There are many styles and types of wedding photography and photographers. To be truthful, there are too many for one blog and I am not familiar with all. I am going to break it down to three popular styles of photography and 7 types of photographers.
First and Foremost will be my favorite style, Photojournalistic. The name says it all. The photographer uses their art to tell the story of your wedding. They capture the intimate moments when your dad first sees you and his eyes well up with pride, when you stand nervously as your mom or maid of honor lace up the back of your dress, your deep shaky breath before you walk down the aisle, his look of anticipation as he waits. All those little moments you wish you could burn into your memory forever. The pros with this style are well…everything. You must ensure your photographer has a great instinct because you are completely relying on this to ensure those little moments are shot but overall it’s makes for a beautiful collection of memories.
The second style I will be discussing is the classic style of photography. These are the ones you are use to seeing in older photo albums. The bride posed with nearly everyone at the wedding, typically around the cake table or at the front of the altar. I definitely feel there is a place for these timeless photos in every album. The cons of this style mainly lies in the lack of originality, and that they are extremely time consuming.
The final style, Contemporary or Fashion photography. These make for very interesting artistic photos. There are many definitions to this category. I personally consider this style to be the style that utilizes beautiful backgrounds, available lighting, and professional posing in order to achieve a photo that looks more like art than anything. While very beautiful, I wouldn’t recommend just having this style as your only choice. What is fashionable now may not always be and this will not tell the story of your wedding day.
CHOOSING THE STYLE
What style am I hoping for? I am truly hoping for a mix! From the work that I have seen he does a great mix of all three. You want some poses with family members and bridal party, but not so many that they suck up an hour of your partying time. You want pictures of all those memories but still have ones that can be displayed in a photo frame. As for contemporary, you most likely want a few beautiful shots that you make you and your loved ones look as if you stepped off the pages of a magazine.
CLICK CLICK FLASH
Now lets talk about those creative creatures: the wedding photographers. Once again, this does not cover the full spectrum of photographers but I think this covers a large portion of what you will see when searching for a wedding photographer. I am a fan of list so I shall list this out starting with my preference of course!
1 The Learning Lady (or gentlemen)
These guys are artist just starting out. They may have a year or less experience. This could be dangerous territory but I honestly believe that photography is like any other art. When you have it, you just have it. Now don’t get me wrong. Experience will benefit these guys in the long run and they will get even better at their craft. The truly talented wedding photographers that have a ton of experience tend to have prices that reflect this. Check out their photos from previous weddings. You can get a good feel of what they have to offer. Look around you will see what I am saying. The great thing about these aspiring photographers is not only will you have a fresh eyed enthusiastic vendor but hey you are helping them too! I personally have a soft spot for business in their first 5 or years of business. I try to book these type of vendors when possible.
2 The Old Foggys
These guys have been around awhile. By awhile I mean 20-30 years ago. They come from a time when film cameras where used and photojournalistic wasn’t yet a household word. Now there is a perk here! Hellloo, they have 20-30 years of experience. That being said, typically the older generation photographer will prefer the traditional style of photography. If this is what you want go for it and if not it doesn’t hurt to ask if they would consider taking a different style of shot. It is a revolving art form and they may or may not have modernized their style.
3 The Pretend Photographer (Aka Fauxtographer or Shoot & Burner)
You’ll probably find this guy while perusing the quik quarter. The idea is they will shoot your wedding and send you a couple disc with the photos (not touched up or modified). They will be super cheap and if that is what you are looking for this would be your guy. The old motto you get what you pay for comes to mind. I know I know. They may be a super amateur photographer trying to get on their feet but so honestly, I think you are better off with Auntie Ann (See Below)
4 Auntie Ann and her little camera too.
Everyone has one. I’m speaking of that aunt with the pretty great eye and an even better camera. This may work well for family photo or maybe even engagements but let Auntie Ann be a guest. If she wants to bring her pricey canon and her artistic eye along, fantastic! She can capture pictures of family members and friends from her vantage point. The main problem is people tend to shoot people they know or favor. Even if she attempts to include everyone, your pictures will ultimately be focused on the people she is familiar. Someone outside the normal circle will have an objective outlook and photograph everyone to an equal ration. Any who… That is a huge pressure to put on a family member’s shoulders. Even if she doesn’t mind she should be joining in on the festivities.
5 High Dollar and Quite Luxurious
Remember when I said “you get what you pay for”. Well high dollar upscale boutique type photography definitely fits the bill. These are the photographers that probably started out as those very talented learning ladies and gents but have blossomed to a whole new level. Their work is absolutely stunning and their services are impeccable. You can even say they would pamper you. It’s like staying at Ritz Carlton vs a Hilton. Both are wonderful but one leaves you feeling like a queen and one more like a duchess. The only drawback here is the price. They are usually closer to, if not in, the 10’s to 20 thousands. As you can tell I absolutely love these guys. I love drooling over their work. Neither my budget nor my pocket book quite agreed so I opted for a talented guy in category A.
6 I have a specialty but its not wedding photography Photographer
So these guys are pretty great too. The problem is their work may or may not translate well. Meaning, they may take FANTASTIC portrait work or landscape photos but not be able to capture the essence of the wedding. Some (particularly photojournalistic or fashion) may be able to pull of the wedding photographer thing even if this is not their specialty but it MAY be a gamble. If you are considering using this type of photographer I would view their work and get a good sense of where they are coming from. You may get a fantastic price and a fantastic album. You may get a bunch of awkwardness mixed with a handful of great shots. Remember it is an art form. I wouldn’t want a rock band to play Cajun music. They may be similar but that doesn’t mean they are the same. Then again that rock band may rock the crowd with zydeco tunes. You will never know until you check’em out.
As mentioned earlier, this is not an all inclusive list of type of photographers and photography out there but I hope it helps you get more familiarized for when you start that search. There is at least one positive for each and like anything else in your wedding it falls back to what you prefer. Honestly, if you take ANY advice from me it is this. THIS IS YOUR WEDDING SO LET IT BE YOUR WEDDING. You can get help with decisions but ultimately go with your gut. You may make comprises. Trust me sometimes it’s needed as a peace wager. That being said, ultimately there are two people who need to be happy with it and on that day they will share the same name! Happy Planning!
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