. It takes a highly-skilled photographer to do this because they need to know where to position themselves to not only grab the greatest moments on film but to also do so in the best lighting. Couples who appreciate black and white photography of candid expressions and tender moments gravitate toward this organic style. Their wedding venues range from large historic sites to a small backyard setting. What really matters to the couple is coming away with beautiful and authentic pictures that tell the story of their wedding day from start to finish.
Classic Wedding Photos –
This style is a combination of Fine Art and Photojournalism. The Classic Wedding Photographer strikes a balance between getting posed shots that are creatively composed with the best lighting and with being able to be a fly on the wall at the appropriate time like when the bride is getting ready with her mom. The photographer shoots in both natural light and with off-camera flashes in darker lighting scenarios. Couples choose this style to match their traditional wedding. They need a photographer who knows how to get the best shots in natural light at their temple or church and who also knows how to pose create their wedding party outside after their ceremony. At the reception, they want to let loose and want their photographer to get lots of candids and fun moments from their reception.
Now that I’ve talked about the different ways photographers shoot weddings, let’s talk about how photographers edit their pictures. There are a lot of PhotoShop and Lightroom Pre-sets that a photographer can purchase or they can hire an outside vendor to edit and finish up the wedding gallery of proofs for a client. Or a photographer, like myself, can choose to personally go through all the images and edit them how they want. In all of these scenarios, you’re going to typically see these three types of finished images.
Light & Airy –
These pictures are edited to make the backgrounds overtly light and almost washed out. Skin tones and other colors are muted to give off a dream-like quality. This style works well with soft and light colors but can appear rather forced with darker colors, particularly if your color palette is dark jewel tones.
Dark & Moody –
Pictures come out just as it sounds, dark and moody. The overall feel is full of earth tones and warm bronzes and skies appear duller. This editing style can make skin tones appear darker with more shadows for an edgier feel, whereas with light and airy, skin tones are brighter and shadows lightened up.
Custom Black & White –
Pictures are originally shot in-camera in color, but then custom edited in black and white. I’m not talking about just using a black and white filter and calling it good. The kind of black and white editing I’m referring to here is where each image is customized to show correct skin tones and the background blends in with just the right amount of contrast. With these photos, you really notice expressions more than anything else and can be considered timeless because of that.
Finding Your Style
Now that I’ve given you an overview of the different wedding photography shooting and editing styles, it really comes down to your personal preferences. As I mentioned earlier, keep in mind, your tastes will change over time. Look at lots of photographers’ websites and Instagram accounts to make sure what you’re seeing is consistent.
I consider my shooting and editing style to be a balance between photojournalism and classic wedding photography. I take pictures that reveal true moments that happen at a wedding to tell a story while getting posed portraits of the bride and groom with their wedding party. I also ensure there are pictures of the beautiful table decor and other personal touches.
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