For most couples, a wedding photographer is one of the most important investments they’ll make when it comes to the wedding day! These are the memories you’ll be able to keep forever, and will allow you to relive your wedding day over and over. But, unless you’ve dabbled in the photography world yourself, it can be difficult to know how to start looking for a wedding photographer, or even what to look for. As you look through Instagram you’ll see different wedding photography styles – from the way they pose couples, to the way they edit, there are so many different ways to approach photography.
To help you figure out what style you like, what to look for, and how to narrow down your search, here is a complete guide to wedding photography styles!
A lot of the work that wedding photographers do actually happens after the wedding! Editing can include anything from light color correction to heavy photoshopping, and this is what makes photos pop and brings out the beauty of the day. Believe it or not, our eyes can see much better than cameras can, so unedited photos can end up looking pretty flat. Editing style will be an important consideration when it comes to the wedding photography style you want for your day, as you can edit the same photo in different ways and get a totally different vibe! Here are some popular styles you’ll see.
These photos are bright, with saturated colors – think golden sunsets and white sand beaches. They are usually backlit (which means the sun is behind the subject), or use a lightly colored background. The light and airy wedding photography style creates images that look soft and bright.
If you’re looking at photographers who use a light and airy editing style, make sure that their photos aren’t too overexposed. If the brightness is turned up too high, white colors can lose their detail – which is no good for wedding dresses or light skin tones!
Dark and moody photos are a popular wedding photography style that’s basically the opposite of light and airy! This editing style uses dark backgrounds, and lots of contrast to create a cinematic feel. Don’t mistake the word “moody” to mean you won’t be smiling in the photos – moody just refers to the dramatic use of lighting. Think dark green forests and blue hour!
Make sure that when you look at wedding photographers who use a dark and moody editing style that the way they edit skin tones looks natural. Because they often bring down the brightness, this can sometimes leave an orange hue on some skin tones, as well as a gray cast on white dresses – but it’s totally avoidable, so make sure to look at details in photos when choosing a photographer!
A true to life wedding photography style is one that aims to keep photos looking natural, and as the name suggests, true to life! The colors will look similar to how you saw them. But, don’t be fooled – this absolutely doesn’t mean your photos won’t be edited. Different cameras pick up colors differently, and none of them are truly accurate to how they look in real life. So the goal of true to life editing is to bring those colors back and give some life to the photo!
As a wedding photographer, my editing style is true to life – I want to capture things how they really are on your day. For some examples of these types of photos, check out my portfolio!
Now that we’ve gone over the different wedding photography styles that happen after the photos are taken, let’s talk about what happens in front of the camera! Posing, composition, and lighting has a lot to do with how your photos turn out, and there are different approaches that photographers can take.
This is likely the wedding photography style you’ll see in your parents’ wedding photos. The classic style is pretty simple – the subjects are posed, and looking at the camera.
All photographers will incorporate at least a few of these photos, especially for family photos or portraits with your guests. These photos are timeless, but may not be the most creative if you’re hoping for unique wedding photos.
Fine art photography puts more emphasis on artistic expression. For wedding photos, this could mean using unique angles and lighting to tell a story the way the photographer sees it, not the way the camera sees it.
For editorial photos, think magazine spreads and dramatic poses. This wedding photography style feels more high end and like a photoshoot, resulting in photos that look like they could be in a fashion magazine!
Though film photography isn’t as common these days, because of course, digital cameras make the process much easier, there are still some wedding photographers who use film! These photos are intentional, as there’s a limited amount of photos they can take, which can result in some imperfect, but real, photos that have a vintage feel. Some photographers will shoot both film and digital!
Documentary photography aims to capture the wedding day exactly as it happened. The photographer is more of a fly on the wall, documenting those real moments. This is a lot more comfortable for most people, as most of the time you won’t even remember that you’re being photographed. A documentary photographer will capture genuine moments instead of posed ones, so that when you get your photos back, you can truly remember how the day felt.
You can find more information, and reasons why I love documentary photography in this post – and if you want a photographer who will let you be totally in the moment on your wedding day, contact me!
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Kansas City Wedding Photographer
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I am proud to be an inclusive wedding vendor! I love working with all types of couples in love.
Whatever your gender, sexuality, religion, race, I want to help you celebrate your day!