Obviously, not all wedding photos should be of the couple in full frame looking directly at the camera. In fact very few should be! This is why it is so important that as well as the traditional and classical wedding photos, I deliver candid, unique and artistic photos that are very specific for each couple. Those images become very special indeed. As well as different wedding photography styles there are also different editing techniques and I am extremely accomplished in all sorts of photo editing and retouching techniques. Do you want your wedding photos to have the look and feel of film? Done! Prefer the desaturated pastel colors for your wedding photography? Easy! Is dark and dramatic more your style of photography? No problem. Colorful and vibrant photos? Simple!
However, as well as the image color, there are several wedding photography styles and I incorporate most of them in my wedding photography with an emphasis on the style my couples prefer. Here is a quick description of the various wedding photo styles:
Documentary/candid wedding photography:
Documentary wedding photography is also called wedding photo journalism. Rather than posed or highly styled shots, documentary wedding photography captures candid or spontaneous photos of people and action—in the moment. Real moments that happen throughout your wedding day.Often mixed with traditional wedding photography, this style resembles reportage and documentary shooting, in which I take a more informal approach in telling your wedding day story. A lot of creativity is required for this wedding photography style, not to mention some serious skill in quickly aiming, adjusting camera settings, framing, and shooting as moments unfold around me. The results are real and natural wedding images that will evoke a flood of emotions.
Lifestyle wedding photography is very similar to photojournalism. It is fairly candid, but with some guidance for the wedding couple and has an approachable feel and a relaxed result. As your wedding photographer, I am always “looking for those moments” but sometimes I set the scene, give a few suggestions and then wait for those moments to happen.
Film Noir or Hollywood Style Lighting is the key component of film noir or Hollywood style dramatic wedding photography. Moody, dark and dramatic. The term film noir may instantly conjure cinematic scenarios in your mind of dark bars and alleyways and beautiful, glamorous women. But film noir is also a still wedding photography style, largely influenced by the movies of the same classification.
Film noir is a term introduced in the 1940s by French critics Nino Frank and Jean-Pierre Chartier. The French word "noir" translates to "black" or "dark," and film noir describes a style of filmmaking rather than an actual film genre. Wedding photography in the film noir's style is defined by its storytelling style and the dramatic lighting used to capture it. Today, film noir is still a highly recognized and well-respected form of storytelling. As your wedding photographer, I need to be able to create the lighting and camera effects that imitate the best of film noir photography. I need to be able to create my own light in some other way than the “commercial looking” on camera flash.That is why I have spent years mastering off camera flash or OCF. When I photograph weddings I usually have one sometimes two or three off camera lights set up in various locations and controlling these lights is the key to those dramatic film noir wedding photographs I am so well known for. Adding special effects in Photoshop also help in achieving the film noir wedding look.
Traditional wedding photography: If you look at wedding photo albums, they tend to include a lot of traditional shots. These are usually classic and posed, such as group shots of the couple with the entourage and their families, shots of the cake cutting and wine toasting, and the first kiss of the couple as husband and wife. I have been practicing this style for decades and my couples find that it’s the best way to achieve those “key wedding shots” of the day and timeless photos of the couple’s friends and family together.This style typically requires me as your wedding photographer to get involved in guiding, directing and posing the wedding party for photos. But to take more priceless wedding photos, one needs to also capture real and unguarded moments and that is why I tend to keep my traditional posed and static wedding photos to a minimum on the wedding day.
Illustrative/editorial: Often used for pre-nuptial photo shoot sessions, illustrative wedding photography places emphasis on the composition, lighting, and background. The couple is asked to pose “candidly” in an often picturesque environment, which makes this style an interesting blend of traditional and photojournalistic wedding photography. This style works very well with couples who are a bit camera shy and need guidance on posing but still want natural looking candid wedding photos. Illustrative wedding photography requires some skill in landscape and fashion photography as well and I was both a fashion and landscape photographer before I went in to the wedding photography business almost 20 years ago.
Fine art wedding photography: Another style that I often mix with my other wedding photography styles is fine art wedding photography. This style involves creative framing, lighting, composition, and post-production techniques. When I photograph wedding moments in the fine art style, I am always anticipating moments where I can use artistic techniques and capture unique images. In achieving a fine art wedding photograph I often layer images in Photoshop and add dramatic details to the finished image. However, I would never photograph an entire wedding this way, but rather use it to achieve a few of those “wow” images to add to the couple’s wedding portfolio.
Black and white wedding photography: This is a great way to capture classic and timeless wedding images. It can actually yield vastly more compelling photos as it allows the couple and the composition to shine. Some couples prefer colored images while others greatly appreciate how lack of color can enhance the mood of their photos—it’s all a matter of preference. This is why all my couples receive every wedding photo in both color and black and white.