Finding the Correct Photographer
When you first set out to find a wedding photographer it seems like it will be an easy task, or at least I thought it would be. I did not have a clue about photography at the time and assumed as long as I found a great one everything would be fine.
The truth is each person you find to do the job has their own style, so the key is not just to find a great one but also to find one with the style you want. I found this page a good starting point.
You will find some can do multiple styles to suit your needs but they will specialise. Like every skilled person they have the things they do well and the things they do amazing.
The main reason I am creating this article is just to make you aware that there are different styles (contemporary, traditions etc) and you do have a decision to make, yes another one. So speak with someone who has experiencer and get them to walk you through it. It’s often much easier to do a little homework first but their experience will be much more valuable than a blog post of the internet!
The look and style of your wedding photographs will largely be dictated by your own personal taste and to some extent the style of photographs you have previously seen. The look of your finished images can be greatly affected by the backgrounds of the location you choose. For example, photographs taken in a beautifully landscaped garden will have a very different look to those taken in the tightly confined spaces of some church steps or the exteriors of some registrar’s offices.
You can control the look of your photographs by choosing a venue which matches your expectations in this respect. Of course the one thing which none of us has any control over is the weather and allowances should always be made for this if, on your big day, the elements do not co-operate.
The mood, mix of subjects in images and the level of formality (or lack of it) dictates the style of your wedding day photos. Styles have changed over the years with new ones emerging as previous ones have fallen out of fashion. Most of us still think of the traditional succession of shots taken of the bridal party and families when we think of wedding photographs. However the current style now in vogue is known as ‘contemporary’.
This style is heavily influenced by the type of shots appearing in glossy magazines and fashion journals. Alongside the styles mentioned above you may also be able to choose from a selection of black and white prints which have always had a timeless quality to them.
The names of styles and how they differ can often be a little confusing. I hope the infographic I have referenced along side this content and also the content further down the page helps to explain some of it.
This is a great infographic to help
As many photographers, and indeed subjects became frustrated by the constraints of the traditional style of wedding photography a new and less formal style began to develop.
This newer style is commonly known as ‘reportage’ or ‘documentary’. Reportage shots are often taken to one side of what is going to give a more real depiction to events. This style can often be used to capture candid shots which if taken correctly and at the right time, give a more realistic depiction of the mood and atmosphere of a wedding day.
This style is best used in conjunction with some traditional shots to give a better overall coverage and truer depiction of your wedding day. When browsing through a potential photographer’s portfolio you are most likely to see this type of mix of photographs.
This is the one that has been around the longest and that most of us think of first. The traditional style was in part borne from the necessity of having to include a picture of the main participants in the wedding day at least once, and in many cases more than once in various different combinations.
As in all styles the group shot combinations centre around the bride and bridegroom. Using a traditional method will then add various members of the bridal party (bridesmaids, best man, parents etc.) in subsequent shots. Group shots tend to be mostly taken with the subjects in a line or in rows behind the main subjects. The happy couple tend to be posed side by side (groom to the right of the bride – traditionally so that his sword arm was free, if needed) and taken either full or half length.
A photographer taking wedding photographs in the traditional style will normally have a set list of shots that he will run through until he has covered everything on the day. The images themselves if done properly will be a complete record of the day with all of the main subjects included either singly or in group shots.
This style has latterly fallen out of favour and is now seen as overly formal and stilted. Unless it is mixed with a few informal shots it can deliver a sometimes austere set of images which do not fully reflect the happy fun filled nature of the average wedding day. But that said some people still love it and want it kept that way.
Similar to the ‘reportage ‘style, ‘contemporary’ style photography images tend to be more relaxed and informal, and often candid too. However ‘contemporary’ style images are inspired by those seen in wedding and mainstream fashion magazines. You will still get a set of images which are a great record of your happy day but if done properly your wedding pictures will look like they have just been lifted from the latest issue of Vogue magazine.
Mixed with some traditional style pictures and a great set of backgrounds, ‘contemporary’ style photos are now becoming the typical set of images that photographers take on your special day.
I hope all of the above helps you see how one moment can be taken in lots of different ways and this is what you need to think about. What’s the personality of you and your partner? How do you want to try and capture that? Speak with our professional to help.