There's a lot of terminology, and in some cases jargon used by wedding photographers to describe different styles and types of work. You might want a mix of styles but don’t want to run the risk of having a mishmash of different approaches, or perhaps you just can’t decide on the type of photography that will best capture your special day. Read on to deconstruct the most popular styles of wedding photography and narrow your search on the one that suits you best.
Candid Wedding Photography
The dictionary defines Candid as: ‘Informal; Unposed.’ So essentially, it means taking a picture of someone just being themselves or when they are acting naturally. Candid photography attempts to photograph the subject without them noticing. This may also be referred to as the 'fly on the wall' approach. To make it easier, here is a simple rule of thumb in answering what is candid photography: If someone could say “Cheese,” it’s not candid.
Portraiture or Traditional Wedding Photography
This one is the oldest of all kinds of wedding photography. As the name implies, this type of wedding photography includes the typical posed pictures of the bride and groom, their families, and the rest of the bridal party. Some of these are must-takes and are part of pretty much every wedding album. However, over doing this type of photography can lead to a definite boring and overwhelming feel. After all, who wants to see tons and tons of pictures of group after group of innumerable people standing together, half of whom you are unlikely to meet ever!
It’s also a good idea to get some traditional type pictures intermingled with a bunch of other types of photos as well.
Fashion-style Wedding Photography
This is the aspirational style that you will see in the magazines. It is usually semi-directed, choosing the best backdrops and lighting and then partially posing the bride or the couple to look 'natural'.
For instance, there may be pictures of the bride picking up something she has dropped or laughing at something the groom said. Such pictures are also often take in a more unconventional or unexpected setting such as at a beach to enhance the informal nature of the picture. Contemporary photography and fashion-style photography are often used as interchangeable terms.
Photo-journalistic Wedding Photography
Every wedding has a story to tell. This style of wedding photography attempts to tell the story of your day without interference or direction. Here the photographer does not instruct groups of people to stand together. Instead, he looks to capture moments as they unfold. The excitement, the anticipation, the life-changing magnitude of the occasion is all crystallized in pictures. The far less exotic term of ‘documentary photography’ is sometimes used instead of photojournalistic photography.
Artistic Wedding Photography
The artistic type of wedding photography is one which is just beautiful for its own sake regardless of the people who are in it. There is something about the composition, the imagery, the lighting that just makes the picture stand out. This all sounds wonderful, but there are a few caveats here. Not every photographer can make every photo a work of art. These masterpieces come along rarely. And secondly, you probably don’t even want your cameraperson to attempt to take every photo in the artistic style – after all, you want some pictures in there where you and your partner are the focal point, rather than the lighting or the mood. If you like this type of photography, you can request that a few pictures (but not all) be snapped with artistic photography in mind.